Thursday, May 20, 2021


Yet another political prognosticator -- this time it's Kyle Kondik of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia -- says that Democrats are probably doomed in 2022:
On balance, we expect the reapportionment of House seats ... to benefit Republicans to a small extent. Redistricting seems likely to also help Republicans. Given that the Democrats only won a 222-213 edge in the House last year, Republicans only need to net five seats to win the House. That kind of small gain could come from reapportionment and redistricting alone.

This doesn’t even take into account the usual advantages that the party that does not control the White House typically has in midterm House elections: Since the end of World War II, the average seat loss by the presidential party in midterms is 27 seats. In those 19 midterm elections, the presidential party has lost seats 17 times. The exceptions were 1998 and 2002, when the president’s party made small gains.

House Democrats are facing twin challenges next year: The overall consequences of reapportionment and redistricting, as well as midterm history. The combination of the two will be difficult for Democrats to overcome.
Bill Clinton's Democrats gained a couple of seats in 1998 because America didn't approve of his impeachment. And then there was 2002.

Republicans gained seats in George W. Bush's first midterm cycle because the country had rallied around him after 9/11. But it was more than that: Republicans made it clear that they believed their party had a monopoly on patriotism, mostly because some Democrats opposed a war with Iraq. (You remember the war in Iraq. It's one of those wars Republican voters now pride themselves on opposing, after spending years describing opponents as traitors.)

Democrats might have a shot at keeping their majorities in the House and Senate after the 2022 midterms if they make the same assertions about Republicans that Republicans made about Democrats in 2002.

Republicans really are unpatriotic. They don't believe in our electoral system. They don't want an investigation into a mob attack on our government. They continue to back a president who was chummier with our enemies than our allies, and who egged on the violent anti-democracy mob that attacked the Capitol.

Democrats don't like criticizing the entire Republican Party, even implicitly. I can't imagine them settling on a message that the GOP as a whole is anti-American.

It is, though, and Democrats should say so. Democrats need to do something to make Republicans unpalatable to voters, or they're going to find themselves in the minority in two years.

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