December 22, 2004


GOP-leaning states in line for more Congress seats (G. Scott Thomas, 12/22/04, American City Business Journals)

Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah would each gain one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives if districts were reapportioned today, according to an analysis by American City Business Journals.

Iowa, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, on the other hand, would each lose a seat. [...]

President Bush last month won all four states that would pick up electoral votes under ACBJ's scenario. He and Democrat John Kerry split the four states that would slip in the Electoral College: Bush won Iowa and Ohio, while Kerry won New York and Pennsylvania.

Bush's victory in a reapportioned Electoral College would be 288-250, as opposed to his actual margin of 286-252 over Kerry.

As it becomes increasingly difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, their best young moderates may well follow their national ambitions right out of the party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2004 3:59 PM

Did you see that the darling Obama got a $1.9 million book deal?

Posted by: pchuck at December 22, 2004 4:07 PM

Yes. I'm sure many Americans are going to run right out and buy a memoir from a guy who has only been a city councilor for a few years.

Posted by: AWW at December 22, 2004 4:17 PM

Obama is a product of Illinois politics which is still pretty rough and tumble. He makes a move to bolt and he'll get chopped off at the knees politically. The Republicans won't need him.

Posted by: at December 22, 2004 4:28 PM

Harold Ford is far more likely to bolt than Obama. He at least has a somewhat moderate voting record.

The politically ambitious, as distinguished from the ideological, will look for the party and the positions that will advance their careers. The GOP will benefit from that but must be careful about the open door to opportunism this presents. The K Street Siren Song can appeal to both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: Bart at December 22, 2004 4:42 PM

AWW, I beleive this book will be just like "Reflections of a Public Man" where you will have bulk orders.

Posted by: pchuck at December 22, 2004 5:08 PM

Matches my data and projections. Generally good news for Republicans. The projection of current trends to 2010 is interesting, pushes Bush up to 290, and makes Ohio irrelevant to a win.

Posted by: John Thacker at December 22, 2004 5:22 PM

I've got a copy of "Reflections of a Public Man." As a book, the criticisms of it are exaggerated if not outright false. It's no different from all the other electioneering drivel politicians put out. It's a vanity press product with a union label on the back cover.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 22, 2004 7:00 PM

Raoul, yesterday it was Mao's "Little Red Book" and today it "Reflections of a Public Man" , what next Al Gore's "Earth in the Balance".

Posted by: h-man at December 22, 2004 7:31 PM

Nope, not into eco-porn. But I do have copies of "Steal This Book", "The Anarchist's Cookbook" and "The Authorized Al" around here, too.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 22, 2004 10:35 PM

I was basically supportive of Al Gore until I read 'Earth in the Balance.' There is a howler on every page. Then, you realize that he actually believes this stuff.

Posted by: Bart at December 23, 2004 9:38 AM

Yes, and we all know that Tony Blair, despairing that he could never become Prime Minister as a member of the Labor Party in Thatcher's Britain, jumped ship and is now leading the Conservatives to victory after victory.

OJ is forgetting one very important fact: turncoats do not prosper. Switching parties while in local office is one thing, but not at the state and national level. What is more likely to happen is that Obama and other new ambitious pols will reform the party within in order to accomodate their ambitions. They do not have anything at stake in the SDS-influence politicians' power structure that have driven the Democrats down into defeat since 1968.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at December 23, 2004 10:46 AM

Chris, I think you are generally correct when you say "turncoats don't prosper"; however, there are exceptions. Ben Nighthorse Campbell did okay and I think was re-elected as a R. So did one of my favorite politicians, Phil Graham.

Posted by: pchuck at December 23, 2004 11:43 AM

Ike, Reagan, John Lindsay, John Connally, Leon Panetta, Strom Thurmond, Richard there any sign that switching parties ever hurt anyone?

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2004 12:18 PM

Lindsay never won an election as a Democrat. Conally never won as a Republican. Eisenhower was 'above politics' until he ran in 1952 and he was so slavishly pro-Big Business it is virtually impossible to imagine how he could ever have been a real Democrat. Panetta never ran as a Republican. Thurmond and Shelby followed their constituencies across the aisle.

Posted by: Bart at December 23, 2004 3:51 PM

Lindsay won as a Liberal. But your point about following constituencies is the only one that matters. It's a Republican country.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2004 4:13 PM

In 1965, Lindsay ran as a Republican but got the Liberal nomination against Beame. In 1969, he lost the GOP primary to Marchi and ran on the Liberal line.

In 1972, he ran for President as a Democrat, and later ran for the Senate against Bess Meyerson and Liz Holtzperson as a Democrat, finishing 3rd in the primary.

It seems that the voters react to an elected official changing parties by looking at circumstances. Ralph Hall's switch to the GOP occured without a hitch, because his record in the House was GOP anyway. OTOH, Michael Forbes, a congressman from Suffolk County, got punished in the Democratic primary because he switched on a whole series of issue positions when he became a Democrat. It wasn't the result of the party abandoning him, it was instead a decision to essentially reverse virtually all his prior issue positions, in the hopes that he would stay in office.

Shelby, Thurmond and for that matter Campbell didn't really shift any positions they had held prior to switching parties. The switch of party just seemed natural because they were in the wrong one to begin with.

Posted by: Bart at December 23, 2004 11:01 PM


Lindsay won.

Forbes wasn't following his constituency.

Obama and Ford want to be national figures--that means becoming Republicans.

Posted by: oj at December 24, 2004 8:43 AM

Forbes's seat is now held by a Democrat and I believe the district went for Kerry. It did go for Gore in 2000.

The Illinois GOP is more moribund than the NJ GOP and that is hard to do. They may be in the wilderness for a generation. Thus, even if Obama held any positions which one would find in the GOP caucus, I would be surprised if he were to switch. His Illinois legislative record is extreme left.

As for Ford, I agree that he is the most likely switching candidate.

Posted by: Bart at December 24, 2004 11:26 AM

junior Senator from IL is no one's dream job.

Posted by: oj at December 24, 2004 11:28 AM

It's a lot better than junior Senator from Massachusetts, where at the Democratic State dinner the hors d'oeuvre and cocktail trays are empty before they come to you. And he was able to get a Presidential nomination.

Posted by: Bart at December 25, 2004 11:35 AM