Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Every Seat Counts

Just one quick note as the results start coming in...the tendency is to focus on the big picture, and it certainly matters a lot whether the GOP takes the majority in the House back,  However, the little pictures matter a lot too.  Each Senate seat makes a great deal of difference; I think everyone knows that, but it's certainly true.  Individual House seats matter a lot less in the short run...but it's a mistake to think they aren't important at all.  Yes, Republicans will probably win most votes they want in the House whether they have 220 or 240 Members.  But 220 means that a lot of Republicans in marginal districts are going to have to cast tough vote after tough vote, while with 240 they'll be able to give those Members a pass when they need it. 

Meanwhile, it's not just about 2011-2012.  I know it's really obvious, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless: these Senate seats are six year seats -- which means that today's election is also the 2012 and 2014 election, as far as the Senate is concerned.  And House elections are sticky, thanks to the incumbency advantage. A Democrat who survives this election might go on to serve for a couple decades, while if the seat flips it could turn safe for the GOP for a while.  Or, looking at it from a slightly different angle, a 20 seat edge in the House is a lot easier to defend next time around than a 10 seat advantage.   So, in a way, today is the 2012 election in the House.  And then there's redistricting, which means that each statehouse matters nationally (well, outside of the tiny states).

Every seat counts.  Every seat counts.

1 comment:

  1. My election predictions were completely wrong and the poli sci crowd was right.


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