The Demise of the GOP Is Greatly Exaggerated

With regard to Decaturguy’s post, I think we should bear in mind a couple of points.

First, nationally the Democrat popular vote share was 51.1% — if George Bush’s 51.4% of the vote was no mandate for governance, surely this is not.

Second, while the Democrats consolidated their hold on New England, to get their majority they needed to pick off a number of swing districts that went for Bush in 2004 and tilt very slightly Republican. They took those districts with an average of 1.5% in excess of the GOP.

It’s a little early to be singing the destruction of the GOP — especially when they just made gains in Georgia.


  1. Decaturguy says:

    If all 100 seats were up for re-election this year, I don’t think there is much doubt that the GOP would be even further in the minority.

    The point is, that if Zell could call the Democrats a national party no more, after so narrowly losing a Presidential election, then Democrats have every right to point out that Republicans have now become a regional party limited to the South.

  2. Exactly, Decatur

    Truly Amazing that so far not a single democratic seat was lost in the congress & governors races in this cycle.

    NOT EVEN ONE Democratic seat lost to a Rebublican in a senate, congressional, or governors race so far this year!

    That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Well, in politics, it only takes .001 to win… and winning is what counts…

    Um, it’s hard to argue when this Democratic win was in every region…

  4. Chris says:

    Whether they’re demised or not, can we at least kill the campaign signs in the top banner rotation now?

  5. Chris says:

    With stunts like this, it can’t be understated enough.

    “DoD nominee Robert Gates created Osama bin Laden.”

    Posted here lest the liberal media beat you to it.

  6. debbie0040 says:

    The GOP lost because they lost their less government is best government message.

    They were not conservative enough. They sounded like weak Rockefeller Republicans.

    From the latest Evans Novak Report, and I urge you to read the entire report as it sheds light on the ballot initiatives:
    Ideology: Were Republicans too conservative for the nation? One could be tempted to say that Republicans were voted out because of their conservatism. But the House results suggest that this would be a mistake: The races of 2006 did not contain clear signs that America is no longer the center-right nation it was in 2004.

  7. Decaturguy says:

    especially when they just made gains in Georgia.

    That is my point exactly, Erick, the GOP’s strategy will play well in the South, but that’s about it. It no longer plays in Peoria.

    My favorite line of the Evans Novak report that I think should be taken to heart by Erick and Debbie:

    Republican leaders are still in denial in the wake of their crushing defeat.


    The election of 2006 shaped up as a tough one for pro-lifers and social conservatives. They lost on five major state ballot initiatives, even though seven states adopted bans on same-sex marriage.

    But the momentum behind the issue of traditional marriage apparently dissipated in time for this election in some places, amidst public apathy and heavy fire from homosexual activists.

    Gay marriage is not the issue it was 2 years ago.

    Lastly, it should be pointed out that no Democratic incumbents lost a seat in either the House or the Senate. Republicans lost every close race in the Senate, except for Tennessee and lost 18 incumbents in the House.

  8. Chris says:

    The Republicans lost because they arrogantly assumed that government can solve the nation’s problems so long as its the right people (ie Republicans) that are running things.

    When Reagan said “Government is not the Solution, Government is the problem” He wasn’t saying “A Democrat run Government is the problem”. Our Congresscritters lost sight of that and the voters gave them a thumpin for it.

    I’ve always said, in a two party political system you don’t need to be competent to win. You just need to be less incompetent than the other team.

  9. Chris says:

    I agree with the other Chris (who isn’t me dagnabit). The rotating banner makes loading this site a lot slower.

  10. debbie0040 says:

    On the issue of gay marriage, I will post the entire portion regarding the gay marriage ammendments. The entire section helps explain why it did not win by the margin in some states as it did in 2004. In Tennessee, the pro ammendment side spent a large sums of money
    promoting it and it won by something like 80%. I

    Same-Sex Marriage: Arizona made history yesterday when it became the first state to reject a ban on same-sex marriage. The homosexual rights lobby worked feverishly for this victory, but part of the back-story is that a court decision there had already established the illegality of same-sex unions. The initiative forbade all recognition of “other arrangements” as though they were marriages, and so the “no” campaigners told senior citizens — of whom there are many in Arizona — that their ability to give power of attorney and other rights would be endangered.

    South Dakota, a very conservative state, only narrowly approved a same-sex marriage ban. The ban nearly became a casualty of the abortion measure on the ballot, according to those involved. Planned Parenthood and other organizations had such a presence in the state that some drag on the marriage amendment was inevitable, they explained.

    Still, six other states (Idaho, Wisconsin, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Colorado) approved same-sex marriage bans — some by large margins — but they were not the silver bullet this year that Republicans had hoped after their positive experience in Ohio in 2004. With some exceptions, the margins tended to be much smaller. Most of the efforts lacked strong local support and funding on the state level. Moreover, the idea of a same-sex marriage ban is no longer the novelty it once was. Increasingly, voters take it for granted, and in the absence of a strong campaign, they feel less need to come out and vote for it.

    The ballot measures may have helped some candidates this year — including congressional candidate Bill Sali (R) in Idaho — and this was a year when Republicans could not afford to lay aside any advantage they could find.

    But same-sex marriage is not an issue that motivates only Republicans. In Southern Virginia, the ballot initiative may have brought to the polls conservative Democrats who supported the Democratic Senate candidate, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) over Sen. George Allen (R). It may have also heightened black turnout, probably also increasing Webb’s support.

  11. Decaturguy says:

    Interesting commentary from the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes. He seems to agree with me:

    The defeat for Republicans was short of devastating–but only a little short. The House seats the party lost in New York and Connecticut and Pennsylvania will be hard to win back. Just as Republicans have locked in their gains in the South over the past two decades, Democrats should be able to solidify their hold on seats in the Northeast, as the nation continues to split sharply along North-South lines.

    What should worry Republicans most, however, is erosion of its strength in the West and in two states in particular: Colorado and Arizona. Fours years ago, Colorado was solidly Republican. Since then, Democrats have won a Senate seat, two House seats, the governorship, and both houses of the state legislature. At the state level, that’s realignment.

  12. jsm says:

    “The point is, that if Zell could call the Democrats a national party no more, after so narrowly losing a Presidential election, then Democrats have every right to point out that Republicans have now become a regional party limited to the South.”

    This statement seems a little far-reaching, since Republicans were elected to Congress in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We lost ground, but the GOP is still well-represented all over the country.

  13. DougieFresh says:

    Using Senate vote totals is a silly way to compare reletive strengths between the Reps and Dems.

    This year, California, NY and other strongly democratic seats were up for election, and the Republicans only fielded token candidates to oppose them. The House numbers are a better indicator, and show the country is as close as it always is. And, if you take into consideration that the Dems had 40 unopposed candidates and the Republicans only had 10, the dems had a built in 7 percent advantage.

    The Republicans could dominate the national electorate, but its obsession with abortion as the only issue to consider when voting for candidates will hold them back. The Dems relaxed their litmus test, and they won. Will the Republicans do the same, or be relegated to permanent minority status?

  14. kspencer says:


    I’ve been looking for someplace that puts all the house votes together, and haven’t yet found it. If you have, I’d appreciate it. I’d especially appreciate if you’ve got one that indicates the ‘no choice’ votes.

    Because I did it manually, and know I’m prone to error, and came up with a margin of about 10% in favor of Democrats after removing the ‘sole party’ votes. With them in place, my crunching showed about a 16% Dem advantage. Pretty close to what the Delong calculations (using margins for the last three Senate elections so they’re all counted) showed.

    So yes, I’d appreciate somewhere to double-check my numbers. Because I’m quite capable of being wrong in adding a long string of numbers from multiple sites pieced together.


  15. Decaturguy says:

    Hey Jsm,

    Democrats were elected to Congress in Georgia (6 out of 13 seats), Alabama (2 out of 7 seats), Mississippi (2 out of 4 seats), South Carolina (2 out of 6 seats) and North Carolina (7 out of 13 seats) too. But how competitve are Democrats in those states in statewide races? They aren’t.

  16. John Konop says:

    Why Republicans Lost The House

    The reality is the American people see no end game for Iraq.

    American families feel their wages declining via a failed immigration and trade policy.

    The lobbyist in Washington has bought off Congress, which is driving out of control spending.

    The scandals from Abramoff to Foley shook the American faith in leadership in Congress.

    The final straw was the lack of taking responsibility by the Republican House leadership on any of the above issues.

    As a Republican I will say it is time for the GOP to get back to the Goldwater conservative roots. Democrats should realize America rejected Republicans, yet this is not a mandate for a liberal agenda. I hope Congress will be able to focus on the above issues for all Americans families.

  17. Chris says:

    I bet they’re breathing a heavy sigh of relief now since they decided not to go nuclear on the filibuster.

  18. DougieFresh says:

    I read a link on either boortz or drudge this morning that pointed to the nationwide congressional tally. It was 51.5 to 46, with 2.5 independent and other.

    If you can’t find it, let me know, and I will try to look. I am a bit lazy right now.

  19. jsm says:

    Okay, Decaturguy. What’s your point? Zell, from what I understand, was writing about the national Democratic Party. There is a disconnect due to the fact that many local Democratic Parties don’t share the views of the DNC.

    Granted, the national GOP has begun down the same road, but I hope this shake up reverses that trend.

  20. Decaturguy says:

    Okay, Decaturguy. What’s your point?

    I stated that I thought that the Republican Party had become a right wing, regional party pretty much limited to the South and unless it changes (and goes back to its roots of limited government and personal freedom and stops carrying the banner or Christian conservatives to increase the role of the government on social issues), it will no longer be competitive in other regions of the country or nationally. And I presented this year’s election as evidence of that trend.

    You responded that my thesis “seems a little far-reaching, since Republicans were elected to Congress in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We lost ground, but the GOP is still well-represented all over the country. ”

    I simply am pointing out that Democrats won a number of Congressional seats in the heart of Dixie, the GOP base, where it has become non competitive in state races in recent years, including more than half of the Congressional seats in Mississippi and North Carolina and 6 out of 13 seats here in Georgia.

  21. Rusty says:

    I agree with Decaturguy. The north-south divide has been the natural order of things basically for as long as the U.S. has existed, and I’m glad to see the Republican Party revealed as the warped reincarnation of the Dixiecrats that it is. Neither party is a national party, and neither holds a monopoly on the pulse of the American electorate. And that’s the way it should be.

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