Dec
05
2013

Washington Post: expect Republican gains in the House, but no wave.

(H/t: Hot Air Headlines) This is actually lining up with my expectations:

Prognostications about the upcoming midterm election are coming fast and furious.  The bullishness about the Democrats’ prospects, so frequently expressed (and exaggerated) during the government shutdown, is gone.  Current forecasts typically range from “a midterm headache for Democrats” to possibly even another Republican wave.  But at this moment, what’s most likely is something less dramatic, at least as far as the House of Representatives is concerned. An early version of this blog’s forecasting model suggests that there will be only a small shift in House seats in 2014 — one more likely to advantage Republicans than Democrats, but one that will fall far short of a wave.

…and if you think about it you’ll see why.  In 2006 and 2008 the Democrats more or less eliminated every at-risk Republican in the House of Representatives.  In 2010 we returned the favor, and then some.  In 2012 the redistricting wars shook loose some seats on both sides. 

Now it’s 2014. If local conditions favored Democrats then I’d think that there was a faint chance of them having a wave: our House majority relies on a very large class of Congressmen elected in 2010, and now is about the time in the Congressional life cycle where a Member of Congress would start in on doing stupid things because they think that they’re invincible*.  But at the moment that’s getting masked by the incredibly bad – and unlikely to get better – hit to the Democratic party’s reputation because of Obamacare (and a bunch of other issues, including the NSA stuff**). As it stands, though: most of the easy pickings have been long since gleaned.  The folks that remain have pretty good buffers and insulation.

Mind you, the Washington Post still says that the GOP may pick up… five? …in the House, which sounds about right. There’s some seats in Illinois and Arizona that aren’t as reliable for the Democrats as they look. But I think that it’s going to have to get REALLY bad for the Democrats before we can expect more.  Which it could, but that’s something that we should discuss in June of 2014, not December of 2013.

Moe Lane

PS: Note, by the way, that the WaPo analysis says nothing about the Senate.  What happens there just might qualify for being called a ‘wave.’

*Not all of them, thankfully.  Not even most of them, usually. But some of them decide that since they won election AND re-election, they’re going to be in Congress no matter what.  The Democrats in 2010 had this problem so bad, they passed Obamacare…

**The NSA ‘revelations’ do not infuriate me, although I certainly would agree that a government bureaucracy needs constant negative reinforcement to keep it in line (something that this administration is not doing).  But it does seem to be infuriating young voters a bit more, only they’re taking it out on the Democrat. Which means that it’s not in point of fact my problem; and so I will just cheerfully wave to that particular mob as they march down the lane, and remind them to stay hydrated.

11 Comments

  • acat says:

    The Senate, on the other paw, is both more closely balanced, and is stocked with Dems who won in 2008 on Obama’s coattails and who supported Obamacare and did not get out in front with denouncements on the NSA issue. (glares at Al Franken)
    .
    Not saying it’s gonna flip, just saying that it could be closer than it was in 2012.
    .
    Mew

  • Darin_H says:

    5-10 pickups in the House and control of the Senate? I wouldn’t quite call it a wave, but I’m getting the surf wax ready.

  • Finrod says:

    As far as the Senate goes, pretty much everyone says Republicans will pick up some number of seats; the question is whether it’ll be the 6 needed to change the majority. I’ve seen numbers as low as 3 and as high as 12 mentioned as possible.

  • Herp McDerp says:

    But I think that it’s going to have to get REALLY bad for the Democrats before we can expect more. Which it could, but that’s something that we should discuss in June of 2014, not December of 2013.
     
    Allow me to respectfully disagree: No, gosh darn it! I say this because many Congressional seats now considered secure for Democrats might turn out to be vulnerable after all, and if Republicans don’t have good candidates lined up before June, then they’ll lose … and they’ll deserve to lose.
     
    Let me give you an example. “My” congresscritter is Peter DeFazio. He’s a Democrat who’s somewhere to the left of Barack Obama — a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a strong supporter of the Occupy movement. He represents Oregon’s 4th congressional district, which includes Springfield, Roseburg, part of Corvallis, and — in particular — the People’s Republic of Eugene; many of the people who vote for him are hipsters who went to the University of Oregon in Eugene. In 2010 and 2012 DeFazio was opposed by Republican Art Robinson, a Creationist who is perceived by many as a flake and a conspiracy theorist. AFAIK, Robinson mostly financed his own campaigns. DeFazio won in 2012, 60-40. The Republican Party essentially wrote off the race, because DeFazio was perceived as unbeatable — they didn’t even field a candidate against him in 2008.
     
    If ObamaCare continues to self-destruct, DeFazio may be vulnerable in 2014 … especially if all those young and middle-aged hipsters realize how badly they’re getting screwed by the Democrats. But Art Robinson has announced that he intends to run again. If the Republicans don’t put up a good candidate in their primary, soon, DeFazio will keep his seat. Will the Republicans realize in time that they have an opportunity here?

    • Herp McDerp says:

      Argh! I wish the comment system had a preview function. Bold was supposed to turn off after No, gosh darn it! Sorry about that …

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Point taken, but there are limits to the national groups’ resources. On both sides, really.

      • midwestconservative says:

        It would be nice if some rich millionaire from Loisville would take on John Yarmuth……oh wait.

      • Herp McDerp says:

        Oh, I understand. I’m just hoping the Republicans will think about the situation now, and field a candidate for the primary who can win against DeFazio. Art Robinson is damaging the Republican brand.

        (Thanks for fixing the errant HTML!)

    • midwestconservative says:

      I fully agree, the IN 7th District is held by Andre Carson, a Democrat ( and Muslim) who is to the Left of Obama ( but he’s managed to convince his district he’s moderate) His district covers Indianapolis, and while it’s D+8 Cook PVI, I definitely think a Republican can win. Indy has a Republican Mayor ( and not a Liberal one)
      All a candidate needs is some funding.
      The VA 11th District is another. Tom Davis once held it, it’s now held by Gerry Connolly. Fimian almost beat Connolly in 2010, but GOP wrote this seat off in 2012.

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