Wednesday, May 19, 2010

supposedly huge GOP wave year

and yet the Republicans keep losing. I'm honestly getting confused now. The narrative I've been assuming since '08 was that the GOP would have a big midterm as the non-incumbent party, mistake historical precedent for a silent far right majority, and then let the teabaggers drive their party straight into an electoral meat grinder in 2012, from which eventually will emerge a chastened, kinder, more centrist GOP a la the Tory model in Britain. I've never really been convinced that they would be flipping the House, but I was expecting pretty serious gains.

And yet special election after special election rolls around, several in seats currently held by the Dems but packed to the gills with blue collar, conservative voters, precisely the type of district that's supposed to deliver all these new Republican congressmen, and the GOP candidate widely expected to win flops. In this particular case, the final count was a bigger Democratic blowout than even the most optimistic polls.

There's been an excuse for most of the others. Doug Hoffman's vote got split. Tedisco got really close and Obama won that district, anyway. Florida's 19th was super Dem-leaning, as were CA-10 and CA-32.

How do you spin losing a special election in a district that John McCain won where the last incumbent congressman was notoriously corrupt, where President Obama's approval rating is 35%, where only 30% of voters approve of healthcare reform, where Nancy Pelosi is extremely unpopular, and the Republican candidate had a $308,000 to $73,000 cash advantage?

After all that, Critz won by almost 10 points.

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