Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How losing in 2008 benefited the GOP

Politico looks at Obama's electoral map in retreat. Several swing states that Obama won in 2008 and where he swept in Democrats down ticket are now looking to swing back. What strikes me is how the Democrats' electoral victories in 2006 and 2008 may ultimately prove to be a boon to the Republicans. The Democrats took power at the onset of the economic downturn and they're now taking the blame for the sluggish improvement in the economy. If the GOP wins the wave election that they seem set up to win this year, they'll not only take seats in Congress, but they'll win governorships and take back houses of state legislatures.

If we're facing major Republican victories at the state level in 2010, they'll be in place to direct redistricting after the census. Such victories will be longer-lasting than winning in 2008 would have been.

So in a totally cynical way, the losses in the last election were medicine that will ultimately make the GOP stronger. It swept out some weak reeds who the party will be stronger without. It revealed to the electorate how Democrats govern when they have total power and the picture was not edifying. And the GOP will win across the country in the election that matters when it comes to redistricting.