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Posted: 9/12/2010 7:04:38 AM EDT
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-11/obama-visits-could-help-dems-hold-the-house-scholar-says/

The Democrats Can Win the House

Deep in red state country, the last Democratic optimist has a model that shows Democrats keeping a slim majority. Ben Crair on how to pull it off.

Two months after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs let slip that Republicans could take over the House of Representatives in November, the Democrats’ prospects have only grown bleaker: No one seems to think that they have a prayer. Nate Silver announced Friday that Republicans have a two-thirds chance of gaining control of the House. Charlie Cook says the Republicans will win "well north of the 39 seats needed for the House to flip,” while, at a recent gathering of the American Political Science Association, several academics predicted Republican gains of 50 seats.

But not everyone has written off the Democrats just yet. Deep in the heart of red country, Rob Mellen, an assistant professor of political science and public administration at Mississippi State University, has something that offers liberals a flicker of hope: a model that shows Democrats keeping a slim majority of the House of Representatives—between 224 and 226 of the House’s 435 seats.

Mellen’s isn’t the only model that shows the Democrats holding on to the House. But unlike the others in this category, which look mostly at slow-changing economic fundamentals, Mellen’s model shows that President Obama himself can make a difference between now and Election Day. Mellen looks at the impact of presidential campaign appearances on behalf of House candidates in midterm elections. With just two exceptions—George W. Bush in 2002 and Bill Clinton in 1998—the party of the sitting president has lost House seats in every midterm election since FDR’s Democrats picked up seats in 1934. "I’m looking to see if making these campaign appearances can actually help to mitigate these losses,” Mellen says.

Conventional wisdom holds that they do not. "To help Democrats in the fall, Obama may stay away,” was the headline of a New York Times article in July. And yet Mellen’s model shows otherwise. When the president visits a toss-up race in a congressional district, his candidate goes on to win the election about 50 percent of the time; when the president sits out a toss-up race, his party’s candidate wins just 35 percent of the time.

The improvement has to do with the so-called enthusiasm gap. The dire predictions for the Democrats in November don’t necessarily assume a defection of voters from the Democratic Party to the GOP. Rather, Republican voters, riled up by being out of power, are more likely to turn out in the midterms; Democrats, resting on their laurels after the 2008 landslide, are much more likely to sit this one out.

A presidential visit to a toss-up race, according to Mellen, inspires some Democrats who would otherwise skip the polls to actually vote. Voter turnout always declines from presidential-year to midterm elections, but midterm toss-up races visited by the president see a lower decline in turnout than expected. Essentially, a visit from the president helps his party to narrow the enthusiasm gap that traditionally favors his opponents.

Not everyone is on board with Mellen’s findings. "It’s a stretch to say this factor is enough to keep the House Democratic,” says Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "Most models are suggesting a strong GOP victory.” Michael Lewis-Beck of the University of Iowa says "Visits seem to help little, if at all.” And Mellen will be the first to admit that his model isn’t rosy for Democrats: It still predicts they will drop 30-something seats.

"If Obama’s success rate is roughly the same as his predecessors… the Democrats would hold the House,” Mellen says.

What Mellen’s model does do is offer the groundwork for a plan for President Obama and the Democrats to minimize their losses. With the House likely to be split somewhere near 50-50 between the parties, a concerted campaign effort by President Obama could save for the Democrats the handful of seats needed to retain a bare majority. A huge number of races this year are counted as statistical toss-ups—45, according to The Cook Political Report. If Obama visits half of those, he’ll steal the title of most active campaigner from George W. Bush, who hit up 22 districts in 2002. He’s unlikely to be as successful as Bush, who won 19 of those races, but the recent proliferation of polling data should help his cause. For one thing, it’s already kept the Democrats from being caught off-guard like they were by the Republican Revolution in 1994. And it at least makes it easier for the Obama team to choose the districts he’s most likely to save. "If his campaign team and strategists work things properly, they’ll be able to put the president where he matters most,” Mellen says. "If Obama’s success rate is roughly the same as his predecessors… the Democrats would hold the House.”

Whether Obama and his team effectively use polling data to intervene in toss-up districts remains to be seen; The New York Times article from July seemed to suggest they wouldn’t. "I think much of the House is in a wait-and-see mode to see how helpful the president will be,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, (D-MD) told the Times. "He has to come into these districts with the same gusto and the same sense of hope that he came into the election with.”
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:14:03 AM EDT
1) Focus on the close races, ignore the rest
2) Dirty tricks
3) October Surprise
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:21:39 AM EDT
Win the House? They already have it. Don't they mean hold the House? And I doubt they will.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:26:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By XJ:
1) Focus on the close races, ignore the rest
2) Dirty tricks
3) October Surprise


How many are close?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:30:46 AM EDT
The Republican Party is still being run by people who think that George W. Bush was a social and fiscal conservative. These are the same people who were positive that what American needed in 1976 was more Gerald Ford (instead of that crackpot Ronald Reagan). Don't underestimate the ability of liberal country club Republicans to screw up.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:33:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By XJ:
1) Focus on the close races, ignore the rest
2) Dirty tricks
3) October Surprise


And interesting idea that has been floated for about nine months now has been the option of "forgiving" the underwater part of any loan held by Fannie and Freddy. That will cause all sorts of problems, in most case the minute the paperwork is signed when everyone who could not sell because their home was underwater is now suddenly able to sell, but it may happen. And that could get a lot of people to the polls to vote for Obama. Afterward, it would be a goat rodeo of epic proportions, but I am kind of OK with that.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:42:24 AM EDT
Getting the libs out of office is surely not guaranteed. It's going to take work to root them out. What's worse is some of the R options they have to be replaced with are hardcore rhinos. Boner as speaker isn't going to be particularly good either as he's a big contributor to the problems were in right now.

Even if the republicrats win were still screwed.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:48:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SpankD:
Getting the libs out of office is surely not guaranteed. It's going to take work to root them out. What's worse is some of the R options they have to be replaced with are hardcore rhinos. Boner as speaker isn't going to be particularly good either as he's a big contributor to the problems were in right now.

Even if the republicrats win were still screwed.


screwed I can handle
its anally raped witha chain saw the past 2 years that is getting annoying.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:49:49 AM EDT
Is Acorn still in play?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:51:22 AM EDT
Left leaning & middle left (On social issues ) posters here have to get over Bush and hold their nose & vote GOP because to do otherwise in this Midterm election only empowers Socialist leaning Far Left & Democrats who have empowered them .
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:51:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dragracer:
Is Acorn still in play?


Something similar –– see my Fannie and Freddy post above. The idea would be to distract and defuse the conservatives and to energize the liberals just enough to keep the balance of power from shifting.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:55:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Calgunner:
Left leaning & middle left (On social issues ) posters here have to get over Bush and hold their nose & vote GOP because to do otherwise in this Midterm election only empowers Socialist leaning Far Left & Democrats who have empowered them .


I don't think that it's the libertarians and anti-Christianity people who won't turn out to vote that's the issue. The conservatives that Bush did everything possible to discourage have to turn out, and Obama is making that happen pretty well. The question is whether he can both increase the Democratic turnout and discourage the conservative turnout.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:57:09 AM EDT
This is starting to remind me of the McCain-Palin Landslide articles that were popping up in 2008.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:01:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By trwoprod:
Originally Posted By Calgunner:
Left leaning & middle left (On social issues ) posters here have to get over Bush and hold their nose & vote GOP because to do otherwise in this Midterm election only empowers Socialist leaning Far Left & Democrats who have empowered them .


I don't think that it's the libertarians and anti-Christianity people who won't turn out to vote that's the issue. The conservatives that Bush did everything possible to discourage have to turn out, and Obama is making that happen pretty well. The question is whether he can both increase the Democratic turnout and discourage the conservative turnout.


The only Discouragement on the Right is with the Lack of courage with some middle of the road Republicans to stand against Far Left ideals of Recent era Democrats in DC , The Middle Left & Independant leaning voters with issues including GOP union with conservative & religeous moral majority will always be stand offish with GOP .
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:25:43 AM EDT
Not only do I think that the Republicans virtually have a lock on taking back the House, and with a respectable margin, I also think
that nobody should count out the possibility that the Republicans could take the Senate, too.


This is the Class III Senate race. 37 seats are up for election. Of them, 20 seats are held by Democrats, but only four of those seats
are considered to be "safe" from takeover by a Republican. So it's not impossible that up to 16 seats could change parties.

I think that no matter what happens, at the very worst, the Democrat lead in the Senate will be cut by no less than four seats.

It will totally end any chance of anything getting railroaded through Congress without Republican cooperation. (Thus, true bipartisanship.)


CJ


Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:27:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 8:27:52 AM EDT by trwoprod]
Originally Posted By Calgunner:
Originally Posted By trwoprod:
Originally Posted By Calgunner:
Left leaning & middle left (On social issues ) posters here have to get over Bush and hold their nose & vote GOP because to do otherwise in this Midterm election only empowers Socialist leaning Far Left & Democrats who have empowered them .


I don't think that it's the libertarians and anti-Christianity people who won't turn out to vote that's the issue. The conservatives that Bush did everything possible to discourage have to turn out, and Obama is making that happen pretty well. The question is whether he can both increase the Democratic turnout and discourage the conservative turnout.


The only Discouragement on the Right is with the Lack of courage with some middle of the road Republicans to stand against Far Left ideals of Recent era Democrats in DC , The Middle Left & Independant leaning voters with issues including GOP union with conservative & religeous moral majority will always be stand offish with GOP .


I think that we are talking about different things.

In any event, the GOP's lackluster support of the angry right this year has not hugely blunted the impact of Obama's amazing cascade of bad decisions in energizing the conservatives, and I think that even if the victory isn't as lopsided as I would hope, the impact of Obama's socialized medicine on the economy and the related tax regs on basically everyone (I just watched a nice fellow who works for a church-based non-profit spend eight hours with a CPA and tax adviser trying to figure out how to stay compliant with next year's regs) will lead to a much larger victory in the future. These decisions have long tails. The impact of making corporations shift their health care burden onto the state (with radically lower benefits and similar if not increased costs) will be seen by even stupid people as the direct result of Obama's health program.

This isn't like when Clinton was in office and it was easy to cover up things unless you were reading the American Spectator or National Review. When Obama does wrong, it's in the Wall Street Journal the next day. That may not help conservatives that much yet, but the impacts of Obama's legislation over the next few years will absolutely be laid at his feet.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:41:52 AM EDT
THE fatal flaw of Saul Alinski's "Rules for Radicals"...the left-wing will ALWAYS tell you what they fear most...then you act on those fears. This is why "Rules for Radicals" only works until your enemy figures out your playbook, then you're toast.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:44:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dragracer:
Is Acorn still in play?


Expect even more of the same voter registration fraud that occurred in '08. Now that the Panthers and SEIU have de facto immunity from any voter intimidation charges you can expect more strong-arm tactics from them. But since this election will have a much lower minority turn out, 2010 is only a dress rehearsal for the Big Show in 2012.

2012 will have the most potential for extreme registration fraud, voter intimidation and possible violence.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 9:02:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 9:03:52 AM EDT by pdg45acp]
I believe that Republicans "may" win the House but we are the ones being delusional if we think that people with common sense make up a large majority of voters.

This country is full of stupid people and crazy shits who all vote Democrat or do what thay have to do to let the Democrats in (ACORN and Lezbetarians).

It will be a rare Congressional district where the Republican candidate wins by more that 10%.



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