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Thursday, April 29, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Two posts at OTB (yesterday’s 2010 Bigger Than 1994? by James Joyner and today’s 2010 Bigger than 1994? Ctd. by Alex Knapp—both worth a read, btw) reminded me that I wanted to say a couple of things about the current spate of stories and essay comparing 1994 and 2010.

1.  There are incumbent Republicans, too.  I saw a lot of commentary yesterday  based on a new polls (ABC News/WaPo) that showed a high level of anger at incumbents.  Said commentary took that to mean that the GOP was poised for a take over of the Congress (best example here).  Now, there are more incumbent Democrats than there are incumbent. Republicans at the moment, so anti-incumbent sentiment will disproportionately affect Democrats.  However, as noted above, there are incumbent Republicans, too and they may face their own voter-based anger. 

If anything, it seems problematic to pretend that general anger at the Congress will only affect one party.  Indeed, the term “wishful thinking” comes to mind.

2.  Incumbents Could Suffer in Primaries.  One place GOP incumbents may face challenges is in the primary process, especially if Tea Party candidates or other very conservative candidates challenge and oust sitting members.  This could ultimately be problematic in some races for the GOP, as if, say, a Tea Partier wins the nomination against an incumbent, the dynamic of the race change.  Not only would the seat become open, i.e., no incumbents in the race, but a more conservative candidate may not do as well in the general election as they did in the primary.

Of course, it will be helpful to get through the primary season before we can really understand what the situation is.

Filed under: 2010,US Politics,elections | Comments Off|
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