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The Collective
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

CQ Politics has its latest report on the which House races have changed status. The news is not, in general, good for the GOP. However, what stuck out at me was that fact that they had moved Wyoming from “Leans Republican” to “Tossup”.

From page three of the report:

Lummis, who has some statewide name ID from her past tenure as Wyoming treasurer, should have a clear shot to winning the state’s sole House seat as the Republican nominee. There are twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats in Wyoming. Yet the national political environment that has been working toward the Democrats’ benefit and against the Republicans is coming to bear even here.

Recent polling indicates Lummis is in a statistic tie with Democrat Trauner, who lost the 2006 contest to Cubin by just 1,012 votes. A poll released Friday by Research 2000 gave Trauner a 1-point lead over Lummis, 44 percent to 43 percent. The findings were consistent with a poll Survey 2000 released three weeks earlier that had Lummis and Trauner tied with 42 percent apiece.

This is remarkable. One does ultimately expect, given the Republican advantage in the state, that Lumis will win. However, it is a sign of the overall trouble the GOP finds itself in that the race is a tie at the moment.

It is worth noting that Wyoming hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Congress since 1974.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |
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6 Comments »

  1. CQ Politics has an awesome map, too, of all the house races, including ways to display the competitive races and not the safe seats. Plus (obviously) gubernatorial races, senate races, and obviously, the Presidential race.

    Reply to B. Minich

    Comment by B. Minich — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  2. It sounds like its an open seat…Sure the national tide is shifting Dem, but I bet if you had an incumbent running, it would be solid Repub.

    Reply to Ratoe

    Comment by Ratoe — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  3. True, the open seat comes into play, but with a 2x advantage in registrations for Reps, a toss up is kind of a surprise.

    Reply to Dr. Steven Taylor

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  4. I agree with you that it is surprising. It prompted me to look at some of the census figures (admittedly in a half-assed way).

    An article in the Financial Times a couple of days ago talked about why VA is in play for the Dems and the conclusion was that more higher-educated, white collar types are moving to Northern VA while rural areas are generally losing population.

    This article made the same point about NC and Colorado.

    Maybe this is happening in Wyoming-to a much lesser degree. Census figs said that the state as a whole has increased its population by 4.3% since 2000. Interestingly, the growth exceeds the statewide figure in Casper and the tourist-oriented Northwestern counties (Teton and Park).

    My hunch is that you have affluent retirees moving from liberal urban centers to the Tetons and Casper is attracting immigrant and other more Dem-leaning voters. The populations aren’t enough to push the entire state Blue, but they may be a contributing factor (along with the intangibles-war,economy, Bush, etc…)

    The FT piece made an interesting point in that-nationally-the Republican base of angry White men is losing ground demographicaly and poses a serious problem for the party.

    It seems like McCain isn’t really interested in addressing this change given his choice of Palin and their Joe the Plumber gambit.

    Assuming this gambit is a failure, it could cause some serious long-term problems for the Repubs.

    Much like it took CLinton to develop a “Third Way” to revitalize the Dems, the Repubs are going to have to shift positions somewhat in order to enhance their relevance.

    Reply to Ratoe

    Comment by Ratoe — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  5. Much like it took CLinton to develop a “Third Way” to revitalize the Dems, the Repubs are going to have to shift positions somewhat in order to enhance their relevance.

    I had a similar thought last night. Either the GOP is going to go even harder into the baseland (e.g., by looking to Palin as a 2012 solution) or there will be a Rep version of the DLC.

    Reply to Dr. Steven Taylor

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  6. or there will be a Rep version of the DLC.

    There certainly are liberal Republicans-but is there a self-identified organization ala DLC-or even a Congressional counterpart to the Blue Dogs? i.e. is there an institutional base or will this have to be built from scratch. Who would build it and how?

    The Christian wing as largely been successful- I would argue-because of their organizational capacity and this was developed by leveraging pre-existing organs of civil society. Where would the Republican DLC variant find its “home”?

    I could see one element consisting of pragmatist corporate types. But the demographic thing is a little tougher to get a handle on.

    Here is the URL for the FT article, by the way-interesting stuff: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/00476308-9ed4-11dd-98bd-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=729ab242-9cb1-11db-8ec6-0000779e2340.html?nclick_check=1

    Reply to Ratoe

    Comment by Ratoe — Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

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