1994 All Over Again?

Steven Taylor considers whether 2010 will be a repeat of 1994, where Republicans took control of Congress. He finds it unlikely.

On balance I think that trying to make 2010 into a repeat of 1994 is largely Republicans engaging in wishful thinking. Yes, there are several variable that are similar (Democratic President, Democratic Congress, major health care proposal), but there are also any number of variables that are different. For one: Obama came to office under very different circumstances than did Clinton (one key difference: Clinton only won a plurality of the popular vote, as 1992 was the three-way Clinton-Bush-Perot race, while Obama came in with a solid majority). For another: Clinton struggled through several major legislative fights apart from the health care debate (e.g., gays in the military and over his first budget) while Obama has largely been successful legislatively. That is not to say there haven’t been fights or controversy, but the fights for Obama have been with the opposition, while a number of the fights for Clinton were within his own party—for example, it came down to a handful of votes (and much deal-brokering from the White House) to get the first budget passed in the House and Vice President Gore had to break a tie to pass the budget in the Senate.

I agree with this analysis, and I think that there are other factors in play working against the Republicans here. For one thing, self-identification as “Republican” is trending downward, and there’s a healthy 11 point gap between self-identified Democrats and self-identified Republicans. Independent affiliation is trending up, but independents tend to turnout less during mid-term elections, so the swing factor becomes less decisive.

Now, let’s get into some more specifics–as it stands right now, the Democrats would have to lose 11 Senate seats in order to lose the Senate. Right now, that ain’t in the cards. The Democrats don’t have 11 vulnerable seats. (They might lose Harry Reid, though, which would actually probably be a boon for Democrats.)

On the House side, in order for the Republicans to take the House, they need to win an additional 40 seats. Surveying the landscape, I don’t see 40 seats that the Republicans can win. I do think that they can make some big gains, but as the AP reports, the polling shows that Democrats only have 38 vulnerable seats. So not only do the Republicans have to win all 38 vulnerable seats, they have to win two more besides. Right now I don’t see it–especially because in some of the battleground states such as Florida and Nevada, the Latino vote has swung away from Democrats, and I don’t think that Republican opposition to Sotomayor and renewed calls for crackdowns on immigrants are going to help the Republicans here.

Frankly, from a pure political perspective, I think Obama is at his weakest point than he is going to be for the remainder of the mid-term. Now consider this–his favorables are spiking back up, and after a solid month of conservative protest against health care reform, even Rasmussen puts support for reform at 51% and trending up. And while right now the Republicans are winning the generic House ballot, it’s by a pretty slim margin. I think this is the telling point for the 2010 elections–August was bad, really bad, for the President. But Republicans haven’t moved their agenda forward, and there hasn’t been a signficant shift in opinion against the Democrats. At least, not significant enough to cause a sea change like 1994 or 2006.

Now, there are a number of factors that might change things between now and November 2010–the economy, the wars, a natural disaster, etc. But as things stand right now, and as the trends appear to be moving today, a Republican re-taking of the House doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. This analysis is well and good, but at the end of the day it’s not going to be ’94 all over again (unless something changes) for exactly one reason: there’s no Republican leadership ready to step in.

    Love them or hate them, the plays made by Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, et al in 1994 were a brilliant political masterstroke at the time. I don’t see any strategy, or any Republican leadership, in a position to pull off the same move again.

    Then again, Newt Gingrich was a relative nobody in 1993, so who knows.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Let’s also remember the Democratic congress were bereft with scandals going into the 94 election (Congressional post office scandal, etc.). Barring a repeat of these revelations, I don’t see how the GOP obstruction will get them any moer votes the next go around.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    The only thing that will not change is the communist holding the position of President of this free nation. You might disagree about his political leanings but who else would fly the flag of the Peoples Republic of China and the anniversary of their establishment 60 years ago. I am listening to the red speak right now. He is talking about making changes which are extra constitutional. Alex, did you not notice the people gathered in Washington DC Saturday? They gathered at the Capital, not 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Those where not union organized folks. Most of those people paid their own way to that event. I notice a goodly number of senior citizens attended. If you do not think a change in government is being demanded by its citizens. Name some other time when that many people, on their own volition, came to Washington to protest what they see as the wrong direction government is headed. Oh my God! Obama just said he has always been for the free market system. He lies like a rug. He must have not listened to Frank Marshall Davis or any other of his Communist buddies. I wonder why the American Communist Party endorsed him? That is exactly why this government will have new leadership after November 2010. Obama thinks government is the answer to everything. After reading what you had to say Alex, maybe you should rename this blog to outside the Universe.

  4. Wayne says:

    I agree that the Republican as a whole have not impressed many. IMO that is why they are not gaining ground in the polls. Attitude is that Reps suck and spend too much but the Dems are 10 times worse. IMO there will far more change in 2010 than expected due to anger, disappointment and wanting change than anything the Reps actually do.

    Ground swells are seldom predicted by the numbers crunchers. I love number crunching and find them valuable but do realize their limits.

  5. Our Paul says:

    I wish you wouldn’t write stuff that discourage Republican’s, like this post. It might lead them to reconsider their current tactics and start to think rationally. That would be a severe blow to those of us who enjoy their inanities and wonder about their degree of social development.

    I mean, is there better entertainment than the Birthers, the Tea Baggers, or the Tenther’s, or the characters that found euthanasia (Newt Gingrish) and death panels (Sarah Palin) in the health care reform?

    The cast of stars that march across their stage will invariably bring us to our feet. Center right, non other than Joe the Plumber, to be followed by a parade of family values stalwarts, their feet a tapping, their zippers a zipping. And of course their spokesman and hero to the young conservatives. Who else but conservatives would bring you a druggy who got nailed at the airport with an illegal stash of Viagra when returning from a vacation trip to the Dominican Republic.

    So my friend, cease and desist. Do not force us to go back the Marx Brothers for our occasional dose of zaniness.

  6. One other important distinction from 1994 – in that year, an abnormally high number of House Dems either retired, were defeated in primaries, or ran for higher office – around 30, IIRC, and many were conservative Dems. Only a handful were from safely Dem districts. Indeed, the incumbent reelection rate that year, while lower than most years, still hit 90%. And that was before the redistricting of recent years made incumbents safer still – since 1994, the incumbent reelection rate hasn’t dipped below 94%, whereas in the 16 years prior to 1994, it had dipped below 94% on several occasions.

    So, even if you somehow got to a 92% incumbent reelection rate, which would be the lowest since ’94, and all the losses came from the Dems, as was the case in ’94, you still come up a number of seats short. And I highly doubt the Dems are going to have the number of retirements/Senate candidacies in vulnerable districts that they had in ’94.

  7. TangoMan says:

    I think that you make some good points, you miss some points, and you’re off with your analysis on other points.

    You’re right, in my opinion, that a Republican retaking of the House is unlikely in 2010.

    What you miss is an analysis of the electoral battleground during previous and future elections. Consider, unlike 2008, when 23 Republican Senators, compared to 12 Democrat Senators, were up for reelection, the 2010 elections will feature 18 Republicans versus 18 Democrats, and the 2012 elections will feature 9 Republicans versus 23 Democrats plus Lieberman. The odds of Republican breakthroughs in 2010 and 2012 are greater than the recent past because the terrain experienced in 2008 was very unfavorable in terms of the Bush factor, the number of retirements and the sheer exposure of Republicans to reelection.

    It’s a truism that you can’t be hurt in battle if you don’t go to battle. In 2008 only 12 Democratic Senators had to face an election compared to 23 Republicans. In 2012, the tables are turned. There’s no guaranteed outcome of course, but the risk of loss that comes with elections is going to be skewed more against Democrats in 2012.

    Where I disagree with your analysis is on your point that this August will be marked as President Obama’s low point. He’s still got Cap and Trade and Amnesty for Illegals to push. Further, if he rams through an unpopular health care reform bill which most of the citizenry rejects that will leave a lasting sting, especially considering the fact that those who might benefit from the reform won’t experience any relief until 2013. In a nutshell, the vision of America that President Obama wants to implement seems to engender a lot of disapproval. Further, his foreign policy instincts are also proving to be a lightening rod for protest. He’s favoring Left wing socialists, he’s punishing a constitutional transfer of power in Honduras, etc.

    I’m just not seeing the upside to his Presidency that you’re seeing. I can’t imagine that passing Amnesty for illegal invaders of this country, thus qualifying them for all of the “free” goodies that Obama wants government to provide is going to be resoundingly popular new direction for the majority of Americans.

  8. Alex Knapp says:

    TM,

    It’s way too early to look ahead to the 2012 elections, which is why I didn’t. But while you’re right that Democrats have more seats for grabs in 2010 and 2012, there aren’t too many of them that are vulnerable.

    He’s still got Cap and Trade and Amnesty for Illegals to push.

    If he wins on Health Care, he’ll win these if the Republican Party persists with their current obstructionist tactics. Those tactics have diminishing returns and most American voters get visibly turned off by them, especially if they persist.

    Further, if he rams through an unpopular health care reform bill which most of the citizenry rejects

    He can’t “ram through an unpopular health care reform bill” because right now polls are trending up, and even the most Obama-unfavorable polls (Rasmussen) show 51% support. Given that August was dominated by Republican opposition to reform, any Obama health care bill that passes will look, politically, like victory.

    Further, his foreign policy instincts are also proving to be a lightening rod for protest.

    On the issues people pay attention to, he’s right in the majority.

    He’s favoring Left wing socialists,

    If, by favoring, you mean “has normal relations with”…

    he’s punishing a constitutional transfer of power in Honduras, etc.

    At any rate, these are both issues that the average American doesn’t care about. Any voter that would be persuaded by this rhetoric isn’t going to vote Democrat anyway.

    As for Amenesty being unpopular–it didn’t seem to hurt Reagan any. It’s the only sane, moral and practical policy, to boot. From a political standpoint, no candidate has enjoyed significant electoral success running on an anti-illegal platform outside of the deepest of Red districts. John McCain won the Republican primary, and he pointedly did NOT run on such a platform.

    From the perspective of politics, illegal immigration is not a deciding factor for a signficiant number of voters.

  9. just me says:

    Frankly, from a pure political perspective, I think Obama is at his weakest point than he is going to be for the remainder of the mid-term.

    I really don’t think I can agree with you on this one-I think you may be right but you may be wrong and there is a hell of a lot that can go wrong still between now and then for Obama.

    However I don’t see a 1994 redux for the GOP. I do think the GOP will definitely pick up house seats and probably a few senate seats, but I honestly expect the democrats to maintain a pretty decent margin in the senate and majority control of both houses in 2010.

  10. TangoMan says:

    But while you’re right that Democrats have more seats for grabs in 2010 and 2012, there aren’t too many of them that are vulnerable.

    This doesn’t ring true for me. I don’t believe that the Republican Senators who lost in 2006 and 2008 looked vulnerable in 2005. Did Senator Tom Daschle look vulnerable a year or two prior to his defeat? In January of 2004 he led by 7 points. By September his lead was down to 5 points. By November it was a dead heat. This is for a powerful Senate Leader. So, I take no assurance from your analysis that incumbent Democratic Senators don’t look vulnerable. I’m not saying that they are, I’m just saying that if you’re relying on your analysis then you’re more likely to face a big surprise than I am, for I’m allowing for uncertainty to work its magic.

    If he wins on Health Care, he’ll win these if the Republican Party persists with their current obstructionist tactics.

    I don’t but it. More people are opposed to the ObamaCare than support it. Obama can win because his party has the votes, not because of popular will. If he does that though he strengthens the resolve of opponents and it makes matters more difficult for him in the future. Legitimacy must be earned, it isn’t granted. Relying on a majority vote that ignores the will of the people is relying on legalistic legitimacy and spells trouble come elections.

    Those tactics have diminishing returns and most American voters get visibly turned off by them, especially if they persist.

    Says you. The TEA Party protests and the Health Care Reform townhall meetings show otherwise.

    As for Amenesty being unpopular–it didn’t seem to hurt Reagan any. It’s the only sane, moral and practical policy, to boot.

    If even Reagan were to try it again, I doubt that he’d meet with success. It’s precisely because of the failure of the Reagan amnesty that opposition is so widespread. Amnesty is not a sane, nor is it a moral or practical policy. It’s an insane, immoral and impractical policy. It harms our American citizens in the lowest income quintiles, those with the least education, it reduces climbs up the income mobility ladder, it lessens workforce participation rates, it increases income redistribution, it increases subsidies, it privitizes gains and socializes losses, it rewards law breaking while penalizing those who apply to immigrate legally.

  11. Alex Knapp says:

    This doesn’t ring true for me. I don’t believe that the Republican Senators who lost in 2006 and 2008 looked vulnerable in 2005. Did Senator Tom Daschle look vulnerable a year or two prior to his defeat?

    Daschle was in a state that was Red and trending further Red. No, I’m not that surprised that he lost.

    More people are opposed to the ObamaCare than support it.

    Not according to the most recent polls. Support for Obama’s plan is 51% on Rasmussen and trending UP. See the link in the post.

    Says you. The TEA Party protests and the Health Care Reform townhall meetings show otherwise.

    In the past couple of weeks, Republican self-identificaiton is down and Obama’s favorables are up. That’s success?

    If even Reagan were to try it again, I doubt that he’d meet with success. It’s precisely because of the failure of the Reagan amnesty that opposition is so widespread.

    But opposotion is not widespread, and opposition to amnesty is not a political winner. Regardless of merit.

    Amnesty is not a sane, nor is it a moral or practical policy. It’s an insane, immoral and impractical policy.

    Given that there’s no way to deport 12 million people without pretty much running the Constitution through a shredder, amnesty is the only policy that makes sense. And legal immigration needs to have its quotas up and its policies streamlined so that there are actually incentives to immigrate legally.

  12. TangoMan says:

    Daschle was in a state that was Red and trending further Red. No, I’m not that surprised that he lost.

    You claim that your analysis leads you to the conclusion that “The Democrats don’t have 11 vulnerable seats.”

    Yet, you also claim that a Democratic Senator in a Red State is sufficient reason to consider the Senator vulnerable.

    Democratic Senators in Red States, 2010 Senate Elections:

    Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas
    Byron Dorgan of North Dakota
    Harry Reid of Nevada

    What makes these Senators more immune that Senator Daschle?

    Democratic Senators in 50-50 States, 2010 Senate Elections:

    Michael Bennet of Colorado
    Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania

    Democratic Senators with personal liabilities, 2010 Senate Elections:

    Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
    Christopher Dodd of Connecticut

    Democratic Senators in Red States, 2012 Senate Elections:

    Jon Tester of Montana
    Ben Nelson of Nebraska
    Kent Conrad of North Dakota
    Robert Byrd of West Virginia
    Claire McCaskill of Missouri

    What makes these Senators more immune that Senator Daschle?

    Democratic Senators in 50-50 States, 2012 Senate Elections:

    Bill Nelson of Florida
    Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico
    Sherrod Brown of Ohio
    Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania
    Jim Webb of Virginia

    Democratic Senators with personal liabilities, 2012 Senate Elections:

    Joe Lieberman of Connecticut

    I can’t discern the standards you’ve used to arrive at your conclusion. You implied that being a Blue Senator in a Red State is sufficient to put one at risk. Right here I count 8 Senators at risk. Throw in Dodd, Specter, Gilliband who each have high uncertainties associated with them and you’re at the magic 11.

    I’m not sure whether your reading of the poll tea leaves is accurate, especially considering that it incorporates the now evaporating bounce for Obama’s speech. Stephanopoulis notes:

    Our new ABC News/Washington Post poll out this morning shows that the President’s joint session speech may have stopped his summer slide, but it doesn’t appear to have been the “game-changer” Democrats were hoping for. . . .

    Bottom line: right now, voters are almost exactly where they were before the speech.

    But opposotion is not widespread, and opposition to amnesty is not a political winner. Regardless of merit.

    Remind me again of what happened to the Amnesty Plan pushed by President Bush? The public was quiet about that plan, right?

    Given that there’s no way to deport 12 million people without pretty much running the Constitution through a shredder,

    Sure there is, self-deportation. Crack downs on illegal hiring will work wonders. Same with a restriction on other services, such as requiring proof of legal immigration status in order to have bank accounts, not allowing for utility services unless one has a bank account, no vehicle transfers without proof of legal status, etc.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Crack downs on illegal hiring will work wonders.

    Oh, good luck getting Big Business on board with that one…also, I notice in all this talk of the 2010 elections, no one has mentioned that 6 GOP senators are retiring…surely that will be a factor…

  14. Stan says:

    Another way in which 2010 differs from 1994 is the increased percentage of Hispanic voters, and how much they’ve been antagonized by the Republican positions on Justice Sotomayor and on immigration reform. Joe Wilson is doing as much for the Democrats now as Pete Wilson did for them in California during the 90’s.

  15. Our Paul says:

    Here is the scoop, TangoMan, the true word, if you wish. You do not enter a discussion in the blogosphere to win, but rather to broaden the discussion and inform. You and others may have considered my earlier post supercilious and rather crass, but the point holds. The major speakers for the Republican party will excite the base, but will not be able to attract the middle, the independents, or the Democrats.

    The only question is to what degree the titanic shifts in the voting pattern that occurred in ’08 will hold. Some losses in the House will occur, but it will be among the Blue Dog Democrats, which will further regionalize the Republican party and harden what is now an inflexible, no compromise ideology. My advice, spend some time scanning the given link, it those not bode well for the Republican party.

    If you go back to the immediate post ’08 election you will find an interesting post by Dr. Joiner, where he says this:

    The Republican Party will be consigned to permanent minority status if it continues down its present course. It is increasingly becoming a white, Southern party. Even though I’m both white and Southern, it’s obvious to me that we have to expand our appeal beyond hard-core Evangelicals and anti-elitists that to get back Virginia, North Carolina, the Midwest, and West.

    A majority Republican Party, then, is going to have to figure out a way to keep social conservatives without abortion and gays as shibboleths and without alienating libertarian-minded right-of-center voters. It’s inconceivable how it’s done so long as the Democrats are winning among college graduates.

    A return to fiscal sanity is perhaps the best rallying cry in the short term, one that’ll be made easier in opposition. (After all, it’ll be Democratic priorities that we can be frugal about rather than our own.) Beyond that, though, there will need to be a lot of spade work in rebuilding an intellectual rationale for conservatism beyond cutting taxes and anti-elitism. (my italics, OP)

    Meanwhile, our gal Megan McCardel, purveyor of asymmetrical information, quoting Ross Douthat, crystallized the election results:

    Conservatism in the United States faces a series of extremely knotty problems at the moment. How do you restrain the welfare state at a time when the entitlements we have are broadly popular, and yet their design puts them on a glide path to insolvency? How do you respond to the socioeconomic trends – wage stagnation, social immobility, rising health care costs, family breakdown, and so forth – that are slowly undermining support for the Reaganite model of low-tax capitalism? How do you sell socially-conservative ideas to a moderate middle that often perceives social conservatism as intolerant? How do you transform an increasingly white party with a history of benefiting from racially-charged issues into a party that can win majorities in an increasingly multiracial America? etc. (my italics, OP)

    I suspect that if you ask Ross what fuels the Birther’s movement he would tell you its what has fueled the Republican party for all to long: Racism. And if you ask him what is fueling the cry of socialism, he would tell you ignorance and unwillingness to recognize a societal problem. Wage stagnation and social immobility are a function on income inequality, and every time you trumpet the fact that the Democrats are all for income redistribution you shine a light on the problem, just as Ross did, and provide no solutions…

  16. TangoMan says:

    Our Paul, thanks for the scoop. Here’s a scoop for you – being able to express yourself eloquently is a wasted skill if your analysis is valueless. You sprinkle so many erroneous nuggets of wisdom that, in the end, even your pretty prose can’t distract readers from your glaring mistakes.

    Let’s look at a few. Here you clearly state a causal relationship:

    Wage stagnation and social immobility are a function on income inequality

    Really? So if we reduced income inequality by redistributing more income we’d see wage levels for those in the lowest to middle wage quintiles increase and we’d see increased social mobility. Explain to us how the government taking money from some people and giving it to other people will have an effect on wage levels, when wage levels are reflective of the economic value that is created by a worker? Also explain why such redistribution will increase social mobility. People who have a lucky day at the casino don’t usually see much effect on their social mobility. Social mobility is a factor that arises from the attributes of people, not from minor unearned windfalls that they reap. Social mobility is a process, it is not a state, therefore when the resorting arising from redistribution has subsided what exactly will be driving the process of increased social mobility?

    The major speakers for the Republican party will excite the base, but will not be able to attract the middle, the independents, or the Democrats.

    Says you. We’re only 9 months removed from the Bush Presidency, a factor that led to major Democratic gains. To treat the Democratic gains as though they arose from Democratic message and principle is to seriously misread the events that have transpired. Democrats are still the shiny new toy but let’s see how they are viewed as the Bush Presidency slides further into the past? Get back to me with your prediction in 2012.

    which will further regionalize the Republican party and harden what is now an inflexible, no compromise ideology.

    Have you seen the Democrats willing to embrace a Health Care Reform based on Cato Institute guidelines? It sure appears to me that the Democrats are adhering to an inflexible, no compromise socialism-based ideology. As for regionalization, why does it only count for the fly-over states but the Democratic stranglehold on the West coast and New England doesn’t count as regionalization?

    I suspect that if you ask Ross what fuels the Birther’s movement he would tell you its what has fueled the Republican party for all to long: Racism.

    Why would I ask Ross such a question? Perhaps I should ask Ross what fuels the Democrat’s penchant for mainstreaming the Truther movement? Besides, as I’ve demonstrated in another thread, the racists of the US tend to migrate more to the Democratic Party than to the Republican Party.

    And if you ask him what is fueling the cry of socialism, he would tell you ignorance and unwillingness to recognize a societal problem.

    If these are indeed his answers, then he’d be a fool. Cries of socialism are being driven by increased measures to redistribute income and more intrusive government.

    You spent a lot of time writing a lengthy response that doesn’t, in the end, really say anything that is well-thought out or logically coherent.

  17. TangoMan says:

    Alex,

    He can’t “ram through an unpopular health care reform bill” because right now polls are trending up, and even the most Obama-unfavorable polls (Rasmussen) show 51% support.

    You were saying (Rasmussen):

    Following President Obama’s speech to Congress last week, support for his health care reform plan increased steadily to a peak of 51% yesterday. However, the bounce appears to be over. The latest daily tracking shows that support has fallen all the way back to pre-speech levels.

    Forty-five percent (45%) of all voters nationwide now favor the plan while 52% are opposed. A week ago, 44% supported the proposal and 53% were opposed. (see day-by-day numbers).

  18. Our Paul says:

    Ouch, talk about being brushed off the table like stale bread crumbs by no greater luminary than TangoMan, to wit:

    You spent a lot of time writing a lengthy response that doesn’t, in the end, really say anything that is well-thought out or logically coherent.

    The only plank in this storm tossed sea that I might cling too, and gasp for some fresh air is this:

    Here’s a scoop for you – being able to express yourself eloquently is a wasted skill if your analysis is valueless.

    Simple word count will show that the bulk of my correspondence consisted of quotations of Dr. Joiner and Ross Douthat. To help TangoMan along, I italicized sections, and purposefully avoided others. For example, I did not emphasize this by brother Ross:

    How do you transform an increasingly white party with a history of benefiting from racially-charged issues into a party that can win majorities in an increasingly multiracial America? (my italics, OP)

    Indeed. How do you do that? Would Ross applaud folks who call our first multiracial President illegitimate by questioning where he was born when there is sufficient evidence that it was in Hawaii? Would Ross have joined the barking dogs that snapped at a Puerto Rican women candidate to the Supreme Court the way our statured Republican Senators did?

    No, no, no TangoMan — it is not me that you have to argue with. You have to take on James Joiner, Ross Douthat, Daniel Larison, and others. If you decide to do so, rest assured that your slashing personal attacks, and penchant for punching your points home in bold will raise an eye brow or two, and the index finger will be placed against the temple, and rotated back and forth, as if it were a pencil that needed sharpening.

    Said it before, but I will say it again. When ideology rules the mind, problems may be missed, and if perceived, may be miss-interpreted. This proves my point:

    Democrats are still the shiny new toy but let’s see how they are viewed as the Bush Presidency slides further into the past? Get back to me with your prediction in 2012.

    You have not looked at the ’08 election data in the link I provided. The life blood of a political party is the young, and the intellectual class. The intellectual class for they provide ideas and criticism, the young, because they provide the workers and the future party leaders. McCain captured neither, and that is the Republican challange in 2012. As for the Bush presidency sliding into the past, I suggest you read and ponder this post by Nate Silver.