Gallup: 60 - 80 seats
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 12:30:45 PM EDT
I've been re-reading a text-book on the election period from 1888 to 1896, "Years of Decision", and the tumultuous whipsaw elections that occurred in that period. '88 swept in the Republican congress and President Harrison; '90 swept in a Democratic Congress; '92 brought in Cleveland; '94 swept in a Republican Congress; '96 brought in McKinley. Back and forth it went. When I first read this book, about 5 years ago, I recall talking about it with a friend that we could be headed for a similar type of swings. The analogy between the parties is tough to hold straight. A lot of progressives look back to the Republican Party of Lincoln's era as their representatives in the day.
What I've in particular found fascinating is the '88 to '90 period, when pent-up Republican frustration of not having control of Congress and the Presidency in prior times, resulted in a record of congressional activity and centralization of power. You can imagine Speaker Pelosi's echo in this quote of the Republican Lodge after his party being demolished in 1890: "The sting of the present defeat lies in the fact that the Republican Party never since the war deserved so well."
Back to today. Gallup is giving us a 15% generic likely voter gap in favor of Republicans. The Independents have deserted the Democrats. What they've decided, amidst the stupidity of partisanship on display while the country is mired in seemingly intractable conflicts, is that they will make the Republicans and Democrats even madder at each other.
How many seats can Republicans possibly gain?
And if Gallup is right, it implies an almost unprecedented Republican sweep on Tuesday. As Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz explains via email, "Republicans have never had anything close to a 15-point popular vote margin in the past 80 years." Their biggest national margin in that period was "7 points in 1946, followed by a 6 point margin in 1994." A 15-point majority this year, he adds, "would probably result in a gain of close to 80 seats and between 250 and 260 GOP seats in the new House, more than in any Congress since the 1920s.
Gallup says above 60. Their numbers say up to 80.
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