31 July, 2009

Reports of Their Resurgence Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

If you listen to the more mainstream news outlets, you might get the impression that Obama's on the ropes and the Cons are coming back for a knockout punch. This is why it always pays to check the sources:

The Politico is at it again. It now proclaims that the Democrats are in trouble and the Republicans are on the offensive like it's 2004.

Bolstered by historical trends that work in the GOP’s favor -- midterm elections are typically hostile to the party in power -- and the prospect of the first election in a decade without former President George W. Bush either on the ballot or in office, Republicans find themselves on the offensive for the first time since 2004.

They actually said that. They haven't been attacking like maniacs since then? I guess calling Dems traitors and terrorist sympathizers is a compliment. As Glenn Greenwald takes their analysis apart, guess who their sources are that they use as proof that it's 2004 again.

Who are the sources for Politico's exciting announcement of a GOP resurgence? A grand total of three: "GOP pollster Whit Ayres," "GOP pollster John McLaughlin," and "Republican pollster Neil Newhouse," all of whom assure us that the signs point to imminent Republican triumph and Democratic doom.

Just read Glenn's piece because he thoroughly debunks them.
We don't call him "Glennzilla" for nothing, y'know.

Let's take a look at the political landscape and see how Cons are actually doing, shall we? Over to you, Kos:

Republicans started the year with 41 senators. Eight of them -- or 20 percent -- are ditching (or have already ditched) their caucus:

Kit Bond of Missouri, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Mel Martinez of Florida, George Voinovich of Ohio, and as of today, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas have announced their retirements. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties. What's left is heavily concentrated in the South and Mormon Corridor:

After two consecutive electoral routs, the surviving Republicans generally represent the safest base turf. Republicans represent 17 of the 24 Southern seats, 10 of the 26 Western seats, 10 of the 26 Midwestern seats and just three of the 24 Northeastern seats. Republicans dominate just the South and the Mormon Corridor in the Rockies. The entire GOP Senate leadership hailed from those two regions until Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) resigned his leadership post because of scandal.

For a party that has become too South-heavy, potentially losing seats in Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio (among other places) won't help their ability to play better to a national mainstream audience.

The 2010 map isn't a friendly one for Republicans. The usual political prognosticators (Charlie Cook, Stu Rothenberg, CQ Politics, Swing State Project, and Larry Sabato) all give Democrats the edge, with just the ethically challenged Dodd in Connecticut generally making the list of endangered Democrats, while Republicans are facing serious pressure in Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio. Louisiana and North Carolina aren't far behind. The May 2010 special election in Texas won't be a GOP cakewalk.

In the House?

As they gear up for the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats appear secure in their House majority they won with a big gain in 2006 and reinforced with another advance in 2008 [...]

The only three contests in which CQ Politics rates an advantage to the challenging party are all for seats now held by the Republicans and targeted by the Democrats:

The consensus is clear. Democrats are headed toward modest pickups in both chambers in 2010.
Viva la differance! Amazing what happens when you check in with regular prognosticators rather than GOP hacks, innit?

As long as Dems don't completely fuck up on health care reform by trying to please the Grand Old Psychotics, 2010 should see yet another session of voters handing the GOP their collective asses. This will be fun.

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