Congress 2010

Here's the latest from Larry Sabato:

These days the best D.C. parlor game is guessing November’s House results. We’ve recently made our own contribution, with a district-by-district analysis that projects—as of early June—a Republican net gain of 32 seats. But the Crystal Ball has always done House projections in two ways. The second method requires advanced statistical modeling of the sort Professor Alan Abramowitz provides in this week’s Crystal Ball. Prof. Abramowitz’s record has been superb in election prognostication, and his analysis shows a GOP gain of 39 House seats—precisely the number needed to take control. There is not much difference between 32 and 39 in a June forecast. Both methods will be tweaked as we enter late summer and early fall. There are two reasonable conclusions to draw from these numbers. First, whether they gain 25 or 32 or 39 or 50 seats on November 2, Republicans are headed for a good midterm year, though it is very unlikely to match the over-the-top prognostications of some GOP leaders (who have gone as far as +70 to 100 or more seats). Second, Republican control of the House is on the bubble. Events over the next four months, reflected in President Obama’s approval rating in good part, will determine whether Republicans fall over or under the all-important number of 39.

Latest from Gallup:

 Dems are not off the cliff at this point, but the margin here is troubling. Turnout is relatively fine for Democrats, but the Republicans are off the map. 

A +10 '06 Dem lead potentially swings to a  +15 '10 Rep lead; a net 25 swing is going to lead to a lot of Bob Etheridge Democrats.


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I am convinced that the biggest problem the Democrats are having is that the legislation they introduce is too complex. Not only does this complexity make it very hard for people not well versed in the subject to understand it allows the opposition and media to pick apart and distort whatever is trying to be accomplished. At the same time it draws out the process making it appear that nothing is happening.

Specific Democratic proposals still retain large public support. It is only when the layers are added that in the aggregate they fail. Just look what Obama managed to do with just the pressuring of BP to set up the fund. A simple straight forward specific initiative has lots of support and has the opposition in a bind.

Simple can be far reaching. The skimmer tax (Financial Transaction Tax) would cause a far reaching and systematic change. But loading it down with exemptions allows the crows to gather. A business payroll tax rebate could help with unemployment. Small business could be induced to hire some more workers if labor costs declined just a bit. However putting business size limits and other condition makes that incomprehensible and opens it up to attack as playing favorites. So for the FTT only the percentage and minimum amount covered should be at issue, for the payroll tax rebate the maximum allowable amount should be the only issue (5 or 10 times the median employee contribution).

Under PayGo these would probably be paired, but even that is a limit on complexity and still makes a powerful change. there are lots and lots of these individual important initiatives out there get them moving with very few moving parts. Volume will be perceived as action.

by Judeling 2010-06-22 04:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Complexity

Democrats need a game-changer. Its pretty unclear what that could be of anything that's on the horizon. Obama already seems focused on '12, with his pushing immigration ahead of the energy bill, resulting in nothing on either end geting done.

But it is still a long ways off, and things can change. Anyone that remembers being around here in June 2002 remembers how well it looked for Democrats at that time of the year, for taking over the House. But, as Andy Card noted, the Bushites had a product to roll-out after Labor Day, with the vote to invade Iraq.

What sort of, unpalatable to Republicans, but popular at-large, vote could the Democrats make this Fall to have that sort of momentum-shifting moment?

The financial bill?  Seems too arcane, with talk of derivatives (exactly your point) and doesn't really undo the damage of the bailouts.

Iraq withdrawal?  Joe Biden says its still on. But even the most optimistic "withdrawal" leaves 50,000 troops in Iraq (over 100,000 remain today), and meanwhile, the real quagmire, Afghanistan heads over 100,000 troops.

Comprehensive Immigration?  Most say its not going to happen.

Comprehensive Energy?  This is certainly the best bet of anything substantial coming out of the House that isn't labled as just another corporate giveaway. Well, I'm not certain about that, some of the environmental groups have already started blasting away at it.

Bashing BP?  I guess that's all thats left. A partisan football to deflect responsibility away from the administration is not worth much to Independents.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-22 04:41PM | 0 recs
Where is Obama on this?

If we dont get a major surge in economic growth(im talking 5%-6% GDP growth) next year, Obama is out in 2012 no matter  what happens.  Add in the likely investigations and impeachment hearings against him by a GOP House and he is on even shakier ground. 

This President has been a real disaster for us and I really dont give a damn if he loses in 2012. 

by Kent 2010-06-23 12:01AM | 0 recs
how about the Senate?

Hi Jerome,

What's the current MYDD take on the Senate? I can't see Republicans winning any more than 6-8 seats. A Democratic majority there is more important in some ways, because it'll make Obama court appointments easier.

by HKingsley 2010-06-22 04:40PM | 0 recs
RE: how about the Senate?

Too early to guess, I have 18 seats that are on lean or less. 11 of them held by Dems, 7 held by Republicans.

CT and WI are on the bubble of those 11, and really bad news if either becomes competitive. CA and WA-- if those go Republican, Lieberman could hold the balance.

Biggest question is if Dems can take any of those 7 Republican seats still on, to mitigate losses.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-22 04:58PM | 0 recs
Here's my take

CA_Sen:  Boxer holds on narrowly, simply because Fiorina's rcord is such a failure.  There aren't many more unlikable incumbents than Barbara Boxer.

CA-Gov:  Whitman wins due to her money and Jerry Brown is a retread.  The Democratic bench in California is very thin right now.

WI-Sen:  Feingold could be in some difficulty as his opponent may be stronger than nost think.

FL-Sen:  Can Crist hold his lead?  A lot may depend on the Democratic primary.  If Meek loses, Crist may win as a the de facto "Democrat."  Another problem for Crist is Obama's 40% approval rating in the state, where health care reform is still very unpopular there.

PA-Sen:   PPP shows a dead heat, but we all know Sestak isn't the antiwar candidate that Jerome craves for.  Will depend on turnout.

TX-Gov:  Another PPP dead heat.  Bill White still isn't very well known in the DFW area (even though I've seen a smattering of bumper stickers).  The Metroplex is the key to this race IMO.

Overall, I think it's a GOP House and about 52-53 Democratic Senators when we wake up on November 3.


by esconded 2010-06-22 09:12PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's my take

Sounds about right. I would bet on Crist in FL right now, but not much, as Rubio will have a stronger turnout and more money. Am not so sure about Boxer, or Murray, they both need a lot stronger grassroots campaigns than they have right now.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-06-22 10:34PM | 0 recs
My only ray of hope is a trend held since 1916

When the direct election of Senators started and that is that the House has never changed parties without the Senate doing so as well.  The fact that Democrats have a better chance of holding the Senate than Republicans do of taking the House gives me hope. 

by Kent 2010-06-23 12:09AM | 0 recs
RE: My only ray of hope is a trend held since 1916

can you elaborate on that one? You mean when a party controls all three levers? Surely, individual chambers have changed over from time to time generally.

by HKingsley 2010-06-23 03:28PM | 0 recs
Turnout looks what?

Enthusiasm polls don't measure turnout.  Turnout happens on election day.  It requires a good ground operation and the Dems seem to be focusing on this.  It certainly needs to be the focus of individual campaigns.

Teabagger challenges are going to hurt Republican candidates in November.  If the Dems can pound BP AND make some specific progress on energy policy, it would be a big boost.  Financial reform may be arcane but the Dems need to get something done and talk about controlling Wall St for the benefit of Main St.  And remind people of how the Repubs got us into Iraq, horrendous debt, and unbridled financial markets.




by Thaddeus 2010-06-22 07:49PM | 0 recs


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