Why Tuesday is a mystery
The most frustrating thing about this cycle has been the lack of House race polling. There are about 30 House races that I’d probably give a limb to get some type of hard information about.
So we might have a simple return to form election, in which the GOP takes 45-50 House seats and wins a slim majority, and picks up 7-8 Senate seats and puts itself in position to retake the upper chamber easily in 2012… or:
So, if everyone will be very adult about all this, and everyone will understand that on Monday the size of the Gallup generic lead will matter and the Senate polls and that even if the GOP runs the table on the contested races they still can’t afford an unexpected loss somewhere else, here is the something nice to munch on . . .
This thought comes from my memories of other wave years. One came while working on the 1964 campaign — the immensely popular candidates Chuck Percy in Illinois and Bud Wilkinson in Oklahoma going down to defeat. And 1980 and the awe on Howard Baker’s face when he found out he was Senate majority leader as the GOP picked up 12 Senate seats. And in 1994, one of the network guys was giving me the early exit polls about 11:30 a.m. One indicator was going to be Fred Thompson in Tennessee, who had a rocky start to his campaign. I remember Thompson was up by something astonishing, like 12 or 18 points. That night Pataki easily took the New York governorship and the speaker of the House, Tom Foley, lost in Washington.
The point here? Crazy stuff happens in wave elections. And right now the “happy times” wave seems close. But if the Superwave shows up — and the Gallup low turnout number is probably indicative (at 14 this week, which is unheard of) — anything could happen.
We’ll see what happens…
Instant update: Honestly, I wouldn’t mind this:
A situation in which one party controlled both chambers and then lost the House but not the Senate has not occured since 1930 and will ensure gridlock in Congress. Even with the Democrats in control of both the House and Senate it was nearly impossible to get anything done (due to endless Republican filibusters in the Senate), but with a Republican House and Democratic Senate, even less will be done because the kinds of bills the Republicans are likely to pass in the House, such as repealing the health-insurance and banking laws, have no chance at all in the Senate. In such a situation, the country could be on autopilot until after the winners of the 2012 election are seated.
[via Gen X at 40]
Actually, I might even prefer it, as it means that President Obama is a bit more beatable. On the other hand, I want to run up to sixty seats if possible, in order to repeal stuff with the next Republican president.
So, I’m of two minds on Senate takeovers…