House update: Tiny movement toward Republicans

At this very early point in the 2014 race for the U.S. House, small Republican gains -- as in, less than five seats -- look likelier than a similarly small gain for Democrats. That’s because the Republican targets just look a little better than the Democratic ones. While it would...

HOW SHOULD WE VOTE?

Considering alternate ways to cast a ballot

In an earlier thought experiment for this site, I examined the history of multiple-member and statewide at-large districts in congressional elections, and wondered whether a movement away from the near-universal use of single-member districts (SMDs) in American legislative elections might be advisable and politically feasible. Electoral systems that feature SMDs...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Exit Bachmann Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R, MN-6) decision not to seek a fifth term in the U.S. House makes it likelier that Republicans will hold her heavily Republican district. So we’re switching the rating in MN-6 from “leans Republican” to “likely Republican.” Yes, it’s odd to argue that a party...

Size matters

When it comes to U.S. House districts, that is

After the 2004 election, a map showing President George W. Bush’s (R) reelection map by county became a notable Republican souvenir and bumper sticker. Entitled “Bush Country,” the map showed a largely red map with the election results shaded by county. Of course, Bush only beat John Kerry (D) by...

Sanford joins “The Underachievers”

In winning his special election victory on Tuesday night, incoming Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) joined a dubious but sizable bipartisan House caucus: The Underachievers. Many House observers -- including the Crystal Ball -- have focused, understandably, on the small number of House members elected from districts won by the other...

SANFORD VS. COLBERT BUSCH: A VERY “SPECIAL” ELECTION

A former Republican governor of a deeply Republican state is running for a deeply Republican U.S. House seat, but he is best known for claiming to be walking the Appalachian Trail while he was actually visiting his mistress in Argentina, and he has a court date two days after next...

YEARNING FOR THE GOLDEN AGE OF CRISIS COVERAGE…THAT NEVER EXISTED

Think the media blew their reporting on Boston’s bombing? JFK assassination coverage was worse.

There were real victims in the Boston bombings last week -- the dead, the wounded, the grieving families, the terrorized communities -- but there was substantial collateral damage done to news media credibility. We’ll leave to others the listing of specific winners and losers. Goodness knows, there have been enough...

Hard targets?

Just 25 House members hold districts that the other party's presidential candidate won, and not all are vulnerable

One needs little more than just fingers and toes to count the number of House members who represent districts won by the other party’s presidential candidate in 2012. As mentioned here previously, just 25 House members -- nine Democrats and 16 Republicans -- hold such “crossover” districts. Compare that to...

Multi-Member Districts: Just a Thing of the Past?

Given that at least a third of Americans identify strongly with neither major party, it seems anomalous that the two major parties boast all but two of the 535 members of Congress, 49 of 50 state governors, 99% of the nearly 7,400 state legislators nationwide and every American president for...

2014 House ratings: Democratic potential, Republican predictability

If there are two adjectives that best describe the respective target lists of Democrats and Republicans in the House this cycle, it’s “potential” for the donkeys and “predictable” for the elephants. For Democrats, the House map offers a number of potentially enticing targets, many of whom are unaccustomed to serious...

Holding on to a House Majority

It has been about two decades now that the two major parties switched roles in Washington. For much of the last half of the 20th century, Republicans dominated the White House while Democrats enjoyed a virtual monopoly on both chambers of Congress. But since 1994, their basic spheres of influence...

What would a Republican renaissance look like?

As you read this, the U.S. House Republicans are meeting in retreat at Williamsburg, VA. While some would argue this is a good choice of locale to get back to the Republic’s colonial roots and fundamental principles, others will say it augurs poorly for the GOP’s need to embrace the...

Democrats Dread 2014 Drop-Off

At first blush, Saxby Chambliss and the Michigan right-to-work episode seem completely unrelated. Most Republicans approve of both, of course, but there is a deeper connection. The Georgia senator and Michigan’s effort to restrict organized labor’s power are both byproducts of a phenomenon that, despite the electoral problems currently facing...