Democrats Will Lose the House: Charlie Cook
Veteran political prognosticator Charlie Cook argues that it’s not only likely that Republicans will take back the House of Representatives in November but that it’s hard to come up with a scenario under which they won’t.
I’ve spent the last couple of days talking to some of the brightest Democrats in the party that are not in the White House. And it’s very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don’t lose the House. It’s very hard. Are the seats there right this second? No. But we’re on a trajectory on the House turning over….
There are nine months, certainly things could happen, but the odds of unemployment being below 9 percent are minimal by the time of this election. We’re probably going to have a year of basically, more or less, 10 percent unemployment, which hasn’t happened since the Great Depression. I mean, in fact, in an even-numbered year there’s only been one month of double-digit unemployment in the post-War era. One month. And now we’re going to have probably about a year.
That’s the most forthright claim on the subject that I’ve yet seen by someone who is simultaneously a serious political observer and not a Republican operative. I’m still somewhat skeptical because of the sheer enormity of picking up 77 seats — much less the 79 seat gap from 2008’s elections. But I agree with Cook’s core assumption: It’s a bad, bad year to be an incumbent and the Democrats are the incumbents.
UPDATE: A commenter points out that the numbers in my last paragraph represent the gap, not the seats required for pickup. True! The Republicans only need a net gain of 41 seats, since every pickup is also a net loss for the Democrats.
Hat tip: Jim Geraghty.