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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