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Well, ain't this a fine kettle of fish...

So, my hunch was wrong. I said the Dems would make very modest gains in both Houses, and they did that and more. When my hunches are wrong, they don't mess around with trifling little miscalculations.

To my surprise and a little disappointment, the Democrats have a majority in the House (the particular numbers haven't come out yet), while the Senate remains undecided. The Republicans have 49 seats and the Democrats 47, with two independents and two still undetermined. Vermont's Senator-Elect, Bernie Sanders, will undoubtedly caucus with the Democrats -- he's a declared Socialist, and voted pretty much in lockstep with the Democrats during his tenure in the House. In a delicious irony, if the last two races split between the two parties, the Democrats will find themselves having to coax and plead and beg Joe Lieberman to put behind their abandonment of him, their efforts to replace him with the darling of the NutRoots, and bring him back to the table.

On the other hand, with the defeat of Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island, the job of "liberal Republican from New England" is open...

Here in New Hampshire, we re-elected our Democratic governor by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio (with my vote), while it looks like we dumped both our Republican congressmen for Democrats. My argument that New Hampshire wasn't much of a "blue state," but more purplish, seems to be overtaken by events.

I'll have more thoughts later, as I wake myself up and get more information, and take a little more time to think about things.


Comments (24)

Jay, next time go with Trad... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Jay, next time go with TradeSports. Not bad this year.

I'd like to thank the neo-cons at Wizbang for their contributions to this election. You are a great asset for the liberals of this country. Keep up the writing.

And I think that will be the last gloating I'll do. It feels good though - a historical smack down.

No problem jp2. Welcome to... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

No problem jp2. Welcome to 2 years of gridlock in Washington. Libs are inept pussies just like you with no direction.

I predict they will accomplish nothing other then impeach Bush and raise taxes and spending.

Big fricking deal. As soon as some REAL conservatives are ready to run, the smackdown on pussies like you will happen.

In the mean time go out an buy a koran

Let me be the first to say ... (Below threshold)
John S:

Let me be the first to say that it really doesn't matter. By the time Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as the new Speaker of the House, the first presidential caucus will be only 11 months away. Charlie Rangel and Henry Waxman can have all the noisy hearings they want, but no one will be listening: Cheney isn't running, nor is anyone else in the Bush administration. This will be the first wide open presidential election since 1968.

There's two delicious ironies here. (1) The only legislation the Democratic House will pass is Bush's signature immigration reform bill. (2) The Dems will be so obsessed with their hatred of Bush (who isn't running) that they'll waste their time with witch hunts and blow the 2008 election.

I just saw Pelosi saying "W... (Below threshold)

I just saw Pelosi saying "We are prepared to govern..."

Um.

Huh?

Since when does the House govern?

'We are prepared to legislate', maybe. Not as catchy, but, well, at least truthful.

Regardless of WHAT she is p... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Regardless of WHAT she is prepared to do NOW, what the hell has she been doing up to this point in time?

jp2:<blockquo... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jp2:


It feels good though - a historical smack down.

For those that think that this is historically unprecidented, I say you're historically uneducated.

Charles Krauthammer:

Since the end of World War II, the average loss for a second-term presidency in its sixth year has been 29 House seats and six Senate seats. If you go back to Franklin Roosevelt's second term, the House loss average jumps to 35.

On the bright side, I'm loo... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

On the bright side, I'm looking forward to 2 years of entertainment with empty headed botox lady as Speaker.

Every time Nancy opens her mouth, it will be fun to watch.

After hearing the election ... (Below threshold)
Amy:

After hearing the election results this morning, my husband glumly suggested he start signing over half his paycheck to Pelosi and the other half to Gov. Baldacci (we live in Maine, the least tax-friendly state in the country... since Baldacci's been in power the economy has slumped and spending is through the roof, we're losing money.. I don't know how much longer we can afford to live here.) We're middle class, and we've been seeing our financial situation improve steadily thanks to Bush's tax breaks. All that will soon be gone, and we're very worried. Pelosi spends a lot of time sceraming about the middle class getting screwed, but she has no idea what it's like for the middle class. She doesn't represent me and I wish she would stop claiming she is.

I was referring to the inab... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I was referring to the inablity to win a single seat from a house member. And...

Also, first woman Speaker.

But A for effort, underscore Mike underscore. History has many sides.

Nice try to rewrite what yo... (Below threshold)

Nice try to rewrite what you said, jp2, but a woman speaker does NOT make a "smackdown." You might have a leg on the other point, but let's face it -- _Mike_ shattered your braggadocio with cold hard facts.

J.

jp2,ROFL. Yes, hi... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jp2,

ROFL. Yes, history has many sides. I'll paint the full picture since you seem to miss it: This is hardly a 'historical smackdown'; it's actually the historical norm.

For those who live in New H... (Below threshold)
kevino:

For those who live in New Hampshire, this is a very bad result. The state has been run by the GOP for decades, and we've enjoyed a terrific quality of life, while Massachusetts has suffered. Over the last couple of decades, liberals from Massachusetts, fleeing the unlivable conditions that they have created there, have filled southern New Hampshire, turning it more "purple". That change was completed in this election.

We now have a Democratic governor, state senate, and state house. If they do to us what they've done to Massachusetts, we are screwed.

I don't know Rep. Bradley, but I have met Rep. Bass: he was a good one. I also know a little about the two Dhimmicrats that defeated them. NH traded two good Congressmen for people who add new meaning to the term "Ugly American".

Note: For completeness, her... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Note: For completeness, here was Krauthammer's summary sentence from the above exerpt:

Charles Krauthammer:


Thus a 25/6 House/Senate loss would be about (and slightly below) the historical average.

I'm not surprised at the ou... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I'm not surprised at the outcome. I'm still thinking though that it is very possible Pelosi will not have a long tenure as House speaker even if the Democrats remain the majority for a while. If the Dems want to make further inroads in the Midwest and South, I just don't see how you can have Deans and Pelosi's spouting off too much. I am now looking forward to seeing the Democrats program for a stronger and safer United States.

Interesting how you respond... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Interesting how you respond to half my points...

jp2,Your point fro... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jp2,

Your point from your first post ? Or your points from your attempted re-write ?

I believed I've covered the 'historical smackdown'. There's nothing about a female Speaker that I can see as being construed as a 'smackdown'. Nice try though.

MikeYour post is a... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Mike

Your post is a perfect example of how statistics need to be looked at a little more closely. The reason people like Krauthammer use statistics going back to WWII is that they obscure the more recent trends. As incumbency has become more protected, and with increased gerrymandering, big swings have become much less common. Other than 1984, which was a big swing for the Republicans, the average change in the last 20 years has been five seats. And specifically in sixth year midterms, changes have run as follows:

1958: 49 seats

1966: 47 seats

1974: 49 seats

1986: 5 seats

1998: 5 seats

Notice any dramatic changes? So I won't say you shattered anyone's braggadocio with "cold hard facts." All you've done is selectively use statistics. In fact, the recent incumbent reelection rate has been around 98 percent. Some smackdown. Perhaps before you pat yourself on the back for your remarkable insights, you can do more than just repeat what you read in a column, ands actually know something about what you're talking about.

There's really no way around the fact that the Republicans got creamed. And for those of you who like to mock the Democrats because they run against Bush, and "Bush isn't running for reelection," perhaps you might want to rethink your approach. Bush may not have been running, but he sure managed to lose an election.

Was this the "tidal wave" o... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

Was this the "tidal wave" or just the tide?

How might the results have been different if those ideologically opposed to the Iraq war had not been helped by those who are unhappy with the results so far? Let's not lose the distinction between those two groups.

In my earlier comment I poi... (Below threshold)
kevino:

In my earlier comment I pointed to the change in New Hampshire: going from purple to deep-blue. The DailyKOS quotes an AP story about the historical perspective:

New Hampshire Democrats emerged from Tuesday's elections more powerful than they've been in 94 years . . . Victories by (Lynch, Shea-Porter and Hodes) marked the first time since 1912 that Democrats were elected to three of the state's top five seats. . . . Though Democrats have won five of the last six gubernatorial elections, Republicans have long dominated the congressional delegation and Legislature. . . . The last time Democrats controlled the state Senate was 1998, but their 13-11 advantage ended the next year with the death of Democratic Senate President Clesson Blaisdell. In the House, Democrats haven't been in charge since 1922.

For those that think tha... (Below threshold)
Brian:

For those that think that this is historically unprecidented, I say you're historically uneducated.

Mike, this is the first time in electoral history that a party has failed to pick up even a single seat from the opposition. Would you call that historically unprecedented? (You can answer after you become more historically educated.)

RE: "This is the first time... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "This is the first time in electoral history that a party has failed to pick up even a single seat from the opposition."

What Republican lost in 1994?

I believe there were four s... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I believe there were four seats that passed from Republican to Democrat hands in 1994. One was ME-2, Olympia Snowe (R), who vacated her seat, which was won by John Elias Baldacci (D).

From the Wikipedia United_S... (Below threshold)
kevino:

From the Wikipedia United_States_House_elections%2C_1994: "Every Republican incumbent seeking re-election won. 34 incumbent Democrats were defeated in 1994, with Democrats from Washington losing the most seats (5)" The article doesn't mention Rep Snowe losing.

The article on Sen Snowe says that she was a member of the House from 1979-1995 but left to run for Sen Mitchell's vacated seat.

I didn't say she lost. She ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I didn't say she lost. She vacated her Republican seat, which was then won by a Democrat.




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