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Monday, January 25, 2010

The RINO Problem

A lot of you are not going to like this analysis but consider it in the nature of a reality check. We would like to regain control of the House of Representatives in November. We need a net gain of 40 seats to accomplish that. Since we are quite likely to lose Delaware and Louisiana 2, we actually need to pick up 42 seats from the Democrats. The odds are that we can do that as we calculate that we have a better than even chance in 46 seats. Update: Make that 47 seats since Marion Berry in AR-1 just announced his retirement. That moves his district from a 0.02% to 74.1% chance of going Republican.

That is the good news but it comes with some bad news for the fire breathing conservatives out there. A full half of these needed seats were carried by Obama-Biden. In fact all but 1 of these
23 districts are in states carried by the Democrats. MP-Margin means McCain-Palin margin in the table below and the probability means the percentage chances of the Republicans capturing the seat in November.

Republican PickUp Blue Seats

What are the odds of a true blue (red?) conservative getting elected in these districts? The answer is not very good at all. That means that we need all whole bunch of moderate Republicans like Scott Brown to win if we want to gain control of the House. Already people are complaining that Scott Brown is not conservative enough. The fact of the matter is that he is as conservative as he can be to win in bright blue state like Massachusetts. You may complain that moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are RINOs but you cannot elect a conservative in Maine. Remember that they did vote against Obama care so that makes them more useful than a left wing Democrat.

Surely you realize that controlling the House by one vote is a total disaster. One representative can hold the Republican majority out to dry. Fortunately, there are 4 more seats that are odds on bets and another ten that are quite possible to gain in a good Republican year like 1994. I am sure you can already guess that these seats are even bluer than the first group. You are right because 11 out of the 14 were carried by Obama-Biden.

Blue State Republican Pick Ups
If you want to get rid of the RINO's in red states, you can usually safely do that, but it is a fairly short list. For example, several folks want to dump McCain in Arizona. They have their chance since
J.D. Hayworth is running against him in the Republican primary. The only problem is that J. D. has a reputation, whether deserved or not, as a blowhard. He lost a safe Republican House seat that contains Scottsdale which is about as red as you can get. Maybe he can beat McCain in the primary but can he defeat Rodney Glassman in the general election? Do we really want to take a chance on losing a safe Senate seat? I am no fan of McCain since I was the campaign manager for a Republican opponent in his very first run for office in Arizona but facts are facts.

If the Republicans want to regain control of the House, it takes a center-right coalition and the center part is the moderate Republicans. You can call them RINO's if you want, but we need them. Now this does not mean we have to put up with the likes of Dede Scozzafava though. New York 23 is nominally a Republican district and we should get it back in November. The Democrats tried to govern from the left and look where it has gotten them. In order to have enough seats to do anything, they needed the Blue Dogs. That is fine if you try to govern from the center but not if you do so from the left. Likewise, Republicans cannot govern from the right. We can take this country back from the leftists but not by offering candidates from the hard right in blue states. You may not like it but that is just the way it is.