Free Markets, Free People

DNCC still whistling past the graveyard of Nov. election

The DNCC has issued a "what, me worry?" memo saying that it is just impossible for the GOP to take the House in November. Per the DNCC, it won’t happen. And here’s why:

Republicans will need to win 39 seats to take back the House. Democrats will win at least four Republican seats (the best opportunities include: LA-02, HI-01, IL-10, DE-AL, FL-25). As a result, the real number of seats Republicans will have to pick up to win a majority is at least 43. To win 43 seats, the NRCC would need to put 70 to 80 seats in play. The NRCC have simply not put that many Republicans seats in play and do not have the resources or caliber of candidates to do so.

As Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight asks, so if they put 69 (or 68 or 65?) seats in play, no chance of winning?

It’s nonsense on a stick, but regardless of how false their reasoning is, it’s a memo meant to bolster the moral of the troops facing a wicked election season in November. This is what many would call "whistling past the graveyard".

Point two in this ghastly bit of political miscalculation:

This cycle, there are only 20 Democratic open seats, including several that are in safe districts. If Republicans have a great election night, they would still only win 50 percent of the Democratic open seats. Conservatively, Republicans would then need to beat 35 Democratic incumbents to win the House – which is simply not possible given the Republicans resources deficit.

Did you notice the unfounded assumption? The GOP, even if everything goes perfectly for them, will only win "50 percent of the Democratic open seats". Of course that’s not at all clear at this point, but again, the specious reasoning in the memo isn’t meant to be correct, necessarily, as much as it is meant to calm fears.

And the DNC has decided that the Tea Party is the wild card on the GOP side and that actually works for them:

The Tea Party has presented three problems for Republicans. The most glaring problem is where the Tea Party candidate has defeated the moderate (and more electable) Republican candidate. Second, Republican candidates are being forced to take unpopular extreme positions to satisfy the ideological base to avoid defeat in their primaries. Third, we are seeing numerous Tea Party candidates run as third party candidates which is splitting the Republican vote…

Of those three points, only the last is valid.  And in the races where that occurs it may indeed have an effect.  As for the rest , moderate may not be the winning pick as the pendulum swings back the other way, and the positions the candidates are “forced” to take may only be seen as “extreme” and “unpopular” by Democrats, who aren’t going to vote for GOP candidates anyway.

This memo has Nancy Pelosi – who we all know is a math whiz – written all over it.  She took great exception to Robert Gibbs saying a week or so ago it was possible that the Democrats may lose the House in November.  This is her wacky reasoning to a tee.   As Nate Silver says, the memo is full of “arbitrary math”.  I’d add it is also full of false premises and conclusions.

But hey, if it calms the fears of the Democratic House members in jeopardy, I guess Pelosi, et. al. will be satisfied until Wednesday morning after the first Tuesday in November, that they’ve successfully slayed that dragon.



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14 Responses to DNCC still whistling past the graveyard of Nov. election

  • A pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised

    When you put 69 seats in play, anything less is a victory.

  • Actually, I think the Republicans who see the house as likely to go GOP are engaged in wishful thinking.   Either outcome is possible, but the GOP is really hurt by the tea party image, and the Democrats have a spending edge and time.   This looks more like 1982 than 1994.  The GOP will pick up 20-30 seats, I suspect (I’d guess around 25).   And, given their talk about winning the House, if they fall short it’ll spin really bad for them.   That said, Obama’s re-election remains likely, but will be much more likely if the GOP takes the House.   I’m not sure the White House would shed many tears if a small Republican majority wins the House.  But it’s not likely at this point.    The conventional wisdom remains that the GOP is unlikely to win the House.

    • Ka-Ching!!!  Once more Erb echoes the Democratic talking Points and leaves to collect his 30 pieces of silver.

    • No, Scott.   The only ones who are disturbed by the tea party image are those who would vote Democrat in any case.   You are engaged in your own brand of wishful thinking.
      Spending doesn;t matter if you can’t turn people out and spending is not going to turn the Independents.  Do not forget, Pelosi is bitching about forcing her members into tough votes on cap and trade while the Senate did nothing.  Now Reid is trying to resurrect it.  The health care bill remains both unpopular and toxic.  The expiration of the Bush tax cuts is getting traction.  My taxes will go up 58% according to  On top of it all, the CBO is projecting abject disaster without substantial spending cuts and that disaster belongs to the Democrats.
      It is nice to see you regurgitating the Democratic talking points as if it is some kind of useful analysis.  So, keep on whistling past that graveyard.  You will only appear to feel better.

      • This has been my analysis for months — it’s based on history and a look at the polls.  The tea party folk are a tiny faction of the GOP, and if the Democrats can make them seem bigger than they are, it’ll really hurt the divided GOP.   Time will tell — I’ve got a decent (albeit imperfect) track record on such predictions.  I’m sticking with a loss of 25.  I’ll book mark this page and offer a gracious “you were right and I was wrong” if it turns out that the GOP wins the House.

        • If this has been your analysis for several months, it stinks.  The Tea party people break out (according to Gallup in a march poll) as 49% Republican, 43% Independent, and 8%   Democrat.  The point is that the Tea Party consists of people who are concerned with government spending, taxes, growth, and lies.   Public approval for the Tea Party positions are around 45% and exceed the approval for either Democrats and Republicans.
          Where you go wrong is claiming this is a faction of the GOP.  No, it is a strong faction of the voting population.  For now, the Republicans are the beneficiaries, but they will have to keep it.   They cannot spend like they did in 2005-2006.

    • You should apply for the job of Oracle at Delphi.

      • A complete aside, but Delphi is perhaps the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited (ironically as part of a travel junket with the Republican Senator I used to work for).

    • GOP is really hurt by the tea party image

      More people have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party than do either the D’s or R’s.
      The only way it hurts many incumbent Republicans is by showing  their dearth of fiscal-conservative credentials.

  • I’d almost rather the GOP gains enough to be de facto in charge, but not quite enough to take over. That way all the blame  goes to the Dems from Nov until the Pres. election, no matter how Baracky wants to play the GOP is all about obstruction card

    Even more to the point, and not touched on so much here….the GOP looks in position to take a boatload of governorships in Nov., right in time for Post-Census redistricting. 

    • The Democrats hopes with the Post-Census redistricting is going to take the “big hurt” in November.

    • That would be the nightmare scenario for Obama especially.    If the Democrats had a lesser Speaker than Pelosi, the Democrats would be more afraid of it.  She has a way of enforcing discipline that has been rare especially among Democratic leaders since O’Neill.

      • I think you are giving Pelosi too much credit.  I believe she has “shot her wad” so to speak.  I doubt Pelosi will keep her majority, in which case, she will  toast.  But, even if she barely keeps it, she will not be able to maintain discipline after major losses stemming from what she did force through.  Any Democrat who barely survives the 2010 election will not be as pliant.