Friday nightcap with Charlie Cook

Friday nightcap with Charlie Cook



Thought I’d ease into the weekend with with a nightcap while reviewing the Cook Political Report. Charlie issued an update yesterday with a special assessment for 2010:

“…the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Today, The Cook Political Report’s Congressional election model, based on individual races, is pointing toward a net Democratic loss of between six and 12 seats, but our sense, factoring in macro-political dynamics is that this is far too low.

Many veteran Congressional election watchers, including Democratic ones, report an eerie sense of déjà vu, with a consensus forming that the chances of Democratic losses going higher than 20 seats is just as good as the chances of Democratic losses going lower than 20 seats. A new Gallup poll that shows Congress’ job disapproval at 70 percent among independents should provide little solace to Democrats. In the same poll, Congressional approval among independents is at 22 percent, with 31 percent approving overall, and 62 percent disapproving.”

This is consistent with my expectations for 2010. There is no realistic likelihood of the GOP regaining a majority in either the House or Senate, but they are certain to cut into the Democratic majorities. This is also consistent with history, as the party out of power will usually pick up seats in the midterm election of a first term President (GWB being a notable exception).

If I was a betting man, I’d put the over/under at a net 12 seat gain for the GOP in the House of Representatives. Looks like Charlie Cook is setting the early line at 20 seats. This is surprising, as it is comparable to the Democratic Party gains in 2008 when they had everything going in their favor.

Charlie also notes that this sentiment in the electorate may effect our congresscritters behavior when they return from recess.

We’ll see how it develops… Cheers.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot michael reynolds

    Congressional races don’t have the lead time presidential races do. These races don’t start for almost another year. By then the economy will be coming back, the mood will be more positive, there will be the heady sense of a bullet dodged.

    All of which, as you know, will have only a marginal effect on races. Because national politics, like national polls, are only of secondary importance in House races.

    Of course that means that dire predictions made now on the basis of a perceived national mood, as well as rosy ones, are likely wrong. It will come down as it usually does to local issues, money, organization and motivation.

    I’ll stick with my prediction that Dems will shock and awe with a net pickup in Congress.

  • Nick Benjamin

    It’s especially stupid to assume that the current national mood will last after health reform has passed.

    Right now all kinds of BS about the various health plans is believed by a majority. After health reform passes, there’re months of exactly zero grandmas being unplugged because government death panels decided they weren’t worth it, 80-90% of Americans experience no change in their benefits, and the rest gain access to a health exchange with better options than they had before…

  • kranky kritter

    This sounds just like what it is, wild guesses located via anal extraction.

    Based on a wealth of past history, I do think it’s safe betting that we’ll see some decline in the democratic majority. The extent of that decline is known as well by the magic eight ball as any poll-taking chicken bone reader: “Future unclear, try again later.”

    I agree with Nick that if/after health reform passes and no first borns are devoured, we’ll see an Obama uptick. When it comes to the national mood, I’m more worried about where it will head if the christmas shopping season shows the kind of reluctant and careful spending that I fully expect. Suppose we’re sitting here in december or january, and

    •christmas spending has been dismal and retailers are bitching
    •year-end belt tightening is worse than usual
    •house sales go back in the crapper as the tax credit expires
    •car buyers disappear without gov’t subsidies
    • China and other asian investors in the credit market are making bigger and noisier threats regarding the financing of the next uber-bloated budget, which projects to be the 3rd straight in which the US pretends that is is somehow ok and sustainable to collect only 3 while spending 4 or 5.

    Prescient captcha? Busted simply.