Putting The Hastert Seat Loss in Context

by thoughtfulconservative

From the Washington Post’s political blog, The Fix

The fact that voters in an exurban district that went for Bush by double digits in 2000 and 2004 opted for the Democratic national message is telling. It suggests that the national political landscape is decidedly tilted in Democrats’ favor — that the uneven playing field of the 2006 election is still alive and well.

The Republican party could be headed for political disaster in November.

As much as Republican strategists sought to downplay the national importance of the race — mostly accomplished through bad-mouthing of their candidate — it’s clear that the race was fought on national, not local, issues.

The national issues? Iraq and the economy seem to be the most porminent.

It gets worse, according to Mr. Cillizza,

As the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee noted in a memo released in the aftermath of their win in Illinois’ 14th, the Hastert seat is far more reliably Republican than most of the districts House Democrats are targeting this fall.

“[Eighty] percent of the Republican open and Republican incumbent seats the DCCC is targeting this cycle have better democratic performances than Illinois 14,” wrote committee communications director Jen Crider in the memo. “Forty out of the 50 seats the DCCC is targeting have Democratic performances of 45 percent or higher.”

A pickup of 35-40 seats would be landslide like and could be enough to give the Democratic presidential candidate a reverse coat tail.

He goes on to describe the Partisan Voting Index used by the Cook Political Report to give an indication of possible voting patters. In the latest report, they gave the Illinois 14 an R+5.

A quick look at Cook’s PVI ratings reveals that 53 Republican-held seats have a score more Democratic than that.

The complete list can be found at the link. But Wisconsin’s 1st (R+2) and Wisconsin’s 6th (R+5) are on that list.

Hold onto your hats, folks. Things are gonna get really interesting.

Here’s the latest House analysis (PDF file) from Cook Political Report.

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