It should be huge, but probably won’t be. Because the game is rigged. The incumbents in both parties have spent years gerrymandering and enacting finance laws to their benefit, and as a result it’s rare for an incumbent to lose. From what I understand, of the 435 seats in the House, only a couple dozen are even competitive.
But the Republicans deserve an ass-kicking, and I hope the Democrats give it to them. I’m sure the Democrats will gain in the next election, but the question is by how much.
I’m confident that the Dems will pick up seats in both Houses, but I’m not ready to predict they’ll pick up enough in the House to be the majoirty. Like **Sam **said, the process is rigged. If it were a national referendum, that might be a different thing, but the election districts don’t allow that to show thru. (The Senate only has 1/3 of its seats up for re-relection this time, so that’s not really a national referendum either.)
The gerrymandering may not save some Republican incumbents if GOP voters are so disgusted with them on issues like Iraq, government spending and immigration that they stay home on election day. A gerrymandered majority does you no good if it doesn’t vote.
This is certainly true to an extent, but part of the reason that seats are preceived as “safe” is because, since 1994, we haven’t really had any reason for a lot of house members to get the boot and incumbents have been able to use financing and gerrymandering advantages to keep thier jobs. But there’s no law of physics that says the guy with the most money has to win, it just helps. So I think we will see more of a shake-up then those who are basing their prediction on the volitality of the senate over the last few election cycles might guess.
I just hope we get a new mix, heck vote for anyine who is not in now. Hell it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that travel for free is being paid for by someone! These idiots are argueing about travel junkets, I was a cop and we were not allowed to take a free cup of coffee, and rightfully so. You get something, they expect something. Lets just call “lobbying” “bribery” and put mosSorryt of the legisature in prison.
That’s exactly my prediction. Incumbency is tough to overcome, but since ALL 435 members of the house are up for re-election and the democrats only have to gain 15 seats (probably more, but still a relatively small amount), it’s not at all farfetched. I’ve voted Republican every time I’ve voted for a major (federal-level) office, and I will probably do so again; but I really wouldn’t be that upset if the Republicans lost one (or even both) houses. They really need a kick in the ass right now.
Nothing will happen. As Stone said, incumbents have a high reelection rate due to gerrymandering. We have basically lost any semblance of democracy now, a 99% election is bullshit. It reminds me of what Bill Maher said ‘99% in a democracy? that sounds like the kind of number that used to make us laugh at countries like Iraq or the USSR when they would hold an electon’.
The republican base isn’t going anywhere. The democrats have a good propaganda machine and are good at promoting intolerance for the opposition, but the repubs are better. No matter who they piss off (fiscal conservatives, log cabin, christian evangelicals, military proponents, immigration conservatives) they aren’t going anywhere else.
True enough, but in the Senate it comes down to what states are open. Santorum is likely to lose, and Jeffords will likely be replaced by Bernie Sanders, but that’s all I see for Dem (Socialist) gains. Missouri usually enjoys throwing wrenches in the works, and could go Dem. But I just don’t see any way the Democrats can gain the Senate this election.
If they need a kick in the ass, why don’t you help give it to them? Does a tax cut of $300/year mean more to you than the utter dishonesty and incompetence shown by the administration, and fully enabled by the Republican congress? What exactly do you fear the Democrats would do that would be *worse * than what the Republicans have done over the past six years???
Nitpick: Jeffords cacused with the Dems as well, so even if Sanders wins (as I imagine he will) it won’t be a gain for the Dems.
The Dems do have a few more pick up chances, here’s a rundown, but yeah, 6 seats is a lot to hope for.
But in anycase, my point was just a response to the general statement that gerrymandering was the reason that the Dems weren’t going to be able to capitlize on the current public dislike of the current gov’t. Obviously this isn’t the case in the Senate. Indeed the more the Dems are able to turn the election into a referendum on the status quo the less the “incumbent advatage” will matter. The next few months will tell.
But perhaps democracy works really well, and voters tend to select a candidate that they like the first time, and thus have no reason to replace him/her in 96% of cases. When they do, then the system does indeed work and the people kick out the bum.
From your article:
Also, when a candidate is certainly going to loose (or even faces a tough election), they’re likely to retire rather then run, and thus don’t count in the statistics you quoted, despite the fact that the opinions of thier constituants are the cause of their not returning to office. So in general, I’d think US elections are a better way to reflect the will of the people then the 99%/96% figure suggests
Of course when people are disatisfied with the gov’t as a whole, as in 1994 (and perhaps in 2006), then the dynamics change and incumbancy looses it’s advantage. So it’s at least conceivable that the past low turnover in the congress will be a bad predictor for the 2006 race.
I never thought of it like that. My view is just that due to things like redistricting, social psychology and unbalanced campaign funds that the fight was so unfair that a contender had virtually no way of winning unless there was massive discontentment. Hopefully you are right, but I’m still not sure.
Looking at the Senate races as optimistically as possible, I can see possible Dem pickups in Tennessee, Vermont, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. The others are not looking like much of a race. Pick up all of these, and it could be a 51-49 Democratic Senate. That’s the best case as I can see it. More likely, the Dems fall a seat or two short. But what I think is important is that the GOP may no longer be able to change the filibuster rules and that nuclear option may be pulled out from them. This might force Bush to nominate someone more moderate should any more Supreme Court vacancies arise.
The House is I think a bit tougher. Thanks to gerrymandering, there may not be enough competitive races to make a turnover possible. Unless the war changes drastically, we’ll certainly see a smaller GOP majority in the House- but not enough to get Speaker Pelosi.