Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How The House Races Look

There are a number of different op-eds and prognostications out on how the battle for the House is going to come out.

Democrat-oriented outlets like the Politico are increasingly engaging in desperate spin as the data piles up that more and more seems to indicate a major shift in the country - even beyond the numbers of 1994.

One the other hand,you have people like Dick Morris who are predicting a GOP gain of 100 seats or more, which appears to be equally unrealistic.

As usual the truth lies somewhere in between.

There's little doubt in my mind that the Republicans will take back the House. The key question is 'how much'?

There are 438 seats in the House. At present, the numbers stand at 255 Democrats, 178 Republicans and 2 vacancies. A simple majority, which would allow a Republican to be Speaker, switch chairmanships of key committees, and give Darrel Issa of the House Oversight Committee subpoena power kicks in a 218 seats, which the GOP is almost certain to get. That would be a gain of 40 seats, and even the most cautious estimates show the Republicans picking up more seats than that.

But an even more important number to look at is the requirements for a veto proof majority, which comes to 263 seats. A veto proof majority could ensure a repeal of Obamacare and much of Obama's agenda, especially if the GOP either takes the Senate or is only a couple of seats shy of doing so.

To get to the magic number of 263, the Republicans would have to pick up 85 seats. Can they do it?

It's not at all out of the question.In fact, in going over the competitive House races, I was surprised at how close they are to doing just that.

In looking in detail at the top 120 competitive races (I call it a competitive race where there's an active challenger who's even in the ballpark), eliminating the races where the Democrat was significantly ahead and counting just the races where the Republican was three points or more ahead according to reputable polls or was running tied or slightly ahead in a predominantly GOP district with a freshman Democrat as an opponent, I came up easily with at least 76 seats that are trending towards being captured by the Republicans.That's only 9 seats shy of a veto-proof House.

Considering that the aforementioned Politico is saying that at least 99 Democrat seats are in jeopardy, I might even be erring on the conservative side.

Splitting the difference of 11 seats give us a GOP pickup of 87, and my point is that 85 seats is doable, even with the Democrats suppressing the military vote and trolling the cemeteries of places like Cook County for ballots.

A great deal of this has to do with turnout and the often mentioned 'enthusiasm gap.' Many of Obama's 2008 supporters have left him in droves or are apathetic, while many people disgusted with his agenda are willing to crawl over broken glass in order to vote.

It's not just the economy, although that's a factor. The coming midterms will be essentially a referendum on Barack Obama's increasingly imperious and incompetent presidency.

I don't think this president's approval numbers, which average in the low to mid 40's tell anything like the whole story. Because of his race and the historic nature of his presidency,I think many of the respondents are reluctant to be totally honest with pollsters,and even with some of the polls oversampling Democrats I would figure a fudge factor of at least 5%.

The proof is in Obama's behavior on the stump and the reaction to him. It's gotten to the point where Barack Obama is frequently toxic when he appears,to the point where a lot of Democrats are finding excuses not to be seen with him. In fact Bill Clinton's appearances have a more positive effect than Obama's, according to Gallup. Obama blasting his audiences for their apathy and saying they're not thinking straight is the equivalent of a stand up comic in the midst of bombing begging an audience to laugh for him.

The act isn't going over anymore. There's nothing more angering and disheartening than hope betrayed.

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louielouie said...

i'm certainly glad ff got to post this.
it explains a lot of issues clearly.
that silly monkey must be locked up in some municipal drunk tank somewhere.
thank goodness he didn't hack into ff site and plagarize this essay, like he usually does

Freedom Fighter said...

Actually, Weekend Monkey's latest should be up tomorrow or Thursday.

He usually stays reasonably sober around election time since there's money to be made.


louielouie said...


what's that mean?
his BAC is down to .29?????