Saturday, September 16, 2006

Old Enough for Deja Vu?

Via Kevin Drum, Charlie Cook:
"As a general rule, election-watchers under the age of 40, regardless of their party or ideology, see the contest for control of the House as fairly close. They foresee Republicans' losing at least 10 seats, but certainly no more than 20, and they put the odds of a Democratic takeover at 50-50, give or take 10 percentage points. As for the Senate, these observers tend to expect Republicans to lose three or four seats, but probably not five and certainly not the six required for Democrats to take charge.

Observers over age 40, meanwhile, tend to see a greater likelihood of sizable Republican losses. They think that the GOP could well lose more than 20 House seats and more than five Senate seats.

Most of the professionals toiling in the vineyards of the party campaign committees and watching individual races most closely are in the under-40 cohort. They tend to see control of the House as a close call and tend to be most conservative on their House seat counts. They're also the least likely to think the Senate will change hands. Invariably, these younger pros acknowledge that for Republicans this is a 'very challenging election cycle,' the euphemism that GOP spokesmen use to keep from saying that 2006 is shaping up as 'a really bad year' for their party. Yet these younger observers focus almost exclusively on where each contest stands right now, employing a sort of political version of the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Older pros, while often one or more steps removed from the day-to-day developments in each contest, appear to read a bit more into the races, placing greater emphasis on the national political environment and what it is likely to mean for contests that are currently too close to call or for Republican incumbents with precarious leads. These relative old-timers vividly remember the midterm elections of 1994, 1986, 1982, and 1974, as well as the presidential year of 1980, when the late Speaker Tip O'Neill's adage '"

It's an interesting observation, and may explain why the great political storm has been so slow to develop. There's a very real generation gap, with those, who came to political consciousness post-Reagan, having become inured to Republican malfeasance and lies to the extent that that they don't believe the country will react.

No comments:

Post a Comment