commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Can Democrats win in November…or…. what can can they afford to lose?

Nate Silver over @ FiveThirthyEight…gets into it about what he thinks is going to happen….

……sorta agreeing with the Dog that Democrats will have loses….

…….but not of the magnitude that some people are talking about right before the Healthcare Bill vote….

and not enough (he gives the threshold  numbers in the Senate and House) to leave the dem’s out on the cold…..

But since so much attention has been focused on the potentially catastrophic losses for the Democrats, let’s pause for a moment to consider their upside case. How many seats could they lose while still having the midterms be a “win” for them?

Obviously, there are some overly literal ways to interpret this question. One could say that so long as the Democrats lost any seats at all, it would still be a “loss”. Or, one could say that so long as they preserve their majorities by one seat, it would still be a “win”.

A better way to interpret this question might be: how many seats can the Democrats lose while still having the chance to advance the key components of their agenda? In the Senate, I have argued, the number is probably about 3, as a 56-seat Democratic majority would allow them to formulate a 60-seat Democratic + RINO coalition with Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Delaware’s Mike Castle. (If the Democrats become more willing to use the reconciliation procedure after their victory on health care, of course, the math become somewhat fuzzier.) But what about in the House?

I took each Democrat-held House seat and assigned it points based on the race ratings from the four major forecasters: Cook, CQ, Rothenberg and Sabato. One point was awarded for a characterization of likely Democratic, 2 for lean Democratic, 3 for toss-up, 4 for lean Republican, and so forth. I then summed the ratings between the four forecasters and sorted the races from most to least vulnerable, randomly ordering the Democrats in the case of ties.

The idea is to assess how the ideological position of the median member of the House changes with an increasing loss of seats. Assuming that there were no changes in the composition of the Congress, for instance — no loss of seats, including in upcoming special elections, and that any retiring members were replaced by ideologically-identical cousins from the same party — the median DW-Nominate score of the House would be -.186 on a scale that runs from -1 (very liberal) to +1 (very conservative). This represents, in essence, the status quo.


Okay…read the whole thing…..

March 29, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, Updates | , , ,


  1. Morning Folks.

    “The Dog” says the Health Care Bill will be a distant history by November if you scroll down a few Posts. I STRONGLY DISAGREE.

    Here is why:

    1. Republicans WILL BE RUNNING on Health Care and KEEP remainding the AMERICAN People for the next 8 MONTHS how bad this Bill really is.

    If Dems like “The Dog” thinking they can escape this they’re FOOLISH.

    WE REPUBLICANS, will hammer home our MESSAGE. Let’s stand together and defeat the Democrats fair & square come November.

    Comment by Daniel G. | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. HELL NO, the House is gone, but the Senate stays Democratic.

    Comment by Conservative Democrat | March 29, 2010 | Reply

    • CD,

      We’ll see about the Senate, we’ll see my friend. Look at those Health Care Numbers from Florida then you know Dems are in REAL BIG Trouble.

      Comment by Daniel G. | March 29, 2010 | Reply

      • Look we don’t know how Florida is gonna turn out…..some polls have Crist out of this by a mile…One poll has him only ten points behind…he had a descent debate……Rubio has money problems to explain (which should have nothing to do with race, but it does)…..Meek is out of it right?….but he runs better against Rubio……

        This race is gonna have quite a few more twists and turns….

        Comment by jamesb101 | March 29, 2010

  3. I agree with Silver……

    May I remind you that we are 7 months out from the election……..

    Comment by jamesb101 | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. James B, Florida has a CLOSED primary system down there, so Crist needs voters to realize Rubio is a mistake.

    Arizona also eliminated the open primary system up there, which will make his primary battle with Hayworth difficult in a CLOSED GOP primary.

    My homestate of Texas has an open primary system, but it didn’t matter.

    Comment by Conservative Democrat | March 29, 2010 | Reply

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