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View Diary: The real, but unknowable, path to a Democratic House majority (183 comments)

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  •  The problem in 2010 wasn't effort. (9+ / 0-)

    It was that the economy sucked, and voters didn't receive much of the benefits from the ACA yet.

    •  there's always lower turnout in midterms (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Mimikatz, JGibson

      and that benefits republicans and incumbents.  I think the x-factor is whether republicans stay home.

      One sign of optimism: immigration.  I am convinced the tea party actually started in 2006, over opposition to Bush's immigration reform plans. Goopers who vote for any form of permanent recognized status are in trouble.  The good news is they're whipsawed, as their party can't win national elections unless they pass comprehensive immigration reform and partly neutralized the issue.  (The republican base was also less enthusiastic about Iraq, but it'll play out differently.)  

      The 2006 election reflected ideological shifts that outpaced redistricting, to be sure, but if incumbents get knocked out, it's easier to see the general election candidates as too far right, still, even for R+ districts.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, but, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Wetbacks illegals leaf blowers brown people voting! Anchor babies bringing in more, um, brown family members to vote! Big families of um, brown people raising more voters! And we can't tell um, brown people to use family planning! Anyway, why aren't these, um, brown people proper Catholics like Santorum or Scalia, and then of course we could talk about citizenship, you betcha?


        And then you get Battleground Texas helping legal Latino immigrants in Texas to apply for citizenship, and Latino citizens in Mexico to register and turn out at the polls to turn Texas Blue.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:07:52 PM PDT

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      •  I vote in every election (0+ / 0-)

        It is a weak political party that is dependent on people who only vote when they are fired up. We Democrats need more voters who are unconditionally committed to voting in every election.
        I am pushing this message, starting on dailykos. I would not depend on political consultants to push this message.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:26:55 PM PDT

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        •  Well, that's the price (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          monkeybrainpolitics, JanL

          of representing voters who are often marginalized.  I think we need to make it easier for people to vote, and that will largely take care of itself.  The sociology of voting is more complex than lack of will.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 03:43:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And it's so funny how Democrats decry (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans for defunding research on things like gun violence and climate change, yet don't do much research or call for more research on the sociology of voting. Time in line, complexity of registration, felt difference a vote makes--these affect voting as the early voting, vote by mail, easy registration states show.  And the Republicans clean our clock on the felt difference a vote makes.

            America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

            by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 06:05:22 PM PDT

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        •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

          Get real.  Maybe 5% on either side are truly committed voters following the issues.  You find a lot of them on Dailykos and whatever the Reep counterpart is.

          You can probably double that, or at best triple it, to count the people whose sense of citizenship and civic duty is so ingrained they vote in every election, even local races.  Even so, an appallingly large number of these people are low-information voters.

          Double again to get those who vote in midterm elections, and triple to get those who vote in Presidential elections, but be realistic.  A lot of these "regular voters" don't follow politics that closely.  They vote, and they usually vote the same way election after election, but it's not their passion in life.

          We're the unusual ones.

      •  No, your first statement is completely wrong (0+ / 0-)

        If what you said was true there, then there would be a consistent pattern of Democrats doing worse in midterms than in Presidentials.

        But there isn't.  There's no such pattern at all.

        It's obvious that whatever affects our fortunes, the turnout disparity isn't it, except perhaps in some localized situations in a few individual districts.

        45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:58:14 PM PDT

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        •  It seems fairly consistent, actually, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but i could have been more clear.  Overall turnout is down in midterms, mostly because fewer elections are competitive.  Republicans have fewer sporadics than Democrats, but it's at the margin.  Many Democratic sporadic voters aren't even registered in their current districts.  It's not easily controlled for, however, because each election presents its own variations; including from time to time, republican low turnout.  I will tell you that Pennsylvania statewide races depend almost entirely on whether Philadelphia turns out, and the vote numbers from Iowa in 2008 to 2010 to 2012 (representative of the party's fortunes in the midwest), show a much larger drop-off in Democratic voting and then an uptick, proportionately, than Republican.  There was some cross-over from Obama to Branstad and back, but not overwhelmingly so. If you've ever worked in politics, it's no secret that we have a whole class of voters we have to work harder for than Republicans do.  Not every mid-term race, without the Presidential umbrella, has the resources to do so, in terms of volunteer manpower, primarily.    

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 06:22:02 AM PDT

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    •  And Citizens United... $$$ /nt (0+ / 0-)

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:22:28 AM PDT

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    •  That's an interesting point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie, Loge

      The ACA begins to wake up in October, as some of these exchanges start and people can begin looking at their new options; expanded Medicaid will start then too, and surprisingly to me, most states are taking it.  The whole thing begins basically on Jan. 1, although most people who already have employer-based plans won't see a huge change - some added benefits, some changed processes.

      But deficit in 2010 could end up being a huge benefit, if implementation goes well and people like either their new benefits or learn that they really will keep their current benefits.  It's kind of a double-edged sword, though, since many exchanges are state-run, particularly the ones in states that were Democratic at the time.  If a major state's exchange, like NY or PA or something, blows up, due to lack of plans all sorts of problems that I can't predict from my armchair, that could present issues.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:43:38 AM PDT

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      •  According to, Governors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, JanL

        Perry, Jindal, Haley and more than a dozen other governors are saying no, blocking an estimated 5 million people from obtaining coverage.

        Here's a link to the article "States Refuse to Expand Medicaid."

        One other potential problem with working class, middle and professional class folks will be if they lose their group health insurance, as a result of the ACA.

        Mr. Mollie's employer threatened us with this last year, and then cut their health insurance plan offerings from three to one, for 2013.  

        It is a substantial cut in coverage.  We were enrolled in the high benefit plan.

        We haven't gotten the final word.  We anticipate that we'll hear something BEFORE the federal health exchanges go online.  That is, if his employer  decides to discontinue offering group health insurance.

        If this should happen en masse, I imagine that it could greatly hurt the prospects for the Democratic Party in 2014, if not for years to come if the trend continues.

        Mr. Mollie does not want his personal business discussed online (and I can't fault him for that).  So I can't give his specifics.

        But I will say, he works for the largest multinational corporation in its industry.  It was his corporation which led the way in offering the so-called 'consumer friendly high deductible' group health insurance plans.

        So, we have to take them seriously.  ;-)


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:40:22 PM PDT

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        •  Yeah, I expected the hard-core southern states to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          not take it.  It was the peripheral states that have surprised me, such as Arizona and Florida (Florida has gone back and forth on this one, don't know what their current decision is).  I know, Texas is a big state and it's not all Republicans, but... it's still Texas and the gerrymandering is now nationally famous, it will be a long time before liberalism makes serious inroads in the state.

          As to the benefit cuts, I know it's of terribly small comfort to you but it's important to note, both politically and just in general, that I expect that a lot of companies who had planned to axe benefits, particularly those politically-active in GOP circles, may blame Obamacare - that's a huge risk.  Even on an individual level; I can see a future episode of The Real Housewives of Another Over-filmed California Suburb: "My insurance company won't pay for cosmetic surgery to make my nose look prettier and my teeth unnaturally white!  See?  Death panels!  Obamacare!"

          But, of course, that's of small comfort to someone who's put in your position :(.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:56:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right, ar, it is small comfort, LOL! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            auron renouille

            Seriously, we also don't particularly believe that the ACA is responsible for their decision.  Problem is--we'll just plain never really know.

            If we do get the axe, I just hope that a bunch of other major multinationals DON"T FOLLOW SUIT.

            That is part of what concerns me.  This is a financially very strong corporation.  

            Even worse, it will probably definitely affect the entire industry, because they are the largest and most profitable corporation in their industry.

            When they changed over to 'high-deductible plans,' over the next several years, all the other major (like) companies followed suit.

            Time will tell, I guess.


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:04:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pennsylvania? Yeowch. (0+ / 0-)

              What's your state legislature like?  I'm a little embarrassed to know very little about PA politics, despite having lived next door twice (Ohio, NYC).  I do get the big picture of a sort of three-way divide between Philly, Pittsburgh, and the rural "T," but I don't know how those actually play out in Harrisburg.  I recognize that of late the state seems to be safe Dem in the Presidential category; Republicans seem to waste a lot of money in its pricey media markets but don't get much traction.  But then again, you've also had some pretty crappy GOP Senators.  No offense, I know that you didn't pick'em :).

              I haven't been clear on if state governors alone can accept the expansion through executive order or if the legislatures are involved?  They've certainly got to be involved eventually, once the states start paying their 10% or whatever the next gradation is.

              Ironically, when I moved from Ohio to NYC, our car, a tiny 4-door sedan my father had just inherited from his mother with the intent of driving it to death, broke down in Harrisburg - to be precise, on the eastbound I-81 bridge over the Susquehanna River.  It was not awesome at all.  We're lucky we didn't all get squished by an 18-wheeler.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:21:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And that seniors swung VERY heavily to (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans in that election, due to cuts in the Medicare Advantage program, etc.

      Here's a screenshot and excerpt from a Politico article.  

      Photo Credit:  Associated Press (AP)
      Seniors Fled Democrats In Midterms

      By: Byron Tau
      November 7, 2010 03:35 PM EDT

      In an election marked by dramatic defections from the Democratic Party, older voters swung hardest, seemingly threatened by President Barack Obama’s mantra of change.

      Voters over 65 favored Republicans last week by a 21-point margin after flirting with Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections and favoring John McCain by a relatively narrow 8-point margin in 2008.

      Concerned by changes to Medicare and compelled by a Republican Party that promised a return to America’s glory days, seniors played a crucial — and often understated — role in races across the country. They were unswayed by ubiquitous Democratic warnings about Republican changes to Social Security. And they put a series of campaigns out of reach for Democrats.

      In New Hampshire, for instance, seniors backed GOP Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte over her Democratic challenger by 33 points. In the narrow Illinois Senate contest, Republican Mark Kirk won older voters by 22 points. And In Delaware, they were the only age group to back tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell, by an 11-point margin.

      “I’ve been saying since August 2009, that there was a tsunami — in this case a senior citizen tsunami — headed towards Capitol Hill,” said Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association, a conservative campaign group targeted toward older voters. “That tsunami came ashore.”

      The shift in older voters was the most dramatic swing of any age group, George Mason political scientist Michael McDonald said, and it gave the GOP the “magnitude” of its victory.


      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 01:16:58 PM PDT

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      •  Politico is a site which favors Rs (0+ / 0-)

        and loves to play up anything that hurts Dems, at least in their book.

        But you keep posting a 2009 article. It wasn't that bad in 2012.

        And the sky didn't fall an Advantage plans are stronger than ever. Their cost is going down for next year.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:09:13 AM PDT

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        •  I don't agree with that characterization of (0+ / 0-)

          Politico, LOL!

          They LOVE anything that is following the corporatist and/or neoliberal model.  They simply criticize (as does most of the MSM) in order to keep pushing both parties further to the right.

          This article is 'pertinent' BECAUSE the subject being discussed IS A MIDTERM ELECTION--2014.  

          The statistics are the statistics.

          BTW, what is your evidence that the Medicare Advantage plan 'are stronger than ever.'  I did read that HHS changed course, and didn't 'defund' the plan as much as originally intended.  But, I've never heard the assertion that you've just made.  Which is not to dispute it either--obviously, I don't see everything, LOL! Would love to see that info, if you have a link, or even a resource name.  

          Support from the senior community will obviously only decrease, IF the Democratic Party continues to talk of, or actually dismantle, the social safety net.

          BTW, some of us point out inconvenient truths in order to save the Democratic Party--from itself.

          IOW--I'm on the side of the Dem Party.  But I cannot support the cuts that they propose to Social Security or Medicare.

          If the Dem Party keeps down its current path (dismantling the social insurance programs), I truly believe that they will find themselves 'in the wilderness' for decades to come.

          Don't forget that the policies that this Administration seems determined to dismantle, don't apply to a handful of special interest groups.  

          We're talking about the 'interests' of all 315 million Americans, here.

          For the life of me, I can't imagine why Dems have even considered going this route.  

          And I hope that every time that I post the WH and Capitol Hill phone numbers, which is often, folks will put them to good use.  ;-)


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          by musiccitymollie on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:23:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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