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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Griper Blade: Why Republicans are Terrified -- And Why That Should Worry You

caricature of frightened Republican elephant
Last month, Nate Silver took a look at Republican chances to win a majority in the Senate. The verdict: maybe, but probably not. Of course, it really is hard to say with any certainty this far in advance, but this assessment does not say good things about the party overall. If all things were equal, Republicans would be the clear favorites. The vast majority of Senate seats being contested in 2014 are held by Democrats -- 21 of 35 -- meaning the Republican Party can use most of their resources working to gain seats, while Democrats will be forced to spend mostly on holding them. And out of all those 21, Republicans need a mere 6. In other words, they could lose all those races at a rate in the neighborhood of 3:1 and still come out on top -- but they probably won't even reach that paltry level of success. Today Republicans get more 2014 bad news. Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg writes that Democrats will likely pick off a few governorships that cycle.
While the fight for the House of Representatives will take center stage next year, another battle could be almost as important for the two parties: control of a handful of big-state governorships. Republicans like to point out that while they lost the presidency and seats in both chambers of Congress in 2012, their party continues to hold governorships in 30 states, including nine of the country’s 12 largest states. But most of those governors — 23 to be exact — were elected in 2010, a great GOP year that doesn’t reflect the nation’s (or many states’) political fundamentals. (That number includes Utah’s Gary R. Herbert, who ran in a special election in 2010 and again in 2012.)
In congress, the big Tea Party wave turned into the one term Tea Party anomaly. And it's looking like that will likely hold true at the state level, as well. It's at this point that Democrats and liberals will need to pay close attention. You'll notice that these races where Republicans are expected to do poorly -- governorships and the senate -- are all statewide races. That means these races can't be rigged by gerrymandering. Not only is that why Republicans can expect to have a bad year, but it's why it's the year Republicans are most likely pull out the stops on dirty tricks to win elections. You see, if things turn out as predicted, the GOP will be royally screwed...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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