Even as conservatives rage against not having 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Democratic filibusters, or the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, their fiery language is almost certain to diminish the party’s chances of expanding its majorities. That would require winning seats in swing states and districts, where voters often prefer more centrist views.Nahhh. Right-wing extremism never really seems to hurt the GOP very much. The government shutdown of 2013 was followed by a Republican takeover of the Senate, in which Democrats lost seats in Colorado and Iowa, states that twice voted for Barack Obama as president; in a pair of other two-time Obama states, New Hampshire and Virginia, Democratic incumbents barely won tough races. And after retirements, Democrats also lost seats they'd previously held in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
“A lurch to the right is suicidal,” said Gregory Slayton, a Republican fund-raiser who backed Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin in the presidential race before he dropped out a week ago.
Oh, and of course Republicans gained 16 seats in the House in 2014, to give the GOP its largest House majority since 1928. And don't get me started on the big Republican gains in state legislatures.
I'd love to believe that things will be different in 2016, but from what I've seen, Democratic voters (and potential Democratic swing voters) don't remember anything that happened more than a month or two ago, whereas Republican voters cast their ballots based on grievances that dates back months, years, or decades. I realize that more Democrats will turn out in a presidential year than in an off year, but have you seen the polling of head-to-head matchups? Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, is struggling to beat her possible Republican opponents, including Donald Trump; in one poll, she's losing to the utterly unqualified Ben Carson by 7 points. A recent poll of Florida, a state Obama
I'd love to think a shutdown will change all this. I don't see it.