Response to "60-seats possible"

I think these seats are really possible:

Wyoming (special election) AND regular
Colorado
Idaho
New Mexico
Minnesota
North Carolina
Kentucky
Virginia
Maine
New Hampshire
Oregon

That is 12. People forgot both seats in WY are up in 2008. Add in these new fights:

Alaska
Texas
Mississippi
Nebraska (if Hagel retires)
Oklahoma

If the right people run in these states these are too:

Georgia (Chambliss is at 50 approval)
Kansas (approval 52)

That totals 19 possible races out of 22. Subtract only losing LA, considering Iowa is trending blue  (first control of house and senate in I think about 15 years) and you cannot really attack a guy who is recovering from brain surgery (if he runs).

And remember Republicans usually dump money into the presidential race and are being out raised 2-1 in both houses.  I think this could be an electoral shift on the scale of 1932 or 1980 (since 1958 was an off year) if we get a movement building presidential candidate (Obama or Edwards)

Finally the increase in young voter turnout, and call me crazy I think that a plus-12 in the senate and and 50-60 in the house are possible, given the right conditions--which are shaping up (we are now trusted more on just about everything and evangelicals have taken up enviroment and poverty as moral issues)

There's more...

Democratic Gains Even More Impressive in Hindsight

Following up on Adam T's analysis of the overall vote for the United States House last fall that appeared on this site about a week ago, The Hotline's state editor Quinn McCord takes his stab at the numbers and comes to some interesting conclusions of his own.
We all know '06 was bad for the GOP. But the breadth of the Dem victory shows up starkly in a new Hotline analysis of the cumulative nat'l vote for House candidates by state editor Quinn McCord.

Dems won 54.1% of the two-party vote in '06, much better than the GOP's 52.5% win in '02. That fueled Dem advantages in 27 states last year, compared to only 19 in '02. Most importantly, Dems carried the net vote in several swing states (OH, PA, MI, NV, NH), some of which they hadn't carried in more than a decade. Even in the reddest states, GOPers struggled to win more than 55% last year. They lost TN and NC outright. Also, Dems let only 10 GOPers go unchallenged in '06, compared to 45 uncontested Dem seats.

[...]

Here's the nat'l summary of two-party House results for the past four cycles; Leading totals are bolded:

GOP U.S. House VotesDem U.S. House Votes200047,238,467 (50.3)46,701,783 (49.7%)200237,428,113 (52.5%)33,905,437 (47.5%)200456,112,869 (51.4%)53,128,318 (48.6%)200635,904,068 (45.9%)42,291,298 (54.1%)____4-yr
Total176,683,517 (50.1%)176,026,836 (49.9%)

# of States Won (w. flips)/Seats UncontestedGOPersDems__Year__By GOPersBy Dems29212000323131 (+MS, MO, PA)19 (+AR)2002364430 (+MI)20 (+CO, SD)200429362327 (+MI, NV, NH,
NC, OH, PA, TN)20064510

[Tables slightly reformatted]

I'd strongly recommend you check out McCord's full analysis because it offers some very important insights into the political winds in the country. For instance, the Democrats increased their share of the votes in all but three states from 2004 to 2006 and, more importantly, they increased their share of the vote from 2002 to 2004 and again from 2004 to 2006 in 26 states. Four states upped their relative support for Democrats in each of the past three cycles, two of which -- Colorado and North Carolina -- could be evincing trends that could help out the Democrats not only on the congressional level but also quite possibly the presidential level. Fascinating stuff, really. Read it if you have the chance.

FL-13: Democrats To Seat Buchanan, For Now

The latest from the last unresolved election of 2006:A judge ruled Friday that congressional aspirant Christine Jennings has no right to examine the programming source code that runs the electronic voting machines at the center of a disputed Southwest Florida congressional race.

Democrats in Congress meanwhile, said they'd allow Republican Vern Buchanan to take the seat next Thursday, but with a warning that the inquiry wasn't over and that his hold on it could be temporary.

The state has certified Buchanan the winner of the District 13 race by a scant 369 votes.

Although she could appeal, the ruling Friday from Circuit Judge William Gary prevents the Jennings camp from being able to use the programming code to try to show voting machines used in Sarasota County malfunctioned. Jennings claims that an unusually large number of undervotes - ballots that didn't show a vote - recorded in the race implies the machines lost the votes.

Jennings still has a complaint filed, however, before Congress, which is the ultimate arbiter of who will fill the seat. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for the Senate.

"The House has the power to collect evidence and make a decision about who, if anyone, was duly elected to represent the people of the 13th district," U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., said Friday before the judge's ruling. Holt plans to make an official statement next week making it clear that by seating Buchanan, the House isn't forfeiting the right to reverse that decision later. This is the politically safe maneuver, designed to prevent the first few days and weeks of the Democratic Congress from being sidetracked. I worry, however, that even though Democrats have made it clear that they could reverse this decision, that by seating Buchanan they all but end any effective opposition to the legitimacy of the election in FL-13. The already difficult path for Jennings in FL-13 just became a lot more difficult.

FL-13: Seating Buchanan Is Not the End

Earlier today, Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12) put out a statement that he will "take steps to put the U.S. House of Representatives on record as recognizing the justification of the electoral challenge filed by Congressional candidate Christine Jennings regarding the disputed election in Florida's 13th Congressional District, and making clear that any House proceedings on January 4, 2007, will not prejudice legal proceedings or legislative inquiry regarding the election's validity."

In other words, Holt will see to it that the House's seating of Republican Vern Buchanan is not taken as recognition of his victory (and thereby a rebuke of Jennings' challenge). Rep. Holt, the primary sponsor of the Voter Confidence and Accessibility Act, had this to say on the matter last month:

The inaccuracy of electronic touch-screen voting machines poses a direct threat to the integrity of our electoral system and to our nation's democracy. Once again this broken system has been exposed in Florida's 13th Congressional district where over 18,000 votes went uncounted. Without the means to fully guarantee that every vote is counted as fairly and accurately as possible, the authenticity of our recorded vote will always be uncertain and open to electoral and legal challenges.
Since then, others have speculated how to make matters right in this case. Following precedent, Howard Dean suggested Buchanan not be seated in the House, and Blue Jerseyencouraged Rep. Holt to lead that fight. Yet Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has said little about the matter, and Jennings has now publicly relinquished opposition to seating Buchanan.

So, while Pelosi and other members of House leadership sit on the sidelines, Rep. Holt is getting in the game for democracy. In his latest statement, he clearly says

Under federal law, there is a procedure in place for reviewing contested elections. The House should do nothing to compromise or prejudice the case Ms. Jennings has before the Florida courts. I expect the evidence will show that the certification did not reflect the will of the voters and a re-vote is necessary. [Emphasis added]

There's more...

FL-13 News

One of the lawsuits begins today. From a People for the American Way Press release: A hearing in the nonpartisan lawsuit seeking a revote for disenfranchised voters in Sarasota County's congressional election, as well as in the case brought by congressional candidate Christine Jennings, is scheduled for this afternoon and Wednesday. The nonpartisan lawsuit represents the interests of Republican, Democratic, and independent voters.

The hearing will focus on the discovery process for the suit, especially whether iVotronic voting machine manufacturer ES&S must permit examination of its source code by plaintiffs' independent investigators. Meanwhile, it looks as though the strategy we expected here on MyDD, seating Buchanan but ordering a House investigation of the election, is what will actually happen:Any effort to prevent Buchanan from taking the seat would have to be approved by the full House.

If Pelosi decides to pursue that route, her new majority presumably would vote for it. But a source close to the Democratic leadership, who requested anonymity when discussing party strategy, said Pelosi most likely would let Buchanan take office while ordering an investigation by the House Administration Committee into whether a new election is warranted.

Pelosi is being pressed by Democratic activists to take a tougher stance and block Buchanan from being sworn in.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told Florida's Bay News 9 earlier this month: "You cannot seat someone if you don't have an election that's valid."

The liberal organization MoveOn.org delivered a petition to Capitol Hill on Friday urging Congress to order a new election.

Historically, denying certified winners their seats can be the political equivalent of a bare-knuckles brawl on Capitol Hill. In 1984, partisan tensions ran high in a dispute over what came to be known as Indiana's "Bloody 8th" district.

In that race, Republican Richard McIntyre had been declared the winner by 34 votes one day after the election and by 418 votes after a state-ordered recount. But the Democratic-controlled House refused to seat him. For a time, both McIntyre and the Democratic candidate Frank McCloskey drew congressional pay, but neither was officially seated. Six months later, after another recount, McCloskey was declared the victor by four votes. Republicans cried foul and stormed out of the chamber when McCloskey was seated. Then-Rep. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said at the time, "This wound will not heal without a terrible price and a scar that will not disappear for many years." This is probably the safest route to take right now, which keeps the issue alive but does not gum up the first couple weeks of the Democratic House. In the end, however, I don't really care how much Republicans cry foul over the FL-13. The only just solution is a new election, and in a few months hopefully that is the outcome that can be achieved.

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