As things look bleaker and bleaker for the GOP’s hopes next year, it’s becoming clear that our chances of holding the line in the Senate (which was already going to be difficult) and the possibility of picking up seats in Congress are both almost completely out the window. The math just isn’t there for us. We need to hold twice as many seats in the Senate as the Dems do. That’s bad. We also have a handful of incumbents bailing out, that’s worse. Throw in the marginal seats where we were already looking at a tough fight and we’re in deep trouble on the North side of Capitol Hill.
The House, sadly, isn’t looking much better. Sadly, the only thing I feel good about there is the comments Jack Murtha has been making lately. When Democrats start making claims that they’ll gain another 40-50 seats, I start to feel better. Their ability to forecast elections, and their tendency to over-promise and under-deliver is legendary.
That said, I do think the possibility exists that the Democrats could pick up another dozen. Frankly, I think it all depends on who gets the party nods for POTUS. We’re not in a mid-year, we’re in a Presidential cycle. That changes the dynamics of the election completely. There will be a lot of people who are turning out to vote for or against the nominees. Unlike ’06, this will not be an election about Bush, regardless of how hard the Democrats will try to make the GOP nominee into his stand-in. It will be about Hillary/Obama versus the GOP candidate.
If we’re facing Hillary, the number of GOP voters who will turn out for no reason other than to keep her out of the White House will greatly aid our chances at holding our own in Congress. If the Democrats pick Obama (or even Edwards, for that matter), the enthusiasm of the GOP voters will be greatly diminished. Only if we have an exciting candidate of our own can we get it back.
That’s the reason I got behind Fred. Mitt, Rudy and McCain just don’t rev the engine. It’s like going to McDonald’s and having three choices of shake flavors – but all of them are vanilla. Fred has the star power to make the race interesting, the others simply don’t.
I know, I know. Rudy keeps telling us he’s the only guy that can beat Hillary. It’s in every e-mail he sends out and it sounds more and more pathetic every time. Don’t buy it.
You need 50% plus one to win, and 40% of the electorate is Republican. If Rudy is hovering in the 25% range in polls of GOP primary voters, that means he’s got the backing of 10% of the electorate. If 30% of the electorate is having doubts before the first vote is cast, and 40% of the electorate are Democrats, you’re going to have a hard time getting from 10% to 50%. It’s just simple math, no matter how hard they try to bloviate.
The fact is all of our eggs are in the Presidential basket. If we get the right candidate, we can win. If we don’t, we’re in for a beating of epic proportions.