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  "Half a re-alignment" : Part 1 of 3 - The Senate
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Author Topic: "Half a re-alignment" : Part 1 of 3 - The Senate  (Read 15966 times)
Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2005, 04:39:20 am »

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Yes and I'm sure that nothing... interesting... happend out in the Ozarks...2002:

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Who was beaten pretty badly for an incumbent: 54/46. Arkansas can't be treated as a Republican state IMO

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It was close, but Wellstone would almost certainly have pulled through IMO... he was pretty popular in rural areas.

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Only because of those damn suburbs... ;-)
Seriously though, the reason why Cleland lost was because Chambliss ran an extremely dirty campaign (whether anyone thinks it was somehow justified or not, that's not the point) not because of any natural GOP leanings etc.

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No party has held that seat for more than one term in a row since Sam Ervin. Creepy, eh?

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Interestingly, it seems as though the LA Republicans thought that if it got into a runoff, Vitter would have lost. Not the point o/c

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Hardly. Ask McGovern.
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opebo
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2005, 07:17:22 am »

Vorlon, your assumption that the percentage Bush won in a state in 2004 provides a definitive measure of how Republican that state is seems arbitrary to me.  If any election was skewed by very specific factors not reflecting voters normal partisan leanings it was 2004 - due to the whole terrorism sham and the war.

Selecting any presidential election as a template for a Senate analysis is arbitrary and as likely as not to be misleading, but I would guess that 2000 would be a lot more likely to yield anecdotal reasonable results.

What would that look like?
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muon2
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2005, 12:51:13 pm »

The interesting part of Vorlon's analysis has little to do with the Presidential preferences of the states. The Reagan era cemented the Republican presidential majorities in the South, for instance. However, the 80's continued to see Democrats elected to Congress from those states that supported Reagan's national agenda.

The changes to Congress came in two waves. The House saw its party realignment to match national policy occur in the 1994 election. There have been relatively minor changes in the House since then, despite three presidential elections and two off-year cycles.  Barring a significant change by one of the two parties nationally, there doesn't seem to be any factor to move the House significantly in the next few cycles.

The Vorlon's analysis addresses the Senate. One interpretation may be that this is the last branch to feel the Reagan, then Gingrich, revolution. As noted, the Senate is slow to change, by design, and isn't affected by decennial census results.
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2005, 08:15:12 pm »

The interesting part of Vorlon's analysis has little to do with the Presidential preferences of the states. The Reagan era cemented the Republican presidential majorities in the South, for instance. However, the 80's continued to see Democrats elected to Congress from those states that supported Reagan's national agenda.

The changes to Congress came in two waves. The House saw its party realignment to match national policy occur in the 1994 election. There have been relatively minor changes in the House since then, despite three presidential elections and two off-year cycles.  Barring a significant change by one of the two parties nationally, there doesn't seem to be any factor to move the House significantly in the next few cycles.

The Vorlon's analysis addresses the Senate. One interpretation may be that this is the last branch to feel the Reagan, then Gingrich, revolution. As noted, the Senate is slow to change, by design, and isn't affected by decennial census results.

The House is a really different kettle of fish. 

In almost all the states there is enough of a division of power that the states didn't get gerrymanderd to help any one party after the 2000 census (Texas being the notable exception) - but the degree to which they were gerrymandered in a bi-partisan Incumbant protection effort is rather stunning.

Some rather stunning numbers:

House races decided by less than 10% => 18 out of 435 (under 5%)
House races decided by less than 5% => 9 (barely 2%)

The GOPO has had a 230ish to 205ish majority now for 6 straight elections and the "stability" is due almost exclusively to the gerrymandering.

There are about 210 "safe" GOP house seats and about 190 "safe" Dem seats in the House,

These are seets where it would take a combination of scandal, plus a strong and well financed opponent to knock the incumbant out.

Both sides have lots of whiz kids with computers and the post 2000 boundries in the House are designed to protect incumbants to a degree that is just stunning.

The Senate is where the real "action" is - you cannot, after all, Gerrymander an entire state Smiley

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A18
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2005, 08:30:40 pm »

Vorlon, are you going to do part 2 and 3 of this?
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2005, 08:42:59 pm »

I agree with you in your basic thesis.

However, IF current trends continue (vis a vis population) the Republicans shoud pick up around nine seats in 2012 (reapportionment and redistricting).

If you take a look at the areas losing population or growing far slower than the national rate, Democrats in the aggregate do better in these areas (there are Republican rural areas which are shrinking or growing slowly, but they don't loom as large population wise as the Democrat areas)

The areas growing significantly faster than the national average tend to be pretty stongly Republican.

Another factor to look at is the 'bench' of both parties in the marginal districts.  A generation ago, the Democrats had a significant advantage in this area.  Today, the parties are about equally provided in this area.

I am also curious to learn how the party fund raising will work in the next eighteen months.  While the Democrats did reasonably well this past cycle, with the Republicans gaining seats and holding the Presidency I suspect a lot of the 'smart money' will favor the Republicans.
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2005, 10:55:05 pm »


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Who was beaten pretty badly for an incumbent: 54/46. Arkansas can't be treated as a Republican state IMO

=>>Arkansas is kinda transitional actually, the are fairly GOP presidentially now, but they still have strong "dixiecrat" roots locally.

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==>>Minnesota is now a legitimate "battleground" state.  The Dem/DFL roots are soooo deep that the Dems have a slight edge, but the GOP has a legitimate shot in every race if they have a decent Candidate.

Minnesota is aslo the only state that is "backwards" in the sense that the GOP does well in the urban areas, while the Dems do better ruraly - the opposite of the national trend.

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Only because of those damn suburbs... ;-)
Seriously though, the reason why Cleland lost was because Chambliss ran an extremely dirty campaign (whether anyone thinks it was somehow justified or not, that's not the point) not because of any natural GOP leanings etc. 

Ralph Reed did a stunning job organizationally in Georgia, really , really truly amazing.  They just blew the doors off all the turnout models.

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No party has held that seat for more than one term in a row since Sam Ervin. Creepy, eh?

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Interestingly, it seems as though the LA Republicans thought that if it got into a runoff, Vitter would have lost. Not the point o/c

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Hardly. Ask McGovern.
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muon2
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« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2005, 12:00:36 am »

The interesting part of Vorlon's analysis has little to do with the Presidential preferences of the states. The Reagan era cemented the Republican presidential majorities in the South, for instance. However, the 80's continued to see Democrats elected to Congress from those states that supported Reagan's national agenda.

The changes to Congress came in two waves. The House saw its party realignment to match national policy occur in the 1994 election. There have been relatively minor changes in the House since then, despite three presidential elections and two off-year cycles.  Barring a significant change by one of the two parties nationally, there doesn't seem to be any factor to move the House significantly in the next few cycles.

The Vorlon's analysis addresses the Senate. One interpretation may be that this is the last branch to feel the Reagan, then Gingrich, revolution. As noted, the Senate is slow to change, by design, and isn't affected by decennial census results.

The House is a really different kettle of fish. 

In almost all the states there is enough of a division of power that the states didn't get gerrymanderd to help any one party after the 2000 census (Texas being the notable exception) - but the degree to which they were gerrymandered in a bi-partisan Incumbant protection effort is rather stunning.

Some rather stunning numbers:

House races decided by less than 10% => 18 out of 435 (under 5%)
House races decided by less than 5% => 9 (barely 2%)

The GOPO has had a 230ish to 205ish majority now for 6 straight elections and the "stability" is due almost exclusively to the gerrymandering.

There are about 210 "safe" GOP house seats and about 190 "safe" Dem seats in the House,

These are seets where it would take a combination of scandal, plus a strong and well financed opponent to knock the incumbant out.

Both sides have lots of whiz kids with computers and the post 2000 boundries in the House are designed to protect incumbants to a degree that is just stunning.

The Senate is where the real "action" is - you cannot, after all, Gerrymander an entire state Smiley


No question that in states like CA and IL the pro-incumbent gerrymanders were striking. It's interesting that a in IL one could have had a fairly ungerrymandered map that still would have elected the same Reps, but they would have had to work a bit more at it. It also would lead to a real contest when the seats opened up.

It would be interesting if the Congress acted like they used to and set rules for districts. Some of those rules included the elimination of multimember districts in 1842. Congress has avoided the phrase "compact" in defining districts, but a simple rule like requiring districts to not split Census Tracts, would be a powerful tool to eliminate the worst gerrymanders.

Of course, given that big states are using gerrymanders to protect the incumbents, a weakening of that power seems unlikely. However, much like in 1842, a few states moving like TX, might prompt some rule making. At that time AL switched to multi-member districts to favor Democrats, but other Democrats around the country became worried that the Whigs could respond in some northern states. The prospect that current procedures can turn out incumbents might make a compelling case for some now serving to enact protective rules.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2005, 04:15:32 am »

=>>Arkansas is kinda transitional actually, the are fairly GOP presidentially now, but they still have strong "dixiecrat" roots locally.

I don't really think that Arkansas does trends (although it has backed the winner in every Presidential election from 1972 onwards. And likes local candidates) and the assertion that it's fairly GOP presidentially now, rests on the assumption that the last two Presidential elections are somehow a perfect indicator of partisanship (something that has sod all evidence in favour of it and plenty against) rather than a perfect indicator of what people in East Carolina or wherever think about George W Bush (and even then it isn't perfect...)
If it's treated as "transitional" it's been that way for over 30 years. Which makes no sense at all.

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It's actually the suburban areas.
Interestingly, MN was one of the few states that last year's Presidential elections was fairly close to actual partisanship (which is why you had all those rural counties flipping to Kerry)

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Also true (but related to that ugly ever expanding blob called Atlanta Suburbia...)
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Ben.
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« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2005, 09:26:05 am »

Oklahoma hasn’t been mentioned…

Then again the race there proves Vorlon’s point I guess, very strong Dem candidates got soundly beat by a “Rightwing Nut-Job”… Alaska would be another case where an extremely strong Democrat was beaten by a mediocre and discredited Republican.       
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2005, 09:33:04 am »

Oklahoma hasn’t been mentioned…

Then again the race there proves Vorlon’s point I guess, very strong Dem candidates got soundly beat by a “Rightwing Nut-Job”… Alaska would be another case where an extremely strong Democrat was beaten by a mediocre and discredited Republican.   

If the Oklahoma Senate election had been in the Mid Terms, Carson would have won... there was a huuuuuuge Evangelical and/or Fundamentalist turnout (Bush won every county in Oklahoma... including the east central coal counties that Gore won... though he won those by small margins) in Okie last year.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2005, 02:31:37 pm »

Oklahoma hasn’t been mentioned…

Then again the race there proves Vorlon’s point I guess, very strong Dem candidates got soundly beat by a “Rightwing Nut-Job”… Alaska would be another case where an extremely strong Democrat was beaten by a mediocre and discredited Republican.   

If the Oklahoma Senate election had been in the Mid Terms, Carson would have won... there was a huuuuuuge Evangelical and/or Fundamentalist turnout (Bush won every county in Oklahoma... including the east central coal counties that Gore won... though he won those by small margins) in Okie last year.

I don't know about that.  Coburn did win by nearly 12%.  Two things that would make me think otherwise that you need to take into consideration.

1.  Bileyeu (Green Party cand.) took nearly 5% of the vote and I'm pretty sure that in Oklahoma nearly all of that came from Carson.  Unless she's not in the race, that makes a bigger margin for Carson to overcome even if Evangelical turnout isn't so high.

2.  Carson and Coburn in the House were from the same district, those east-central coal counties that Gore won in 2000.  Both were extremely popular there (Coburn even maybe more so).  I don't think Coburn percentages would have declined much even in a non-Presidential race in these areas because of that.

Remember, most people thought Inhofe couldn't win either because he was too right-wing as well.  He's gotten about the same 55% in both of his races.

Coburn was the only Republican who could win that race because of point #2.  Most moderate Republicans still don't realize this.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2005, 02:42:08 pm »

I don't know about that.  Coburn did win by nearly 12%.  Two things that would make me think otherwise that you need to take into consideration.

1.  Bileyeu (Green Party cand.) took nearly 5% of the vote and I'm pretty sure that in Oklahoma nearly all of that came from Carson.  Unless she's not in the race, that makes a bigger margin for Carson to overcome even if Evangelical turnout isn't so high.

2.  Carson and Coburn in the House were from the same district, those east-central coal counties that Gore won in 2000.  Both were extremely popular there (Coburn even maybe more so).  I don't think Coburn percentages would have declined much even in a non-Presidential race in these areas because of that.

Remember, most people thought Inhofe couldn't win either because he was too right-wing as well.  He's gotten about the same 55% in both of his races.

Coburn was the only Republican who could win that race because of point #2.  Most moderate Republicans still don't realize this.

Yeah, Coburn (despite certain... er... not exactly moderate or entirely sane remarks) is a pretty strong candidate. Regional stuff seems to matter a lot in Oklahoma... If the GOP had run some Tulsa or Oklahoma City politician (like the guy that lost the nomination to Coburn... Humphries?) they wouldn't have won many Conservative Democrat voters as Coburn did and Carson would *probably* have won last year.
In a MidTerm year Carson v Coburn would probably be a tossup, but I think that Carson would pull it off. Maybe not. Certainly would have been a lot closer.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2005, 02:46:15 pm »
« Edited: January 16, 2005, 02:48:05 pm by Chief Spade, Sam of Staffing »

I don't know about that.  Coburn did win by nearly 12%.  Two things that would make me think otherwise that you need to take into consideration.

1.  Bileyeu (Green Party cand.) took nearly 5% of the vote and I'm pretty sure that in Oklahoma nearly all of that came from Carson.  Unless she's not in the race, that makes a bigger margin for Carson to overcome even if Evangelical turnout isn't so high.

2.  Carson and Coburn in the House were from the same district, those east-central coal counties that Gore won in 2000.  Both were extremely popular there (Coburn even maybe more so).  I don't think Coburn percentages would have declined much even in a non-Presidential race in these areas because of that.

Remember, most people thought Inhofe couldn't win either because he was too right-wing as well.  He's gotten about the same 55% in both of his races.

Coburn was the only Republican who could win that race because of point #2.  Most moderate Republicans still don't realize this.

Yeah, Coburn (despite certain... er... not exactly moderate or entirely sane remarks) is a pretty strong candidate. Regional stuff seems to matter a lot in Oklahoma... If the GOP had run some Tulsa or Oklahoma City politician (like the guy that lost the nomination to Coburn... Humphries?) they wouldn't have won many Conservative Democrat voters as Coburn did and Carson would *probably* have won last year.
In a MidTerm year Carson v Coburn would probably be a tossup, but I think that Carson would pull it off. Maybe not. Certainly would have been a lot closer.

I can agree with those statements, even though I still Coburn would have won under that scenario.  Smiley

Carson attacked too hard against Coburn personally in the end.  It alienated some voters and probably cost him another 3-5% or so.
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minionofmidas - supplemental forum account
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« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2005, 04:25:37 am »

Can any of you tell me something about that Green woman?
And why does a Green poll 5% in a highly contested race in Okie of all places?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2005, 04:36:30 am »

Can any of you tell me something about that Green woman?

IIRC she's not exactly on the right side of sane
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« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2005, 04:45:04 am »

Can any of you tell me something about that Green woman?

IIRC she's not exactly on the right side of sane
Ah yes, that explains it. Sanity is not an electoral asset in Oklahoma, as viz.Coburn[/sarcasm]
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ian
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2005, 03:19:03 pm »

Oklahoma hasn’t been mentioned…

Then again the race there proves Vorlon’s point I guess, very strong Dem candidates got soundly beat by a “Rightwing Nut-Job”… Alaska would be another case where an extremely strong Democrat was beaten by a mediocre and discredited Republican.   

If the Oklahoma Senate election had been in the Mid Terms, Carson would have won... there was a huuuuuuge Evangelical and/or Fundamentalist turnout (Bush won every county in Oklahoma... including the east central coal counties that Gore won... though he won those by small margins) in Okie last year.

I don't know about that. Coburn did win by nearly 12%. Two things that would make me think otherwise that you need to take into consideration.

1. Bileyeu (Green Party cand.) took nearly 5% of the vote and I'm pretty sure that in Oklahoma nearly all of that came from Carson. Unless she's not in the race, that makes a bigger margin for Carson to overcome even if Evangelical turnout isn't so high.

2. Carson and Coburn in the House were from the same district, those east-central coal counties that Gore won in 2000. Both were extremely popular there (Coburn even maybe more so). I don't think Coburn percentages would have declined much even in a non-Presidential race in these areas because of that.

Remember, most people thought Inhofe couldn't win either because he was too right-wing as well. He's gotten about the same 55% in both of his races.

Coburn was the only Republican who could win that race because of point #2. Most moderate Republicans still don't realize this.

Do you think Carson can beat Inhofe in '08?
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giving birth to thunder
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2005, 03:56:13 pm »

It is important to remember that the Democrats ran John Kerry, who could not get elected to anything in the South. States like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida will vote for a moderate Democrat, it's not shocking. Also, the Democrats have won open seats in the last 8 years in many states that currently trend GOP.

List of Open seats/Pickups won by the Dems in the last 8 years.... ??

It's a fairly short list actually...

Cantwell in Washington
Stabenow in Michigan
Kohl in Wisconsin
Carnahan in Missouri
Schumer in New York


I am sure I am missing more than a few... help me out here....but the list is shortish...

um, Mark Dayton?
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Defarge
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« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2005, 08:20:29 pm »

This was great, Vorlon.  I look forward to the next 2 parts. 
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« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2005, 09:02:40 am »

Yeah, where's the rest of that?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2005, 05:05:09 pm »

Vorlon, very good analysis. I would like to make one point though.

There is a difference between a state like Arkansas and a state like North Dakota. Both states have 2 Democratic senators. Both states were won by Bush with ease.

However.

Arkansas used to be a pretty Democratic state. It was the MOST Democratic state in 1992, the only state in that electino to give any candidate an absolute majority of the votes. It has voted Democratic in most electinos throughout the twentieth century. But it has recently moved more and more towards the Republicans and now seems to be firmly in the GOP camp. It's reasonable to expect this to have an effect on the senators there. The same kind of analysis could be done on West Virginia.

But North Dakota is a different story. See, ND has NEVER been Democratic. It has voted Republican in almost every election since the FDR era. This means that the 2 senators there managed to get elected in an environment about as hostile to them as it is now. There is really nothing inherent saying they will go Republican.

Therefore, I think that the kind of analysis Vorlon does should only be applied to states with a significant recent trend. This excludes the following for the Democrats: South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin.

For the Republicans: Rhode Island (though this is a rather special case) and Pennsylvania.

This leaves us with, as I see it, 5 vulnerable Democrats in Arkansas, West Virginia and Louisiana v 4 (5) vulnerable Republicans in Maine, Ohio, New Hampshire and (Oregon).

Basically, the trend should pretty much cancel out. Secindly, there seems to have been a historical fact that the senate has tended to reflect the national trend more or less, which suggests that these kind of analyses lead nowhere... Wink
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giving birth to thunder
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« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2007, 03:55:26 pm »
« Edited: February 04, 2007, 03:59:34 pm by Jesus Wasn't Straightedge, But I Am »

So what does everyone think of this now?

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It's actually the suburban areas.

Not even those really. Much as I dislike them, most real suburban areas in Minnesota are only slightly GOP leaning at most. Those uber-GOP counties on the fringes of the metro are basically giant messes of subdivisions in the middle of wheat fields and farms. Area-wise (but not population-wise), they are still predominantely rural.

Interestingly, MN was one of the few states that last year's Presidential elections was fairly close to actual partisanship (which is why you had all those rural counties flipping to Kerry)

Somewhat true, but while Kerry improved among Gore in rural Minnesota, he still underperformed in historically DFL areas, he still lost Traverse county for instance and barely won Koochiching and Kittson. Even Hatch did better than Kerry in much of rural Minnesota, he even carried Marshall county (which voted over 57% for Bush)

That said though, the fact is, in a close race the Democrat's strength in rural Minnesota is not going to be the deciding factor:



That's a map of a Democratic victory.




Maps of Republican victories.
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« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2007, 04:51:37 pm »

2008 - Dems pick up seats b/c the GOP has more seats to defend.

Maybe the Senate is GOP in the long-term, but not for a while.
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Verily
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« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2007, 07:19:32 pm »
« Edited: February 05, 2007, 07:22:20 pm by Verily »


He's right only if we take Presidential results to be the be-all, end-all of partisanship, which I don't. Someone made the point earlier that Arkansas is fairly strongly Republican, but it's not. It has two Democratic Senators, (as of 2007) a Democratic governor, 3 of 4 Representatives are Democrats and the Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature and improved their standing in 2006.

Now, at the Presidential level Arkansas is at least weakly Republican. (I wouldn't go so far as to call it strongly Republican; more so than Colorado or Iowa, but not strongly.) However, one of the advantages the Democrats have had in recent years, and to some extent for a long time, is that the Democrats are much better at appealing to local populations than the Republicans.

Democrats run localized campaigns for House and for Senate and are willing to tailor their platforms and their candidates to districts and states, and then those Representatives and Senators are given more or less free reign by the establishment to be moderate or even somewhat conservative on all but a few issues. The same is not true for the Republicans; while the Republicans have kept some holdovers from their days of classical liberalism (Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee were good examples), for the most part Republicans run doggedly conservative candidates everywhere they can find them, even at their own expense (see AZ-08 in 2006). Now, this is not entirely or even mostly the party's fault since it is the Republican proletariat, not the Republican elite, that choose the candidates in primaries, but among Republicans the ultraconservatives are the most active members in party organizations everywhere, even in the Northeast where non-incumbent Republicans really can't win. Sometimes moderate Republicans stick around for a while, but they almost never go without primary challenges (Toomey in 2004, Laffey in 2006).

Now, I know a bunch of people are going to leap on me shouting "Lieberman, Lieberman", but let me explain my reasoning. For one, Lamont could have won, could have easily won, statewide in Connecticut. Toomey would have been hard-pressed in PA even in 2002 and Laffey doomed under any scenario.  A more fitting comparison would be if the Democrats ran Lamont against Ben Nelson in a primary, and I know you know how ludicrous that sounds. For another, Lamont-Lieberman was a single issue race that was not really about Lieberman being "too moderate" (whether he is or not is a topic for another thread), but about Democratic anger over Iraq. Neither Toomey nor Laffey was a single-issue candidate; both ran on a wide array of conservative positions and in opposition to almost all of Specter's and Chafee's positions rather than only some of them.

Now, if the Republicans manage to change that issue, manage to wrest control of their primaries from the ultraconservatives, primaries that routinely threaten to topple their moderates, they might come to dominate the Senate and politics at a state level. For now, though, the only reason Democrats don't win landslide Presidential victories is because the Democrats are, by the necessity of not being able to run local campaigns, as polarizing as Republicans in Presidential races.
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