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Wargaming November

Incumbents versus angry voters—who wins?

by
Stephen Green

Bio

August 21, 2014 - 12:09 am
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Arkansas was always going to be a tough place for the Democrats to hold their ground, as the state completes a decades-long redshift. Dem incumbent Mark Pryor is somewhat untested, having been first elected in 2002, but facing no GOP opposition in 2008. He’s a moderate on social issues, and was one of only two Democrats to vote against a 2007 Senate resolution to withdraw from Iraq — but Arkansas voters may choose challenger Tom Cotton as a way of expressing their bleak assessment of his vote in favor of ObamaCare. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent argued this week that ObamaCare isn’t the electoral drag it once was, but Cotton has been running hard against it — and is up by two to four points in most reputable polls. Or as Deb Fillman noted last week:

Take ObamaCare for example; there are no fewer than 13 Democratic candidates currently running full-tilt away from their votes to pass it. Candidates like Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Kay Hagan (D-NC), to name a few, are doing everything they possibly can to apply all three of the above tactics to distance themselves from the President’s “Lie of the Year,” a lie they all parroted dutifully, not just once, but multiple times.

I really don’t need to mention Montana, but I do really want to. Republican Steve Daines is hardly the most inspiring candidate, yet he’s up by an average of 14 points over sitting Democrat John Walsh — and that’s before Walsh dropped out of the race over plagiarism charges from a 2007 paper he wrote while attending the Army War College. Montana Democrats have since settled on state House member Amanda Curtis, who reminds me of a woman I dated for about three weeks in 1997, only more smug and less sane. This YouTube collection of her greatest video podcasting hits is priceless.

The folks at DailyKos, perhaps not exactly the keenest observers of Montana politics, think she’s a winner — which means she’ll be lucky to snare Walsh’s meager 38% on election day. Honestly, races like this one are why I love American politics and always will.

Keep your eye on Colorado and Oregon, too. You can smell the desperation of the Mark Udall campaign, even though only Quinnipiac shows GOP challenger Cory Gardner with even a modest lead. My friend (and numbers guy) Tom Dougherty will have new numbers crunched on Friday, but as of last month he still had Oregon in play for newcomer Monica Wehby.

With all this anti-incumbent fever, you might expect the GOP to lose a few seats on the House side of the Capitol Building. Only 17 races are considered truly competitive this year, and out of those a grand total of four are currently in GOP hands. All things being equal, the Republicans might actually net a half dozen seats. That’s remarkable for one reason: The Democrats have a natural floor of about 175 House seats — races they couldn’t lose if they nominated flesh-eating zombies. And the Republicans are near their natural ceiling of about 245 seats — races they couldn’t win if they nominated God, Himself. So if voters were looking to reject incumbents, the GOP would have by far the most to lose.

What we might be witnessing then isn’t the rejection of politics-as-usual, but the rejection of politics-by-Democrats.

Also read:

Naive Mitt Romney Still Doesn’t Get It: Obama Does Not Make Policy ‘Mistakes’

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Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.
Top Rated Comments   
We really need to repeal the 17th Amendment and return the election of Senators to their states' legislatures.

This glad-handing campaigning resulting from the 17th has inflicted Al Franken, Bernie Sanders and John Kerry upon the Republic.

And the decoupling of the Senate from the interests of their states has resulted in the diminution of state and local government, which is what actually influences and affects us most...as it should be.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been a registered Independent my entire life & have never voted in a primary (they're closed where I live). I've cast more 3rd party "protest votes" than for any nominated D or R candidates. Not this time - I'll vote all Republican. The past six years of lies, feckless leadership and divisiveness is enough & I blame Reid, Pelosi & Obama (along with those who march in lockstep, including the majority of the media). That's where my anger is directed.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, VP...but...a criminal enterprise masquerading as a political party, covered by a propagandist shill farm posing as a national media...is not a recipe for a fair fight predictable on rational reasoning alone.

You have to factor in the lie, cheat and fraud factors. None of which can be forecasted by anyone with a conscience. You simply can't think evil enough. Primordial slime factors never figure into our thinking and we are always shocked and dismayed at the depths of depravity that steals yet another "close call" election.

Hit pieces, smear jobs, slander, election fraud, "finding lost ballots", "losing military ballots", rigged debates where moderators "testify" for Democrats...the assault on "fair" elections is relentless and unburdened by morals or ethics.

Winning by four points means a Republican actually won by fifteen.

The corrupt undercurrent is an X factor that must be oozed into the equation.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
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"Flesh-eating zombie?" I thought Jim Moran retired.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is the asterisk by the Democrats for the 2 Independents in the Senate?

Angus King has already stated that he'd likely caucus with the GOP in order to matter in terms of Committee assignments. So, It's likely to flip to a minimum of 53-47.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a recovery?
I hadn't noticed. Things have seemed the same since 2008.
Except for higher taxes,double the gas prices, bigger grocery bill, triple the healthcare costs, and a few other things.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Republicans in Montana could run a flesh-eating zombie and still win the Senate there by 5 points.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last Friday, I live in Edmonton, Alberta, I saw a woman driver from Colorado. On the left side of the rear bumper was a sticker that proclaimed "Obama/Biden".

Something tells me she isn't the only one with that bumper sticker, that is north of the Canada/US border.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the choice is between evil (D), and stupid (R), no matter which side wins, the country loses.

But then we're getting the government we deserve. The character of a government will never be better than that of the people who elect it.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for wasting our time, Eeyore. Everyone in this room is stupider for having read it.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Im hoping for a 10 seat swing in the Senate, complete with a defeat of Mitch McConnell by Grimes.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Hoping" alone won't do it, honey.

Put on your big girl pants, get out there and earn the candidates you want.
In 2015 and 2016, rinse and repeat. Be warned, though, hon.
In the arena, you might break a nail.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
LOL! Ive was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool. The long war.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Politics of Democrats = Politics of Fascists
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is another factor that is not mentioned. Let us assume that a) there actually are something approximating honest elections in November [far from certain with either variable], and b) the Institutional Republicans manage to squeak through with a small majority [hopefully including neither McConnell nor Cochrane]. We know how this game works, because we have seen it before. One or more DIABLO's will suddenly [and profitably] discover that he has been in the wrong party all his life, and that he cannot bear even ineffectual resistance to the commands of Obama.

In fact, it might be a good time to start making book on who it is likely to be.

Subotai Bahadur
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which s why it is so important to remove RINOs in the primaries. Besides actually moving conservative agenda of slashing the Federal Leviathon to the bone, and resinstating Freedom of Assoication. Not to mention State representation in the Upper Chamber of Congress. etc ad naseum Instead of just being placeholders until the next Leftist Democrat government can move the Marxist agenda forward a few more yards.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget, twice the American people voted for Obama...just sayin.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
In both elections there were about 31% of registered voters who voted for obama. We would never have been stuck with him if people would simply make a choice.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nope. SCOAMF didn't break 50% in either election.

4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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