By Markos Moulitsas - 02/19/08 05:35 PM EST
Watching the GOP caucus is like watching Bill Buckner boot a grounder with the Stanford band on the field, with Mike Tyson simultaneously biting off the ear of Bill Belichick’s video tech.
Republicans can’t win in the Northeast. After 30 years of tarring Northeasterners as “coastal elitist pinkos,”
Republicans are reaping their reward. There are no GOP House members from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont or Massachusetts, and the sole remaining New England Republican, Connecticut’s Christopher Shays, isn’t likely to survive past November. In New York, Republicans hold just six of 29 seats — and retirements among that remnant portend additional losses this fall. Never mind Romney’s and Dukakis’s claims — if the GOP can retain more than five of the 56 House seats in the Northeast next January, that’ll be a real Massachusetts Miracle.
• Republicans can’t win in blue districts. Democrats hold 58 seats in districts George Bush won in 2004. Republicans hold just seven seats in John Kerry districts, and three of those will be open this fall. The bluest district held by a Republican is Rep. Mike Castle’s (Del.), which has a partisan voting index (PVI) of D+6.5 — only 6.5 percent more Democratic than the rest of the nation. Democrats hold 16 seats in districts with PVIs at or above R+6.5, with Chet Edwards’s (Texas) at a whopping PVI of R+17.7. Even Tom DeLay couldn’t gerrymander around this trend.
• Republicans are fleeing the House. Serving in the minority is a pain, especially when you’re required to show up for work. It’s a lot easier to find a K Street sinecure. Thirty Republicans — about 15 percent of the conference — are either retiring or running for a different office. By contrast, just four Democrats are leaving the chamber. Twenty-six Republican seats are open this November; four Republicans couldn’t wait out the year, and quit mid-term. The Republican record for open seats is 27, set way back in 1952 — but this conference is doing its best to break it.
• Republicans can’t raise money. Who knew? At the end of 2007, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had over $33.7 million after debts, while the National Republican Congressional Committee had about $2.6 million after debts. If that’s not bad enough, the NRCC has the FBI sniffing around its books. If Republicans can’t raise money, what can they do?
• No one likes the Republicans. Days before the 2006 elections, Gallup released its generic congressional preference results: 51-42 in favor of Democrats. The actual results were 52-44 Democrats. In 2004, Gallup’s election-eve numbers were 48-47 Democrats, with the actual results being 49-47 Republican. My point? Gallup’s generic ballot numbers are pretty accurate. The latest Gallup poll, taken Feb. 8-10, gives Democrats a whopping 55-41 advantage. Ouch.
• Latinos really don’t like Republicans. The GOP wishes it could lose Latinos 55-41. An NDN study released last week shows that Latinos have chosen Democrats by a ratio of 75-25 thus far this primary season. And Republican scapegoating has clearly galvanized Latinos, as their participation in the 2008 Democratic primaries has tripled over 2004. Moreover, Latino share of the total turnout is up from 9 percent in 2004, to 13 percent this year. The trend’s worsening for the GOP — the Latino population was 12.5 percent of all Americans in 2000, 14.8 percent in 2006, and will hit 15.5 percent in 2010.
• No one will run as a Republican. Recruitment has been a disaster for the NRCC. And who can blame the good candidates? House Republicans are marginalized, demoralized, poor and unpopular. Would you want to sit at that lunch table?
Moulitsas is founder and publisher of Daily Kos .