Monday, March 10, 2008

The Republican's loss of Hastert's Congressional seat

Chris Cillizza makes some interesting points about Saturday's special election for Illinois Congressional District 14.
  • The district has been reliably Republican, going for Bush in 2004 by eleven percentage points over Kerry.
  • The race was fought largely on national issues rather than local issues.
  • The Democrat Bill Foster beat the Republican Jim Oberweis 53% to 47%, or plus six percent Democratic.
Consider my earlier list of open seats from January 25, 2008 and look at the far right-hand column. That shows the percentage difference in that electoral district in the 2004 Presidential election.

The result in Ill 14 suggests that nationwide the advantage has shifted 11 + 6 Democratic. That means remove the eleven Republican advantage points shown in the last column from 2004 and then remove 6 more Republican points because that was Foster's advantage over Oberweis. Any race shown below that is not in a Republican plus 17 district is up for grabs by Democrats this Fall.

That makes 12 of the 21 Republican seats in this list leaning Democratic, and the 5 Democratic seats are safe. So of the 27 House seats shown below I would expect 17 to go Democratic, for a net loss of 12 by the Republicans.

The Senate remains a gain of three seats for the Democrats.


1Allen, TomDME-01Run for SenateD+12
2Carson, JuliaDIN-07DiedD+16
3McNulty, Michael RDNY-21RetireD+13
4Udall, TomDNM-03Run for SenateD+9
5Udal, MarkDCO-02Run for SenateD+17
6Cubin, BarbaraRWY-At lgRetireR+40
7Davis, Jo AnnRVA-01DiedR+21
8Dolittle, JohnRCA-04RetireR+24
9Everett, TerryRAL-02RetireR+34
10Ferguson, MikeRNJ-07RetireR+6
11Gilmore, PaulROH-05DiedR+22
12Hastert, DennisRIL-14ResignedR+11
13Hobson, DaveROH-07RetireR+14
14Hunter, DuncanRCA-52RetireR+23
15LaHood, RayRIL-18RetireR+16
16McCrery, JimRLA-04RetireR+19
17Pickering, ChipRMS-03RetireR+31
18Pryce, DeborahROH-15RetireD+0 *
19Ramstad, JimRMN-03RetireR+3 *
20Regula, RalphROH-16RetireR+8
21Renzi, RickRAZ-01RetireR+8
22Saxton, JimRNJ-03RetireR+2 *
23Tancredo, TomRCO-06RetireR+21
24Walsh, JimRNY-25RetireR+2 *
25Weldon, DaveRFL-15RetireR+14
26Weller, JerryRIL-11RetireR+7
27Wilson, HeatherRNM-01Run for SenateR+3


1Allard, WayneRCORetiringR+5 *
2Craig, LarryRIDRetiringR+38
3Domenici, PeteRNMRetiringR+1 *
4Hagel, ChuckRNBRetiringR+33
5Lott, TrentRMSResigningR+19
6Warner, JohnRVARetiringR+9

That is merely the implications that can be drawn from Saturday's special election in what should have been a safe Republican seat. The use of numbers allows us to aggregate political tendencies nationally, but in any given race local forces will be the deciding factor. Also, this is of course eight months before the general election.

A lot can change in two-thirds of a year. One thing that I do expect to change is that the Recession is going to get worse, which will make things even more difficult for Republicans. Another thing that can change is for the Bush administration to fabricate an excuse to attack Iran, which would create a rally-around-the-flag atmosphere. Since we are still conducting the folly of the Iraqi Occupation, that would be an extremely high-risk political strategy, one that even our Republican-compliant media (excluding the Republican house organ, FOX) might not support.

Addendum. Significant spelling corrections made March 11, 2008 11:21 AM.

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