Sunday, May 21, 2006

[Midterms]

GOP Strength Diminishing (?).

I'm going to believe it only when I see it, but hope may be seeing its first glimmer for Dems in November's midterms. To this point, the number of competitive races has been too few for Democrats to reasonably hope to take back the House--never mind what the media says about voter anger. For any kind of shift in power, we have to see reliably safe seats shift, and they haven't been--until now:
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which tracks Congressional races, increased the number of Republican seats viewed as competitive on Friday to 36 from 24, said Amy Walter, an analyst there. Democrats seem to be in increasingly good shape to pick up seats in bands of districts across Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York, as well as districts throughout Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Florida. Democrats need to pick up 15 Republican seats to take control.
The canary in the coalmine I'm watching is Oregon's 2nd, where Greg Walden has a seat as safe as any in the nation. Not only did he win by 46 points in 2004, but he won 11% more of the vote, at 72%, than Dubya did (61%). This year, Dems ran serious candidates and are actually taking a shot at the 2nd. If they gain any traction, it will be a persuasive indication that the GOP power is sliding.

Still way to early to tell (have a look at individual races here), but interesting. We can definitely call it a glimmer.

3 comments:

Torrid said...

Rothenberg, another version of Cook Report, has gone so far as to put 50 races into the "competitive" column.

If you want sentinels, check out Colorado and Wyoming. There are two developing races in CO, including the one for James Dobson's Colorado Springs area, and no I'm not kidding, Wyoming's at large House seat looks tight all of a sudden.

Time will tell, but things continue to move forward for Democratic chances.

Jeff Alworth said...

After overly optimistic expectations in the past three elections, I'm not going to get my hopes up. But from a purely observational viewpoint, it is remarkable how quickly things have gotten competitive for the Dems. It's almost surreal.

Chuck Butcher said...

Unless the candidate and her supporters can get the vote out in the 2nd CD waldenbush is absolutely safe. The Dems & Indies have to be motivated and a piece of the R vote needs to be picked off. The Primary turnout was truly depressing.

Carol is going to need all the help reaching the "hard to reach" that she can get.

For the first time I can remember, waldenbush has taken a Primary candidate's statements seriously enough to reply in print defending himself. Does that mean he's worried? Enough to pay attention, anyhow.