Thursday, December 10, 2015

The DC Parlour Game: How Many Seats Will The GOP Lose If Trumpf Or Cruz Is Their Presidential Nominee?


Neither Paul Ryan nor Miss McConnell could care less what Herr Trumpf or any other GOP candidates have to say about minority groups. When each one of them denounced his horribly bigoted remarks about Muslims yesterday each was tepid and unengaged. Ryan, who was wearing cuffed mellon-colored chinos & brown leather OluKai sandals, was pulled out of a meeting with his hairdresser, about the pros and cons of growing a man bun for his new look and Miss McC... well he has a taste for a different sort of man buns. As McConnell said, Trumpf's remarks are "completely and totally inconsistent with American values," but do you think McConnell gives a rat's ass about American values? What he does care about is keeping the Senate Majority Leader post, which means holding the GOP majority, which wouldn't be easy this year no matter what. With A Trumpf or a Cruz on the top the ticket, he knows he can forget it.

When Amber Phillips at the Washington Post wrote that Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) were probably dead men (+ one dead woman)-walking, she only mentioned the Republicans most likely to lose regardless of who the GOP nominee is. These are Republicans running in states that turn out of Democrats in presidential years. Obama won each state in both 2008 and 2012 and either Hillary or Bernie should do better than he did in each one-- with or without Trumpf/Cruz. These were his 2008 and 2012 in each state:
Illinois- 2008- 62%, 2012- 58%
New Hampshire- 2008- 54%, 2012- 52%
Ohio- 2008- 52%, 2012- 51%
Pennsylvania- 2008- 54%, 2012- 52%
Wisconsin- 2008- 56%, 2012- 53%
Senate races in all 5 states in those years all went to Democrats:
Illinois- 2008- Durbin reelected 68-29%
New Hampshire- 2008- Jeanne Shaheen beat John Sununu 52-45%
Ohio- Sherrod Brown reelected 51-45%
Pennsylvania- Bob Casey reelected 54-45%
Wisconsin- 2008- Tammy Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson 51-46%
This year there are 24 Republican held seats up and just 10 Democratic-held seats. As if that wasn't bad enough, Marco Rubio is leaving his Florida seat empty, Dan Coats in leaving his Indiana seat empty and David Vitter is leaving his Louisiana seat empty. The only open Democratic seats are Nevada's, California's and Maryland's, all dependable for Democrats in presidential years. These are the Obama numbers for the 6 open seats:
California- 2008- 61%, 2012- 60%
Florida- 2008- 51%, 2012- 50%
Indiana- 2008- 50%, 2012- 44%
Lousiana- 2008- 40%, 2012- 41%
Maryland- 2008- 62%, 2012- 62%
Nevada- 2008- 55%, 2012- 52%
These numbers would predict Democratic wins in California, Maryland and Nevada and perhaps Florida, a Republican win in Louisiana and perhaps Indiana.

But back to the topic at hand. If the Democrats take all 6 of the relatively easy races-- Illinois, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Miss McConnell will have a lot more time to chase man buns around pickle park in Louisville. But if Trumpf or Cruz is at the top of the ticket, suddenly North Carolina (Burr), Arizona (McCain) and Missouri (Blunt) and Alaska, Arkansas (Boozman), Georgia (Isakson), and Iowa (Grassley) are in jeopardy. (Trumpf or Cruz at the top of the ticket could actually help the GOP in one state: Louisiana.)

In the House, the Republicans have gross DCCC incompetence-- and terrible recruits-- working in their favor but, at least in theory, Trumpf or Cruz at the top of the ticket could kill the careers of Martha McSally (AZ), Jeff Denham (CA), David Valadao (CA), Steve Knight (CA), Mike Coffman (CO), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Daniel Webster (FL), John Mica (FL), Robert Dold (IL), Mike Bost (IL), Rodney Davis (IL), Rod Blum (IA), David Young (IA), Bruce Poliquin (ME), Tim Walberg (MI), Cresent Hardy (NV), Frank Guinta (NH), Scott Garrett (NJ), Tom MacArthur (NJ), Lee Zeldin (NY), Elise Stefanik (NY), Tom Reed (NY), Peter King (NY), John Katko (NY), Ryan Costello (PA), Will Hurd (TX), Mia Love (UT), Scott Rigell (VA), Randy Forbes (VA), Barbara Comstock (VA). The GOP would also likely lose 7 open GOP-held seats in Florida (Jolly), Michigan (Benishek), Minnesota (Kline), Nevada (Heck), New York (Gibson), Pennsylvania (Pitts and Fitzpatrick) and lose a couple of pick-up opportunities in open Democratic-held seats in Arizona (Kirkpatrick) and Florida (Murphy).

But don't get all excited. Even with Trumpf or Cruz at the top of the ticket, DCCC recruiting will likely keep most of these relatively easy pickups safe. Steve Israel strikes again! McSally, Denham, Valadao, Knight, Mica, Bost, Davis, Walberg, Garrett, MacArthur, Zeldin, Stefanik, Reed and Hurd will owe him and the DCCC their careers-- as will the new Republicans who take over for Benishek and Kline. On top of that, if the DCCC candidates in IA-01 (Monica Vernon) and NY-24 (Colleen Deacon or Steve Williams) win their primaries that's two other seats the Democrats should win that will be won by Republicans.

All that said, Republicans in Congress and Republicans who depend on Republicans getting elected in 2016 are legitimately starting to freak out. The GOP version of Steve Israel-and-sock-puppet-Ben Ray Luján, NRCC chairman Greg Walden was whining to the media that Trumpf's bigotry "certainly... puts competitive seats in jeopardy. We’ll have a much more difficult time." His deputy dawg in charge of incumbent protection, Ohio bankster shill Steve Stivers went even further, predicting that if Trumpf wins the Republican nomination "it would be devastating to our attempts to grow our majority and would cost us seats. There are people that couldn’t win if he was our nominee."

And the former NRCC chair, Oklahoma's Tom Cole, was even more outspoken than Walden or Stivers: "Nothing will impact our majority more than who we nominate for president. The correlation between presidential votes and House votes is higher today than it’s ever been in American history, so we all have a vested interest in advancing the strongest nominee that we can... I think it’s very hard to put a great deal of distance between yourself and your presidential nominee in either a winning or losing year… At the end of the day, you have to recognize the presidential nominee of both parties has the biggest megaphone out there other than the president himself." Cole is aware it might now matter much in most of the Oklahoma seats-- where Trumpf's brand of fascism has a nativist appeal to low-info voters, but in Oklahoma City, the most educated of the districts, it could potentially cause a problem for freshman Congressman Steve Russell in the least red of the state's districts. In fact, his Democratic opponent, Tom Guild, one of the progressive congressional candidates who has endorsed Bernie Sanders told us today that "Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric regularly makes me sick at my stomach. He started by demonizing Hispanics as rapists and murderers on the day he officially announced his candidacy. He mocked and hated on Rosie O'Donnell, Carly Fiorina, and Megan Kelly. I'm not a big fan of any of them, but that's not the point. He thought calling Rosie a fat pig was really clever. He and his misogynist brain clearly don't 'get it' at all. He then mocked a physically disabled reporter, and dissembled and claimed he didn't know him. Now, he spews hate at all Muslims and proposes keeping all Muslims out of the country simply because of their religious status. Radical Islamist Terrorists determined to destroy western civilization are one thing. Demonizing all Muslims, the vast majority of whom are decent and stand up people is quite different. It hit me earlier today that Trump's verbal brutality and recklessness is beyond disgusting, when reading texts from two friends, one from Bangladesh (now a U.S. citizen) and one Saudi Arabian (graduating from UCO on Saturday), who are both honorable and decent, salt of the earth types. As Trump has spewed his vile hatred, his poll numbers with Republican voters have often risen after his cruel misogynist, xenophobic, and racist rants. He has remained for months the frontrunner in the GOP race for president, doing inestimable damage to our democracy and our country. His calling card is to fan the flames of intolerance, bigotry, hate, and fear. I'm a vigorous defender of free speech, particularly in the political arena. Nearly every day, Trump stretches the exercise of his free speech to the breaking point. He's lucky that he enjoys protected rights that in many cases he would take away from decent and honorable human beings. I'd like to point out to him how fortunate he is to have the Secret Service, who are paid for by taxpayers he demonizes, protecting him."

Leigh Valley's mainstrean conservative incumbent, Charlie Dent, probably isn't in jeopardy himself-- can we hear a cheer for Steve Israel again?-- but he is very concerned about the 3 swing districts in the Philly suburbs (PA-06, PA-07 and PA-08), plus the open seat Pitts is giving up. With either Trumpf or Cruz on top of the Republican ticket those will be really tough seats for the GOP to hold. Obama won all 4 of them in 2008 (as well as Dent's) and the only reason those districts are held by Republicans now is because of Steve Israel and the DCCC. Dent wants the party to officially condemn Trumpf's hate talk. "Are these comments helping us as a party? No. Running political campaigns and winning elections is an exercise in addition, not subtraction… When comments are made that are so divisive that alienate women, Hispanics, the disabled, Muslims-- it just simply limits your ability to win. It’s that simple.

Right-wing Republicans hate Dent and dismiss him as a "liberal," which he certainly isn't. But no one would say that about extremist Darrell Issa, who is not just a far right partisan but is also the wealthiest member of Congress. He feels Trumpf is wrecking the Republican Party's chance to hold onto it's big majority in the House and he's willing to personalize it more than some of the other candidates insisting the GOP denounce Trumpf "as the buffoon he is. This man is simply not representing the views of mainstream America when he calls for a religious group to be particularly sectioned out… As much as people like much of what he’s saying, they have to question the fundamental values of somebody that would say that."

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At 8:21 PM, Anonymous anver said...

great article thank you for sharing

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Mary said...

I like your columns very much but cringe each time you include some kind of reference to a someone's masculinity, or even worse, their sexuality. What is that about? This is stooping to the Ann Coulter level--yikes.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary - I think it is a reference to those people who pretend to be something they are not and their hypocrisy. Do you really think Mitch McConnell and the other hypocrites in the republican party are worthy of defense? I do not and it doesn't bother me at all to see him called our for what he and the other phonies pretend to be (never end a sentence with a preposition!)and are not.

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP will gain seats. It just means that Diebolding the vote will require more effort to achieve this result.


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