Tuesday, January 04, 2005

2005 Political Environment, Stu Rothenberg via Tim C.

Thanks for these notes by Tim C. He tunes into some C-SPAN coverage and puts up a recap. See the comments.

Nov 04 was a 'status quo' election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Students at the American Univ. Campaign Management Seminar must plan campaign strategies for the VA and NJ Governor's races. Their assignment is to write a campaign plan that covers all aspects of the campaign.

Nov 04 was a 'status quo' election.

For Pres., House, Senate the incumbents mainly won. There was more turnout, but no major changes in the electorate. The 2000 and 2004 maps of which counties voted D and R were basically the same overall. Both sides ran good, aggressive campaigns. Bush won, but the nation is still fairly evenly divided. Three states changed from D to R. There is rough party parity, with a slight GOP advantage. The Ds and Rs both had good GOTV and good turnout in 2004. Terrorism and Iraq was the #1 issue. Values were a secondary issue.

The House races were status quo. Only three incumbents lost in the house, not counting Texas, which was redistricted. No big dramatic wave of change.

The Senate was mostly status quo. GOP picked up 4 seats to go from 51R to 55R in the Senate. But the 4 victories for the GOP were in 'red' states. Again, no big change in the electorate. Also more D seats were up in 2004 than R seats. Also, more were from the South.

More D Senators will run again in 2006. But many more GOP Senators will be up for reelection in 2008.

2006 there will be 18D and 15R up for election. Not as many southern states. Santorum is a GOP senator in a Blue state.

Governor's races have a different dynamic than Federal Races. 4 govs have changed hands in 2004. Washington state is still up in the air. There is more turnover among the parties in gov races. 4 govs were defeated in 2003, all 4 changed party. Many governorships changed parties in 2002 also.

Governors usually have to balance the budget. They also get blamed for regional economic downturns.

38 Govs up for election in 2006. 22 GOP and 16 Dem. So Dems should improve at the Governor's races, especially if the economy improves.

3/4th of congressional races are NOT competitive.

Midterm Dynamics. Midterm elections tend to be a referendum on the President. The context is different now than it was before the Pres. election in November. Pres is now a lame duck, etc. GOP can criticize Bush without helping Kerry now.

Midterm elections are dangerous for the incumbent President and his party's congressional candidates.

Will conservatives be satisfied with: Deficit/debt, war in Iraq, Judicial appointments? If not, they might stay home in 2006 election. Club for Growth has become a major player (Toomey vs. Specter).

Gov races in VA and NJ is the class assignment. Both states have different political cultures and climates.

VA is more GOP. NJ is Democratic and the Ds are getting stronger there. But parts of each state has a different political culture. Geography, personalities, money, local issues, outside groups, strength of state parties are different in every state.

But the minority party can win governor's races more easily than they can win Federal races. Voters are more willing to send the minority party to the governor's office than they are to Wash DC.