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May 28, 2008
A Democratic year?
I have been following politics for a while. Since 1952. I have never seen the conventional wisdom about an election more baseless.
Why Obama? Charisma, ideas, hope? None of these or any other reasons that have been bandied about. It's Obama because he is not Hillary.
The Clintons embarrassed the Democratic Party. Many, many Democrats were ashamed of their President. They do not want to see Billary in the White House ever again, even as visitors. Note that Obama won in the caucus states where the politically active determine the outcome.
A Democratic year? How do you figure? Because the New York Times says so? Look at 2006! Yes, let's look at it. In the preceding 6 midterm elections where the incumbent President's party lost seats the average loss in the Senate was 6.1, in the House 29.33. In 2006 the Republicans lost 7 in the Senate and 30 in the House. Pretty ho-hum.
Let's look at the Democratic Presidents.
JFK and Nixon tied in the popular vote, even though Nixon was extremely unlikeable.
LBJ beat Goldwater in 1964. Kennedy had been assassinated, we were in the middle of a war and Goldwater was a radical.
Carter beat Ford in 1976. Nixon had resigned because of Watergate and Ford was an appointed Vice President.
Clinton beat GHWB in 1992 with only 43% of the vote. Ross Perot got 19% which, arguably, was 60-70% Republicans.
It seems that Democrats only win in extreme circumstances.
In our history we have seen stretches where one party controlled Congress that average about 30 years with occasional one-term reversals. I'll go with history every time.
From where I'm sitting it doesn't look at all like a Democratic year.