Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Republican Takeover in 2010?

Chris Cillizza weighs the possibility of a Republican takeover in the House next election cycle. He begins by quoting Eric Cantor (VA-7), House Minority Whip, on the subject, who expectedly voices strength and optimism:
"I'm very confident we will pick up seats midterm if we do the necessary work of finding good candidates," Cantor said. "I don't remove the prospect that we could take the majority back in 2010."
After two superior cycles where Democrats picked up a net total 52 seats, there is a strong likelihood that Republicans will pick up seats. Also, historically speaking, the party out of power usually gains seats after the election of a new president. Democrats have taken almost every swing district and have made inroads into ruby red districts, and as such, national prognostications have many more Democrats considered vulnerable compared to Republicans. The climate clearly is advantageous for Republicans. But will they take over the majority? Saith Cillizza:
No, because the crisis state of the economy makes the political atmosphere even more uncertain than unusual.

But, today, it is right to describe a 40-seat Republican pickup -- given President Obama's popularity ratings, the likely fundraising edge for Democrats and the lack of a cogent Republican message -- as a decided long shot.

Two years is an eternity in political realtime, but Cillizza is correct. If elections were held today, Democrats would do rather well. Republicans are not out of the woods yet.

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