some tea leaves
Let's preface this post by stating the obvious that's it's way to early to make any firm predictions. A month, much less 14, can be an eternity in politics.
That said, Michael Barone over at the Washington Examiner has some interesting numbers and historical facts to take a look at:
Currently Real Clear Politics reports that Democrats lead Republicans by only 41%-39% in the generic ballot. But there’s a clear difference between the results shown by pollster Scott Rasmussen, who limits his surveys to those he determines to be likely voters, and other pollsters. Rasmussen currently shows Republicans leading 42%-38%...Now comes political scientist Andrew Gelman, on the 538.com blog run by the Obama enthusiast and gifted numbers cruncher Nate Silver, saying that the generic polls suggest that Republicans could recapture a House majority in 2010. I have noticed that over the years generic vote questions have tended to understate the ultimate Republican percentage of the popular vote for the House; Gelman says his research indicates “the out-party consistently outperforms the generic polls.” Gelman says that in current generic polls Democrats get 52% of the two-party vote, comparable to what they got in 1946, 1994 and 1998—all years in which Republicans got more popular votes and won more House seats than Democrats.......Ronald Reagan’s Republicans and Bill Clinton’s Democrats lost more seats in year 2 than in year 6; only George W. Bush of the presidents of the last 30 years saw his party do worse in year 6 than year 2. Reagan’s Republicans suffered from recession and high unemployment; Clinton’s Democrats suffered from liberal overreach. Both factors could—not necessarily will, but could—work against Barack Obama’s Democrats next year.
Again, it's early, but those are facts. And they show that the GOP is likely to have a tremendous opportunity next year. The trick is not to blow the opportunity. Use it to paint a clear contrast between yourself and what the public is rebelling against. read more »
In the event that the imminent failure of Democrats’ socialized medicine bill leads them to some soul-searching—perhaps listening to what their constituents have been telling them all summer or taking GOP advice to start from scratch—it’s worth noting that Republicans in the House have introduced 32 health care reform bills since the spring, all stuck at the referral stage.
Many of these lonely bills deal with just one or several aspects of health care reform, rather than presenting grand, sweeping Ten-Year Plans that will change Health Care as we know it. Not all the bills are knockouts; a couple are downright stinkers. But virtually all contain some good ideas, and some of them contain nothing but good ideas—which means that no Democrat will ever for a moment consider any of them.
For those desiring ammunition to counterattack the liberal charge that conservatives criticize everything they hear from Democrats but have no ideas of their own, here’s a primer on the legislation prepared by our devoted GOP servants in the House:
• Several bills are flat-out winners: Clifford Stearns’ Health Care Tax Deduction Act, Michele Bachmann’s Health Care Freedom of Choice Act, and Rodney Alexander’s Sunset of Life Protection Act. These laws provide for income tax deductions of health insurance premiums and prescription drugs; medical expenses; and long-term care premiums, respectively. All three bills are so short they could fit onto a cocktail napkin together and still have room for a list of Obama’s failed Cabinet nominations. This is not surprising: bills covering what individuals are allowed to do require less verbiage than bills mandating what individuals are required to do for the government. read more »