Political Prediction: Republicans Keep The Congress
I've been seeing a lot of rejoicing in various blogs and other arenas about how fantastically the Democrats will "take back" the majority in the House and Senate. Folks are citing war weariness, page sex and general disgruntlement with the current regime as the basis for their hope.
Jeffraham, Egalia, Sharon, Brittney and the rest of you, I have a bit of news you aren't going to like.
1. The Republicans aren't as ticked off with the Republicans as you'd like them to be.
From what I've seen, most of the rah-rah about the Democrats' chances is echo-chamber stuff. Yes, both sides have echo-chamber factors playing into their analyses, but in this specific case it appears that the Republicans aren't in as much danger as their opposite numbers fervently hope. Yes, there's governmental corruption. Unfortunately there's also a strong economy. That won Clinton a second term, and that's the bottom line. If people are doing okay themselves they are reluctant to see a change in government. No matter how crass the external forces get.
2. The Democrats aren't presenting a clear alternative plan.
Once again, my emails from Howard Dean are telling. Yesterday's encouraged me to take the day off work on November 7 to help with the 50-State Turnout push. The three previous emails from the Democratic party were all about voter turnout. There was absolutely nothing concrete in terms of platform strategy. So it appears that the Democratic party is hinging its strategy on volume alone. That may work, but it won't sway undecideds. And it certainly won't draw disgruntled Republicans in the vast swaths predicted by a lot of pundits. If people are sick of the war they want a candidate who firmly says "I will vote to end the war." Is anyone (up for serious consideration) saying this? No.
3. People view President Bush as the problem.
Most of the disgruntled place the blame squarely at the feet of President Bush. Since he isn't up for re-election, that will have little consequence on the ballot.
I'm sorry, but I think a lot of the rejoicing is misplaced.