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Republicans have largely based their successes in House elections since 1992 on grabbing the low hanging fruit of white, conservative southern seats held by Dems--either by beating them or by taking open seats.  That happened this year as well: the GOP took 3 such seats in North Carolina (and a fourth is heading to a recount), one in Arkansas, one in Kentucky, and one in Oklahoma.  That accounts for 6 of their 10 pickups (the others were redistricting-related wins in western Pennsylvania, northern Indiana, and upstate New York plus winning both of the incumbent on incumbent battles).  But that leaves them basically no more winnable seats in the South.

Assuming Allen West's crazy goes away as expected and Mike McIntyre survives his recount in NC-07, the total partisan split in the political south (the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Oklahoma) will be 108-41 GOP.  The 41 Democrats are as follows:

-19 heavily Dem African-American concentration seats (VA-03, NC-01, NC-12, SC-06, GA-02, GA-04, GA-05, GA-13, FL-05, FL-20, FL-24, AL-07, MS-02, TN-09, LA-02, TX-09, TX-18, TX-30, TX-33);

-6 heavily Dem Latino concentration seats in Texas (TX-15, 16, 20, 28, 34, 35);

-11 other mostly urban heavily Dem districts (VA-08 and 11 (NoVa D.C. suburbs), NC-04 (Research Triangle), FL-09 (Dem parts of Orlando and surrounding areas), FL-14 (Tampa), FL-21, 22, and 23 (Dem South Florida), TN-05 (Nashville),
3.KY-03 (Louisville), TX-29 (East Houston);

-2 competitive Latino districts trending our way that we just picked up: TX-23 and FL-26;

-1 competitive seat in Palm Beach we just picked up (FL-18); and

-2, count 'em, one two traditional conservative white Democrats defending hostile territory (the sort of seats that have comprised most of the R pickups over the past 20 years): McIntyre in NC-07 and John Barrow in GA-12.  And if McIntyre loses his recount, it's just Barrow.  Those two will remain targets. And the three freshmen who grabbed swing seats will likely get a decent challenge in 2014, but if they survive that, they're probably safe--particularly Garcia in FL-26.  Otherwise, we are done with defending the South.  Pretty remarkable.

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Comment Preferences

  •  OTC - any chance we can challenge (10+ / 0-)

    3 seats in New York next cycle?

    There are 3 Republican House seats in southern New York, in areas that were devastated by storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. Do we have any progressive candidates to put against these guys next cycle?

    NY-03 Peter King (R) (Long Island, including south shore)
    NY-09 Bob Turner (R) (Includes the whole Rockaway Peninsula)
    NY-13 Michael Grimm (R) (Staten Island + part of Brooklyn water front)

    •  Turner is history as his district (9+ / 0-)

      was dismantled in redistricting (one of the 2 seats eliminated statewide).  King is now NY-02, trading district numbers with Steve Israel.  King also got a marginally more GOP seat--allowing Carolyn McCarthy a safer seat as well.  King is a total asshole, wired into the local party machine, and can fundraise, so we never seem to get a decent challenger.  The right one in a decent year can take him out.  Grimm will never rest easy and will lose as soon as he sees a top tier opponent.

      Nate Silver is to Joe Scarborough as Billy Beane is to Grady Fuson

      by Superribbie on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:07:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  NY Seats (3+ / 0-)

      1.  King's seat was gerrymandered
      2.  Turner's seat is gone, garbled up in redistricting
      3.  Grimm was just challenged by Mark Murphy (who had lots of help from the DCCC) and if you know the district which is all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn it's been difficult (and believe me I've worked on campaigns for Dems trying to defeat Cons in this area).  Many SI voters are registered Dem (in fact there are more Dems registered on SI than Cons) but vote Republicon.  This is especially true with the working middle class.  I haven't seen the numbers as yet, but what's happened in the past is that the Island only selects a candidate based on their SI home address then the Dem carries Brooklyn but can't get enough votes on the Island.  Anyway, I'm hoping that Grimm soon does a perp walk and we can defeat him that way.

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

      by Rosalie907 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:29:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  how in the hell do we get the House back? (6+ / 0-)

    that's my question......I do not want to wait 6 years @ winning 9 seats a cycle......

    •  Same way we did in 2006 (9+ / 0-)

      Expand the playing field, put up a lot of viable candidates and catch a wave.  The thing about gerrymandering is that it diffuses the strength of the party it's supposed to favor such that a uniform swing the other way loses them a lot of seats.

      And be absolutely certain to win a lot of governorships and state legislatures in 2018 and 2020.

      Nate Silver is to Joe Scarborough as Billy Beane is to Grady Fuson

      by Superribbie on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:19:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, (6+ / 0-)

      We will need only 17 or 18 nationally even with the GOP maxed out in the South, which was my point.

      Nate Silver is to Joe Scarborough as Billy Beane is to Grady Fuson

      by Superribbie on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:21:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need to win State houses ... (5+ / 0-)

      And fix the gerrymandering. I think that is the only way we take back the house. I'm not saying we wont eventually through migration and demographics. But the Gerrymandering is killing us...

      A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

      by falconer520 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:23:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  2010 was a particularly bad year (9+ / 0-)

        To pick to get creamed at the state level.  If Pat Quinn hadn't unexpectedly hung onto the IL governorship by a few thousand votes, we'd be 4 seats further back.

        Nate Silver is to Joe Scarborough as Billy Beane is to Grady Fuson

        by Superribbie on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:30:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  people didn't... (5+ / 0-)

          vote...23 million people under 30 voted in 2008, only 9 million in 2010.

          "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

          by JackND on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:54:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Young people ignore midterms (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MBishop1

            Young people showed up at about the same rate as they always did for the midterms.

            But with the historic passage of healthcare reform and it's subsequent end-of-Medicare-death-panel demonization, that energized seniors to participate at a higher rate than they had historically.

            The story of the 2010 midterms is that Democrats of every stripe showed up in roughly the same numbers that they always do in midterms.

            But Republicans overperformed in the midterms, with the the group that always shows up for midterms, seniors.

            Youth turnout was comparable to recent midterm years and remarkably stable. Youth didn’t vote more or less than they did, roughly speaking, than in other midterms. But they did vote less than they did in 2008. In 2008, youth voters made up 18% of the electorate; this year, they made up 11%.

            You had an older electorate of angry voters who believed Obama stole their freedom and cut their Medicare. The results are pretty clear. While it’s slightly comforting to see the trend of young voters supporting Democrats in big numbers, it’s unclear that will always hold as people age.

            If the Democrats don’t want to go through this every four years in off-elections, they need to build their advantage on the type of voters who actually turn out in midterm elections. There’s evidence that Latinos had pretty darn good turnout in 2010, and probably saved Harry Reid’s bacon in Nevada. That’s one place to start.

            http://news.firedoglake.com/...
            In 2010, an estimated 22.8% of eligible young American citizens voted, consistent with the past few midterm elections, which was consistent with participationates in midterm elections dating back to 1994. (EXIT POLLS, CIRCLE)

            The youth vote surged in key states where Rock the Vote was on the ground. At North Carolina Central University, turnout was 13 times higher in 2010 than it
            was in 2006. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, turnout increased 31%. At the University of Florida, turnout increased by 49% and at the
            University of Pennsylvania, turnout increased by 46%. (Rock the Vote)

            In 2010, under-30 voters were the only age demographic to vote for Democrats, with the youngest voters (18‐24 year olds) giving Democrats a 19-point margin.
            (EXIT POLLS, CIRCLE)

            http://www.rockthevote.com/...

            Young Republicans represented a larger portion of the electorate compared to 2008 with 31% of young voters identifying themselves as conservative compared
            to 26% identifying as Republican in 2008. (EXIT POLLS, CIRCLE)

            http://www.rockthevote.com/...

            The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

            by FiredUpInCA on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:29:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That might change if Obama campaigns (0+ / 0-)

              In 2010 times were still really bad and no one wanted to stand on a stage with him. If things are improving in 2014 then he could be a secret weapon.

              Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

              by Deathtongue on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:49:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Bingo !! Black Eisenhower needs to learn (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody

            one lesson from (Pennsylvania Dutch) Eisenhower.

            Do a couple hundred press conferences.

            Get out there.

            Don't use surrogates. Do it right. Do it yourself.

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ellefarr, Odysseus

      Over the last 10 years as I have observed the process, especially the recent issues with the R-House "shutting that thing down" with pure obstructionism...

      I see that its not just about presidents. It's about congress... And even more so, living in AZ where state politics sucks... its about local races.

      I have made a slow conversion over 20 years (in my 20's I barely remembered to vote for president)

      And now, older and wiser, I wonder how to get more people to the polls in off-year elections, and to get good candidates.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" - F.D.R.

      by biscobosco on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:48:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  gotta get the state houses back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ellefarr, bontemps2012

    we're so gerrymandered we are at a major disadvantage

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:21:27 PM PST

  •  Now that we've won the presidential election (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, mconvente, yella dawg

    and kept the Senate and got Elizabeth Warren elected, as long as the Senate gets rid of the filibuster, getting back the House is the top priority.  More diaries like this please.

  •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, eglantine

    Well, that's one way to end a war...with all our soldiers dead, there's no real fight left is there.

    Hurray?

    I can't believe our election is being decided by people who can't tell the difference between republicans and democrats...that's like letting a dog choose what color to paint your house.

    by PBJ Diddy on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:44:46 PM PST

  •  Unless Scalia & Co. Overturn the Voting Rights Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012

    That is, unless Scalia and Co. overturn the Voting Rights Act which is scheduled to come before the Court in 2013.

    "Humanity won't be happy until the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat." - Paris, 1968

    by turthlover on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:59:13 PM PST

    •  Ironically, with respect to districting, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, Odysseus, RandomNonviolence

      That would either be a neutral or a net positive if it has the effect of unpacking minority voters from single heavy majority-minority districts.  Of course, losing federal oversight of voter suppression would be problematic.

      Nate Silver is to Joe Scarborough as Billy Beane is to Grady Fuson

      by Superribbie on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:38:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

        I live in TN-09 (Memphis), a majority African-American district (at the moment represented by awesome Jewish Democrat Steve Cohen). The Tennessee GOP has shown no qualms about creating insane gerrymanders - Marsha Blackburn's TN-07 district is widely considered one of the 10 worst gerrymanders in the nation. It is completely reasonable to assume they'd chop Memphis up into 3 pieces and dilute its strength across the 3 Western TN congressional districts (all three overwhelmingly white and GOP).

        Similar stunts could be pulled throughout the South - as has happened in Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia.

        "Humanity won't be happy until the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat." - Paris, 1968

        by turthlover on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:00:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Surely they've already redistricted themselves (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, yella dawg, Odysseus

    as many House seats as is possible.  The worry, though, is really that they'll gain seats, but that they'll be able to continue to hold the ones they've got, which requires the Dem Party to start pouring resources and effort into prying them out immediately.  We can't wait for voters to simply start paying attention in the last 6 months before the midterms, we need to keep them informed of the lunatic votes and statements of their elected representatives every month over the next two years with a steady stream of mailers.

    Hell, set up a superpac for it - People for Accountability, or somesuch generic name, and make sure voters know every single racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-science, and just downright stupid thing their Republican incumbents say, so they go into the cycle knowing exactly how hateful and stupid the people they've elected in the past actually are.

  •  The changing demographics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Odysseus, shopkeeper

    in this region along with populist leanings I see everywhere would lend itself to the Democratic national party running some real Democrat's. Give these states a real choice instead of Blue Dogs and 'conservative' DINO Democrat's.

    The CW that says we can only run barely Democratic candidates in these traditionally red states is a self perpetuating Catch 22. Look to CO, it went pretty progressive, even CA's state government went Democratic.

    Perhaps our party ought to catch the populist wind and stop with the we're not quite as nuts. Instead of constantly play defensively take the offensive and give these voters a real choice. Maybe get a decent DNC and DCCC head and an agenda that actually promotes populist bottom up democratic governance. In 2010 the Dems that did not go down were largely progressives.

         

    •  We need to rejuvenate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, shaharazade, KateinIL

      the 50 state strategy, but focus it on ensuring that there will be a Democratic candidate running in every Congressional district! How can we expect to gain seats (especially in this very-gerrymandered reality) if we don't even give people a choice!

      In fact, I would like to see the Dems running a candidate in every state legislative race also. That's how we can build the experience of a deep bench! But that means that a call needs to go out for Dems to recognize and to commit to the value of government and civic service! If we can persuade people to join up at their local level, that will only pay dividends when it's time to recruit good candidates!

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