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Dems want to create 2008 model for mid-terms, GOP will nationalize them

The consensus among election experts is the 2010 midterm elections are most likely to see Democrats lose seats in both the House and Senate.  The question, of course, is how many?  And, will they lose enough seats for the Republicans to take control of the House and/or Senate?

Dealing with the Senate first, the answer is “no”.  The most likely number of seats picked up by the GOP is 7.  That would give them 48 and a very strong minority.  That may end up being better, in this case, than a majority.  Certainly 48 will give them the power to stop just about anything in the Senate, and, if they so desire, pass legislation only with their amendments attached.

In the House, Republicans need 39 seats to take control.  They’ll most likely pick up between 32 and 39.  Even if they don’t hit that magic 39, they’ll have a much stronger minority that will have to be reckoned with by Pelosi and company to get anything done there.

You know it’s going to be bad for Democrats, because Joe Biden is sure it won’t be.

What that all means is even if the GOP doesn’t have control of Congress after the midterms (and many argue – to include myself – that perhaps they’re better off not having control), they will have a considerably stronger hand then now in the national legislature.

Which brings us to the emerging campaign strategies of each party.  On the GOP side, it appears that Republicans want to “nationalize” the elections.  I.e. they want to make the midterms a referendum on the Obama administration.  You’ll be seeing they tying everything back to the first 2 years of the Obama presidency, the economy, the oil spill and the out-of-control spending.  I don’t think it will be hard to sell.

Given the precedent set under the Bush administration when Democrats successfully made all elections referendums on the presidency, it has become accepted by voters that party equals president and they act in concert.  Hence the way you punish the president and his party is to turn out members of Congress that represent that party – or variations on that theme.

Given that, the Democrats will obviously attempt to counter the GOPs strategy by keeping things “local” if possible.  How well that will work, given the tumultuous two years of the Obama presidency and the fact it is Congress under Democratic leadership which has passed deeply unpopular legislation, is anyone’s guess.  Mine is it won’t work very well.  Votes for health care and stimulus, for instance, will be key “national” topics with which GOP candidates will hit incumbent Democrats.

Which then leaves Democrats trying to fashion a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) strategy which they hope will re-create their 2008 electoral victory

To avoid such losses, the Democratic National Committee has committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to re-create (or come somewhere near re-creating) the 2008 election model, in which Democrats relied heavily on higher-than-normal turnout from young people and strong support from African American and Hispanic voters.

They’re talking turnout here, not percentages – for instance, African-Americans have always voted in the 90% area for Democrats.  The percentage they need in this election is 90% of African-Americans showing up at the polls.  Same with Hispanic and young voters.

And that is the job the DNC plans on giving Obama in the lead up to the November vote.

The likelihood of that happening, however, is not especially good.  We’ve been chronicling the “enthusiasm gap” for months.  The far left is let down.  Independent voters  are disenchanted and the right is very enthusiastic about “change” again. 

Funding is also drying up for Democrats.  The latest big donors to drop Democrats are from Wall Street – a traditional well-spring of funding for the party.

The bottom line here is the stars seem to be lining up for the GOP in the midterms, barring any unforeseen event which might mitigate their advantage.  The question will be have you had enough of hope and change as a billboard in NE Minnesota presently asks.  Conventional wisdom says the answer will be a pretty resounding “yes”.  The only question is how much they want to change the status quo.

We’ll see.



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19 Responses to Dems want to create 2008 model for mid-terms, GOP will nationalize them

  • It will be some feat getting unemployment back to 7% (worst of 2008).
    But there is another possibility .. 2008 in reverse …

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is repeating a pattern that appeared just before markets fell during the Great Depression, Daryl Guppy, CEO at, told CNBC Monday.
    “Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it…there was a head and shoulders pattern that developed before the Depression in 1929, then with the recovery in 1930 we had another head and shoulders pattern that preceded a fall in the market, and in the current Dow situation we see an exact repeat of that environment,” Guppy said.
    The Dow retreated 457.33 points, or 4.5 percent last week, to close at 9,686 Friday. Guppy said a Dow fall below 9,800 confirmed the head and shoulders pattern.

    … maybe more like 1930 with Obama playing the part of Herbert Hoover.

    • Not Hoover. Herbert Hoover was a very accomplished man. He became a rich engineer, organized post WWI food relief for Europe. As Secretary of Commerce oversaw the birth of commercial radio. He was the very model of a successful early 20th century technocrat. It was those very traits that did him in on the advent of the Great Depression when the nation required not management, but leadership.

  • If the DNC is counting on Obama to reprise his performance as Master Campaigner to energize and GOTV, they will be disappointed.   If he does it, he will appear even less “presidential” than he already does.  He will be correctly criticized as being a good speechifier, but a giant zero when it comes to leadership.

  • The enthusiasm levels for liberal voters is not helped by the disillusionment many of them feel with the present administration, for not pushing enough of the agenda.  Health care reform is seen as something of a partial victory, because so much was given up to get it passed (particularly the single-payer system).  After criticizing a number of Bush policies and promising to deal with them quickly (closing Gitmo, for example) he has instead continued those policies.  The oil spill in the gulf has given the impression that Obama was just as much in the pocket of Big Oil as his predecessor.
    I doubt that Obama could have avoided upsetting the political right.  But he has alienated independents and disappointed the left, and infuriated the radical left.  If the impression amongst the electorate was that he was trying but the Republicans were blocking his agenda, then the efforts to get more liberals to the voting booth would have a chance to succeed.  But I believe that even his own party wants to deliver a message to the President.  And they’ll do it by staying home in November.

    • The DNC and the POTUS have been trying for months to improve their fortunes, but little has changed for the good.  Some has gotten worse (with 60% now wanting OBama Doesn’t Care repealed).  Obama’s appearances already have been shown to have a significant link to multiple Democratic candidates losing, so it doubtful that he can change their fortunes with a bunch of appearances, giving his standard TOTUS-borne fare.

  • McQThat would give [the GOP Senate caucus] 48 and a very strong minority.  That may end up being better, in this case, than a majority.  Certainly 48 will give them the power to stop just about anything in the Senate, and, if they so desire, pass legislation only with their amendments attached.

    This underscores some major problems in our government just now:

    1.  The GOP has been blamed by The Dear Golfer, his gang, and MiniTru for blocking everything since the Immaculation (see “Party of No”).  If they are in the position to ACTUALLY stop things, it will only be grist for the democrat propaganda mill.  I find myself wishing that the GOP would just step aside and let this train wreck without them being anywhere around so that those Americans who still have a brain (note: does not include registered democrats) will learn the hard lesson of what comes of voting for the dems.

    2.  On the other hand, I tend to believe that the GOP isn’t ready to lead, and is BARELY ready to participate, because…

    3.  The good part about having a strong minority seems to be having the leverage to force SanFran Nan and Dingy Harry (or whoever is running the show after January) to throw them some more bones.  I am not interested in a GOP that games the system to its own advantage: I want a GOP that will start taking the system apart.

    Anyway, I think that the dems are toast in November unless something truly major happens.  That will be satisfying.  What will be even more satisfying is if Darryl Issa follows through on his promises to put The Dear Leader’s (mis)administration under the microscope.  My guess is that, if the GOP does get a majority in the House, the White House is going to look like a sinking ship with rats pouring out of every hole.

  • Obama win in 2008 was propelled by;
    1) A disheartened GOP
    2) Nationalizing the election as a referendum on the GOP
    3) Capitalizing on a desire from the electorate for “Change”
    4) Completely capturing an energized segment of the electorate (Blacks & Hispanics)
    5) Capturing the independent voter and even a segment of GOPers

    An Now:
    1) The GOP is the energized party
    2) The DNC wants to avoid Nationalizing the election as a referendum on Obama
    3) The “Change” desired is to get rid of the incumbent
    4) They may still have capture certain segments(Blacks & Hispanics) but they are not energized
    5) They have lost any disillusioned GOPers they may have captured and the Independents are streaming away from them.

    Result:  At this juncture  I think the GOP may take 40+ seats in the house and 8 seats in the Senate.  But more importantly than the GOP taking the House is that the surviving moderate Democrats will never trust the current Democratic War Machine with their future again.

    • there is no such thing as a moderate democrat anymore. But yes, a lot of Donks no longer trust the administration.

      • kyle8there is no such thing as a moderate democrat anymore. 

        I don’t think that there has been for years.  MiniTru is complicit in this: they will label as “moderate” any democrat (typically from a red state or district) who is to the right of SanFran Nan, Bawney Fwank, or Trashcan Chuckie.

    • the surviving moderate Democrats will never trust the current Democratic War Machine with their future again

      They said that after the November 1994 elections too.
      Yeah, they will be distrusting until the next clear moment of opportunity.

  • Something I suggested in 2007 was that the GOP try to work with and build relationships with the more conservative-leaning Democrats in congress. That by now could have developed into a useful coalition by now and with the next election enough power to control congress on most big issues.

    • A good idea in theory, but not in practice.  We saw what happened when the GOP works with “moderate” dems with the Gang of Fourteen: it’s a sucker play.  The dems yap about “bipartisanship” on the Sunday morning talk shows as a lever to push RINO’s toward THEIR position.

      Remember the fable about the frog and the scorpion: the frog foolishly trusts the scorpion who, predictably, kills him because it’s his nature.

      If you don’t trust the scorpion, he can’t sting you.

  • I bet this will score all sorts of “points’ with the electorate .. perhaps they should use this as part of their campaign strategy. This is either one of the saddest or funniest stories in recent memory …

    House Democrats: Nancy Pelosi Tricked Us
    Many people are still trying to figure out what exactly Congress voted to do last week when they passed their fake budget. Kagro and Dave Dayen go back and forth here, here and here.
    But one thing is for certain: if procedural experts are still trying untangle what happened, there is no way 215 members of Congress knew what they were voting for at the time they cast their votes.
    I got this from a Hill staffer that evening:

    The real story on this thing is that Members were whipped on the rule before the leadership gave us specifics about what was in the budget resolution or what the amendments would look like. We were merely told that there was a budget and it would be tied to the rule and there would be some sort of seperate vote on the war funding. We got details about the budget resolution in the last 24 hours. It’s bullshit that they claim members knew what they were getting into when they didn’t know the intimate details of the budget resolution or the rule itself until right before the vote.

    Next they will be claiming that their dog eat the budget.

    • Same folks were “lied to” by Bush. Jesus, you’d think we could elect smarter people.
      BTW, if every election is going to be “nationalized” then why not switch to a parliamentary system?

      • Harun[Y]ou’d think we could elect smarter people.

        Oh, but they ARE smart: smart enough to figure out that their voters will believe just about any line of bullsh*t they care to peddle.

        “Vote for me because I’m too stupid to know what I’m voting for when I vote for it!”


        The “I didn’t mean to” defense stopped working for me when I was about six years old.  What does it say about the American electorate that it works for their members of Congress?

  • ‘nationalizing’ the election is a mistake.
    Obama won and his complete insanity has been unopposed because a sizable block of people are slaves to identity politics.  They will toss out their local bum politicians.  But many will still not go against Obama.
    Also the local politicians have a harder time fast talking away their arrogance.  Meanwhile Obama has one of the slickest campaign crews and the full force of the old media behind him.  This machine needs to be splintered and spread thin trying to help local democrats.  Making it national makes their job easier.
    Making it local is the way to go.  Making it ‘national’ are people who are listening to too much Beck and Limbaugh who attack Obama primarily because they are national shows and get the most bang for their buck by attack a national figure like Obama.

    • jpm100Making it ‘national’ are people who are listening to too much Beck and Limbaugh who attack Obama primarily because they are national shows and get the most bang for their buck by attack a national figure like Obama.

      I don’t agree.  The democrats (and their RINO allies) have to be seen and opposed as part of an organized gang: “If you vote for Congressman Foghorn or Senator Twiddle, he will go to Congress and support the Obama agenda.  That means higher taxes, more regulation, fewer jobs, less national defense, more illegal immigration, poorer quality of health care, and less liberty in our country.” It’s like taking on the mafia or a drug cartel: do you look at the local hood on the street corner as merely an isolated criminal, or get him with the intent of destroying the entire corrupt organization?

    • Use a modified 50 state rule.  Do Both!!!  Attack the CC (Congress Critters) locally as non-responsive to the needs of their constituents and at the same time tether them to their DNC Masters – Obama, Pelosi, Reid.