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Turnout Anxiety

Mike Soraghan at The Hill points out some interesting electoral math today:

There are 79 more Democrats than Republicans in the lower chamber, giving Pelosi a strong working majority. But her caucus includes 84 Democrats who represent districts won by either President George W. Bush in 2004 or Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

Soraghan's broader point examines the anxiety attack that is becoming epidemic among Democratic moderates in the House, to wit, that they are beginning to feel like force fed veal calves that can smell the 2010 abattoir (midterms). Asked to expend precious political capital on an already unpopular Cap and Trade bill that arguably is DOA in the Senate (not to mention the failed stimulus), these same Democrats are being herded by Speaker Pelosi to support an even more poisonous healthcare bill. Some don't like the look of things to come:

Politically vulnerable Democrats say Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders aren't offering them the protection from tough votes that they did in the last Congress.

Conservative Democrats fear that dozens of members could be swept out of their districts in the midterm election next year, and that fear has been intensifying in recent weeks.

"She [Pelosi] keeps trying to push an unpopular package," said Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), a centrist Blue Dog Democrat, referring to healthcare. "I think it's fair to say they were better at it before."

Another Blue Dog lawmaker put it more bluntly.

"They're seriously endangering their majority," said the Blue Dog, who requested anonymity. "With the increased margin and a [Democratic] president, there seems to be a different feeling."

What these Democrats don't like to discuss, and what the media enablers of President Obama fret secretly about, is turnout. Midterm elections historically have a lower turnout than Presidential election years. The 2008 Magical Obama Mystery Tour created a turnout of monumental proportions that is unlikely to be repeated in midterm down ticket races on the Democrat side. Also, John McCain garnered two million fewer votes in 2008 than Bush did in 2004.

What tells me those reluctant Republicans that stayed home in 2008 will show up in 2010? Well, thanks for asking. The answer is: Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. The electorate (and those moderate Democrats from Bush and McCain districts) is much better informed about the ideology of President Obama than they were about the ideology of Candidate Obama. There is an opportunity for some true conservative leader to step up and take advantage of the disaster awaiting Democrats that have overestimated their mandate.


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Comments (14)

People didn't know a whole ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

People didn't know a whole lot about Obama. Many voted Democrat simply as a repudiation of 8 years of G. W. Bush. The Dems should know quite well that they are very susceptible to the same protest vote in 2010. There will be a lot of voters coming out and voting Republican simply to stick their finger in the eye of Nancy Pelosi and Obama.

I think there will be some Republicans who get brought up short as well. Mark Kirk in Illinois is going to have a tough time explaining his cap and trade vote in the house. His BS about the bill being in the best interest of his district but against the best interest of he state is at least as laughable as Kerry's I voted for the 85 Billion before I voted against it. He may get into the Senate only because the dems have yet to find a candidate that even their base can get excited about.

I can hardly wait for the c... (Below threshold)

I can hardly wait for the comments of VIC, Adrian and SAUD.

With the immanent demise of... (Below threshold)

With the immanent demise of ACORN, getting the dead to the polls will a lot harder too. There will also be a decline in the number of repeat voters too.

Wishful thinking wingnuts.<... (Below threshold)
victory isn't certain:

Wishful thinking wingnuts.

Obama and Pelosi know they ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Obama and Pelosi know they have only about a year to get their agenda through. THEY DONT CARE about the elections of 2010 if they can continue the trainwreck for just 1 more short year.

If they can push it through illegal immigrants will get the right to vote and maybe save the dem majority.

Pelosi figures she is safe and Obama knows he has 3 more years before he has to worry about reelection.

The electorate (and thos... (Below threshold)

The electorate (and those moderate Democrats from Bush and McCain districts) is much better informed about the ideology of President Obama than they were about the ideology of Candidate Obama.

Which electorate? That one which thinks that Palin said she can see Russia from her house?

We are in a fucking war here. We'd better start acting like it. All of us should be ready to fight it in every election year from here on out.

vic: incredibly eloguent an... (Below threshold)

vic: incredibly eloguent and intellectually elegant. Or not.

Care to back up your graffiti with some old-fashioned logical reasoning.

Be careful not to hurt yourself.

OMG! VIC? Have you seen t... (Below threshold)

OMG! VIC? Have you seen this? Can it be true?


I guess VIC pulls on the "p... (Below threshold)

I guess VIC pulls on the "phantom of the opera" more than himself? Poor soul.

Be that as it may.. I will never trust Him to post here again. not that I ever did before I did not.

Dearly... Hannibal

GarandFan GITMO f... (Below threshold)


GITMO first administration goal where talking points met reality.

The article is too funny. The most Technical Savvy Green Administration was flummoxed for months because they were looking for files and had to do a database search on prisoners.

I guess their internet expertise only comes from raising money in a dubious manner.

By the time the next electi... (Below threshold)

By the time the next elections get here, so many people will be unemployed, they'll have plenty of time to vote. No jobs keeping them from the polls.

And as Stan25 points out, with ACORN on the rocks, the dead will not be voting in such strong numbers as before.

The tea parties and the big 9/12 march on Washington demonstrate that people have already had enough and they are not a silent majority any longer. They'll be voting and incumbents better beware.

BHO and ultra-left (I know ... (Below threshold)

BHO and ultra-left (I know it is redundant ) will reap the whirlwind in 2010. They been poking Americans with Sticks and Americans are going to respond.

Remarkable how willing demo... (Below threshold)

Remarkable how willing democrats are to betray, sell-out and legislate against the wishes/best interests of their constituents JUST AS LONG as they can get some sort of guarantee of re-election! Maybe these political hacks could devise a totally new plan...like DOING THE RIGHT THING!

My only problem with the ar... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

My only problem with the article is the use of the term "conservative Democrats". There are no conservative Democrats. There are no moderate Democrats. Democrats come in four flavors, liberal Democrats, very liberal Democrats, extremely liberal Democrats and those of no philosophy except reelection. The blue dogs are either group one or four.






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