What is in this article?:
- September election forecast proves accurate â€” mostly
- New demographics
- Campaign advantage-Democrats
- Last fall, The Cook Report suggested Democrats would pick up between 10 and 15 seats in the House of Representatives and that Republicans could pick up a seat or two in the Senate.
- The September analysis was pretty accurate.
- This Congress remains “the most polarized House in history.”
Campaign quality, Wasserman said, also favored Obama. Back in September, he said: “If Obama wins the election, he will win despite the economy and because of his campaign. If Romney wins, it will be because of the economy and despite his campaign.”
The “swing state ad strategy” was a crucial factor and the advantage went to the Obama camp. He won all but one (North Carolina) of the swing states. “Obama dominated the swing states,” Wasserman said.
The Democrats also had a better convention, he added, and pointed to the Democrats featuring President Clinton versus Republicans using Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair.
Wasserman gave Romney the edge on debate performance. “Also, Romney’s ‘pivot’ improved his image but not enough in the swing states.”
President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy and the adulation he received from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, along with the endorsement of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, may have helped him with the popular vote but had no effect on the Electoral College numbers.
Romney’s comment about the 47 percent also hurt, Wasserman said. “The 2012 lesson: be careful when you refer to the ‘47 percent’ of Americans, you just might end up with them.” He showed the vote tally: Obama 50.9 percent; Romney 47.4 percent.
Wasserman said cooperation may still be a scarce commodity in Washington. He noted a “generational sea change in the House but not much partisan change; 166 House incumbents will have less than three years experience in Congress.”
He said this Congress remains “the most polarized House in history.” Blue Dog Democrat numbers have declined from 55 in 2008 to 27 in 2010 to only 4 in 2012. He said the Tea Party has declined in popularity among the larger electorate but “Tea Party heroes ruled in House GOP primaries.”
Other demographic changes include: 26 states have minority-majority districts; minorities and women now make up a majority of House Democrats; white men still make up 88 percent of House Republicans.
He doesn’t expect Democrats to pick up enough House seats in 2014 to gain control. “The problem is: in 2012 there were 21 Republicans in Democratic-leaning House seats. Today, (there is) just six. Not much low-hanging fruit left.”
In 2014, Democrats have 20 seats to defend in the Senate and the Republicans have 13 to defend. “The GOP is likely to gain, but enough for a majority?”
Wasserman said the make-up of Congress may mean more partisanship and questions about resolution of the fiscal cliff, the Bush tax cuts, defense spending cuts, domestic spending cuts, the farm bill and “Medicare Doc Fix.”
In 2013, “68 percent of anti-TARP Republicans will still be in the House.”