New Senate race updates 1/11, click here.
Since the NFL playoffs are on tv as I write this, I'm going to use some football analogies. The Democratic team got mauled pretty badly in 2002 and 2004. Our response was to shake if off and get back in there. 14 to zero is a common football score. It's also the number of Republican Senate seats we took away in the last two elections versus the number they took away from us. We also grabbed the Presidency and netted 58 seats in the House.
It's only been a short time since the end of the last (election) season, but I'm already noticing a lack of any burning desire to win on the part of the Republican Party. In fact I think we can be pretty confident that the GOP Elephants are on their way to losing efforts in their next couple of campaigns.
For starters, Republican veterans and free agents are choosing to retire rather than sign new contracts with the team. Its been just ten days since I published my first edition of the 2010 Senate race predictions, and my post is already so obsolete that I've had to write a bunch of updates. Both Senator Bond of Missouri and Senator Voinovich of Ohio have announced that they will not run for reelection in 2010. Furthermore, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has announced he will not run for the open Senate seat in Florida, even though conventional wisdom suggests that he would probably have won that race.
The GOP is also having a hard time finding a new head coach. The candidates for the RNC chairmanship have turned the race into such a sideshow that they actually decided to ban the press from meetings lest the public see how silly they are.
Lastly, the Republican team seems more interested in keeping its season ticket holders happy than it is in building its fan base. As Talking Points Memo pointed out shortly before the recent election, "In recent weeks the McCain/Palin campaign and other Republicans have sought to "divide and conquer" an electorate that is slipping from their hands by repeatedly attempting to position themselves as representatives of some "real America" that includes small towns and conservative, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant values but excludes big cities full of liberal, cosmopolitan "elites." Real Americans, according to Sarah Palin...live in those parts of the country Palin calls its "pro-America" parts, which obviously don't include Barack Obama's Chicago or Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation." In other words, unless you live within shouting distance of the Ozarks, the Appalachians, or a Mormon Cathedral, today's Republican Party is not really interested in trying to get your vote.