Tag Archives: Incumbency

When I’m Wrong, I’m Wrong

Don’t let it be said that I’m too full of myself to admit when I’m wrong. I’m certainly too full of myself for lots of other things, but not that….

I honestly believed – right up to last night – that the Dems would probably be just fine in their majorities in the 2010 elections. I was wrong.

The Dems managed to hold the Senate, though in all honestly, the numbers from last night make it clear that all us Liberals owe a debt of gratitude to Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell for that. Count that as a “Win” for #4 on my list. In fact, things have gone so badly for Sarah Palin that even when Dems lose, they still win in Alaska: Senator Murkowski looks poised to take back her seat despite being primaried by a Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed Joe Miller. Murkowski is hardly a leftie, but she certainly looks it when compared to Joe Miller.

I am very surprised that voters went for Republicans in such large numbers, but then, Democrats and the Obama White House have done such a poor job of at least getting credit for the things they did accomplish that our current result set was probably inevitable. That would be why #1 in my list didn’t matter: even when winning, the prevaricating, overly-cautious Democrats looked like they were losing. So all those great accomplishments meant nothing to the voting public.

#3 on my list, the myth of low voter turnout, turned out to be false almost immediately. The “enthusiasm gap” seems to have had nothing to do with the loss, but rather a swing among Independents.

That leaves #’s 2 and 5. Both burned the Republicans once, the Democrats once. And if they don’t shape up, the lack of cohesive planning and vision will burn them both next election.

I am curious now what the average rate of incumbency is in the Congress, relative to say 2000? Have long-term incumbents like Harry Reid been given a pass in favour of a lot of cannon fodder candidates? Certainly at the margins, that is always true. But have the huge swings in voting habits of the American people resulted in a genuine shake-up of Washington’s elite, or just made for good television and lots of heartburn for us political watchers?

If you have any details, I’d love to hear it.