Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Bad For the Democrats in 2010?

Having little knowledge of how congressional elections work, JBW thought he'd attempt to puff out his concave chest a bit, slapping down some nonsensical wager to mask his intellectual impotence and moral depravity:
If ... Don is so certain about Obama's dismal approval ratings translating into epic failure then I'll offer him this meager yet serious wager: $100 says that the Republicans fail to gain a majority in either house of congress this November. I'm making the offer publicly so that every one reading this will be privy to it. I think Obama's a chess master of the highest caliber Don, and he's moved his pieces into position to retain his party's majorities through the remainder of his first term. Care to put your money where your mouth is, Fat Boy Slim?
Just ignore JBW's weightist slur there at the end (the dude's shootin' blanks, so no surprise with the bigotry).

I'll add though, it's guaranteed that "Obama's dismal approval ratings" -- combined with economic anxiety and anti-incumbency outrage -- will translate into Democratic losses this fall. The questions is how large will they be?

Sean Trende has thoughts on this today. See, "
How Bad Could 2010 Really Get For Democrats?":
I think those who suggest that the House is barely in play, or that we are a long way from a 1994-style scenario are missing the mark. A 1994-style scenario is probably the most likely outcome at this point. Moreover, it is well within the realm of possibility - not merely a far-fetched scenario - that Democratic losses could climb into the 80 or 90-seat range. The Democrats are sailing into a perfect storm of factors influencing a midterm election, and if the situation declines for them in the ensuing months, I wouldn't be shocked to see Democratic losses eclipse 100 seats.
You'll want to check the whole thing. Trende's mostly analyzing macro-trends, which lack specificity and suffer from extreme volatility. His presentation of data is pretty convincing, in any case, in the probabilistic sense: There's an extremely intuitive case to be made for a massive blowout this fall, with voters repudiating the Democrats up and down the ballot across the country. I think it's going to happen, but I wouldn't bet on it until I see more data. Specifically, for Congress, we'd need to have some hard polling results at the district level (ideally in all 435 constituencies), along with the incumbent's margin of victory in 2008, as well as the party results for the presidential race. Trende does offer something along those lines, with this map, which shows "a rough average of the President's approval in recent state polls":


As you can see, a number of Obama states in 2008 are now "red states" at the map: Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia; plus, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- all Obama states in 2008 -- are trending GOP in the polls. And thus, contra JBW, Mr. "Chess Master" Obambi's heading into epic fail territory as per state-level aggregate data. And Trende notes that "The One" is in fact killing his party:
President Obama's policy choices to date are wreaking havoc on the brand that Democrats cultivated carefully over the past twenty years. Bill Clinton worked long and hard to make it so that voters could say "fiscal conservative" and "Democrat" in the same sentence, but voters are finding it difficult to say that again.
I think Trende's analysis is probably the best you'll see until we have some full-on political science analysis of prospects around the country. Folks can go to Congressional Quarterly to see their "Race Rating Maps for 2010 Elections."

And with that, if JBW's so confident that "
Obama's a chess master of the highest caliber," then the Dems shouldn't lose any seats at all. I mean, seriously, President George W. Bush actually gained seats in his first midterm elections in 2002 -- 6 in the House and 2 in the Senate. Since Obambi's so much greater than GWB (well, not, actually, not that lefties care), no doubt JBW will gladly put his money where is weightist-wanker mouth is. $100 says Dems lose seats in 2010. If on the other hand, Obama, like Bush in 2002, gains Democratic seats in Congress this year, I'll cut Brain Rage poser-boy a check for $100 fat ones. "Care to put your money where your mouth is," sexist weightmaster prick?

RELATED: Michael Barone, "
What 1946 Can Tell Us About 2010."