Monday, November 10, 2008

Hey Elephants: Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Marc Ambinder on why the 2010 midterms won't be like 1994, when Democrats - two years removed from Bill Clinton's capturing of the White House - were swept out of power in Congress by a huge Republican wave:
In 1994, the realignment of the Southern states, which had happened on the presidential level in 1980, finally broke through on the Congressional level. The trends now are moving the other direction, with moderate Republicans in blue states being replaced by Democrats. (See: Shays, Christopher).
Come January, when Shays leaves Congress, there will be no Republicans from New England in the House of Representatives. None. This year, the Republicans increased their vote share relative to 2004 in only 22% of the nation's counties. Also, as Ambinder points out, Obama got a clear majority of the popular vote, while Clinton netted 43% in a three-way race.

So Barry's got a mandate. Theoretically, he has more of a case for overreaching than Clinton did in '93-'94. But I doubt he's going to do that. Everything we have learned about Obama suggests that he is going to be a politically pragmatic, centrist leader. Oh, he's a liberal, for sure. But I doubt we're going to see some crazy tilt to the left that some Republicans are secretly hoping for.

Don't be on it, Limbaugh.

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