Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Orcs Are In Trouble

Gee, you think the shutdown was a good idea for the GOP? I suppose you could if you think a permanent Democratic majority is a good idea:

Washington (CNN) -- In a sign of the political hangover congressional Republicans are suffering in the wake of the government shutdown, three-quarters of Americans in a new national poll say that most GOP members of Congress don't deserve to be re-elected.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also found a majority saying that the Republicans' policies are too extreme. And according to the poll, Democrats have an 8-point advantage over the Republicans in an early indicator in the battle for control of Congress. But with more than a year to go until the 2014 midterm elections, there's plenty of time for these numbers to change.

Normally, numbers like this are meaningless, but here’s an interesting statistic out of the study:

[…]nearly four in 10 saying even their own representative doesn't deserve a return ticket to Washington next year. Both figures are hovering around all-time highs in CNN polling.

See, the conventional wisdom goes that everyone hates Congress, and the people who infest it, but Congress has a 95-98% re-election rate.

Which means everyone hates everybody else’s Congresscritter. Except now, suddenly, people are waking up that the only way to clean house is to clean house.

Unfortunately, we don’t get state-by-state numbers, but the underlying data based on self-identifying political views seems to suggest that even conservatives states (PDF) are taking a very close look at their individual members of Congress with an eye towards replacing them. The question there becomes, are they thinking they should be more moderate and willing to work with Democrats and the President, or even more strident and obstinate? The jury is still out on that one, but it is safe to say that the current make-up of the House of Representatives is in play, and that the Democrats could steal enough moderate seats to claim a majority next year.

The party which occupies the White House for a second term rarely if ever has gained seats in the Congress in the mid-term elections. It could happen next year. It has a very good chance.