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This diary is not intended to bash Nate Silver, since he was just basing his predictions on historical precedent. It's to help motivate all of us (including myself) to not let a repeat of 2010 happen and to from this point forward always take mid-term elections as seriously as we do elections in years divisible by 4. Nate Silver doesn't like our prospects in the US House in 2014. He may be correct, but there's no reason why he must be.

Below the burnt orange chicken wire we'll dive into the details.

Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight article from today points to many historical factors that are not in our favor for recapturing the US House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections.

Silver first points to a reversion to the mean:

First, there is some reversion to the mean: a party tends to lose more seats in the House when it has more of them to lose.

There is also another type of reversion to the mean that is often overlooked: the president’s party tends to lose more seats in the midterms following years when it performed very strongly in the presidential race. For example, the large margins of victory achieved by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 and Lyndon Johnson in 1964 were followed by large losses in the House two years later.

Even though Silver didn't mention it specifically, the 2010 elections which gave many state legislatures to Republicans also gave them the power to gerrymander carve out congressional districts. What we saw 10 days ago was the GOP maintaining control of the US House and only losing a few seats despite Democrats holding an aggregate numerical majority in US House elections. Silver pointed to the 2012 results that can be at least in part attributed to how the districts were drawn (which will remain that way until after the 2020 elections).
Still, the more likely situation is losses rather than gains for Democrats, based on the historical record. And a 17-seat gain would strongly defy historical precedent.

Nor did Democrats come especially close to winning the House in 2012, once one examines the results from individual races more carefully.

This year, there were only 11 House seats that Democrats lost by five or fewer percentage points. Thus, even if they had performed five points better across the board, they would still have come up six seats short of controlling the chamber.

In other words, Democrats would have to perform quite a bit better in House races in 2014 than they did in 2012 to win control of the chamber – when usually the president’s party does quite a bit worse instead.

Silver also pointed to the fact that Democrats are more reliant on voting blocs that have been less likely to turnout in midterm elections - Hispanics and voters under the age of 30. Young voters who helped propel Obama to victory in 2008 were largely absent in 2010. This trend must be reversed if Democrats have any chance in 2014.

The article features a chart chronicling midterm US House results since the end of World War II. Only in 1998 and 2002 did the sitting President see his party gain in those elections - and those were slight gains. Democrats gained 5 seats in 1998 and Republicans gained 8 seats in 2002.

Silver's article, although an early prediction, is anything but fatalistic. 2010 is commonly known as a "wave" election like 1994 and 2006. 2014 at least for now is not expected to be, even though what happens between now and November 4, 2014 remains to be seen. Although he used this point to support his thesis ("a party tends to lose more seats in the House when it has more of them to lose" - as he put it), Democrats in 2014 will have fewer seats to lose, so I don't see it likely that Democrats will become a smaller minority two years from now, much less do I think Republicans will experience a sweeping victory in the US House. I'll still accept that the odds aren't in our favor for taking over that chamber.

Historical statistical trends, however, are not inevitable. Silver is open to the possibility of 2014 being an exception to the rule shown to largely hold true at least from 1946 until now. But, Silver states

it might take a major scandal in the Republican party, or for Republicans to splinter into factions, for Democrats to have more than a remote chance of winning the House.
As I see it, what it will take is commitment to hard work, a lot of pavement pounding and steadfastness on our part. There are no short cuts in democracy. Remember that 2010 didn't just give us a "Tea Party tidal wave" in the US Congress where Republicans in both houses felt emboldened to obstruct President Obama. It also gave us Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Rick Scott, John Kasich, Bob LePage, Tom Corbett, many Republican-controlled state legislatures, plus some of the worst legislation we've ever seen, much of if drafted by ALEC. That election brought us voter suppression laws, union busting, attempts to deny women reproductive rights, drug testing requirements for welfare recipients in Florida, dissolution of self-government in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and many other pieces of noxious legislation.

Hopefully 2010 taught us the importance of state and local government. If we can buck the trends pointed out in Silver's article, then hopefully that will bring us gains in governors' mansions and state houses, not to mention some ballot initiatives in our favor. If we assume the worst - the feds dropping the hammer on Colorado and Washington after their newly minted legalization of recreational marijuana, it would be harder for the DEA to exhaust resources to clamp down against several more states. Would more states take a look at single-payer health care? Would private prisons come under increased scrutiny? Will tax fairness get a hearing at the state level (our own Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has thus far refused to even consider it)? Would more sane state tax policy also be coupled with stemming the tide of deep cuts to state programs - particularly education budgets?

The answer lies with us - mobilizing our base, beating back dirty money, turning out more young (including first-time) voters, and making 2014, just like 2012, about a clear contrast in values, in which vision of America should prevail and move us forward.

12:10 PM PT: Thanks to all of you, for the recs, for spotlighting this, but most of all for the dialogue. A particular comment sparked a thought: many citizens seem to approach elections like it's 'trickle-down voting". Democracy works best with a bottom-up approach.

Thanks also to leftcandid for bringing up the ACA and how we need to promote it. What if we started a multi-media campaign to publish testimonials about how the ACA benefits people? Write letters to President Obama, your Senators and Representatives, create a Facebook page where you can post those testimonials, share it on Twitter, think of a way to create PSAs on YouTube, radio and television. Other ideas are welcome too.

Originally posted to RockyMtnLib on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM PST.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  2014! :-) Need to persuade, not just GOTV. (24+ / 0-)

      Nice diary and analysis. Thanks!

      OK, we've had 10 days vacation away from politics. Time to get back at it! :-)

      For 2014, Dems need to start now on a strategy for persuading large numbers of non-partisans, Republicans, swing, independent, and other 'winnable' voters to vote Democratic. This requires targeting households other than A and B Democratic voters, and moving into C and D households, in a friendly, neighborly way.

      The DNC and State Parties need to come up with a few themes that can be drilled into the media over the next two years.

      We can help! :-)

      •  I hope Obama is keeping his machine in place (13+ / 0-)

        and that it fires up for the 2014 elections, doing the same GOTV and registration and the like that did so well this year. (Actually I hope he hands it off to whoever ends up running in 2016.)

        The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

        by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:38:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They said it was not to be sustained and that (5+ / 0-)

          in the future, people have to build their own.

          So no, that won't be happening.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:46:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's nuts. (7+ / 0-)

            Just sayin'. That organization could take the Democrats to 2016 and beyond.

            I hope they at least left good notes (and voter databases).

            The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

            by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:58:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Imagine if Dean had won in 2004. (5+ / 0-)

              DFA would not have been dismembered in 2009 and left to die.

              [That is all. :-) ]

            •  He's converting it to current political action (8+ / 0-)

              Last week, the campaign invited campaign volunteers and supporters to participate in to fight the Bush tax cuts.  

              While it sucks that he is choosing not to simply hand over this apparatus to the party or the next campaign, I think there is a wisdom in this decision.  The key value was that this campaign was built from the bottom up.  Each of us volunteered, gave money, worked our asses off because we developed a personal relationship in some fashion with the candidate and the campaign.  

              And it's little things like my quickly being empowered to help, to make suggestions that were actively listened to, to even being offered a ride home by campaign staff.  you think any of that was going on in Romneyland?  

              The next democratic candidate can't simply purchase a campaign apparatus, she or he has to build it.

              --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

              by chipoliwog on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:36:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  so (2+ / 0-)

                if he's going to disassemble what was built on his watch, is he going to rebuild what we had before?

                No?  didn't think so.

                It's been a hundred years, isn't it time we stopped blaming Captain Smith for sinking the Titanic?

                by happymisanthropy on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:06:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Look, I recognize the importance of building (4+ / 0-)

                a campaign of interested, committed workers, but c'mon. Obama's machine has a huge amount of scaffolding that could be used by other campaigns to avoid having to reinvent the wheel – voter lists, databases, smartphone infrastructure, people who know how to crunch the numbers, lists of former volunteers who might want to get involved again. All of that could be useful in the many Senate, House, Governors' and local races that are going to be waged in 2014, to say nothing of ballot issues, initiatives and the like. (There will even be a few races in 2013.) Having all the scaffolding available for those races would get campaigns up and running a lot faster and probably give the candidates a leg up on the GOP.

                The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

                by Omir the Storyteller on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:03:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A campaign is not a substitute for strong State (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  and local Democratic party organizations. OFA could help by providing access to their database to the State and Democratic party organizations at an affordable rate, but they are not required to do that.

                  Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
                  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

                  by We Won on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:37:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, I'm not saying OFA should replace (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    anyone else's campaign. I am saying, however, that they could be an invaluable resource for winning, and while I agree they are not required at this point to do anything that isn't mandated by the FEC, I think they should continue to do what they do well (data mining, phone banking and other infrastructural operations) so the state and local parties can continue to do what they do well (recruit and train candidates, knock on doors, neighbor-to-neighbor outreach).

                    The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

                    by Omir the Storyteller on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:46:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OFA did it's job very well. The 2010 (0+ / 0-)

                      elections were not OFA's responsibility, and the 2014 elections will not be either.

                      OFA could help the State and Local Democratic party organizations by making available OFA databases at an affordable rate, even though they are not required to.

                      Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
                      Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

                      by We Won on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:21:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This is why I did not give one cent to OFA this (6+ / 0-)

                        time.  I'm a Progressive Democrat.  I gave to Progressive Democrats, and I gave to Democratic Party organizations (like Move On) that support Progressive Democrats in EVERY ELECTION, not just one election for one candidate every four years.  Without a strong Democratic Party, having Obama in the White House for 8 years is pointless and largely, fruitless.  I had no sense that Obama built anything to leave behind when he failed to use OFA in 2010, and that is why he may serve as President for 8 years and leave the Democratic Party worse off instead of stronger.  He needs to run against the obstructionist Republican Party and for Progressive Democrats in 2014 just as hard as he ran for President in 2012.  Then he might be able to really leave a legacy behind that lasts well beyond his time in office in the last 2 years he is in office.  Much of what he as accomplished could be quickly reversed with a Republican in the White House, and that will happen without long term party building.  Doesn't a community organizer recognize that?

                        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 Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 03:07:53 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, I agree, and I thought (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      that "scaffolding" was going to be available to the DNC for use by new campaigns.  That OFA (Obama for America) was now going to be OFA (Organizing for America). It doesn't mean each campaign wouldn't have to build their own "oomph," but the database info would be invaluable to all future campaigns.

                      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

                      by scarlet slipper on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:18:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  More committed voters needed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        monkeybrainpolitics, KJG52

        I grew up hearing my Republican parents say they voted in every election, and that is what I do. You can't mobilize me to vote because I stay mobilized 365 days a year.
        Anyone remember when Rush Limbaugh said he hoped President Obama would fail? The campaign against Obama may have started Nov. 5, 2008.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:40:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's run a national campaign (9+ / 0-)

      What made the Republicans powerful in 2010 was they borrowed a page from their 1994 victory and ran a national campaign.  They didn't have a national person at the head of the ticket, but they were in lockstep when it came to defining issues.  And in both campaigns the issue was how pissed off they all were; in 1994 they were pissed off because of the baseball strike, in 2010 they were pissed off because they woke up and realized that the President was black.
      What we need to do is run a national campaign in 2014: come up with an issue, whatever the issue, and everyone run on it.  And it has to be coordinated froma central point, the way Gingrich coordinated 1994 and the way FreedomWorks coordinated 2010.
      I am prepared to donate $5,000 over the next two years to such an effort.  I am prepared to ask everyione I know to do the same.  Let's get started now, lets keep the momentum going, let's build on our wonderful 2012 victory.

  •  We Need the DNC (21+ / 0-)

    I think 2014 could be a big Democratic election if Obama is successful in keeping the economy going while laying the groundwork for long-term deficit reduction, and gets immigration reform passed. But we really need an aggressive, well-run DNC directing the overall effort. OFA is apparently going away and it more or less replaced the DNC the past 4 years, so there is a vacuum.

    I'd like to see Howard Dean come back to chair the DNC and employ OFA technology and grassroots organizing to mobilize the base like nothing ever done before in an off-year election. Such an effort could give Obama Democratic majorities in the House and Senate in his last 2 years, which would be unprecedented. And it could mean Democrats would reverse the takeover of state legislatures that so hurt us the past 2 years.

    Is this pie in the sky?  

  •  This (14+ / 0-)
    As I see it, what it will take is commitment to hard work, a lot of pavement pounding and steadfastness on our part.
    There are some other factors that might work in our favor. The biggest one I can think of is the Republicans continuing to be there race-baitin', scandal-causin', voucher-pushin', women-hatin' selves. I think this is likely. They can't alter their tune much without alienating the base, and they can't keep singing the same song without alienating the rest of us. Second is pointing out to the public at large that Republicans actually hold these views, and continuing to remind them every single day, or as close to it as possible. And of course Democrats have to reinforce their brand, as soon as they figure out for sure what it is. (That's not entirely snark. They need a good catchy slogan, perhaps involving the working man/woman.)

    Taking a bit of a break cum victory lap right now is fine. We've earned it. But taking back the House in 2014 will be a lot harder than it would be in a Presidential election year, and now is the time to start.

    The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. – Paul Simon, "Train In The Distance."

    by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:36:23 PM PST

  •  Nate mentions in his piece 11 elections where the (4+ / 0-)

    dems lost by five or fewer percentile. Do we know where those races are?

    And one situation he didn't address: CA's situation of top-two primary where Rs ran against Rs and Ds against Ds in at least to places I am aware of (CA-31 where Miller won and CA-30 where Sherman won). What does Nate do in those races, for instance, where the CD is blue but elected a R in a top two race?

    Miller is biding his time, as far as I am concerned, though he is a big money raiser. He raised something like $44 million in that CD race just from realtors, local, state, regional and national.

    I still need to get to the bottom of what happened in CD31 because somebody in the San Bernardino dems totally dropped the ball. Miller doesn't even live in that district and it has gone Obama in the last two elections. There doesn't seem to be ANY logical reason for this.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:45:00 PM PST

    •  Actually there are 12 (4+ / 0-)

      Not sure which one he missed, but they're CO-06, FL-10, IL-13, IN-02, KY-06, MI-01, MN-06, NE-02, NY-23, NY-27, OH-16, and PA-12.

      In CA-31, what happened is that going into the top 2 primary, there were 2 credible Republicans and 4 mediocre Democrats; the local Dems had gotten behind Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar, but I guess they didn't get the message out enough that people were suppose to coalesce behind Aguilar. The D and R votes split about 50-50, but that meant Miller and Dutton (the two Rs) were able to advance with slightly less than 25% each, while the four Dems divided up the balance.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:15:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are so incredible:) Thanks for all that. (3+ / 0-)

        So these are the races (along with, say, races like CA-31 which should go blue with the right work) that we need to pay attention to between now and 2014 along with holding close districts (e.g. CA 7 and 52 etc). Right?

        I am really interested in fighting the fight in these districts because we may lose in others. But if we have a good path and good organization and support, Nate's estimates might be wrong this time.

        Never again two thousand and ten.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Add in districts with low turnout (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Increasing participation in elections must go hand-in-hand with a national pushback against the voter suppression that Republicans embrace. I have been compiling a list of winnable congressional districts which saw half as many voters cast ballots as in active districts. A margin greater than 5% may be more surmountable where hundreds of thousands of voters haven't yet been persuaded to participate. One very attractive pick-up is NY-11 where Grimm(R) slipped by in the wake of Sandy thanks in large part to historically low turnout (94k to 82k).

    •  In most CA districts where top two candidates (3+ / 0-)

      belonged to the same party (there were quite a few of them) were those where the other party had no chance of winning. CA-31 is likely the only one where Dems had some chance and didn't have a candidate in general.

  •  We also cannot count on Ohio unless (8+ / 0-)

    we continue to keep them engaged. I think We took it with less than 2%. Considering all that Obama and all of us threw at it, including the Big numbers in Cuyahoga County and the black vote there, the Auto bail out and Romney running those Crazy Ads the last week and the Auto VP's publicly smacking him down the election was to close there. Plus that SOS is an Asshole and will continue to do all that he can to suppress the vote. I also think they have some batshit crazy law about how and if Provisional ballots will even be counted. I also heard that the state doesn't even have a law to dispute the election. I heard this on election day and someone needs to write a diary about it. If I have time I may do it. I'm almost convinced Ohio is a Red State and everything just lined up for us this time. Over time Florida, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada seem more likely to become blue states over Ohio.

    "It is the difficulties that make us stronger."

    by Chamonix on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:01:09 AM PST

    •  gerrymandate (10+ / 0-)

      Redistricting in Ohio was brutal for Dems. If viewed as a game, the Rs had a sensation result here. Hard for them to have done better. They've put the Dems into 70-75% districts and the Reps into 55-60% districts.

      Resulted in a 12-4 R vs D split.

      Vulnerable newly incumbent Rs were protected. Each election they win makes them tougher to unseat. Incumbent inertia will help them. Districts were drawn to eliminate Kucinich and Sutton. Kucinich lost in primary to Kaptur. Sutton lost 52-48. She was a popular incumbent. It won't be so close there in the future. It's probably a 55-45 district for generic ballot, and Renacci will now have the incumbent advantage.

      Republican wins here were not a mandate.
      They were a gerrymandate.

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 06:57:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds a lot like PA and NC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We did win one squeaker in NC-7, but the other 3 Dem reps from the Tarheel state won in blowouts, while the Dems that lost 7 of the 9 remaining districts still managed better than 42% of the vote.

        In Pennsylvania, the Repug winner with the highest share of the district got 65.9% of the vote. Only one of five Dem reps had a smaller share, Cartwright with 60.5%. the remaining four had 89.4%, 85%, 76.9% and 68.9%.

    •  Something that gives me a little hope for Ohio: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ward Chair, 2014

      I live in OH-2, which got some attention when William R. Smith, a total unknown, won the D primary despite a complete lack of campaigning and advertising. Even in the general, he did not campaign, advertise, raise funds, or even provide a response to the League of Women Voters' election guide, and the state and county Dems figured the district was a lost cause anyway, so they didn't offer much support either. In the end, he of course lost, but he did muster up 41% of the vote, which seems rather high, considering. I think if we can get a well-known candidate on the ballot in 2014 and actually put some effort into the race, mmmaaybe OH-2 won't turn out to be such a lost cause after all.

  •  Texas (12+ / 0-)

    Please don't forget our congressional districts are still being redrawing under court order,  so we may be able to contribute 1 or 2 more Democrats to the cause in 2014.

  •  I spent a couple hours with the map today, (15+ / 0-)

    before I read Nate's blog post, I was curious about the Dem's prospects for taking back the house in '14.

    For the most part, there are about 20 seats that Repub's won by 55% or less.  The other 214  Repub seats were won by more than 55%.  As it stands right now, if all the remaining seats go to Dem's there will be 201 seats, of which some were won with less than 50% of the vote, on the repub side I only saw about 5 seats that were won with less than 50% of the vote.  Those five are part of the 20 that were won with less than 55%.

    Nate is coming from a reality based numbers environment where historical patterns and the math of the "battleground" congressional seats does not bode well for taking back the house in 2014.

    I agree with the diarist that getting into those seats in New York - 2 or 3, Michigan - 3, Illinois - 1, Ohio - 2, Florida - 1, Pennsylvania - 2, Colorado -1 and North Carolina - 1.  These states have 13 seats that were either below 50% or 54%.  Getting into these districts now with a strong moderate democrat and start campaigning now would be the best possible way to get a lot closer to 218 seats to get the majority.

    Texas is the only state that is still up in the air because of the courts, there may be 1 or 2 seats up for grabs after they are done, but right now as Texas exists there are really no seats up for grabs.

    What Nate is trying to say is if we couldn't win these seats in a Presidential year the likelyhood really is not in our favor.

    IMHO, we should get into these districts now and try to swing them over, the other thing that needs even more attention than the House is the Governorships, SOS's and Legislatures.

    There are at least 7 governors that need to be replaced and can be beaten, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida and Virginia.  There may be a couple more that are possibly within reach but these 7 should be the main targets.  

    There are also 5 SOS that need to be replaced in these 7 states.  This is where the battle needs to be fought now.  There is little that can be done with a margin of 20 or so house seats but a lot can be done if we can take back 7 Governorships, SOS's and legislatures.

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

    by padeius on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 04:39:09 AM PST

    •  Thanks I keep forgetting about (4+ / 0-)

      the Secretaries of State, which are elected positions in many states. John Husted is the most publicized example. Ours (Scott Gessler) is a problem too. He wanted to throw out a bunch of eligible voters here who just happen to be Hispanic.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 06:28:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Broke even in 12, need to come back strong in 14 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Somehow Dems managed to retain the seat in Missouri (open), West Virginia, North Carolina, Montana and Oregon, but fell just short in Washington. Most of the 35 states where the SOS is a) elected, and b) in charge of elections, are on the line in non-presidential election years. We got our clocks cleaned in 2010, and need to be prepared to get behind our candidates in 2014.

    •  less optimistic about Ohio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't like the prospects of winning two seats in Ohio. Perhaps I'm being a pessimist. The gerrymandering here was expertly done.

      The two close seats you are talking about are probably
      Ohio 6 and Ohio 16.

      In OH-16, Betty Sutton, who was a popular incumbent, got drawn into Rennaci's district. Made a close-ish race of it. Still  lost 52.2-47.8% She was a popular incumbent. Two years from now, it is hard to see it getting any easier.

      OH-6 was Charlie Wilson vs Bill Johnson. That was a 53.4-46.6% loss for Wilson. This was a widening of the margin from the Wilson vs Johnson election in 2010 (with Wilson as an incumbent). Will get harder next time around, and would be hard to imagine it being easier for someone other than Wilson. Wilson voted a bit more liberally than he campaigned, which could plausibly have had something to do with the loss, but you'd have to be paying pretty careful attention to know that. I don't really think it was much of a factor. Wilson already had more outside money this time around. In a situation where you have to pick and choose where to spend outside money, I'm afraid that this is going to get pushed down the list. I don't know Wilson personally in any way at all. For myself, I do believe that I'd be unlikely to want to contest this race for a third time after I lost ground in contest two. He might be made of sterner stuff than me.

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:22:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  there are future gains to be had in CA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, cany, Dave in Northridge

      we did not max out the map at all in 2012, there were several close races, a couple favorable districts with weak candidates, and a couple R-R general election matchups in democratic districts that the dems fucked up their party strategy in the new top-two primary system. add that to growing latino and asian and young voters + same day registration.

      •  There is maybe the 10th CD (0+ / 0-)

        of the 14 districts won by R's, 2 were R on R, the 31st and the 8th.  A post upthread was talking about the 31st, I am not familiar enough with that district to really speak to what happened there but obviously there was no dem in the general election and if you are not on the ballot you cannot win.  In the 8th disctrict, that one may very well stay as 2 R's fighting it out in each election.

        The only disctrict that went R with less than 55% was the 10th and it was at 53.5% for the R incumbant.  the 10th is comprised of Stanislaus and parts of San Joaquin county, It could be a pick up in 2014 or 2016 but I would not bet on it.  Denham a freshman survived the presidential year and will now be even more safe and the 53.5% will probably go up.

        As for the other 11 CD's with the way the redistricting was done I do not see making any further gains until 2022 and the commission is able to work their magic again.  Of course Dem's picked up 5 seats of the 9 seats nationwide.

        "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

        by padeius on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:00:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're overlooking the 21st (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KJG52, wmdrpa, mightymouse

          which had a some guy candidate with no funding and minimal voter reg, organizing or GOTV drives, and whose electorate will see significant increase in young latino voters over the next two years.

          in the 10th, denham will never be safe in that district, given the demographic shifts in the san joaquin valley. the wind is at hernandez's back, and i could see him winning it in 2014 or 2016, depending on what turnout looks like next election.

          the 31st will be a dem pickup in 2014. the 8th will be tougher, but it depends what sort of republican makes it to the general, the GOP primary electorate there has some wingnut tendencies.

          later in the decade, the 22nd, the 25th, the 39th, and the 45th might get close enough to pick off with good candidates, given partisan and demographic shifts.

          if you look at the speed at which california has shifted in the past decade by county, in terms of party registration, ethnic identity and presidential vote, the writing is on the wall in the san joaquin valley, the inland empire, and suburban southern california, and towards the end of the decade parts of the sacramento valley as well. only in the sierra foothills are republicans seeing any sort of a positive trend, as cranky old white reactionaries retire up there. as the huge baby boom of young latino millennials (and in urban areas, of asian millennials as well) moves into the electorate, and young white voters continue to shift leftwards, the sorts of reactionary white republicans that currently hold these seats are going to find themselves getting bob dornaned, especially with election day and online registration lowering the barriers to young and first time voters.

          people are used to thinking of elections in terms of white folks swinging ideologically from one party or the other based on the political climate of the day that they're totally missing the inexorable partisan realignment caused by this demographic shift. by 2020, the san joaquin valley will shift from its current role as swing area to yet another democratic base area, unless the GOP magically convinces its racist old white base to drop the white supremacy thing. which it won't.

          there's way more upside for congressional dems in CA than people are assuming, IMO.

          •  Thanks for the response, I really do not see (0+ / 0-)

            the ten year trend in congressional election results that are you referring to, the 5 pick ups this year IMHO, are a direct result of the ungerrymandering of the population centers by the redistricting commission.  Historically, barring an unforeseen death or major scandal, a congressperson with more than 55% of the vote in a presidential year is pretty safe, even more safe when the president that carries the state/county is from the other party.  So a R that got more than 55% this year while parts of their CD went for Obama again IMHO, bodes ill for a pick up in 2014.  

            Regarding longer term trends, cranky old white guys are not the only constituency of the GOP.  I would also like to say that the GOP in California is not required to act the same way it does in say Alabama.  I would not write off the GOP in California just yet, there are a lot of the millennials who could be won over by a resurgent GOP if they were to adopt a more libertarian bent to social issues.

            Frankly, if the GOP in California went pro pot legalization, pro gay marriage, pro choice, pro you live your life the way you want and we will make the government work for you instead of against you with out raising your taxes.  That left leaning youth vote would have another avenue to vote, the younger vote is not monolithic nor does it vote for the dem's because they agree with the dem's positions on everything.  To assume that it is, is as big a mistake as the GOP has made on immigration, drug and social policy over the last 30 years.

            "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

            by padeius on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:58:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the CA GOP has *no* chance of winning over young (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KJG52, mightymouse

              voters in CA, who are overwhelmingly nonwhite, irreligious, GBLT-friendly and pro-choice, socially liberal and economically borderline socialist (and i mean that in a good way). if anything, they are decidedly to the left of CA democrats, and the only party that would be able to poach their votes are parties to the left like the greens (although the greens are as feckless as the peace and freedom party in this state, and are not a meaningful threat to even getting past the top-two primary even in safe dem districts). the core GOP rank and file up and down the state will not tolerate candidates who deviate from their exceptionally unpopular social and economic conservatism, and those moderate republicans of yore are by and large democrats or independents who vote democratic today.

              california's partisan and demographic shifts on a county level from 1990 to 2000, and then again from 2000 to 2010, is stunning, and it will continue to accelerate in the next 8 years, because of who is aging into the electorate, and who is aging out of it or cashing in on their equity and moving out of state. until the CA GOP's elderly reactionary base of racist, anti-urban religious conservative, tax- and government-hating whites dies off, i do not see how they'll be able to reform themselves anytime soon, much less sell themselves to young, latino and asian californians. there simply is no market for such a party in CA anymore outside of a few shrinking pockets.

              i do think that the big money that hires the CA GOP to do their bidding could switch strategies and put its weight behind corporate-friendly democrats or "independents" instead, but i do not see a way for the GOP to recover in CA. they had their chance back in the 90s and they baked their epic loss into the cake in a pretty serious way. having lost every swing or liberal district in the state, they now have no bench for statewide races, and have drilled it into a huge emerging generation's head that they hate a supermajority of the state and consider us their enemies. no such party stands a chance of recovery, certainly not anytime soon.

              in a decade, the CA GOP will be a vestigial rump party. there is a possibility that down the line the problematic elements of their base will die or move out of state, and they can start again from scratch, but it's equally possible that they're replaced with a party to the dems' left, or that the state goes to a three party left-dem-GOP balance with the GOP mired in the 25% range. there is no iron rule in politics that all district elections or states will necessarily be competitive two party affairs. sometimes a party just collapses into irrelevancy.

              •  I can appreciate your viewpoint, I just happen to (0+ / 0-)

                disagree with your assessment of the political leanings of the majority of young voters.  Your statement that

                young voters in CA, who are overwhelmingly nonwhite, irreligious, GBLT-friendly and pro-choice, socially liberal and economically borderline socialist
                basically agrees with what I said in the comment above.  I agree with the non white, gay friendly, pro choice and socially liberal.

                I am not sure about the irreligious part as that can be defined many different ways.  If by irreligious you mean they don't go to church or have the same social view of the religions that previous generations may have had, I would agree with you. If by irreligious you mean young folk today do not believe in some form of higher power, then I disagree with you.

                I completely disagree with the borderline socialist part.  If you stated that the under 30 crowd has a certain sense of entitlement and has a very short attention span then I would say that tends to be true, however that does not equate to socialist.

                My basic premise was the GOP is not dead.  It may very well die, I was stating if they were to pivot to the libertarian social liberalism with all that entails, and they were to actually adopt the libertarian fiscal conservatism  then they could have a chance.  Just because it is the GOP/Republican party does not mean the under 30 crowd would dismiss them out of hand as many liberals would like them to.

                I have quite a bit of contact with many different people under 30, one is even my partner, what I have experienced is those that are politically aware are not all the same.  Some of the under 30 crowd are very anti government, mainly due to a negative experience having to do with that government.  They also tend not to differentiate much between local, state and federal government.  The local police have as much to do with the viewpoint on the federal government as the Navy has to do with the viewpoint on the local cops.  This cross pollination as it were is not specific to age either, my dad has the same problem and he is in his 70's.

                Making rash statement that the GOP has "no chance with young voters" is quite frankly not only short sighted but will cause liberals to relax and allow the GOP to do just what I am talking about.  No age group, ethnic background, skin color, lgbt or any other designation that may be deemed appropriate is monolithic.  Remember 30% of hispanics and asians nationwide voted for someone other than Obama.  As they become a larger part of the electorate that number only has to be moved a few points toward the GOP and they can again be in charge of the federal, state or local governments.

                To finish this off, to assume that because some folks voted in an election to reelect President Obama those same folks can not be persuaded to vote for a Gary Johnson next time would be arrogant and unwise.

                As to your points about the fringe of the GOP base that you think can not be persuaded to change tactics and message, they were persuaded to think what they do now, it is not that hard to shift a message.  Also your reference to the 90's is also outdated.  The folks who are going to be entering the electorate were children when Pete Wilson did his thing.  The under 30 crowd now think of the GOP and remember the Terminator.

                "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

                by padeius on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:16:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  the choices the CA GOP made in the 90s (0+ / 0-)

                  to harden their political identity as a white supremacy, anti-tax, anti-government, anti-urban, anti-coastal, religious conservative party had the effect of making it much harder for the rank and file to accept deviations from that core identity, it purged the CA GOP of the sort of moderates who might now be able to appeal to the supermajority of californians they have loudly and publicly deemed their enemies, that in turn devastated their bench and limited them to reactionary pockets instead of swing districts, and gave them a hateful inertia that really hurt their chances in the zeroes and even moreso in the second decade of the 21st century. it is not a matter of the fringe, that identity defines the ideology and identity of the shrinking base of the CA GOP, and any deviations are punished at the polls, in primaries or increasingly via recalls following a single dissenting vote.

                  by borderline socialist i meant that a growing majority of young californians are now openly in favor of a social welfare state such as found in social democracies in europe. they are not anti-tax, anti-regulation, or anti-government or public sphere in the way that middle aged white californians accept as conventional wisdom. yes, there are a handful of conservative or libertarian young californians, but they are seriously outnumbered by their liberal peers. some occupy activists are pretty down on the local police and local governments that hire them to beat protesters, but not at all in the way that the GOP is anti-government, and they know that the GOP defines itself by its enthusiasm for supporting cops beating kids.

                  by irreligious i mean that the numbers of atheist and agnostic californians are far higher and growing fastest among young voters, and that their rate of attendance at church, that their membership in religious organizations are all far, far lower than among older californians and dropping fast. thus, they are not attracted by the GOP's conservative christian message, and increasingly are repelled by it.

                  as for your statement about the nationwide "30% of asians and latinos voted for romney," those numbers are decidedly lower in CA: 72% of latinos and 79% of asians in CA voted for obama, and i would be willing to bet that the quarter and fifth of those voters in the latino and asian communities, respectively, are far more heavily located in the older more conservative (and in some cases vestigially anticommunist) generations and at the upper bound of the income scale.  the future of CA is in those young voters, though, and the GOP is losing, not winning their share of the vote, and their younger siblings, friends and relative not yet 18 are watching and listening very carefully to the right's steady stream of hateful rhetoric demonizing their ethnic groups. they are not going to vote for this party, any more than blacks or jews - two similarly demonized groups who do not swing between parties - do.

                  the GOP cannot adopt a social libertarian facade without deeply offending its base, which it needs to win any elections. the youth show no signs of adopting a conservative economic stance, and your suggestion that they might, minus any evidence, and in the face of poll after poll of increasing economic liberalism among the millennials, is simply handwaving. quite frankly, younger californians don't have enough wealth or privilege to be receptive to that sort of "i've got mine, screw the rest of you" that has resonated among older, whiter californians since the 70s. they know that they rely on the public sphere, and they know that it needs to be paid for with taxes. in that regard, they are far brighter than their elders, who have been voting for free candy and trying to bill the kids for decades.

                  the california GOP is dead, their party establishment knows it, their donors know it, and anyone who can read a poll or follow the voter registration stats by county knows it, because they can read the writing on the wall. they painted themselves into a corner, and now their base will not let them leave it, any more than we would tolerate democrats actively courting racists anymore like the party did during the new deal.

                  •  This tells me you need (0+ / 0-)

                    to get out of the liberal bubble:

                    some occupy activists are pretty down on the local police and local governments that hire them to beat protesters, but not at all in the way that the GOP is anti-government, and they know that the GOP defines itself by its enthusiasm for supporting cops beating kids.
                    The GOP is not the political party that is currently in control of the local and state authorities here in California.  The authorities who were beating the kids here and in New York and elsewhere were not the GOP, they were the Democrats.  The GOP had nothing to do with the pushback against the Occupy movement here in CA.  Just to be clear it was the Democrats who controlled the beating of the Occupy movement here in CA.

                    You can live in your bubble if you choose to, I for one choose to live in the reality based world where the possibilities are not limited to what we think will happen based on our personal hopes.  I have been wrong many times in my life, each time I was wrong it was because I allowed myself to believe what I wanted to be factual, instead of what the facts really were.

                    This started out as a discussion of Nate Silvers prediction that the Dem's will not be able to take back the House in 2014. We should try to get Dem's elected and work as hard as we can to accomplish this goal.  I for one will side with Nate on his prediction after all he only got one race wrong, nationwide.  What you are trying to say may come to pass, as the young get older and vote, CA may very well become even more of a bastion of Social Liberalism than it has already.

                    The future of the Democratic party will, for a large part, depend on what they are able to actually accomplish with the new supermajorities in the assembly and the senate.  If the Dem's screw it up and do not deliver a functioning well run government, then the Dem's will be on the trash heap right along with the GOP.

                    Nice discussion, take care.

                    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

                    by padeius on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:20:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  it is worth pointing out that nate didn't speak (0+ / 0-)

                      to the house races, except in generalized terms, in 2012. were he crunching the numbers by district, i would be more likely to defer to his analysis, but he's not really looking at house races beyond generic national numbers.

                  •  as for registration numbers (0+ / 0-)

                    i offer for your perusal an analysis by county of voter registration shifts just from 2006-10, trends that if anything accelerated leftwards in 2012. no 10 point majority GOP district in a county where dems are picking up 5-6% every four years is going to be safe in the coming decade.

                    if you think occupy is going to go GOP in the coming decade, you're in a bubble of your own.

  •  The 2 things working against us in 2014 (12+ / 0-)

    are the republicans' intense hate for Obama and a desire to get revenge against him, like in 2010 and the tendency for some democratic blocs to sit out midterms.  Pretty much what the article said.  

    Much of the turnout in 2012 was support for Obama himself.  The thing that could really help with this is a public information campaign by the president himself making an appeal to his voters that the work isn't done and he needs them to give him a Congress that won't obstruct.  

  •  Thank you for this. (4+ / 0-)

    As other commenters have noted, it would be a shame if OFA were simply dissolved and democrats had to start from scratch.  There should be some way to transfer the data base, etc. to the DNC.  Also, the administration must engage in the midterms this time out, unlike 2010 (or at least that was my impression). Although disappointing, Nate Silver provides a great foundation for us -- yes it will be hard but approaching the next two years from a reality base is critical.  Clearly, re-engaging voters from this election should be of primary importance.  No rest for the weary.

  •  This is a good diary! I'm focused right now on (5+ / 0-)

    both preserving the Senate and defeating these Republican governors, especially in the Senate.  We need to get control of the local governments.  Also I think the GOP will cave on taxes but Benghazi will be their Lewinsky scandal that will backfire on the royalally and cost them some seats.  Extreme hatred for Obama can backfire.

    •  HUGE for PA in 2014 (4+ / 0-)

      We need a wave against Corbett in 2014. A big anti-Corbett turnout in 2014 might get a few swing voters to go straight down the D column in the voting booth and help with one or two US House seats flipping back our way. We also might be able to wrangle the PA House and PA Senate to the D side as well.

    •  It certainly can. Just as extreme hatred for (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RockyMtnLib, juca, poopdogcomedy, wu ming

      Clinton backfired in 1998.

      But I think we will need to work from the bottom and get real leadership at the top from the President and his surrogates to stoke that "backfire" (to completely mangle metaphors).

      "Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth." 2/2/11 The Onion

      by brooklyns finest on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 05:44:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no 1998 backfire - why do people say that? (0+ / 0-)

        GOP kept the House and Senate despite their antics.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:26:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans didn't lose their majority (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but they did lose seats, which was what Silver illustrated in the chart in the article. It's questionable whether or not or how much the  Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment hearings impacted the House or Senate races. I would be hard-pressed to say it had zero impact anywhere.

          liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

          by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:40:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  All we can do now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is push to make sure its not the case. Unlike some of our opponents, we however won't ignore the possibility that he's right. But we'll still push against it, as much as we can. Actually by accepting the possibility early, we can move much more efficiently against it.

    Far better place to be, than having deluded ourselves that our victory was assured frm the start. That apparently drives people completely insane.

    Then you came out all of a sudden and said, "You're Prism Indigo!" but I don't get it...

    by kamrom on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:12:02 AM PST

  •  Dems picked-up a bunch of marginal districts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this year due to the large turnout and Obama.  Capturing the House will require holding these and turning a bunch of others held by Republicans in a non-presidential year. Not a very optimistic scenario.  

    The three competitive seats taken by Dems this year in Arizona were won with between a few hundred and a few thousand votes. Given the tendency of Democrats to sleep during off-year elections, the chances of holding these seats in 2014 is not very good.

  •  Sorry but Nate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, scott5js, FG

    is spot on with this assessment. The only thing that can change the outcome is the GOP itself. If it continues down crazy lane, then yes the outcome may differ.

    But at the same time, like in 2010, if the far left start acting like the teaparty again and join up with the Norquists  attacking Obama because they dont get 100% of what they want, then rest assured it will be a GOP sweep and we will all be back to square one.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:08:31 AM PST

    •  I doubt you intend to appear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      deterministic but if you say the "only" thing that can change the outcome in 2014 is the GOP, then what should we do?

      Silver was writing that right now the smart money is on the Republicans in the House, but keep in mind a lot can happen between now and 11/4/2014. It means we have our work cut out for us.

      And you know what, we should earn every vote, by our GOTV efforts but also by doing everything we can to effectively govern with what we have (including the opposition). If we go on offense, don't apologize for what we do, be creative and resourceful, I would like to think that more than a few voters would appreciate that.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:24:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If there is one fact (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, FG

        that I cannot shake, is that no matter how much you want it to happen, an off year election will be much lower turnout.

        It's not a matter of if, but by how much. In 2010 45 million voters stayed home from 2008. And most of that was younger voters, minority voters, and democrats.

        Sorry to use this on you, but it's the math that matters. If you can get only 25 million to sit the 2014 out, then the dems will have won a major victory, but will still lose many of the close house seats they gained.  

        If you really want to win a midterm, then you have to have a united front, in opposition of the GOP turnout, and not give them a cause to rally around. Because they vote every cycle.

        GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

        by KingGeorgetheTurd on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:31:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if we don't induce more turnout (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in 2014 than in 2010 it should be because of anything other than our lack of trying.

          Showing the importance of voting in all elections, and for all offices, I see as important not just for the next election, but a long-term project that would be worth our while to undertake.

          We must break this bad habit of acting like the Presidency is the only office that matters, with down-ticket races coincidentally reaping some of the benefits. It's "trickle-down voting". Democracy only works well when it's a bottom-up endeavor.

          liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

          by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:42:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't you think people in 2002, 2006 and 2010 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            tried to get higher turnout? Certainly, 2010 was an extreme case with especially low Dem turnout and a high R one. 2014 is unlikely to be that bad and we should do our best to increase the turnout. But it will still be significantly lower than in 2012.

        •  yes - give them a cause (0+ / 0-)

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:28:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry Mr. Turd (0+ / 0-)

          But you and your minions over on the chat boards at can stop your game right now. We won this election and we will win 2014. Stop concern trolling, get off the computer and take a breath of fresh air. Your brain is clearly cramping from lack of outside oxygen.

    •  Dems can also change the assessment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RockyMtnLib, KingGeorgetheTurd

      if they message right, seem competent, make the election national. Make it about "do you really want to enable these GOP maniacs any longer?"

      Dems don't really do that, esp off-year, but they could.

      I hope they do - not having the House is a drag.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:28:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was so relieved to be rid of George W. (7+ / 0-)

    In 2008.

    I sat back and just became a spectator for 2 years.

    2010 was all my fault. Sorry.  

    I feel so much different after 2012 than 2008. I'm awake and ready.

    Fired Up! Ready To Go! 2014 here we come!

  •  We won where we focussed (0+ / 0-)

    This time we won the presidency and the senate. Next race we could focus on house races. And let's just not focus on the marginal races. Let's pick the 5 worse no-compromise Republican representatives and let's give them the race of their life.

  •  Why is 'gerrymander' crossed out? (0+ / 0-)

    No need to be oblique.  Gerrymandering is what's happening.

    I'm leaning more and more toward the idea of amendments to state constitutions creating multi-member districts using ranked choice voting, with redistricting mandated immediately after passage.  In 2013, in time for the 2014 elections.  Otherwise, the Republicans will still be in complete control of "purple state" legislatures and Congressional delegations.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:47:18 AM PST

    •  It was simply a rhetorical device on my part. (0+ / 0-)

      I noticed that when Kossacks use that here the tendency is to believe the crossed-out term (as I did in this diary) and can also be used to illustrate how language can be corrupted.

      I'm also of the mind that "winner-take-all" elections are archaic and effectively leave many disenfranchised.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:24:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, my response was stupid. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've just gotten so distressed by the gerrymandering that has given the Republicans the House and numerous state houses, that I want everyone to say it outright, loudly, and repeatedly.  Sorry for implying that you were doing something "wrong".

        I need to write a diary on multi-member districts with ranked choice voting.  Maybe if I work hard enough at it, I can make it comprehensible to people.

        I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

        by tle on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:14:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need to focus on retaking state legislatures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, winsock, alswearingen

    and Governors Houses.  Republicans have maintained their House advantage entirely b/c of gerrymandering, and as long as they hold 10 more states than we do, that trend will continue into the future.  All politics is local.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:20:35 AM PST

  •  Another topic not mentioned as much, is the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    relative ease it is to campaign in a presidential election year, with all cameras and voter eyes in tune, and to a select few swing states that matter in that particular year.
     All resources and funds can be streamlined to these states and how different that is when you are trying to win multiple seats all across the country.  

    In contrast, during a mid term, not only are you having to complete a 50 state strategy, but with less money, more space to cover, more seats to defend....and the cameras and eyes are not nearly as involved.   You then add in that your base will not turn out as they did during the presidential race, and perhaps even by  huge amounts... and the party, not in power at the time, is jumping at the bit to be first in line on election day....all of that, makes for a difficult road.

  •  the problem with silver's house prediction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that it treats the entire country as one undifferentiated aggregate, when to really get the sense of how 17 seats might swing you need to be looking at the demographics and ideological shifts in specific districts, where regional swing might be quite different from the generic national dem v. rep numbers.

    dems may well pick up several more new seats in CA in 2014, because of the inexorable growth of the latino, asian and young vote + election day registration. republican gains are pretty close to tapped out in the south. the big question is whether there are enough seats in the midwest, mid atlantic, suburban west, etc., for dems to make up the rest.

  •  Could not agree more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you so much, RockyMtnLib

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:41:12 AM PST

  •  Good analysis. One thing that we (6+ / 0-)

    must keep in mind is that it's a long game. For 2014, Nate's right about the obstacles we face. I won't say that we CAN'T take the House -- but I'll just note that, if we did (in the absence of a catastrophic world event or scandal), it would be the single most improbable electoral feat ever performed in US national elections.

    But here's the key: the goal isn't an all-or-nothing, "take back the House or bust" during a single year -- it's to maximize our performance in every election. If we break even in 2014, or even if we lose 5 seats, that's a victory by historical standards, and it puts us in that much better of a position to take the House in 2016.

    Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

    by cardinal on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:47:07 AM PST

  •  We & our candidates need to promote ObamaCare's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RockyMtnLib, mightymouse

    benefits as they manifest.  (I can't remember if we talked about this at Drinking Liberally, RML, but) in mid-late 2014 millions of people will have benefitted from it by then, & even those who haven't will be able to see how others have.  Any incumbent House Republican will need to be hit repeatedly with his/her votes to repeal--they voted 33 times to repeal it!  Those repeal votes are nails in the coffins of the political careers of GOP incumbents in any district where a Dem has a chance to win.  Any liberal wave in 2014 will be built on this.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:10:22 AM PST

    •  Very few of the provisions of the ACA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Leftcandid

      took effect in 2010 so hardly anyone could see benefits but it was so distressing then to see Dems. almost act as if they regretted voting for it.

      No, LOL that wasn't something we touched on last Wednesday. We certainly can in the future. Maybe we could also start a multi-media campaign where people one-by-one give testimonials about what the ACA did for them. Mix it up. Include writing letters to President Obama, to your Senators and Representative, post it on Twitter, create a Facebook page, figure out a way to do PSAs for it, you name it.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:48:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2014 hinges largely on Obama's Grand Bargain (0+ / 0-)

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:14:16 AM PST

  •  Don't Kill The Messenger (0+ / 0-)

    Silver is just relaying the reality. Like how he always predicts with the % of probability. Don't know if he did that regarding chances of having a Speaker Pelosi after 2014 elections. It isn't zero. Unlike Hans Solo who told C3PO to not tell him the odds, I don't mind knowing it is a longshot. But longshots happen.

    •  You may not have directed that at me (0+ / 0-)

      but I did start the diary with the qualifier that I wasn't out to bash Silver. Just to point out that as good as he is, I want him to be wrong and would guess that he'd be happy to be wrong in two years as well.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:50:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just A Cliched Phrase (0+ / 0-)

        Agree with the sentiment of your diary and the title did not represent your tone at the beginning of the diary. Great diary and would like to see more like them on the theme of retaking the house in 2014.  To get anything done over the next couple of years we will need some scared GOP house members in swing districts to join the Democratic minority on key votes. So this is not a long term 2 years down the road issue. It will generate positive results sooner than that.

  •  2014 is a HUGE opportunity to take back.... (0+ / 0-)

    the House and finish the last two years of Obama's
    Presidency strong.

    "Saying atheism is a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby".

    by progresso on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:51:09 PM PST

  •  I love Nate Silver (0+ / 0-)

    But he did say that Obama needed to write off Florida. Florida wasn't needed and it was going to go to Romney anyway.

    Horseradish. It took us Floridians a fuck-load of time but in the end we went to Obama. Woot!

    Nate Silver is conservative in that he tends to hedge his predictions and not go hog-wild with glee just because a few numbers might point to a possible case of optimism for the Left. I know that Silver is a good liberal Democrat but when it comes to numbers he sometimes is a little too quick to award a race to the Republicans.

    2014 is two years away,.... I mean, come on people. at this time in 2010 we were ready to throw in the towel and accept Newt Gingrich as POTUS in 2012. Let's be reasonable here. That goes for you Silver! finger wag

  •  Nate thought we'd lose the Senate this past cycle (0+ / 0-)

    How'd that analysis work out?

    This comes down to national/state/local organization and GOTV efforts. It infuriates me that the Democratic Party doesn't even bother to field candidates for every office in some states. Does Nate's analysis consider this or not? It wasn't the norm in the past, so I fail to be deterred.

    No one, including Nate Silver can tell us what 2014 is going to look like. For example, what happens after ACA comes online and people see that it isn't what conservatives told them it would be? What if 2014 is about health care and the Republicans are caught on the wrong side?

    Run away from anyone, on either side, that deems to give you predictions about any election that is not yet upon us.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:00:16 PM PST

  •  Don't forget the importance of who's in Congress. (0+ / 0-)

    If we had held onto the House in 2010, and if we had built on our majority in the Senate, which was certainly possible when you look at the states that had Senate seats up in 2010,

  •  Don't forget the importance of who's in Congress. (0+ / 0-)

    If we had held onto the House in 2010, and if we had built on our majority in the Senate, which was certainly possible when you look at the states that had Senate seats up in 2010, then we could have ended the tax breaks for the wealthy, and we could have passed Obama's jobs plan, and the economy would be in better shape today.

  •  Well, Nate did finally blow a prediction this week (0+ / 0-)

    Mike Trout for MVP was a disaster.  LOL

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:14:39 PM PST

  •  Daunting Task (0+ / 0-)

    It will be very tough to take back the House next session.  Gerrymandering is the primary culprit, but there are bound to be voters that will have "Obama fatigue" in 2014.  Further, I think the Democrats won a lot more close races than they lost, and unless something can energize the base, Republicans will have the edge in an off-year election.  

    There are rays of hope--after the smackdown of '10, there aren't many seats that would be considered low-hanging fruit for the Repubs.  Probably more importantly, unless something changes, anyone with common sense will realize that the Republican party has gone around the bend ideologically.  There could be a total fracture, where the supposed mainstream get challenged in every election by a Tea Party type.

    As noted above, the party needs to match the intensity of the opposition in two years and turn out like they seldom have done in off-year contests.  Also, the party needs to find excellent candidates for any race that is remotely winnable.  

    Finally, most of all, Obama needs to have a more successful second term.  If all of that happens, perhaps Democrats have a chance.

  •  easy call for Nate (0+ / 0-)

    Not exactly a bold prediction by Nate. He is a damn good poker player and he knows the odds are strongly against the Dems taking back the house in 2014.  That said, there are a few things to consider here:

    A quick perusal of the hotly contested races showed the Dems did very well:  Just 5 pickups in California alone.  Also, check out this chart from CNN:  Some have been updated as we now know, for instance that the Dems took ALL 3 competitive house seats in Arizona as well as Mcintyre's in NC.

    Most importantly, there are still close to 50 districts that Obama won in 2012 that are represented by the GOP.  I believe the Party and activists need to hold Obama's feet to the fire and have him actively campaign in those districts in 2014 for the Democratic Rep, as well as use the massive fundraising apparatus at his disposal.  Obama has walked through the fire and come out the other side stronger.  Assuming he plays the Fiscal Cliff Bar well, which I think he will, he will easily be the most popular political figure in the country, with no GOP figure even coming close.

    Obama needs to go into those districts that voted for him in 2012 and STILL voted for Joe Tea Party in the house.  He needs to tell those voters "I know you believe in me and what I stand for, and I need you to send my good friend Sally Progressive back to Washington to help me get it done."

    Not at all beyond the pale if he did that he could pul 20 "Obamacan" districts over to the blue side of the aisle.

  •  Drum linked to someone... (0+ / 0-)

    ...who calculated that the seat gain from redistricting to the GOP was 6-7 seats this year. Still far from a tipping point.

  •  I like your idea of a multi-media (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    campaign highlighting life-enhancing benefits people are experiencing because of Obamacare.

    I'm thinking of how successful Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign has been on youtube.

    Aside from just randomly watching vids on that channel, I can't even begin to count the reposts of various contributors that I've seen on my Twitter and FB accounts.

    Beginning early, too, to post these good things could lead to a catchy tag line of some sort reminding people that the full impact won't even be felt until 2014 and beyond.

    Nice diary; thanks!

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by scarlet slipper on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:14:05 PM PST

  •  Also think about (0+ / 0-)

    State initiatives for bringing out the vote.  We had an uptick even in a Presidential year because of marriage equality and legalization of marijuana here in Washington State.  Obviously this would only work in certain states.

    But perhaps focusing on voting rights initiatives would work in those states where people were most disenfranchised.

    Anyway, seems like we need to have a multi-pronged approach, using all of the above as our answer for keeping the intensity high.

  •  Am new to Kos so a bit shy to comment but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think one cog that needs adding to the wheel of momentum for 2014 is Grover Norquist. His name should be a household word synonymous with GOP obstruction. This man should not be holding any power over the people.

    Year of the Weakest Tea

    by 2014 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 12:31:18 AM PST

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