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Bryan Preston

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March 19, 2013 - 7:37 am

Shorter Stu Rothenberg: Not really. Not if you go by the 2012 totals plus drill down to individual districts that Democrats have targeted as opportunities for them.

Democratic operatives identify 30 House Republicans who won by less than 10 points last year and assert that the margin makes them vulnerable in 2014. But the GOP incumbents who won by less than 10 points didn’t start, or end, at the same place last cycle.

For example, Republican Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa defeated another incumbent, Democrat Leonard L. Boswell, running in territory very different from the Republican’s district last decade. Because of that, Latham’s 8-point victory — in a district that President Barack Obama won by more than 4 points — is a sign of strength, not vulnerability.

Similarly, Republican Rep. Steve King’s 8-point victory in another Iowa district over a highly touted Democrat isn’t a sign of vulnerability. King beat Christie Vilsack, wife of the former governor and current secretary of Agriculture, by almost the identical margin that Mitt Romney beat Obama in the district, suggesting a polarized electorate with a clear Republican bent.

And so forth.

In addition, Rothenberg writes that several current Democrat seats are vulnerable. So when the dust clears, Republicans are likely to hold the House and have a decent shot at re-taking the Senate — if they don’t do anything stupid between now and then.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of Republicans doing something stupid between now and then increases by the minute.

The clearest chance to do something stupid is “comprehensive” immigration reform. Democrats have been smart in one respect over the past couple of years. After they suffered a beating in 2010, they had a choice: Stay on the left or move to the middle to go after independent voters. They decided to build out from their base and bring out new leftwing voters rather than risk losing any of their base by moving to the center. Granted, with Obama at the helm there was never a realistic chance of them moving right. It’s not in his DNA. He has stayed over on the left on policy while feigning centrism in soft pop culture settings, which had the effect of energizing his base and motivating them while presenting the hard left’s smiley face to low-info voters. A confident base can do wonders for a political party; a dispirited base can kill one off. The GOP had a confident base in 2010. It was less confident in 2012. With Democrat success stories like Detroit and California available, the GOP is donning sackcloth and ash. Where is this party’s offense?

The GOP looks like it’s going the route of surrender to the left on immigration. Sen. Rand Paul will say today that he will demand security first before any legal status or pathway to citizenship will be available to those who broke and continue to break the law. Security-minded Republicans and independents could be persuaded to support that if it had any chance of passage, but we’ve seen this movie before. He won’t get security first, or at all. Even his filibuster ended with Brennan getting confirmed to head the CIA. The porous, dangerous border is just too useful to too many people for it to be secured in any permanent way. It’s an evergreen, like the minimum wage. Democrats will want it as an issue again in another couple of decades.

Some in the GOP are also looking to make deals on gun control. It’s hard to think of better ways to destroy the party ahead of a solid opportunity to recapture Congress and render President Obama irrelevant for his last two years in office. Maybe they’ll add some tax hikes too, just for grins, and clear the field for Chris Christie ahead of 2016.

 

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (10)
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Also I'll block anybody on twitter for any sign of pessimism. I'M SERIOUS.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's something making it impossible for Dems in 2014. Every 2nd midterm (almost actually) has been political disaster for the incumbent president. Going as far back to Woodrow Wilson, '98 was only exception when Dems capitalized on Republicans going after Clinton for the obvious while there was an economic boom. Even then the incumbent party didn't win the House. Now things can change after 2020, but for now Dems are unlikely to meet the goal of 17 seats. Also, HAVE SEEN BIG O'S DROP IN JOB APPROVAL!!?? Events will bring GOP back.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a another factor that will make it nearly impossible for the Democrats to take the House. The political demographics work against this. The Democrats win state office and electoral votes by piling up huge margins in a small number of districts. It is enough to give them the state but not evenly distributed enought to win a majority of congressional districts. Unless this district was a a dead heat in 2012 there is no chance to flip the seat. a 5% margin for the Republicans make the race never even close.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nice dream but not a chance....after the Dream Act and subsequent redistricting(then it will be anything goes) it's over, especially with the overwhelming support of "the ministry of truth". I hope you're armed .....the ride's about to get rough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Considering the way Democrats have wrecked the economy, there might not be much of a rush to cross the border heading north. Even a failed narco-terrorist state like Mexico might start to look pretty good to Central Americans after a few more years of the Obamanation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Redistricting doesn't happen until 2021 so you may be right but it will have no effect in 2014, 16, 18 or 20. Another student who slept through high school civics.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When it gets to that point it'll already be over......the current gerrymander is the only reason we have the house now. The influx alone of soon to be legal voters will change things in 2014. Texas will be blue by '16
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Today's gerrymander is a cooperative effort and the Democrats are trapped in it. The Republicans wisely agreed to let the Democrats concentrate the black, and now Hispanic vote into minority majority districts. The will never spread out the minority vote because it would gut the Black and Hispanic caucuses. Live by racism, die by racism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Um... No. Here's why: No. 1) Hispanics won't exceed whites in Texas till I forget when but in won't be in 2016. No. 2) Texas Hispanics are more conservative than California Hispanics. For one thing in 2010 Rick Perry won a good 40% and George W. Bush won 49% in 2004 which attributes how he won an overall vote of 61%. No. 3) The Texas Republican Party has itself better position with Latinos then the CA or AZ Republican parties. Bottom line, Democrats are unlikely to win TX in 2016.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Barry got 42% in Texas , the border is still open and they will soon vote ......think about it
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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