Monday, June 14, 2010

Democrats Banished in the Plains

How many House Democrats will be left in the Plains states? It certainly looks like Earl Pomeroy (ND) and Stephanie Herseth (SD) are on their way out. Both are down by double digits and only poll in the low 40's. Both have strong statewide name ID and, at this time in the election season, should be beating their opponents simply because they are better known. As we know, this year is simply not a normal year as the Generic Ballot has the GOP up at least 5 and in some polls up 10 points. The Plains states are generally conservative although they seem to have little problem voting for Democratic representatives while at the same time casting ballots for Republican presidents. In Nebraska, Dennis Moore is retiring and his seat will almost certainly flip to the GOP. In Texas, Chet Edwards is in deep trouble and will probably lose in November. The Democrats really can't afford to lose any of these seats and still hope to maintain control of the Lower Chamber. I've said before that I strongly suspect they'll lose around 55 seats and it is because of endangered incumbents like the ones mentioned above that will cause the large shift. With losses of around 10-12 in the Midwest, 3 in Virginia, 2 in New Hampshire, 3 in Florida, 3 in New York, 3 in Pennsylvania, 3 in Ohio, 2 in Tennessee and a smattering of single seats around the country it is very easy to get to 55. Last week Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI-the next Vice President of the United States-you heard it here first) thought there was a "50-50" chance the GOP would flip the chamber. I think he's trying to lower expectations to encourage the rank and file to keep working hard preparing for the fall elections. The Republicans lead in the Generic Ballot and in voter enthusiasm and this, combined with a low Presidential Approval Rating will translate into victories across the country in November.

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