November 08, 2006

With the networks now calling Montana for Tester, and Webb continuing to lead Allen by a slight but significant margin in Virginia, Democratic prospects to capture the Senate as well as the House seem imminent. The thing that strikes me about the last night's results is how regional the GOP now is. Only five of the House pick-ups (and possibly one in the Senate) came in the South, and two of those seats were in districts (KY-3 and FL-22) that Kerry and Gore captured in the past two Presidential elections. Two other seats (FL-16 and TX-22) were directly attributable to scandal-ridden incumbents resigning after winning their primaries, preventing the Republicans from putting a new candidate on the ballot, leaving only Heath Shuler's win in NC-11 as an example of the Democrats going into a Red District in Dixie and emerging victorious.

It was the rest of the country that rejected Republicanism. More than half of the gains in the House came in states the Democrats have won in either of the past two Presidential elections. The key to Republican dominance since 1994 has been to maintain a sizable contingent of Congressmen representing suburban and exurban districts in the North and Midwest, buttressing the party base in the Old Confederacy. That contingent doesn't exist anymore, certainly not after last night; George Bush and Karl Rove have now scared away conservative and centrist voters from every section of the country, and the few that remain, like Christopher Shays, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Susan Collins, are going to be the ones most likely to switch parties in the near future. The post-2006 Republican Party is the least national party since the post-Reconstruction Democratic Party

No comments: