House - Cook & Rothenberg; VA CD's
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 02:54:18 AM EDT
I have been wanting to jot down a post here about having attended the ASPA a week ago, and some of the sessions I went too. One was a lecture by Cook and Rothenberg, about the upcoming election.
Their latest projection of the House:
Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, rates 85 total districts as competitive -- 77 of which are currently held by Democrats. Stu Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, puts the House playing field at 93 seats with 81 of those controlled by Democrats.
At pointed out in the post below, the real "drop" of Obama was in 2009, from May, when he was at 66% to September 2009 when he landed at 50% approval. That's all about not finishing HCR by July as promised, the Tea Party summer, and the reaction of the Obama team and his supporters to those two prolonged events. yes, the economy factors in, but not as the triggering event.
From then on, as Cook pointed out, it was a slow long drag to the point where the Dem's mantra became "we're gonna sell HCR" and the advocates saying "passing HCR will turn it around" before the mid-terms. They were wrong on both points.
Cook or Rothenberg:
The Republicans are not popular. True. Its still boggles my mind that they could become the congressional majority with such a low preference. The Republican brand is in the tank.
The election is about Obama and the Democrats. Cook, a week ago, had the Republicans at nearly 40 takeaways. The DNC/Obama strategy, rather than running on the record, is to make it about Tea Party Republicans the continuation of Bush (quasi 4th term?). This strikes me as a very lame Democratic strategy.
Three wave elections in a row. This is becoming the norm now. Cook suggested a Independent Presidential candidate in 2012 might happen.
If no change by October 1st to localize the elections then its national. This is an interesting point. And it speaks to races like those going on with this list that Chris Cillizza compiled.
As I read through the list, I'm inclined to think that some of those Dems, in McCain CD's, might actually win, because they are tough incumbents that know their CD's and what it takes to win. Take Virginia, as I think it shows the gamut of Democrats, both long-time incumbents and newly elected Representatives.
9th CD: In southwestern Virginia, Appalachia in much of the CD, Democrat Rick Boucher is in a very red CD, but he's been winning that district for a while. If this is a national wave election, then the Dem Boucher should be losing a 59% McCain performing CD. Nobody see's Boucher losing to the little-known Republican Griffith.
8th CD: NOVA, mostly inside the beltway. Jim Moran has normally only been sen as vulnerable in a Democratic primary. He should be winning with above 60 percent. In the mid-50's or lower, and it signals real trouble.
Now we get to the seats where Dems could lose:
5th CD: Tom Perriello, from Charlottesville to the southside, this is a big CD, hard to buy TV for, and difficult to reach voters. The Perrillo approach is to go aggressive after his Republican opponent. Perrillo has more money, and is running as a populist in a 51% McCain Red CD.
2nd CD: In contrast, Glenn Nye is running as an independent, having voted against pretty much everything substantial. He's also not running much of a negative campaign in this Virginia Beach CD that went for Obama slightly in 2008, 51-49.
Democrats are expected to lose both the 5th and the 2nd, and they are running entirely different message strategies, so if one or the other wins, it will be telling.
VA 11th CD: This is the seat that, if Democrats are going to lose the majority, is considered vulnerable. NoVA, but outside the beltway. Obama won easily, with 57 percent, but Bush won this CD in '00 and '04 with 52 and 50 percent. Gerry Connolly is running against Wall St. The battle is likely to be in Fairfax county, so that's where OFA is focused.
The problem with the Cillizza list is that it needs to be about 100, not 50 (or at least 83). Because its entirely possible that one of any combination of the 5th, 2nd, and 11th CD's are lost by VA Dems in 2010. Having seen firsthand how pathetic Democratic turnout has been in Fairfax recently, I wouldn't take anything for granted.
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