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Matt Vespa


July 15, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Former Daily Beast writer Megan McArdle has thrown some cold water on Democratic hopes for 2016 – and given conservatives a possible boost in confidence.  In fact, she says that there’s a 70% probability that by 2017 Republicans could control the House, Senate, and the White House.  Yeah, it’s seems far-fetched.  We haven’t even entered the trenches for 2014, and we’re talking about 2016.  Nevertheless, her blog entry on July 12 explained her reasoning.

Since World War II, only four presidents have been succeeded by a member of their party.  As I mentioned above, two of them accomplished this by dying in office.  One of them accomplished this by resigning in disgrace ahead of his own impeachment.  Only one of them, Ronald Reagan, left office at the end of his appointed term and was succeeded by a duly elected member of his own party.  Mostly, the White House flips back and forth like a metronome.

At the beginning of Obama’s term, people were talking about the kind of Democratic dominance that FDR enjoyed.  Didn’t happen.  Isn’t going to.  So I think the GOP goes into the race with a big edge on the White House.  Voters just get tired after eight years.

For example, when I pointed out how few presidents have been succeeded by members of their own party, you may have been tempted to argue that Al Gore “really” won.  I’m not going to have that argument right now, but even assuming you’re correct, what does that tell you?  That after the greatest economic boom in decades, the Democratic vice president fought hard to a statistical tie with the Republican governor of Texas.  Sure, he wasn’t the most charismatic candidate either, but neither was George Bush.  Getting a third term in the White House just seems to be really difficult.  And Barack Obama is not going to finish with a ground-shaking economic boom.

Add to that the Democratic bench.  Hillary Clinton is a formidable politician, but she will be nearly 70 years old in 2016.  No one else except Biden (who is older than she) has anything like the national name recognition that multiple people on the GOP bench enjoy.  But if one or both of those two decide to run (and I think it’s nearly certain that they will), they’ll probably get the nomination just because they will suck all the oxygen away from the other candidates–both the money and the publicity will follow them.  And though they’re both formidable challengers, I think their age is going to hurt them.  I think it would have hurt Reagan if he’d been running against more formidable opponents, but Carter was badly damaged, and Walter Mondale was a nice man who made a very good Senate candidate in Minnesota.

Granted, she did say that her analysis is subject to change based on the prognostications of Nate Silver, who serves as the left’s favorite elections predictor.  He wrote on July 15 that Republican chances for retaking the senate astronomically increase after next year’s elections, which was reiterated in McArdle’s post.

A race-by-race analysis of the Senate, in fact, suggests that Republicans might now be close to even-money to win control of the chamber after next year’s elections. Our best guess, after assigning probabilities of the likelihood of a G.O.P. pickup in each state, is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority.

It seems that Silver and McArdle are on the same wave length, as they both predicted the 50-51 “fragile” GOP majority by 2017.  The thing to takeaway from this is that Harry Reid’s days could be numbered if we play this thing right.

Matt Vespa is a conservative blogger who contributes to CNS News, RedState, Noodle Pundit, and was formerly with Hot Air's GreenRoom.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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"If we play this thing right." That's a big if when you are talking about Republicans.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
There' s also a 70% chance the GOP will field an establishment candidate (how about another helping of Bush anyone?). And then we'll show the world how good Big Government is really supposed to work. And yes, they'll shrink cutting the NOAA budget increase slightly ...and maybe rattle the budget cut sabre with some tough talk about reducing the NEA budget - but not really (whew! That was close).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why is Hillary Clinton " a formidable politician"? What difficult race has she ever won? What major piece of legislation would not have been passed without her support, or would have been passed except for her opposition? Who has she ever persuaded to vote with her or for her that was not initially inclined to vote with her or for her?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it is. Remember how many Republicans bragged they could nominate anyone, and still beat Obama in 2012? That did not exactly work out as planned, as Mitt Romneycare lost the most winnable election in our lifetimes.

To win, the Vichy Republicans are going to have to campaign against Democrats. Not a vomit-inducing can't-we-all-just-get-along campaign, but a two-scorpions-in-a-bottle battle. The Evil Party aims to win, and it remains to be seen if the Stupid Party is willing to fight for what is right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One can always hope....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The thing to takeaway from this is that Harry Reid’s days could be numbered if we play this thing right."

Which is also why his whole "nuclear" gambit taking place right now is pure bluff. He does not want a 51-49 majority to start repealing signature achievements of his party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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