Thursday, April 11, 2024

Do The Republicans Have The House

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Midterm elections: Do Republicans have a chance of keeping the House?

sarah: Yeah, Democrats might not have their worst Senate map in 2022, but it will by no means be easy, and how they fare will have a lot to do with the national environment. And as we touched on earlier, Bidens overall approval rating will also make a big difference in Democrats midterm chances.

nrakich: Yeah, if the national environment is even a bit Republican-leaning, that could be enough to allow solid Republican recruits to flip even Nevada and New Hampshire. And then it wouldnt even matter if Democrats win Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

One thing is for sure, though whichever party wins the Senate will have only a narrow majority, so I think were stuck in this era of moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski controlling every bills fate for at least a while longer.;

sarah: Lets talk about big picture strategy, then, and where that leaves us moving forward. Its still early and far too easy to prescribe election narratives that arent grounded in anything, but one gambit the Republican Party seems to be making at this point is that attacking the Democratic Party for being too progressive or woke will help them win.

What do we make of that playbook headed into 2022? Likewise, as the party in charge, what are Democrats planning for?

With that being said, the GOPs strategies could still gin up turnout among its base, in particular, but its hard to separate that from general dissatisfaction with Biden.

Many Republicans Mobilizing Against Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

The bipartisan group of senators who crafted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is preparing to take a victory lap as the Senate moves toward passing the bill in the coming days.

But a large number of Republicans are mobilizing against the bill that includes $1.2 trillion of spending and $550 billion in new spending on hard infrastructure projects, such as rail, ports, electric vehicle charging stations, and broadband.

Right after the group of bipartisan senators introduced the bills text on Sunday night, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee gave a long floor speech in opposition to the legislation, arguing that the Constitution does not give Congress to go out and spend money on anything that we deem appropriate and that the price tag is too high.

Shame on us for making poor and middle-class Americans poorer so that we can bring praise and adulation to ourselves and more money to a small handful of wealthy, well-connected interests in America, Lee said.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said that he would vote against the bill, sharing an article that called it an epic binge of green subsidies and more handouts for states and localities.

Several Republicans in the House are also stating their opposition to the bill.

No one should support something that will serve as a trojan horse for the Democrats reconciliation package, which the White House wants to use to pass massive amnesty, the RSC memo read.

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Is A Dream A Lie If It Dont Come True

Americas various disproportional representations are the result of winner-takes-all voting and a two-party system where party allegiance and geography have become surprisingly highly correlated. Places where people live close together vote Democratic, places where they live farther apart vote Republican . Under some electoral systems this would not matter very much. Under Americas it has come to matter a lot, in part because of an anti-party constitution.

Americas founders wanted power to be hard to concentrate, and for people who held some powers to be structurally at odds with those who held others. To this end they created a system in which distinct branches and levels of government provided checks and balances on each other. They hoped these arrangements would be sufficient to hobble any factions which sought to co-ordinate their actions across various levels and branches of government. The first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams, both warned that a two-party system, in particular, would be anathema to the model of government they were trying to build.

Take the Senate. To make sure the largest states do not dominate the rest, the constitution provides equal representation for all the states, large and small alike. This builds in an over-representation for people in small or sparsely populated places.

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Key Points From This Article

Single-member districts, natural sorting, and gerrymandering are the origins of bias in the House of Representatives.

One form of bias consistently helps House Republicans, vindicating liberal concerns of a structural imbalance. Another form of bias reliably benefits the party that wins control of the House, disrupting claims of a Democratic disadvantage.

If Democrats keep their current 7.6% lead in the two-party Generic Ballot through November 2020, they will probably hold the House and win more than the proportionate 53.8% of House seats .

Redistricting Is The Next Step On A Path To One

Letter: Republicans argue that the earth is flat

The redistricting process kicked off this week in Washington. The Census Bureau released initial data from the 2020 census Monday afternoon, , which means that congressional district boundaries will soon be redrawn to account for changes in population.

These changes will probably tend to benefit the Republican Party, as conservative states will get more seats for instance, Texas will gain two seats, while New York, California, and Illinois will all lose one. Republicans are also certain to use the process to try to gerrymander themselves as many additional congressional seats as possible by leveraging their control of a majority of state legislatures. And that is just the opening tactic in a long-term strategy to abolish American democracy and set up one-party rule.

Today in Michigan, gerrymandering means Republicans enjoy a 3.4-point handicap in the state House and a 10.7-point handicap in the state Senate; in Pennsylvania, it’s a 3.1-point handicap in the House and a 5.9-point handicap in the Senate; and in Wisconsin, a 7.1-point handicap in the House and a 10.1-point handicap in the Senate.

It’s impossible to gerrymander the Senate, of course, but luckily for Republicans that chamber is inherently gerrymandered due to the large number of disproportionately white, low-population rural states that lean conservative. The swing seat in the Senate is biased something like 7 points to the right.

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Are Senators Chosen By Popular Vote

Beginning with the 1914 general election, all U.S. senators have been chosen by direct popular election. The Seventeenth Amendment also provided for the appointment of senators to fill vacancies. There have been many landmark contests, such as the election of Hiram Revels, the first African American senator, in 1870.

Ernst Promises To Make Washington Squeal After Senate Win

In Louisiana, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was forced into a December runoff with Republican Bill Cassidy. In Georgia, Republican David Perdue cleared the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas beat independent Greg Orman, who had refused to say which party he would vote with. For a time, it appeared he alone might determine the Senate majority. It ultimately didnt matter.

Obama, with a new Congress to deal with, invited leaders of both parties and both chambers to the White House on Friday for a post-election meeting, a White House official told NBC News. The presidents approval rating has bounced around the low 40s all year 42 percent in the final reading before Election Day.

Almost across the board, Republicans sought to tie their Democratic opponents to the president throughout the campaign. And the president mostly stayed away from states with close races, knowing his presence could hinder vulnerable Democrats seeking to distance themselves from the leader of their party.

The Republican takeover of the Senate will force Obama to use his veto power more often he has wielded it only twice in six years and could complicate his efforts to make judicial appointments, including to the Supreme Court.

Incumbent republican Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania was ousted by Democrat Tom Wolf. In Texas, Republican Greg Abbott beat Democrat Wendy Davis, who gained national fame last year by filibustering an abortion bill.

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Republicans Control Both Houses Of Congress; Democrats The Presidency: So What Does The Future Hold

After the 2008 election, Republicans vowed to do everything to obstruct President Obama and keep anything he supported from passing. When they lost again in 2012, they doubled down on this philosophy. Unfortunately for the country, this strategy, coupled with falsehoods about Democratic programs and the Democrats cowardly showing in 2014, Republicans now control both the House and the Senate.

The question facing Republicans now is what to do with this power. If they continue their obstruction and do nothing, they will not be able to shift the blame to Obama and the Democrats. If they yield to their conservative base, Obama will veto whatever they propose and two more years will pass with nothing being accomplished. If they work with Obama, their conservative base will rebel causing internal turmoil and damage to their brand going into the 2016 election.

On the other hand, the Democrats have to prove to their once loyal base, that they still stand for middle class values, job creation and strong financial reform. Their quietness in 2014 and lack of support for their president was a huge tactical error. As Obama angers the Republicans by passing immigration reform, opening diplomatic relations with Cuba and maybe vetoing the Keystone Pipeline, the Republicans have to prove they have workable ideas that will create jobs, improve the economy for everyone and that they can govern and get things done.

Explaining The Seat Bonus Bias

Republicans maintain control of the House and the Senate

To explain the seat bonus, we need to know what dynamics boost a partys share of House seats relative to its share of the national popular vote. Such explanations revolve around overperformance in swing seats. This is because small improvements in close races could push a party over the top to win these districts while barely registering in the national popular vote. Imagine that Democrats got a 3% boost in their 10 closest losses of 2018. They would have won each of those districts, increasing their House representation by 2% while boosting their national popular vote total less than 0.1% : a seat bonus of 2.9%. So, what could cause this kind of overperformance in swing seats?

One lies in the sheer number of swing seats, defined here as those won by either party by less than 10%. This range from +10% Democratic to +10% Republican covers a scope of 20%. There were 88 such districts in 2018. Election margins on the whole can range from 100% Democratic to 100% Republican, a scope of 200%. Our definition of swing seats accounts for 10% of all possible results. The 88 swing seats of 2018, though, make up 20% of all 435 House seats. This overrepresentation of competitive districts means that a small increase of a partys national popular vote could flip a disproportionate number of close races.

Each of these factors the incumbency advantage, the overrepresentation of swing seats and elasticity and more contribute to the Seat Bonus Bias.

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Four Flips For Democrats One For Republicans

Going into the election, the Democrats held 47 seats in the U.S. Senate while the Republicans held 53.

The Democrats have succeeded in flipping four seats: in Colorado, where former Governor John Hickenlooper easily ousted incumbent Cory Gardner, in Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated incumbent Martha McSally, and in Georgia, where Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent David Perdue.

The Republicans have wrested back one previously Democratic seat in Alabama, where one-term incumbent Doug Jones was emphatically denied a second term by Tommy Tuberville, a former college head football coach, most recently at the University of Cincinnati.

Outgoing freshman Sens. Jones and Gardner were both considered vulnerable, as each was elected with less than 50% of the vote in 2018.

Republican Thom Tilliss victory over Cal Cunningham in North Carolinaby less than 2 percentage points according to the North Carolina Secretary of States latest tallyis one of several close Senate races that were not called until after election night. In addition to the seats from Georgia, close races also include the victories of incumbent senators Gary Peters and Susan Collins , which were not called until Nov. 4.

Republicans Win Fewer Votes But More Seats Than Democrats

Republicans controlled the post2010 redistricting process in the four states, and drew new lines that helped the GOP win the bulk of the House delegation in each. Republicans captured 13 of 18 seats in Pennsylvania, 12 of 16 in Ohio, nine of 14 in Michigan, and five of eight in Wisconsin. Added together, that was 39 seats for the Republicans and 17 seats for the Democrats in the four proObama states.

The key to GOP congressional success was to cluster the Democratic vote into a handful of districts, while spreading out the Republican vote elsewhere. In Pennsylvania, for example, Republicans won nine of their 13 House seats with less than 60% of the vote, while Democrats carried three of their five with more than 75%.

One of the latter was the Philadelphiabased 2nd District, where 356,386 votes for Congress were tallied. Not only was it the highest number of ballots cast in any district in the state, but Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah won 318,176 of the votes. It was the largest number received by any House candidate in the country in 2012, Democrat or Republican. If some of these Democratic votes had been unclustered and distributed to other districts nearby, the party might have won a couple more seats in the Philadelphia area alone.

The Closest House Races of 2012


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Democrats Got Millions More Votes So How Did Republicans Win The Senate

Senate electoral process means although Democrats received more overall votes for the Senate than Republicans, that does not translate to more seats

The 2018 midterm elections brought significant gains for Democrats, who retook the House of Representatives and snatched several governorships from the grip of Republicans.

But some were left questioning why Democrats suffered a series of setbacks that prevented the party from picking up even more seats and, perhaps most consequentially, left the US Senate in Republican hands.

Among the most eye-catching was a statistic showing Democrats led Republicans by more than 12 million votes in Senate races, and yet still suffered losses on the night and failed to win a majority of seats in the chamber.

Constitutional experts said the discrepancy between votes cast and seats won was the result of misplaced ire that ignored the Senate electoral process.

Because each state gets two senators, irrespective of population, states such as Wyoming have as many seats as California, despite the latter having more than 60 times the population. The smaller states also tend to be the more rural, and rural areas traditionally favor Republicans.

This year, because Democrats were defending more seats, including California, they received more overall votes for the Senate than Republicans, but that does not translate to more seats.

The rise of minority rule in America is now unmistakable

The Fossil Fuel Industrys Funding Of Denial


CAPs analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that these 139 climate science deniers have accepted more than $61 million in lifetime direct contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industries, which comes out to an average of $442,293 per elected official of Congress that denies climate change. This figure includes all contributions above the Federal Election Commissions mandated reporting threshold of $200 from management, employees, and political action committees in the fossil fuel industries. Not included in this data are the many other avenues available to fossil fuel interests to influence campaigns and elected officials. For example, oil, gas, and coal companies spent heavily during the 2020 election cycle to keep the Senate under the control of former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a known climate denierwith major oil companies like Valero, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips contributing more than $1 million each to the conservative Senate Leadership Fund.

This analysis only shows direct, publicly disclosed contributions to federal candidates. The fossil fuel industry regularly spends millions of dollars of dark money advertising to the public; shaping corporate decisions; lobbying members of Congress; and otherwise funding the infrastructure that makes climate denial politically feasible and even profitable.

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What The Midterms Mean For President Obama And 2016

Only one in three voters in exit polls said the country was on the right track, and one in five said the government in Washington could never be trusted to do whats right. Two-thirds said the economic system is unfair.

The Republican swing fit a historical pattern: The last three two-term presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all served their last two years with the opposing party controlling both houses of Congress.

And the party controlling the White House has lost seats in the House in the midterm election every time but twice since World War II.

In the Senate, Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas was ousted by Rep. Tom Cotton, and Mark Udall of Colorado was bounced by Rep. Cory Gardner. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan lost her seat to Thom Tillis.

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire held off a furious challenge by ex-Sen. Scott Brown.

Republicans Joni Ernst in Iowa, Steve Daines in Montana, Mike Rounds in South Dakota and Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia all captured seats held by retiring Democrats.

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