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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 87 | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 395 -- Congress Harms America's Economy. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 394 -- The 2006 Elections.

The Rock Bottom-

The 2006 elections were the most earth shattering midterm elections since 1994. But just how earth shattering were they, relative to 1994?



Not nearly the sweeping mandate that 1994 was. Even the state legislatures saw a major shift in 2006, but, again, not the sort of sweeping mandate seen in 1994.


1994 was a bigger swing/surge/sea change than 2006. In some ways, however, 2006 was worse for Republicans than 1994 was for Democrats.

Why was 2006 worse for Republicans than 1994 was for Democrats?

In 2006, the GOP hit electoral rock bottom. There are few, if any, remaining opportunities for Democrats to improve on their totals in 2008 and beyond. After 1994, there were still opportunities for Republicans to expand majorities.

Structural forces buffered total disaster for the GOP, and structural forces will help the Republican Party take back power in the next few election cycles.

Let's define "structural forces" a bit.

"Structural forces" means demographic shifts. It means red states, due to their attractive pro-growth, pro-family policies, are gaining population at the expense of blue states. It means Republican families having more children than Democrat families. It means that all of those reliably Republican seats lost to scandal will eventually-- or, immediately-- gravitate back to their rightful owners. Political climates change day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. It's difficult to predict how "independent," "moderate," "swing voter" Americans will feel in two or four or more years. Structural forces, however, move like glaciers. They're easy to predict.

Over the past decade or two, structural forces have produced a population that is not nearly as liberal as the one a generation or two ago. Conservatives have had more children than liberals, and contrary to the pop culture image of the hippie/goth/punk teen rebelling against the starchedly conservative parent, most people actually inherit partisanship and ideology from their parents.

In 2006, Republicans-- mostly "moderate" ones-- in the NE and MW lost to very protectionist, very anti-war, very left-wing Democrats. Lunatics, really. And this fresh batch of lunatics is empowering some of the most corrupt and unpopular old guard Democrats for committee chairmanships. It is difficult to imagine Democrats maintaining power for too long, given their personnel.

Another important point:

In many ways, 2006 purged the House of moderates, giving us a far more polarized (both ideologically and geographically) Congress than before. More on this to come, but you can sort of see why Congress might be more polarized than ever, given where the seats were won and lost:


The South includes Foley's seat, DeLay's seat, and Henry Bonilla's seat, lost respectively to the non-sex sex scandal, a judge's disenfranchisement, and 11th-hour redistricting.

In 2006, Republicans suffered most of their losses in the NE and MW, which marked the earlier-than-expected fulfillment of a geographic realignment. After the 2010 Census and Reapportionment, those seats (from states like Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania) are going to be zapped away anyway.

Where are those seats going to go? To states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: AP College Football Poll.

Posted by Will Franklin · 10 January 2007 04:49 PM


The election where the Democrats did make huge gains was 1958 - for minor reasons, too.


Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at January 10, 2007 05:01 PM