Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three wave elections in a row

There's a lot of pundits out there who run their trap. Three of them are worth listening to. Michael Barone (Almanac of American Politics), CQ Politics, and Charlie Cook. They do the major district by district reports every two years. For national pundits, they are quite good. Barone is moderate to conservative and Cook is a former democrat staffer. There's some slight bias, but they are professionals in their analysis first.

Cook issued a very alarming report for democrats.

From National Journal

As early as the summer of 2009 there were growing warning signs that Democrats might face a tough midterm election this year. President Obama's job approval rating among the key bloc of independent voters, which was in the 60s before Memorial Day of last year, dropped to the 50s over the course of the summer and into the 40s around Labor Day. That number has hovered around 38-40 percent over the last few months. Independents voted for congressional Democrats by 18 points in 2006 but by 8 points in 2008. .....

For a long time it was primarily the "macro-political," national polling data that was pointing to increasing signs of major Democratic midterm losses, while Democratic fortunes in individual races looked fine. But there began a gradual erosion in strength on a district-by-district basis, with incumbent Democrats in swing or Republican-leaning districts looking increasingly endangered while their colleagues in some more reliably Democratic seats began to look softer in their support and more vulnerable to a significant challenge. In recent months, the national data reflecting a reversal of the 2006 and 2008 trends -- namely, independent voters swinging strongly toward Republicans and a strong partisan enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans -- began arguing that Republicans were in line to win a majority in the House with significant gains in the Senate.

In recent weeks, though, the district-by-district deterioration has reached the tipping point. It can now be said that Republicans will likely take back the House. An individual race analysis points to GOP gains of over 40 seats in the House, but the national polling suggests gains substantially higher than that.

While the individual race-by-race approach to analyzing House seats works great in "normal" election years, it invariably underestimates what happens in wave years, and the evidence is indisputable that this is a wave year.

First off, nothing is over until election day. 

That said, even if it is close, this is a major turnaround and shows how long ten years are in politics. In the mid 90's, there was talk of a permanent democrat majority. In 1994, the Republicans stunned Washington. In 2002 and 2004, there was talk of re-alignment for the Republicans. In 2006, the democrats took congress. In 2008, there was talk of a permanent democrat majority again with Obama's "rock star" realignment. Now in 2010, it looks like the dems may lose congress because Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are finally seen nationwide as the failures I knew they were from the beginning.

However, I'm concerned the GOP is winning by default. 2010 does not equal 2012. 1996 was a democrat year after the 94 revolution. 1998 was dependant on the state (Republican here, democrat elsewhere. Clinton adapted, and rolled over the GOP when the establishment senate caved on everything. Sounds familiar? As much of a failure Obama is, he's nothing compared to the US Senate. The Senate gave us the bailouts. The senate gave us a worse health care bill than the house. The senate is pushing big on cap and trade. Etc. Etc.

This is not 1994. 1990 and 1992 were not wave elections. This is a first time in a long time we've had three wave elections in a row. There's been two in a row before - 84/86, but I don't remember the last time there was three. Maybe Roosevelt era. What is the common factors in these three wave elections. Big spending. Big government. More of the same after the change. Corruption. Arrogance. Incompetence.

Katrina was the death nail in Bush's coffin. There was no change after 06, but Bush took blame in 08, cemented with congressional idiots with bridges to nowhere and bailouts. McCain lost his chance at a Hail Mary pass to win when he supported the bailout. With Obama, there's all of the bad of the Bush administration and none of the good. Big spending. Big government. More Keynesian economics which showed itself a failure in the 70's. Stimulus packages. Spending. Record Debt.

It looks like the GOP will win - by default, much as the dems won by default twice. However, the GOP will have to push hard with solid plans, fiscal responsibility, a middle finger to K-Street insiders and Washington/NRSC establishment, and an ear to the ground, or they will be tossed out. Some say this is just an anti-incumbent wave. Some say it is anti-democrat. They are both right. Look at all the incumbents fired this year already, as well as the loss of several establishment favored candidates.

This potential "win" is nothing unless real less government changes are made. If the GOP wins, and acts like Obama-lite, or Granholm-lite with big government statism, then they need to be fired in the primary in two or four years.

We are in charge, not K-Street, nor downtown Lansing. 

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