Massive Democratic Failure In The House

As I write this on Election Eve, Barack Obama is a narrow favorite to be re-elected and Democrats appear almost a lock to retain control of the Senate, perhaps even gaining seats. Yet almost all Washington prognosticators claim that the partisan balance in the incoming US House of Representatives in 2013 will look very much like what we’ve been suffering under for the last two years. In other words, despite a record Republican pickup in the 2010 elections of 60 seats, Democrats don’t appear positioned to claw more than a handful of seats in the House back from Republicans.

Much of the reason for the tough time winning back seats in the House is the fiendishly successful Republican-led redistricting across the states. Their gains in the 2010 cycle in state legislatures as well as with governors allowed them to eviscerate many Dem seats.

Nevertheless, there’s been an epic failure of recruitment by Democrats. There are a whole host of seats where we’re not even in the battle, let alone winning it. We count 27 Swing districts where the Dems didn’t really recruit a viable candidate to run. And we also have another 9 districts that are either Leaning Republican or Strong Republican where House Democrats (the DCCC) & their allied IE outfits such as House Majority PAC have dropped as much as a couple of million dollars apiece on behalf of profoundly non-progressive or even anti-progressive Dems. Five of the nine have Democratic incumbents, so one can understand why they feel the need to defend these people. But we expect Dems to be on the losing end of all of the nine, except for Barrow in Georgia-12 & possibly McIntyre in North Carolina-7.

The recruitment failures are especially key because we only have 246 of the 435 seats in the US House characterized as either Strong Dem or Leaning Dem or Swing seats. A party needs 218 to have a majority of the 435 and 189 seats are either Leaning Republican or Strong Republican. So if we leave 27 seats on the table, as national Democrats did in 2012, that gets the Republicans to 216 of the 218 they need for a majority. That means we’d have to win every single contested Swing & Leaning Dem district in the country in order to win a majority. It just doesn’t work out that way, not in any election, even immense Dem waves such as 2006 or 2008. So you don’t think I’m talking out of my hat, we’ve listed just below the districts we consider to be Democratic recruitment failures as well as the districts we think are wasted money – and we’re doing this before the election so we can go on record that this was clear ahead of time.   — Joshua Grossman

(Names are Republican Incumbents) (Names are Incumbents)
CA-21 OPEN SEAT CO-3 Tipton – R*
FL-7 Mica FL-2 Southerland – R*
FL-13 Young FL-10 Webster – R*
FL-27 Ros-Lehtinen GA-12 Barrow – D*
KS-3 Yoder NC-7 McIntyre – D*
MI-6 Upton NC-8 Kissell – D*
MI-7 Walberg NC-11 OPEN SEAT
MI-8 Rogers NY-27 Hochul – D*
MN-2 Kline UT-4 Matheson – D*
MN-3 Paulsen
NE-2 Terry
NV-2 Amodei
NJ-2 LoBiondo
NJ-5 Garrett
NY-2 King
NY-22 Hanna
NY-23 Reed
OH-10 Turner
PA-6 Gerlach
PA-7 Meehan
PA-15 Dent
PA-16 Pitts
VA-4 Forbes
VA-10 Wolf
WA-3 Beutler
WA-8 Reichert