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How a political wave builds

With 2010 now just days away(!), every political analyst and junkie in the country is looking for the signs of whether a wave either directed at Democrats or incumbents more generally is building in the country

A new analysis that examines every midterm election since 1978 -- conducted by the Democratic polling firm Bennett, Petts & Normington -- suggests the critical factor in whether 2010 will be a wave election in which large numbers of House seats change parties or simply a typical midterm election where the President's party suffers losses consistent with historical norms is, in a word, turnout.

In the two wave elections in recent memory -- 1994 and 2006 -- turnout soared from the previous midterm and the composite of the electorate was heavily tilted to one party.

Take 1994, for example.

Four years earlier, turnout had been 62,354,853 with 32,397,782 votes cast for Democrats in Congressional elections nationwide and 27,402,036 for Republicans. That roughly five million vote edge led to an eight seat pickup for House Democrats in the House.

In 1994, turnout soared to nearly 70.5 million -- spurred by a massive 32 percent increase from 1990 in the number of votes cast for Republican candidates. At the same time, 854,000 less votes were cast for Democratic candidates, handing Republicans a 54-seat gain in the House.

The same was true -- in reverse -- in 2006. Six million more people voted in the 2006 midterms as compared to 2002 but while the total Democratic votes increased by more than 8.4 million, the Republican tally fell by 1.4 million.

What's the lesson from those numbers? That a wave only happens when two things happen simultaneously: 1) turnout skyrockets overall 2) one side makes massive increases in its vote share from the previous midterm elections while the other side stays stable or loses slightly from its total votes.

The most common way that scenario comes to pass -- especially in midterm elections -- is that one party's base is extremely motivated to turn out while the other party's base isn't.

In 2006, Democrats were going to turn out come hell or high water to send a message to President George W. Bush that enough was enough. The Republican base, meanwhile, had grown increasingly disenchanted with the president and the direction he had taken the country and stayed home.

While it's still too early in the 2010 election cycle to make hard and fast predictions about whether the turnout patterns of 1994 and 2006 will be repeated, it's clear from both recent data and simply looking around at the political world that all the energy is on the Republican side.

From the tea parties over the August congressional recess to the anger engendered within the GOP by the soon-to-be-passed health care bill, the Republican base is up in arms -- a very good thing politically.

Democrats, meanwhile, are going through the expected struggles of a majority party that controls every lever of power in Washington. While President Obama was elected due in no small part to the enthusiasm he created within the Democratic base, that excitement has waned over the first year of his Administration as critical causes to the left -- repeal of "don't ask, don't tell", a public option in the health care bill -- have fallen by the wayside.

Polling reflects that base energy disparity. In the recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Fifty six percent of Republicans call themselves highly interested in the 2010 election while 46 percent of Democrats say the same. Among that highly interested group, Republicans held a 47 percent to 39 percent edge on the generic ballot question -- a broad indicator of the direction the battle for the House is taking.

There is still plenty of time for Democrats to solve that energy problem and many party strategists -- including the White House -- seem to believe that, ultimately, the passage of a health care reform bill will be a catalyst to kickstart their base into action.

It remains to be seen whether a bill the base is not totally thrilled with will spur their enthusiasm about the coming midterms. If it doesn't -- and Republican intensity stays high -- the data suggests Democrats could be in for a long night next November.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 21, 2009; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

so?
if one party gets lots of votes,
and the other party gets less votes,
then one party will win?

This is Profound Stuff!!

I am going to use this same logic in all
areas of my life, thank you.
if we increase heat,
and the cold decrease,
than it will get...

hotter? right?

thank you.

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 23, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Although I'm aware he was being sardonic, bsallamack's comments betray an ignorance of history, economics & international commerce. Let's take them one by one, shall we?
**
"Bring back the Republicans as they know the costs of American for jobs are too high."
I'm not really sure what he's trying to say here--the syntax & grammar are so poor--but if the cost of labor in the U.S. is too expensive, then it's chiefly the Democrats' fault for: raising the min. wage too high too fast; passing unfunded or underfunded employer mandates; crowding out private investment in the market w/ their wasteful gov't "stimulus" spending" ... I could go on and on.

"America needs to repeal the child labor laws."
Let's not forget it was the GOP (let by the fierce Teddy Roosevelt) who originally championed, sought & passed those pesky laws in the first place.
Imagine the savings by no longer needing to spend on education.

"American businesses will stop direct export of American jobs, and using visas for foreign workers when Americans finally understand their true worth."
Again, not sure what you're trying to say here; if I'm not mistaken, then businesses big & small WANT an INCREASE in worker visas. Remember that immigration furor a few years ago? Pro-business types on both sides of the aisle lined up in opposition to a bill circulating the Congress b/c it DIDN'T contain a guest-worker program.

"And remember for the holidays a can of dog food can easily feed an American family of four."
Is this racist? I honestly can't tell. In any event, there's not much difference between the contents of your average can of dog food and a couple of hot dogs. The average chocolate bar contains 8 insect legs. Also, since it's the holiday season ... anyone ever had giblet gravy on their turkey? Guess what that's made from.
**
Alas, I've run out of steam. Merry Christmas, everyone! Now that Hannukah's over with, I'm free to enjoy the rest of my break w/o the agony of last-minute shopping, cleaning up pine needles & putting out fires (literal & figurative).

Posted by: right-wing_genius | December 23, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I see more name-calling on these policital posts and blogs than I see relevant discussion. Soooo thankful for the few who actually try to make a point without calling names, and apparently the Democrats and Republicans and Independents are equally well-versed at it.

Posted by: elaine0203 | December 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Bring back the Republicans as they know the costs of American for jobs are too high.

America needs to repeal the child labor laws.

Imagine the savings by no longer needing to spend on education.

American businesses will stop direct export of American jobs, and using visas for foreign workers when Americans finally understand their true worth.

And remember for the holidays a can of dog food can easily feed an American family of four.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The wave of the future is to allow American companies to continue the direct exporting of American jobs.

Our future is the sexy non-exportable jobs of the President of installing insulation and caulking.

America needs to repeal the child labor laws and reap the money that would be saved by not spending on education.

Bush Supports Shift of Jobs Overseas. February 10, 2004

"The loss of work to other countries, while painful in the short term, will enrich the economy eventually, his report to Congress says."

The embrace of foreign outsourcing, an accelerating trend that has contributed to U.S. job losses in recent years and has become an issue in the 2004 elections, is contained in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy.
http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/10/nation/na-bushecon10

India may get $1 billion in IT outsourcing contracts
Reuters November 23, 2009
The newspaper said JPMORGAN, GOLDMAN SACHS and MORGAN STANLEY that received approval to pay back government stake worth $68 billion earlier this year are among the firms seeking operational efficiencies by outsourcing non-core IT and back-office projects to India.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 22, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Cornell1984:

There's a new thread on Rep. Cramer.

Posted by: JakeD | December 22, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

I didn't bring it up on THIS thread, however, because no one has tried to emphasize the allegation that Obama is legally "President" of the United States -- besides, our gracious hosts has clarified that personal attacks against PUBLIC FIGURES are fair game, while personal attacks against anyone posting here are not -- see the difference?

Posted by: JakeD | December 22, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

My congressman just went from democrat to republican. He is the first of many.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 22, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

G-O-Pee, the party of NO and always sore winners and sore losers.
The party that is against anything that stands between them and their return to the abuse of power, looting the treasury for them and their corporate clientele, and breaking their oaths and violating the Constitution by bringing religious zealotry into government and putting religion above our way of life and tolerance - even for religious nuts who are trying to accelerate the Rapture. Just angrily withering away.
And the Democrats are wimps and wusses who won't fight, protect themselves or counterattack.
It's great to be an independent!

Posted by: enough3 | December 22, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The other factor you have to consider is how those extra voters and votes are distributed. One thing people forget is 1994 is when Republicans finally cleaned house in the south, ousting Democrats who had long held those seats but had long lost touch with their districts views. 2006 the Democrats did the same in the Northeast. While there are certainly some seats in conservative districts where candidates were catapulted to victory on Obama's coattails without a major demographic shift that is overdue to be reconciled I don't think a wave of losses for the Democrats is possible. Will they lose seats? Of course, typical coattail contraction. Will it be more than 20? I highly doubt it.

Posted by: cmb1 | December 22, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Typically, the best way to build a wave is to have a series of retirements or, like today, get people to switch parties

Posted by: TexasProud1 | December 22, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Typically, the best way to build a wave is to have a series of retirements or, like today, get people to switch parties

Posted by: TexasProud1 | December 22, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Typically, the best way to build a wave is to have a series of retirements or, like today, get people to switch parties

Posted by: TexasProud1 | December 22, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

CC also specifically requested that the birther nonsense be kept out. Looking at your post from this morning on the main thread, Jake, you simply couldn't resist.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

doctorfixit: Those blue areas are now 2/3 of the electoral map. By all means take your rightwingnut scum and retreat to the old confederacy and the rocky mt/plains states where sheep and goats outnumber people (And rightwingnut men are quite happy).

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 22, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The problem Republicants have is they don't stand for anything but fear, lies, and hate. The party of no is still the party of war and tax cuts for the rich. They just don't get that for 8 years they sat and did nothing while their chosen one, Shrub, drove the country over a cliff, looted the treasury, broke the military, and alienated most other countries in the world. And now they expect Obama to clean up their pile of manure in under a year. Pathetic!

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | December 22, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Because we are at a pivot point with major legislation pending, I'd say it's nigh on impossible to find any useful data to confirm or reject the likelihood of a 2010 GOP wave. Give it a couple months and we should start seeing trends. My own guess is a strengthening of the GOP in their regional strongholds, but little if any progress overall. We are at a point where demographics in the absence of suppressed voter turnout is a stiff headwind the GOP faces nationally. Their base, however frantic, is shrinking. They've abandoned strategy for tactics and need sharp and strong fingernails to hang on.

Posted by: optimyst | December 22, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't take a genius to figure where this a**breath drfixit is coming from. Comparing Obama to an ape--albeit indirectly--pretty much tells you what this pi$$y little dude's motivations are. Indeed most of these old tea baggers and their fat old hags are going out of their vulcan minds over the fact that someone who does not have a milky white, fat, stinking Limbaughesque hind end like theirs is sitting in the Oval Office.

Get used to it dork. Obam is going to be around for a while.

Posted by: jaxas | December 22, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

On the subject of polls--I don't put too much stock in them but, the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll has Obama surging 6 points to a 54% approval level. And support for the health care bill grew similarly.

Like I say, I don't put much stock in polls or pollsters. They have their little agendas too.

Posted by: jaxas | December 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Drfixit is the perfect example of the libertarian, Bircher morons who considered Dwight Eisenhower a communist.

Look. While we are on the subject, FDR was a liberal and was considered a socialist and a traitor to his class by conservatives. Yet, he allied himself with Churchill to defeat the Nazi menace. Harry Truman was a WWI soldier wh o distinguished himself in battle and in the post-WWII era was a valiant fighter against communism. Ike, as everyone knows was a WWII hero and a liberal republican President who had to suffer the taunts and slanders of the right wing in his day. JFK was another WWII hero who face down Kruschev in the Cuban Missile crisis. LBJ was a liberal who refused to be the first President to lose a war in Vietnam. It became his downfall. Every democratic President--or liberal republican President--has suffered at the hands of this silly. idiotic right wing cabal that frankly has a very narrow band of true bleievers.

They survive using the old Nazi techniques of slander, intimidation, fear and outright thuggery. Anyone who does not subcribe 100% to their dreary philosophical meanderings and be willing to sign a loyalty oath is threatened, slandered, and intimidated.

You might just as well know this Doctorfixit. The American people will never submit to your vile, racist, slanderous campaign of lies, deceit and bullying. Yoiu and your ilk will never be anything in America but a bopil on the buttocks of the body politic.

Posted by: jaxas | December 22, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The poll appears to disregard and neglect any temperature taking among the largest and most critical group of voters today, independent voters. The G-O-pee has gone so loony and negative, witness comments by such deranged flat earthers who see a fascist whenever somebody is different from them. And Democrats are such wimps, barely cobbling together a coalition to pass changes wanted by the public or fighting the GOpee disinformation campaigns.

We independents are the ones who will determine the next election outcomes, and always make the difference. It's a hard choice - vote for liars and religion deranged loonies on the right who only care about power over all else, or wussy Democrats where they attack their best stalwarts like Howard Dean and play footsie with scum like Lieberman and Nelson.

Posted by: enough3 | December 22, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

whatever jaked, he wrote swinish racist teabaggers not GOPers, calling the group that continually display racist signs and anti-semtetic images what their signs say.
He named no names, so it wasn't a personal attack. He even stated he knows lots of GOPers who are disgusted with the images and signs, and didnot personally attack them either. I recall you totally misread a post of mine when I said the GOP governor of Hawaii "attested" to the veracity of the birth certificate investigation, and you wrote that I had said he/she had "SEEN" it and you wanted to see it too. Discuss and dispute our posts, but misrepresenting them, or miswording them serves no purpose, especially for discussions sake. You sound so gleeful about G&T getting warnings, why is that? How adult is that? Let's discuss things but really, can't we agree to disagree and forgo the animosity? Whether a poster is Left or Right, when they start spewing nonsense and heated rhetoric, it's just best to ignore them, and just discuss with the many adults who write valid facts and reasons for their opinions.

Posted by: katem1 | December 22, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Doctorfixit, where in the world do you get this crap about liberal fascist elites. In the first place, liberalism has always been as American as apple pie. Most of the Founding Fathers were considered the liberals of their day because what they were proposing was a dramtic political change from the old Monarchies of Europe.

And liberals are so far away from the concept of fascism it is hardly worth even discussing. Indeed, the closest thing to fascism in America is among the Libertarian elements on the political right who really do believe that only one political methodology of thinking is legitimate--theirs.

And here we go again with that golden oldie, elitism. Asd if elitism was only the province of liberals. Need I remind you that the vast majority of those living in the Hamptons are wealthy republicans who live in gated communities and mansions (like Limbaugh and his Palm Beach Florida estate).

Most of us average liberals laugh at you wackos on the quiet. You are so chockful of the comfortable little mythologies about liberals peddled by paranoids like Glenn Beck and sociopaths like Rush Limbaugh. They have literally saoked the brains of their dumbed down dittohead audiences with such stereotypical hogwash as you put out in your comical blog posting.

If you want an example of a true fascist, look to Beck and Limbaugh. The look the part of a Nazi--white, fat, wealthy and unbelievably ugly in their ideas.

Posted by: jaxas | December 22, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The GOP failed to stop the government takeover of healthcare. THey failed to stop Medicare (now bankrupt). They failed to stop Socialist InSecurity (bankruptcy coming soon). The GOP did manage to get Civil Rights legislation past the obstructionist Party of Slavery and Jim Crow. America's proper hatred for communist liberl fascism will not translate into support for the eltist GOP. Obamacare is the last straw. We need to get rid of our entire illegitimate one-party liberal fascist political system. Split the country and allow the liberal fascists to peacefully relocate to the blue areas of the electoral map.

Posted by: doctorfixit | December 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Picturing Obama as an ape is really bigotry - against apes. Apes are natural creatures without pretense. Obama is an artificial character, totally pretentious,without substance. He is a nothing. His puppetmaster Rahm Emanuel is the country's #1 hater. There is nothing more racist, more bigoted, than a liberal fascist Democrat. They keep minorities on a political plantation of dependency. They brainwash young women into thinking they must murder their own babies and hate their men to achieve material success. They hate european-american culture and brand anyone who disagrees with them as "white" racists, whereas the truth is that european-americans are the most generous, most tolerant people in human history.

Posted by: doctorfixit | December 22, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Here is why I doubt this is a wave year. The energy on the right that you make so much of was there in 2008 after Palin was on the ticket. If McCain had nominated Lieberman or Ridge as his VP, the right would have been in a major funk. But even that funk would ot have lasted. What is truly motivating the right is Obama himself.

Obama and the democrats have suffered from two phenomena of late: (1) The flight of omndependents--not to republicans, but rather to anyone who is not associated with either party. and (2) the demoralization of their own base owing to the Obama not being as much a liberal as they had thought he would be.

Both those conditions are likely to change in the New Year as Obama adjusts his political posture and as the economy improves and independents become less worried. I see both groups back in Obama's column as the year wears on. The anti-Obama energy on the right will not change very much but without independents willing to come over and the likely stead pickup in the energy of Obama's base as the election nears, it does not have the numbers to create a wave election.

Posted by: jaxas | December 22, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Politics is the problem, not the answer, We need the Jeffersonian solution guaranteed by the Constitution: removal of the liberal fascist elites who have de-legitimized our political system and our government. Elections are a farce when you have only one party, as we have seen in other totalitarian dictatorships that Obama emulates so well. The GOP is a sham party that exists merely to provide the illusion of choice. SPlit teh country and allow the liberal fascists to peacefully relocate to the blue areas of the electoral map, taking the national debt with them.

Posted by: doctorfixit | December 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

katem1:

You are missing the point that Mr. Cillizza has REPEATEDLY admonished him to stop leveling personal attacks here. Hopefully, that really was the "last" warning.

Posted by: JakeD | December 22, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

yes CC, it is unfair to label all GOPers as racist. But I think G&T's point is that more moderate party members have to denounce the apparent bigoted signs and screeches. National Jewish associations have repeatedly asked the GOP leadership to denounce the Holocaust and Hitler images at rallies, to no avail. It is unfortunate that they haven't but that's probably why there is such a perception like G&T's. If more GOPers resigned like the state senator you wrote about who is now an Indy, it would go a long way to dispelling the idea of mass racism in the GOP. You have to admit, instances like leadership candidate Chip Saltzman's unfortunate CD does not help dispell that notion either. And even this perception, whether true or not, will keep minorities from voting GOP for a long time to come and will reshape conventional wisdom, and past "waves" will not be an indicator any more. The disrespect and vitriol towards the President so many people worked hard to get elected will not be forgotten next year at the polls. And it doesn't matter which party puts a "purity" test on their candidates, that reeks, not of racism, but of lockstep mentality, which is historically frightening.

Posted by: katem1 | December 22, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Tanzanite and gold says, "...So who does the GOP have left? Not the educated, not the young, not minorities, not women, not the midwest, not the coasts ... nope, the only ones they have left are those who bolted from the Democrats when LBJ signed the CRA.

And they're facing attrition .. the irreversible kind...."

The Deluded GOP should look over their shoulders and take notice - nobody is buying your crap anymore. I think even in Oklahoma and Alaska they have seen what terrible work is done by their duly-elected Republicans - they'll never vote for someone who hates their own government again.

Posted by: rowens1 | December 22, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The commercials against democrats write themselves. The corruption, bribery, backroom deals, and payback to lobbyists will destroy the democrats in 2010 and 2012. The health care bill they are singing about doesn't go into effect until 2014. there will actually be more uninsured in November 2010 than there is today, 2012 will be even worse.

The clips of Harry and Nancy and Barack lying to the American public will be seen from coast to coast.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 22, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

awww I tink tumbuddy needa *hanky*

The One won one. Go lick your wounds.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 22, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

All the established dem voters with thier hands out for something from the productive set(aka repubs) represent no gain for libs.

But the obimbo transparency, double dealing, bribery, extortion, utter failure, indecisiveness, endless speeches, out of control spending, big government overreach, foreign apologies, energy confusion, military fecklessness and loony tunes associates will cost dearly by the vast middle of the voting population

running on lies and deceit caught up with Barry fast. Maybe someone who knows what they're doing next time around.

Posted by: snowbama | December 22, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

The newspaper said JPMORGAN, GOLDMAN SACHS and MORGAN STANLEY that received approval to pay back government stake worth $68 billion earlier this year are among the firms seeking operational efficiencies by outsourcing non-core IT and back-office projects to India.

==

Nostradamnus gazes into the mists and sees leaked credit card data

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 22, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Bush Supports Shift of Jobs Overseas. February 10, 2004

"The loss of work to other countries, while painful in the short term, will enrich the economy eventually, his report to Congress says."

The embrace of foreign outsourcing, an accelerating trend that has contributed to U.S. job losses in recent years and has become an issue in the 2004 elections, is contained in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy.
http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/10/nation/na-bushecon10

India may get $1 billion in IT outsourcing contracts
Reuters November 23, 2009
The newspaper said JPMORGAN, GOLDMAN SACHS and MORGAN STANLEY that received approval to pay back government stake worth $68 billion earlier this year are among the firms seeking operational efficiencies by outsourcing non-core IT and back-office projects to India.


Posted by: bsallamack | December 22, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Do you mean the 30 million who still won't be able to afford, that don't vote, that dont have jobs?

Perhaps you should consider the 250 million or more who will now get to pay lots more for less. That is what should worry you libs.

Plus the shabby method you used. Makes for an easy campaign though. Hence the looming tsunami.

Posted by: snowbama | December 22, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

There are millions of independents and progressives who voted for Obama who are very disappointed in many of his policies. Some will undoubtedly vote for Democratic candidates in the next election. I think many are so disillusioned with Obama specifically and politicians in general, they will tend not to vote and some will vote for Republican candidates.

Nobody can predict how the economy will be ten months from now, obviously Obama and Democrats in Congress will try their best to spend their way to reduce unemployment, especially among Democratic members of Congress. The net result, as of now, seems to be significant Republican gains in the House of Representatives, but not as dramatic as in 1994.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 22, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Google "Bush Chimp"

==

Yes, please do, and look at the unedited and undoctored facial expressions that our former president wore on his face. But I digress.

Comparing Bush to a chimpanzee wasn't racism. It doesn't work in that direction. Just like ageism in the workplace .. it's not the old discriminating against the young, not ever, it's only the young discriminating against the old.

You see, there was never a time in America when nonwhites enslaved the entire population of whites. The symmetry is broken.

"Bush Chimp" wasn't invoking barely-underlying racist currents in Americans, it was making light of the widely perceived notion that Bush was an intellectual lightweight, a position whose critics were never given anything good to work with.

We all saw the teabagger signs portraying President Obama as a "jig" and as an ape (and with a Hitler moustache, and with the O in his name spelled with a swastika or a sickle .. and so on) and let's be honest enough with ourselves please to admit exactly what barely-underlying racist currents in Americans was being strummed there.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 22, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see the faces on the editors of the Washington Post when the voters escort the Republicans back to town in 2010. Happy New Year!

Posted by: kenpasadena | December 22, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

No one left to annoy. Done run them all off. Surely not the first time.

Try a 900 number loser.

==

Have a nice weekend all alone on the ward while other patients got to go home and see their families?

Looking out at the empty parking lot?

Doing puzzles in the day room? Thumbing throug old copies of "People?"

Try a 900 number. Oh, that's right, you're not allowed to.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 22, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

As I see this bill, short time R gain, long time loss. 30M people will know who has their back.

==

Why should it be even a short-term gain? For Republicans to lay claim to fiscal prudence is such a bellylaugh that only people with memories so short they have something cognitively wrong with them are going to buy it, and that's the Republican base already.

So who does the GOP have left? Not the educated, not the young, not minorities, not women, not the midwest, not the coasts ... nope, the only ones they have left are those who bolted from the Democrats when LBJ signed the CRA.

And they're facing attrition .. the irreversible kind.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 22, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Some of us have lives, snowball. As I see this bill, short time R gain, long time loss. 30M people will know who has their back. And it ain't your side, bubba.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 21, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

No one left to annoy. Done run them all off. Surely not the first time.

Try a 900 number loser.

Posted by: snowbama | December 21, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

At the same time, 854,000 less votes were cast for Democratic candidates

==

"fewer"

You would never say "fewer water," so why say "less votes?"

This isn't some arcane grammatical subtlety.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this "wave" theory is that it will require the energy on the right to build and sustain over the next 10 months or so. Entirely possible, but doubtful.

==

Will red-faced paranoid fury carry them? No?

Then they don't have a chance.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

hen we have teabaggers showing up with signs portraying Obama as an ape, that's racism.


Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
---------------------------
Google "Bush Chimp"


Go look at drivl's adolescent "blog". No takers. Like her employers.

Posted by: snowbama | December 21, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The girl is a winner.

==

hahahah

you're talking about Quitter Palin.

* lost her election bid (some say she cost McCain the election too)

* abandoned her post after half a term

* endorsed Doug Hoffman, and he lost

* worked hard to oppose Obama's healthcare, and it's going to pass

* put her name on some evangelist homphobe's writing and sold a lot of copies ... to people who don't read

Where do you get "winner," zouk? I'm curious. Looks to me like her arc is downward.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this "wave" theory is that it will require the energy on the right to build and sustain over the next 10 months or so. Entirely possible, but doubtful.

Most folks are stressed about jobs. If the employment figures improve, the Democrats will suffer mild losses in the midterms. If the job picture remains bleak, they will suffer greatly.

What I have noticed about the tea party folks is that they are the same crowd who was showing up during the last days of the McCain rallies. This is not a new movement; they have simply not gotten over the last election. We'll see how they do in ten months.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 21, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Sarah palin wears a visor. National coverage.

The ped screams vile filth minute after hour after day. The blog vaporizes leaving the ape staring at herself in the monitor.

See the difference? The girl is a winner. The confused non man is not. Envy ensues. Nasty negative carping all the souless cretin can muster in desperate attempt to gain attention. Any attention

apply the tombstone metric. That ped was sure prolific at responding nasty to every single entry on that blog.

What a life. Find a shrink.

Posted by: snowbama | December 21, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The ped hour has dawned. The twin stooge bookends chime in. The host warns repeatedly about idiotic behavior. No one else sticks around to watch

get the picture?

It's the fix.

So desperate for attention. Pitiful loser. Like an inbred lib, she takes down everyone within range with her.

Posted by: snowbama | December 21, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's popularity already shooting up because of the health cqare bill?

haha[etc]

==

"Genius can best be recognized by the arraying of dunces against it"

The way the teabaggers and the pundits are screaming "their"selves hoarse today, I'd say The One won one.

Quick, scream something about "my money," and don't forget the arch warning of the great "backlash" to come next November ....

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I bet Jim DeMint is having a real bad day.

No "Waterloo"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

What if feigning capitulation in response to the extortionate demands of Senators Lieberman and Nelson and the others is a calculated chess move to advance the bill...

...setting up the opportunity to champion the HOUSE bill in reconciliation -- requiring only 51 votes to secure final passage?

What better way to reinvigorate disillusioned liberals and progressives and to show Republicans what "majority rule" -- and political savvy -- is all about?

==

That would rock crucially

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Once Again for the West Coast: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over!

DEM HEALTH CARE STRATEGY A 'SUN TZU' FEINT?

The progressives and liberals are angry and disillusioned now... but patience is required of the resolute warrior.

What if feigning capitulation in response to the extortionate demands of Senators Lieberman and Nelson and the others is a calculated chess move to advance the bill...

...setting up the opportunity to champion the HOUSE bill in reconciliation -- requiring only 51 votes to secure final passage?

What better way to reinvigorate disillusioned liberals and progressives and to show Republicans what "majority rule" -- and political savvy -- is all about?

And, I might add, what better way to expose the blackmailers among the caucus?

***

Health Care Reform a Cruel Joke to Unconstitutionally "Targeted" and Electromagnetically Tortured and Impaired Americans...

IS PRESIDENT OBAMA UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SILENT MICROWAVE/LASER 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' ENTRAINMENT?

See article, comments, "Obama Wrong; U.S. DOES Torture -- Its Own Citizens" in "Reporting and Writing" blog at:

http://Poynter.org

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 21, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I recently voted for a Republican (Alexandria City Council). It wasn't a protest vote as said candidate won. So, I guess that makes me a racist.

==

Doesn't make you a racist but it's not a good sign.

I voted for Washington governor John Spellman (Republican) long ago because he had a good environmental record, and his opponent, Democrat Booth Gardner, came from Weyerhauser (Spellman lost).

That was back when the GOP was merely a right-wing party, not a haven for racists and dedicated to nutty acalculic economics.

I would not have much chance to repeat that vote now.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama's popularity is already shooting up because health care will pass, and in coming months, jobs will start to be created and the economy will grow. No way is this going to be a wave.

==

Surge in hiring of temporary workers (you won't read about that here unless it can be twisted into "bad news for Democrats"), but it's a very encouraging sign.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama's popularity already shooting up because of the health cqare bill?

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

too bad they can't figure out a way to tax stupid, would close a lot of budget gaps

Posted by: standard_guy | December 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

'I recently voted for a Republican (Alexandria City Council). It wasn't a protest vote as said candidate won. So, I guess that makes me a racist.'

I think the point is, that the Gop will not officially reject the racist, socialist/nazi and birther rhetoric-- in fact, they embrace it. Until they change that behavior, it's hard for me to see how you can vote for them, as a matter of conscience.

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

NO MENTION ABOUT THE COSTS OF THIS BILL.


This bill is an outrage.


The EXTENT OF THE FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY IS COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE.


This is what you get when someone is elected with no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine.


You get a binge.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 21, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's popularity is already shooting up because health care will pass, and in coming months, jobs will start to be created and the economy will grow. No way is this going to be a wave.

Posted by: jbentley4 | December 21, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama's popularity is already shooting up because health care will pass, and in coming months, jobs will start to be created and the economy will grow. No way is this going to be a wave.

Posted by: jbentley4 | December 21, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I recently voted for a Republican (Alexandria City Council). It wasn't a protest vote as said candidate won. So, I guess that makes me a racist.

On a lighter note, thanks for giving me a good idea, Jonah. From now on, I'll refer to them as the White Tea Party. Get it?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 21, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What does that leave?"

Irrationality, ignorance on the part of the voter.

Not the same as racism.

==

True, not the same as racism. But nothing to write home about in pride either.

And if the GOP issued a formal repudiation of its racist rhetoric, if the RNC issued a statement that Obama was born in Hawaii and that birther sentiments would no longer be entertained, what would happen to the GOP base?

They would BOLT.

So let's cut the crap.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

BIG STORY! But will Chris report on it?

"Democratic leaders in D.C. weren't the only legislators frustrated by Republican party efforts to block health care reform last week. After watching his party promise to stonewall any Democratic reform efforts, Maine state Rep. Jim Campbell decided it was time to drop the (R) from his title.

From Campbell's statement announcing his decision to leave the GOP and become an Independent (h/t Ben Smith):

I have been very frustrated with the Republican Party in Maine, and nationally, for their failure to address the health care crisis in a meaningful way. Nobody has all the answers, but the Republican Party has none when it comes to health care reform.
Campbell says he's a public option fan, and Politico described him as a "liberal Republican," whose votes on issues like gay marriage have often broke with the GOP's national platform. In his statement, Campbell said the party switch "has been a long time coming" for a man who feels increasingly alienated from the GOP, but he makes it clear the obstructionist tactics his party used in the national health care debate were the straw that broke the camel's back."

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Even though Goldwater stated that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, I don't think that alone indicates a mandate for Republicans in Congress in 2010. Even though Nixon had a plan to end the war in Vietnam, I don't think that alone indicates a mandate for Republicans in Congress in 2010. Even though Nixon was hounded out of office for the minor offence of pitting the CIA against the FBI, that doesn't indicate a mandate for Republicans in Congress in 2010. Even though Reagan traded arms (to Iran) for cash to pay for an illegal war in South America, I don't see how that can bode well for Republicans in 2010. Leave us not forget Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a Republican (of course), said (he lied) that he had evidence of traitors in the U.S. Department of State AND in the U.S. Army. The record of the lunatic fringe on the right, all card carrying Republican Party members, is sufficiently poor to support a wager against a wave of electoral victories for Republicans in 2010. Double that wager on account of the concentration of the lunatic fringe in Congress. There are no (zero) moderate Republicans in Congress.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | December 21, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"Based on what? The other reasons are all gone now.

Fiscal responsibility? Small government? Strong on defense? Not even credible postures anymore.

Competence? Please.

What does that leave?"

Irrationality, ignorance on the part of the voter.

Not the same as racism.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

You didn't refer to all Republicans as racists. You did say that only racists would vote Republican. A fine distinction which I'll accept as a distinction, but I also think is incorrect. Plenty of non-racists will vote Republican.

==

Based on what? The other reasons are all gone now.

Fiscal responsibility? Small government? Strong on defense? Not even credible postures anymore.

Competence? Please.

What does that leave?

I don't dispute that Democrats have fallen down on the job again, I've written exactly that rat cheer in this blog and in endless angry emails to every elected official within reach .. but I just can't bring myself to believe that Americans are so disgusted with the Democrats that they're willing to vote for the party of Palin and Beck. It's just too clear that we would be worse off, much worse off.

The Democrats are a grave disappointment. But the Republicans have no ideas at all.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am neither a Republican nor a racist.

Posted by: JakeD | December 21, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Would be had I done that, but I didn't.

I referred to "swinish racist teabaggers," and I stand it, not "universally swinish racist Republicans.""

You didn't refer to all Republicans as racists. You did say that only racists would vote Republican. A fine distinction which I'll accept as a distinction, but I also think is incorrect. Plenty of non-racists will vote Republican.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So: can they motivate their base & attract some swing voters without excessively motivating the Dems and Dem-leaning swing voters? Given the dearth of GOP proposals for rational policy, I'm skeptical they can walk that line.

==

That dearth has become so very striking since Obama won election that it seems most unlikely there will be anything new in the next year.

We all know what we'll be hearing in the primaries .. the same warmed-over Reagan-era generalities about small government and lower taxes, seasoned with the new dog-whistle about "porous borders" and "illegal aliens" and "take my country back." That stuff has very limited appeal.

If they had been willing to learn from the loss of NY23 and the victory through moderation of VA and NJ gubernatorial races that would be one thing, but that lesson has not been taken.

And even for people to whom tax cuts still resonate, it's been over 30 years of the same message, and it's stale.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

O it's swinish this an' racist that
So chuck 'im out, the brute.

Posted by: mattintx | December 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

GJonahJameson writes
"I suppose it's possible, but I doubt the Democrats will be able to rely on the Tea Party crowd tiring itself out in the primaries. For one thing, Republican primaries likely won't be as contested as the Tea Party crowd would like us to believe -- I expect a lot of Republican candidates, particularly incumbents, will zag to the right to prevent that from happening."

I agree that most Repub incumbents won't face challenge from TEA people. But for this to be a wave election in the Repub's favor, they'll have to take out some sitting Dems. It is in those races that the GOP risks alienating the swing voters during their primary battles. If the Repubs nominate litmus-test conservatives for moderate seats, they risk energizing the Dems & alienating moderates. If the Repubs nominate moderates, they risk alienating the TEA people, who might mount a 3rd party campaign - a la Hoffman - in spite of the likely loss. So: can they motivate their base & attract some swing voters without excessively motivating the Dems and Dem-leaning swing voters? Given the dearth of GOP proposals for rational policy, I'm skeptical they can walk that line.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I predict no wave and a lot of hotly contested races with local efforts (and issues) tipping the balance, just like VA and NJ and not like NY 23rd.

Example: How about Allred, the popular all blue candidate for Governor in Idaho, a state that has been all red since Cecil Andrus? Think he can't win? Think again.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

No one is disputing racism exists in the country. But painting all Republicans with a broad brush as "racists" is unfair and won't fly on this blog.

==

Would be had I done that, but I didn't.

I referred to "swinish racist teabaggers," and I stand it, not "universally swinish racist Republicans."

I personally know (of) Republicans who deplore the racism that is so casually accepted in their party; they are troubled by it, troubled by all the lies, troubled by the support for torture and the absence of support for human rights .. but not troubled enough to leave.

If you're going to deny the essential racism of the teabagger movement ... I'll just stop there.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

hen we have teabaggers showing up with signs portraying Obama as an ape, that's racism.


Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
---------------------------
Google "Bush Chimp"

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you seem to have fallen into the same trap, the idea that you can shape perceptions by er um ah cherry-picking polls and casting things in a biased light (struggling not to use the word "lying" here but it's getting harder with each column).
Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
----------------------------
Sort of like the Alinsky-inhaling Rham and Rodaxel.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

You don't fool me, jaked. I know jealousy when I read it.

Posted by: mattintx | December 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

G&T,

No one is disputing racism exists in the country. But painting all Republicans with a broad brush as "racists" is unfair and won't fly on this blog.

If you want to keep doing it (and that seems to be your modus operandi as I look back through the comments) go elsewhere.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 21, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

But yeah, that whole racist swine thing is neither accurate nor does it contribute anything useful.

==

When we have teabaggers showing up with signs portraying Obama as an ape, that's racism.

And when not a single elected Republican is willing to repudiate that, or say "that's not who we are," that means racists are at home there.

And when anyone in the party who would say so is apt to face a primary challenge from someone who wouldn't say so .. well.

What are we supposed to do, pretend?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1: I suppose it's possible, but I doubt the Democrats will be able to rely on the Tea Party crowd tiring itself out in the primaries. For one thing, Republican primaries likely won't be as contested as the Tea Party crowd would like us to believe -- I expect a lot of Republican candidates, particularly incumbents, will zag to the right to prevent that from happening. Most Tea Party-specific candidates will probably be weeded out in the primaries, bested by their better-funded and more-experienced rivals. Then, the Tea Party supporters will eventually get behind the Republican nominees.

Some of the energy might be lost when Tea Party candidates lose primaries, but most of it will likely be regained before the general.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 21, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris, data is plural. The data suggest, not suggests. (sorry, I work for a guy who is kind of a stickler about that, heh)

G+T, I don't see how you can ignore poll after poll that says this isn't going to be a good year for the Dems. I don't think there is any serious political analyst who disagrees. Obviously Karl Rove will predict that Republicans will win all 435 seats and others will predict more modest losses, but the Republican vote is never limited to the teabagger crowd. They are wrong to do so, but many will go in that direction for a myriad of reasons. There's no Bush to rebuke, anger and fear that has been stoked by the mainstream press, the fact that many of these people are naturally inclined to vote Republican, the fact that people tend to vote against the President's party, the ambitious agenda set by Obama, the personal unpopularity of people like Dodd and Reid. Take your pick.

Now I do think the danger to Democrats is vastly overstated by the press, but I do think that there will be some losses in the House. Senate is hard to tell since the big Republican targets are in relatively blue areas and I think Dems are going to have to run a complete dud to lose New Hampshire.

But yeah, that whole racist swine thing is neither accurate nor does it contribute anything useful.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

A good post that really illustrates the potential problems the Democrats face going into 2010. A lot of liberals are saying the white-hot Tea Party fury is just noise, and that the people making that noise were never the types who would vote Democratic anyway, so they won't have the sea change effect they seem to think they'll have. But which side is right depends entirely on turnout. Republicans were largely disenchanted in 2008, but if the Tea Party effort and various endeavors on the part of the GOP to fight off President Obama's agenda are successful in getting those disenchanted voters back into the voting booth, the Democrats won't have as easy a time of it as some of them seem to think.

Likewise, a lot of liberals are saying Obama's -- and, by extension, the Democrats', of which he is the most visible member -- falling approval ratings don't mean a whole heck of a lot because many of the people growing unhappy with the Democrats are doing it because they're not being liberal enough, and those people aren't apt to vote Republican in revenge. It's probably true that a lot of people upset with Obama aren't going to switch sides, but they can't hold their noses and vote Democratic if they don't get to the voting booth at all, and that they might just not bother to show is a very real possibility.

It is the Republicans -- or at least the people angry enough at the Democrats to vote Republican -- who have the momentum now. Democrats might feel they can easily fight off the Republicans by getting voters to acknowledge the lack of solutions the Republicans have presented, but to do that, they need to get that energy flowing in a voting base that's steadily growing more apathetic.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Last warning. Let's keep the "swinish racist" talk out of the blog. No problem if you disagree with Republicans but throwing around racism charges willy-nilly is a little much.

==

Willy-nilly?

Yeah I'm just making it up...

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Republican voters are more motivated, but that might not help the Republican party. Even with a motivated base, the Republicans need support from Independents and (if possible) Democrats. It's difficult to satisfy both Tea Party activists and moderates. Especially when those activists make it their mission to kick "RINOs" out of the party.

In other words, the Republicans were more energetic in NY-23. How did that work out for them?

Posted by: Blarg | December 21, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Fifty six percent of Republicans call themselves highly interested in the 2010 election while 46 percent of Democrats say the same. Among that highly interested group, Republicans held a 47 percent to 39 percent edge on the generic ballot question -- a broad indicator of the direction the battle for the House is taking."


The generic ballot question is more relevant than enthusiasm levels by party - which don't mean much unless we know the relative sizes of the parties.

Having said that, clearly conservatives are the motivated group right now. Can the GOP / TEA people maintain those enthusiasm levels until November? Or will they expend all their energy in primary battles?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Secretive meetings, million dollar buy-offs, truncated debate. Is this how history is made?

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

G&T,

Last warning. Let's keep the "swinish racist" talk out of the blog. No problem if you disagree with Republicans but throwing around racism charges willy-nilly is a little much.

There will not be another warning.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 21, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

... and who will have occasion to regret, as McDonnel, who all but denied his party affiliation, turns out to be just what his thesis says he is.

OK, granted, a GOP governor got votes. Let's see how that translates to national elections. With the teabaggers standing in the way of anyone educated or sane.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone other than a swinish racist teabagger losing sleep over tinfoil conspiracies ... vote Republican?

===

Ask 58% of Virginians, including many who voted for Warner, Kaine, and Webb.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 21, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Resurgence fantasy never stops.

Democrats may lose a few seats in 11 months, but the kind of realignment around Republicans isn't anywhere on the horizon.

Chris, you seem to have fallen into the same trap, the idea that you can shape perceptions by er um ah cherry-picking polls and casting things in a biased light (struggling not to use the word "lying" here but it's getting harder with each column).

Yeah, a wave is building. Americans lining up for knitting needles to stick into their own eyes, and guns to shoot off their own feet.

Why would anyone other than a swinish racist teabagger losing sleep over tinfoil conspiracies ... vote Republican?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Daily KOS polling is showing the same "wave" building too (Markos was peeing his diaper on MTP yesterday).

Posted by: JakeD | December 21, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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