FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
A Possible 52 Senate Seats for Republicans in 2010?
As this piece by the American Thinker points out, it’s entirely possible that the Republicans could have 52 votes in the Senate come 2010. That’s a gain of 11 seats, added on to the 41 we now have since Brown won.
Moreover, [Dan] Coats’s decision to run this year [for Evan Bayh's seat] is an example of the great vulnerability that Democrats face if 2010 continues to look like a strong Republican year. A few months ago, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas were both considered pretty safe placeholders for Democrats in the midterm election. The number of possible gains by Republicans was very small. In fact, after November 2008, net gains by Democrats in the Senate in 2010 were considered possible. Today, it is a sure bet that North Dakota Governor John Hoeven will become a conservative Republican senator, replacing the liberal Democrat Dorgan. It is just about as sure that Senator Lincoln in Arkansas, who won reelection easily six years ago, will lose to a conservative Republican.
Republican candidates are running ahead of the Democrats in Colorado, Nevada, Delaware, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. If those poll numbers hold up, a Coats victory over Bayh would give Republicans 49 seats in the Senate. Coats, like Hoeven in North Dakota, represents a very strong candidate against a leftist Democrat in a blue state. Congressman Michael Castle in Delaware is a RINO, but not a leftist. He also represents the best Republican candidate in Delaware, and polls which had shown Castle beating Biden’s son will almost certainly show Castle well ahead in the wake of Biden’s decision not to seek his father’s old Senate seat.
If Republicans can persuade the most electable candidates to run in other states, the problems for Democrats could quickly mushroom into an enormous political headache. Polls show former Governor George Pataki running ahead of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, where the Democratic Party is increasingly dysfunctional. Pundits see former Governor Tommy Thompson as a very strong challenger to Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. Patty Murray in Washington seems safe, according to Rasmussen, but if the former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi runs against her, he beats Murray by two points. That is a recurring theme in the 2010 Senate election cycle: Republicans are very competitive if the top tier of candidates can be recruited. Those three candidates could give Republicans 52 Senate seats.
Very obviously, this is an optimistic assessment, but it isn’t an unreasonable one. It is very much within the realm of possibility. And, the fact that such an assessment can be made reasonably ought to prove just how bad things have gotten for the Democrats after their banner year in 2008. It hasn’t even taken two years for the Democrats to waste the goodwill and political capital given to them by the American people.
Now, I don’t believe at this moment that we’ll gain 11 seats–Perhaps I’m a little too cautious in my predictions. I believe we could see Republicans pick up 6 maybe 7 seats at this point, but as I’ve already said, it really says something about how fast the public’s opinion has soured on Democrats. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are too busy trying to cater to the far Left while not appearing to be so to do anything effectively centrist like they prefer to advertise themselves as. The public has seen this abandonment of centrism or at least the appearance of such and reacted accordingly. Furthermore, those who favor incremental change are shocked at how fast Obama’s agenda is being pushed through, and those who favor radical change are dissatisfied with how slowly he is trying to change things and how little progress his initiatives have had.
Put it to you this way: it took George W. Bush, “the Chimp”, six years to face losses in either house of Congress. It has The way things are going, it will have taken Barack Obama, “The One”, two. I realize this is common for Presidents in their first midterm, but if we are to believe the hype, Obama is anything but “common”.
As the article also notes, these successes could carry over into the House and into state governments:
What about the House of Representatives? Republicans will gain a lot of seats, very probably enough to gain a majority. Even if Republican gains fall short, though, Nancy Pelosi will be playing with a very weak hand. More importantly, if 2010 is a good year for Republicans generally, then the GOP ought to make major gains in governorships (all polls show that now) and Republicans, who held up very well in 2008 in state legislative elections, will probably come out of the 2010 elections with a majority of state legislative chambers and seats. Special legislative elections are strongly indicating that already, as I noted last October, often by stunning margins of victory.
What would it mean if Republicans have a majority of power in state governments? It would mean that the redistricting process following reapportionment would help elect more Republicans to the House. Reapportionment is already going to move House seats from red states to blue states. Add a redistricting process mainly controlled by Republicans, and an automatic increase of a dozen or so House seats to Republicans is easily conceivable. House Democrats in 2012, faced with new districts and probable minority status for several election cycles, might leave Congress in droves.
I cannot imagine that the Senate would gain seats and the House would not. The Senate, in fact, almost always, if not all the time, follows the direction the House goes, so if we gain seats in the Senate, it should be a foregone conclusion that we gain some in the House as well. And, while I am not sure how this usually translates into state level elections, I should think the successes of McDonnell in Virginia, Christie in New Jersey, and even Brown in Massachusetts would indicate that gains will also be made in these elections as well.
To put it simply, things are looking good for Republicans, and I couldn’t be happier. We may not necessarily be looking at another 1994, but things are certainly setting themselves up that way.