GOP Will Retain House Control in 2012 — Guaranteed.

Control of the House of Representatives after the 2012 elections will still belong to the Republicans.  IF Barack Obama stages a political comeback (which is certianly within the realm of possibility), Democrats will start the presidential coattails drumbeat.  However, there are two compelling tables in this post underscoring that the House outcome will dance to the beat of a different drummer.

These two factors will end up having a snowball effect, costing Democrats in retirements, candidate recruitment, and fundraising — all of which will further debilitate their comeback efforts.

The first factor is that even strong Presidents who win re-election do not have long coattails.  Look at the last three re-elected Presidents — Reagan ’84, Clinton ’96, and Bush ’04.  Two were blowouts and one was close.  In 1984, the GOP won 16 House seats.  In 1996, the Dems picked up nine House seats.  In the two blowout re-elections, the President’s party picked up an average of just 12.5 seats.  In the close election of 2004, Republicans won three seats.  Across the three elections, the average pick-up for the President is 9.3 seats.  Obama is not likely to win a blowout re-election.  Given Obama’s problems with white working class voters and the unifying effect he has on the GOP base, he is much more likely headed for either a close win or a loss rather than a big win.

The table below looks at the five most recent Presidential re-elects — three wins and two losses.  The two losses show inconclusive results — although it is clear that Ross Perot’s inclusion on the ballot did not hurt House Republican candidates.  The table emphasizes that when re-elected Presidents have coattails, those coattails are VERY short, if they exist at all.  Only newly elected Presidents might have sizable coattails.

The other factor putting a stake through the vampire hearts of the Democrats’ hopes of control post-2012 is the overwhelming shift in redistricting fortunes.  Because of GOP gains in Gov races and the legislatures, there will be a dramatic change in the structure of the 2012 House races.   In the 2001 redistricting process, Democrats drew the lines of 135 seats, while GOPers drew the lines for 98 — a 37 seat advantage for the Dems.  Now, Republicans control drawing 193 seats outright, while the Dems have just 44.  That’s a 149 seat advantage for the GOP (the rest of the seats are either in split control states, commission drawn states, At-Large seats, or currently undecided).  That represents a 186 seat shift in favor of the GOP from 2001 — and was a year that Republicans won three out of five congressional majorities since.

That does NOT mean Republicans can draw 193 seats they win — but it does mean they can squeeze out additional seats in states they completely control, while making life much more difficult for Democrats.

The table below underscores the dramatic change in the redistricting situation over the last thirty years — going from a GOP disadvantage of -172 net seats in 1981, to -167 in 1991 (making the 1994 GOP takeover even that more earthshattering) to just -37 in 2001, to +149 noted above.  This is NOT Tip O’Neill or Jim Wright’s Congress anymore.  Heck, it’s not even Nancy Pelosi’s Congress, and it’s not going to be her Congress in 2013-14 either.

If Obama wins re-election, Democrats won’t be shouting that the emperor has no clothes.  Instead, they will be crying that the President has no coattails.  And, if he loses, the election night headlines won’t say “Republican President, Democratic House elected.”  Sorry, Dems, but you are in the House wilderness for at least the next four years.

Similar Articles

  • Is social media your friend or a frenemy?
    read more

  • Trump’s numbers tied for his peak high as impeachment talk looms
    read more

  • Independents Key to Trump Approval Boost
    read more

  • Looking at ideology by party over the last thirty years
    read more

  • In NBC/WSJ Data, President Trump Has Solid Standing in Key Trump Counties
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.