The Downballot Cushion

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"The Downballot Cushion"

Dave Weigel runs down the shift in congressional districts from “red” to “blue,” something that will help determine how much support for his agenda Barack Obama is able to count on in congress:

Based on Swing State Project’s numbers, which don’t yet include Alabama, California, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma or Texas, Mr Obama carried at least 34 districts that Mr Bush carried in 2004. When all the states’ numbers are in, we’re likely to find that he carried as many or more as Mr Bush did at his apogee. […] this means that the current Democratic majority is the most stable in decades. Even when Bill Clinton won the presidency, his Democratic Congress included members from ruby-red Republican districts in the South that Republicans were able to flip when the incumbents retired. Mr Obama’s (and Mrs Pelosi’s) majority is built on safe seats on the west coast, in the southwest, in the midwest, in pockets of the new South, and in the northeast. On the Swing State Project map, only 25 Democrats represent districts carried by Mr McCain, most of them in the deep South and three of them in Mr McCain’s Arizona, which resisted the Democratic surge. And many of those seats—rural New Mexico-02, the University of Virginia-centered Virginia-06—registered huge gains from Mr Kerry’s performance to Mr Obama’s. They have gone from safe Republican seats to swing seats.

Worth keeping in mind.

Of course at this point the political future is just identical to the course of the economic crisis. If the worst happens, and we’re plunged into a global depression that’s still ongoing two and four years from now, Democrats are going to get wiped out. Everything depends on achieving robust recovery.

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