Monday, November 1, 2010

Revival of Volatility Signals Historic Era in U.S. Politics


Grim Democrats

KOKOMO, Ind. — Voters this week look set to do something not seen since the early 1950s: Oust a substantial number of sitting House lawmakers for the third election in a row.

The apparent Republican resurgence suggests the country is caught in a cycle of political volatility witnessed only four times in the past century, almost all during war or economic unease.

This fall's election has generated dozens of House races, from the suburbs of Denver and Chicago, across the South, and up the Ohio River Valley into New England, where voters who rejected Republicans in the past two elections are threatening to throw their support back to the GOP. In many cases, they're returning to the same candidates they rejected earlier.

The phenomenon is on full view in Indiana, where Democrats are fighting to keep three House seats they won in 2006. Voters in all three districts have a history, going back more than a century in some cases, of rejecting incumbents in moments of strain.

"We know what we don't want better than we know what we want," said Steve Ellison, a commercial real-estate broker who hosted a campaign event in his Mishawaka home for Republican challenger Jackie Walorski, who is trying to unseat two-term Democrat Joe Donnelly in the state's Second District. "I suppose that helps explain the schizophrenia."

If Republicans win big on Tuesday, as polls suggest, it is far from clear how firm a foothold they will have. Voters hold unfavorable views of both parties. Republican leaders acknowledge they could easily be tossed in 2012, just as they were in 2006.

The country has seen similar gyrations before ...
More at the link.

I'll have more on this later, but there's been lots of polling data indicating voter preferences for smaller government --- and depending how robust are those findings, tomorrow's election results might herald a tendency toward limiting the growth of government, if not demands for smaller government per se. Democrats will resist that meme, since they're out to expand the state and monopolize power over the individual. Yet, while electoral volatility has long been a key aspect of the post-1960s dealignment era, the tea parties have revealed some of the deeper wellpsrings of limited government in American politics.

In any case, check the related thoughts at Q & O, "
Win isn’t GOP mandate, just another chance."

Cartoon via
Theo Spark.


Opus #6 said...

Well put, Donald.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

The GOP is on a VERY short leash. I hope the last two elections taught them that. Otherwise there will be a bloodbath in the primaries come 2012.

Rusty Walker said...

I understand the shift of states against the Democrats spending. The confusion for me is California, which was spent into submission by Left wing political strongarming, polls indicate more voting Democrat. Can't we learn?