Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'My Advice To You Incumbent Democratic Senators....Is To Start Drinking Heavily'

'My Advice To You...Is To Start Drinking Heavily!'
Just took a look at some of the historic losses in the US Senate by incumbent Presidents in their off-presidential year elections.

  • 1918 Wilson -7 D seats; 
  • 1922 Harding -7 R seats; 
  • 1926 Coolidge -7 R; 
  • 1930 Hoover -8 R; 
  • 1938 FDR -7 D; 
  • 1942 FDR -8 D; 
  • 1946 Truman -12 D; 
  • 1950 Truman -5 D; 
  • 1958 Ike -13 R; 
  • 1986 Reagan -8 R; 
  • 1994 Clinton -8 D; 
  • 2006 Bush 43 -6 R; 
  • 2010 Obama -6 D seats; 
  • 2014 Obama -4?-5?-9? D seats. . .

That is an average of a 6.69 seat loss in the Senate for the party of the incumbent president on both sides of the aisle. That for either the Democrat or Republican side indiscriminately.

It is not a 'racial' thing or a 'class' thing; it is a 'philosophy of running our democratic republic' thing.

Depending on what happens in KY, KS and GA, President Obama could be right up there with FDR in terms of total losses of Senate seats during his terms in office as many as 15.

And he lucked out on 5 races the GOP should have picked up in 2010 and 2012 but were done in by less than stellar candidates who said things left better unsaid. Such as 'I am not a witch'; 'There is such a thing as legitimate rape' and so on. They are most definitely not on the ballot this year.

With those 5 lost pickups, the GOP would now be possibly looking at a majority of 59 GOP senators in the US Senate instead of possibly 'just' 54.
'Why's everybody always pickin' on us?'

Why do Presidents typically lose seats in the congressional election of their second term?

Why is it that a wildly popular president such as Ronald Reagan can win a still-record electoral victory in 1984 over the hapless former Veep Walter Mondale with 525 electoral votes and winning 49 states only to lose the Senate 2 short years later?

It is because it is one thing to make campaign promises in an election.

It is entirely another thing to get legislation passed to reflect those priorities in the very messy and discombobulating US Congress, especially on the Senate side where 1 Senator can muck up things pretty badly if he/she really wants to do so.

The economy also weighs in heavily on any election. When people are out of work, they tend to throw the bums out who are in charge. When things are going peachy-keen, they are not so angry so they let them stay.

President Reagan had the Iran-Contra issue come up in the summer of 1985 which tinged and tarnished his glowing reputation. Iran-Contra hurt the Republicans in 1986, along with a very nasty short recession and economic downturn which always gets a politician in trouble regardless of party.

President Obama has had his share of scandals scar his second Administration so far including the IRS; the NSA; Benghazi and now the nebulous response to ISIS in Iraq, the 'invisible fence' that allows illegal immigrants to continue to spill over the Texan border and the delayed response to the severity of the spread of the ebola virus.

All of these scandals at the top of the ticket, even though the president is not on the ballot during congressional elections, tend to flow down and tinge and tarnish the reputations of candidates down the ticket.

None more so than the US Senate incumbents of the same party. The implication seems to be that since you were supportive of the President's policies in the US Senate, you should be thrown out for one of 2 things: 1) Not stopping the President from doing such stupid things in the first place and 2) aiding and abetting his policies that turn out to be wrong-headed and detrimental to the country as a whole.

Remember: President Obama just said a couple of weeks ago: 'Make no mistake about it. My policies will be on the ballot this fall'

He might as well added: 'Read My Lips! More New Taxes!' and hung them like a millstone around the necks of every Democratic Senate candidate running this year around the nation.

One of the most dogged incumbents has been Kay Hagan of North Carolina. She has consistently led in most polls, that is, until about 2 weeks ago when she was forced to admit that she missed a hearing on ISIS to go to a fundraiser.

The highest percentage Senator Hagan has seen in a poll is 46%. Not good 3 weeks out for any incumbent anywhere in any election in any year, presidential or congressional. Any time any incumbent is below 50%, that is trouble since people who have already decided to support her have already done so. The others? Not so sure about her.

Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles (D) were dead-tied going into Election Day 2002. We were told by her campaign manager to expect a long night, and, I think I got this correct, to 'start drinking heavily'. No one on either side thought it would be decided until the wee hours of the next morning.

CNN's Candy Crowley (or some other reporter) announced Dole's victory at 9:20 pm. She had won 56-44. Apparently, those late breakers all went to her in the last days of the campaign.

The question now is whether those people in North Carolina who have not definitely made their decision to support Kay Hagan for a second term will do so once they think about what President Obama said about his policies being on the ballot.

That is why so many incumbents of the President's party lose in mid-term elections, especially in the second term of the President.

Many of these people just say 'no' to the President and it spills on down the line on the ballot.


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