Thursday, September 24, 2009


I keep telling you that Glenn Beck and the teabaggers are very, very good for the Republican Party, but, hey, I'm just a dumb schmuck, and obviously not as smart as Frank Rich, Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, and Nate Silver, all of whom have said in the past week, in one way or another, that Beckism/teabagism/town hall anarchism is a double-edged sword that potentially threatens both parties. Since they obviously know more than I do, the lead story in this morning's USA Today can't possibly be true, can it?

GOP gets big bump of donors in August

Despite being in the minority in Congress, Republican campaign committees outraised Democrats by $1.7 million in August as they have aggressively collected political cash amid the rancorous debate over health care....

The GOP spike is a departure. In each of the past four years, the party in power -- whether Democrat or Republican -- raised more than the minority's fundraising committees in August, a USA TODAY review of campaign records shows.

"Republicans have been able to tap into some of the anger against Democrats in power and translate that into fundraising," said Nathan Gonzales of The Rothenberg Political Report....

Yup -- Republicans had that fundraising spike. Not None-of-the-Above-icans. Not Throw-All-the-Bums-Out-Regardless-of-Party-icans. Not Post-Modern-Conservatism-icans.

I don't care how much lip service Beck pays to the notion of pox-on-both-your-houses -- his Antichrists are Democrats, and the vast majority of Americans see one and only one alternative to the Democratic Party.

And they're now backing that alternative with vitriol and cash.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gelman, a Nate Silver co-blogger, has crunched some numbers and concluded that Republicans are seriously gaining ground:

Generic House Polling Suggests the Republicans Could Regain the House in 2010

... The current state of the generic polls gives the Democrats .412/(.412+.377) = 52% of the two-party vote. Going to the graph, we see, first, that 52% for the Democrats is near historic lows (comparable to 1946, 1994, and 1998) and that the expected Democratic vote--given that their party holds the White House--is around -3%, or a 53-47 popular vote win for the Republicans.

Would 53% of the popular vote be enough for the Republicans to win a House majority? A quick look, based on my analysis with John Kastellec and Jamie Chandler of seats and votes in Congress, suggests yes.

... the numbers now definitely do not look good for the Democrats.

I know how pleasant it is to think of the GOP as an aging, shrinking, regionalized cohort of ignoramuses and lunatics. But don't get complacent. They're coming back. Hard.

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