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Could the GOP Lose the House? Egads!

Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium [1] is the first I’ve seen to even discuss the possibility, and he’s not an unbiased source. But he’s got data to back it up.

Using all polls and median-based statistics to address issues of outlier data [2] gives the median of D+4.0% that I gave. That translates to a narrow 16-seat Democratic majority in an election held today. This would be an unusual outcome. It would involve a Democratic net pickup of over 30 seats, much more than the typical gain for a re-elected president’s party. But 2010 was also an exceptional wave year [3] for the Republicans. Again, think of the pendulum. In any event, this is what the numbers are currently telling us.

You should review his data sets, polling numbers, and analysis before jumping in — but then you may feel like jumping off a cliff.

Look, I hold no brief for the current batch of House Republicans, including the sainted Paul Ryan. I believe they are hypocritical, hyper-partisan, and unrealistic. No more self-congratulatory group of people ever existed that had less to congratulate themselves on. I mean, voting to repeal Obamacare thirty times? Was that necessary? Meanwhile, a small task like adopting the recommended reforms to save the Postal Service billions of taxpayer dollars languished in the in-box because closing a post office in Pipsqueak, Georgia, might have offended its total population of three.

But, friends, if you think the House Republicans are shallow and ideological, allow me to introduce you to some of the prospective committee chairmen of the House Democrats. For Foreign Affairs, there’s Howard Berman, who wants war with Iran, and the quicker the better. For Natural Resources, Ed Markey. For Energy and Commerce, Henry Waxman. For Education and the Workforce, George Miller. For Judiciary, John Conyers. And for Ways and Means, Sandy Levin (who, while liberal, is at least sane compared to the deposed Pete Stark).

These old warhorses — average age, 73 — embody the calcification of liberalism in America. Obama can be as centrist and pragmatic as some think he has been, but these are the ideologues who will write the laws, and with a Democratic Senate, might even pass a few. This is scary.

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#1 Comment By Jack Ross On September 20, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

Berman might well lose to the even crazier Brad Sherman, who at least wouldn’t have seniority.

#2 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On September 20, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

I think Berman loses. He was behind in the primary. There are two arguments for a GOP House: (1) Pelosi and Company, as you say; and (2) They will vote “No” a lot.

#3 Comment By bayesian On September 20, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

@Jack Ross

Sherman is even crazier than Berman? Please do tell. I admit ignorance (and how!), but the fact Berman has been endorsed by McCain, Graham, and Holy Joe would generally be enough to be a presumption for Sherman on my part, no matter how far left on domestic issues Sherman might be.

#4 Comment By Zathras On September 20, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

Nate Silver raised the possibility of the Democrats taking the House yesterday:

“But if the trend continues, the question may no longer be whether Republicans can win the Senate — but how vulnerable they are to losing the House.”

#5 Comment By Christian Schmemann On September 20, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

The only hope we conservatives, Democrat or Republican have is for the conservatives and Blue Dogs in the Democratic Party to work with the moderate and realistic conservatives in the Republican Party to hold back some of the excesses of statist liberal agenda.

Let us not hope that conservatism is not completely discredited for a generation or so, because one-party rule is always disastrous for any nation. As we conservatives seek to rebuild our philosophy, we need to get back to basics, return to Bill Buckley. We need to acknowledge reality for what it is, and with both Health Care Reform and tax policy, we did a splendid job of playing right into liberal stereotypes that we’re only Ayn Rand kooks who are eager to sacrifice human being for corporate profits. This is what has to stop if we’re going to be relevant.

#6 Comment By Jack Ross On September 20, 2012 @ 3:25 pm


#7 Comment By beowulf On September 20, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

Gotta love California’s new Top 2 blanket primary (that’s why two Democrats like Berman and Sherman are running against each other in the general).

I give Brad Sherman credit for being one of the ringleaders (along with Darrell Issa) of the backbencher rebellion that killed the first iteration of the TARP bailout in the House. That’s the kind of bipartisanship I can get behind.

#8 Comment By Ted Lawrence On September 20, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

Issa says Sherman is overstating his role and when he tried to get things done before the crises hit, Sherman was the main person who fought against him.

#9 Comment By cka2nd On September 20, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

“adopting the recommended reforms to save the Postal Service billions of taxpayer dollars”

Please explain. I thought the Postal Service has been self-supporting for the last 40 years.

#10 Comment By bayesian On September 20, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

Thanks, Jack. So if Sherman is the more “pro-Israel”, why do you think Berman got the McCain/Graham/Lieberman endorsements? Not the right sort of crazy? Something utterly unrelated to Mideast policy (the latter seems somewhat hard to believe, but I guess it’s possible)?

#11 Comment By Mr. Patrick On September 20, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

I can’t imagine how a 65-seat swing in an off-year election with 41% turnout that seated a irascible, virtually agenda-less majority ungovernable even by their own party’s seniors, during an economic crisis, would prove unstable. Surely they deserve another turn at the wheel.

#12 Comment By Wick Allison On September 21, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

cka2nd: The Postal Service has been a for-profit for years, but is still controlled (and therefore hampered) by Congress, which refuses to allow it to adapt to changing conditions like any private business must because it would prefer to use it, as it always has, as a plum tree. So the loss last quarter was $5.2 billion. The losses are covered by loans from the Treasury. When the Postal Service declares bankruptcy, which it will do if Congress fails to act, those losses will accrue to the taxpayer. The best summary of the proposed reforms is at [7]