I don’t think ending Section 5 of the VRA will cost the GOP the Senate.

Um, I understand the basic thrust of this argument:

While culture watchers are eagerly anticipating the Court’s decisions relating to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 prohibition on gay marriage, political analysts are far more interested to see how the Court rules on the historic challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. If the Court moves to strike portions of the law relating to the reapportionment preclearance provisions in Section 5 of the VRA, the wailing and rending of garments among liberal and progressive media commentators will dwarf the indignation they expressed over voter identification laws in 2012. Similarly, the focus on that decision and its impact on minority voters could drive up Hispanic and African-American turnout in the 2014 midterm elections. Conservatives may cheer the end of the VRA’s anti-federalist, arbitrarily enforced, preclearance mandates, but they may also be celebrating the eradication of the Republican Party’s chances of retaking the U.S. Senate.

…but, err, no.  Minority representation will have pretty much zero effect on the 2014 Senate races, and here’s why:  the critical states that we’re poised to pick up are largely in states without significant minority populations.  Of the states mentioned in this Mediate article – Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia – two have a higher African-American population percentage than the national average (Arkansas and Louisiana), and none have a significant Hispanic population.  Arkansas and Louisiana, of course, went heavily for Romney in a high minority-turnout year; North Carolina (not on Mediate’s in-play list, but certainly on mine) flipped, albeit barely, back to the R column.  For that matter: New Hampshire may be in play, and if it is, minority turnout will be irrelevant.  Michigan may be a long slog for the GOP, but it’s not because of the higher-than-average minority percentage (it’s because we don’t have a good consensus candidate yet).  And so on, and so on.

The real question is, what does ending preclearance for districts do for the House?  Minority-majority districts are a bipartisan affair – the GOP gets as much out of them as does the CBC – but white Democrats will certainly be at the forefront of dismantling the existing racial gerrymanders (while, of course, trying to look like they’re not doing that).  Assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t mandate new House maps in time for 2014 – which would be a bipartisan nightmare – 2016 could end up looking like a bloodbath.  Or a mutual suicide pact.

6 thoughts on “I don’t think ending Section 5 of the VRA will cost the GOP the Senate.”

  1. Question. If the race hucksters do have a screaming hissy fit going into 2014, do they get to repeat in 2016?
    I mean .. of *course* they get to repeat the schtick, it’s their *schtick*! .. Will they be able to get themselves taken seriously in 2016?

  2. Agreed, their argument seems to be grasping at straws, telling themselves “there’s no way we’ll lose the Senate! we’re going to retake the House!”

    Whenever I run into a leftist bragging about how they’re going to retake the House, I offer them a $50 bet that the House will stay in GOP hands. I haven’t had a single one take me up on it yet.

    1. If they couldn’t take back the House in 2012 with Obama on the ticket what makes them think they are going to do it in a midterm? 06 was an anomaly, in which most GOPiers stayed home or pulled the Lever for Blue Dog Democrats. They aren’t going to have a repeat until they have an unpopular GOP president again.

      1. Umm.. 2006 was not an anomaly, 2006 was 6 years of Chimpy McHalliburton BloodyOil.
        If the Dem loses in 2016, watch for it.

        1. I stand by my comment. A lot of GOPIERS stayed at home in 06 which is unusual for a midterm. since 1994 every midterm election has been favorable to the GOP with 98 only costing them a handful of seats, and 02 and 10 being classified as “wave” years. In 06 several previously safe Republicans lost to “conservative” democrats as part of Rahmbo’s strategy to take back the House. This happened because Bush and the GOP went squish on their principles. The Dems could run to the right of the GOP on several issues including immigration, the continued mismanagement of the War in Iraq, Spending and Fiscal Discipline, and common decency and ethics when considering Tom Delay’s corruption and Mark Foley. And as I said in my previous comment Dems aren’t going to do as well in the midterms again until they have a very unpopular GOP incumbent to run against. And I doubt that will happen in his first two years, maybe after six years. They certainly won’t repeat as long as Pelosi is their Minority Leader.

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