Jan 13, 2007

Respected political pundit predicts even bigger losses for House Republicans in 2008

Bill Ballanger, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, predicts in his most recent newsletter that Michigan House Republicans will lose even more seats in 2008 than the net loss of six seats they suffered in November.

Now, there are lots of political pundits out there that make lots of predictions, but Ballanger is one of the most respected pundits in the state who brings some impressive credentials to the table. He was a Republican state Representative and state Senator, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under the late President Gerald Ford and he was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. House and U.S. Senate. I once served as a panelist for a political debate where he was the moderator, and he was very knowledgeable.

The Republicans went from controlling the House for more than a decade and wining one of the largest majorities in many years in 2002 to suffering the worst back-to-back election cycles since the early 1940s that culminated with the loss of the House in November.

Open seats are always open game, even in districts that are considered likely Republican or Democrat. The election in 2008 we will see a much larger number of open seats than 2006, and of the at least 45 open seats 28 of those are in districts now held by Republicans. Ballanger predicts House Republicans will see a net-loss of at least six more seats than the six they lost in November, and House Republicans will be reduced to the least amount of seats in some 20 years.

State Republicans tying to justify the losses say it’s just the normal cycle of politics due to external forces beyond their control that happens to both parties, but Ballanger said it’s because of the Republicans ineptitude, saying “House Republicans have little identity other than gotcha game-playing and obstructionism.”

I have also heard Republican “leaders” blaming the misguided mess in Iraq for their loss of the state House, but that’s ridiculous. I worked on a House campaign in Monroe, a so-called "battle ground area.” I made hundreds of phone calls to voters and knocked on hundreds of doors, and I never once heard anyone say they were not voting for the Republicans of Iraq. Nor did I ever hear any state Democrat use Iraq as a campaign issue.

But I did hear state Democrats talk about stopping the flow of Canadian and out-of-state trash, creating jobs, helping the many people who no longer have heath care and eliminating Michigan’s drug immunity law. Those issues resonated with voters. I sincerely hope state Republicans continue to blame Iraq and politics as usual for their woes.

Now, the Iraq mess may help Democrats with voter turnout if it’s still around in 2008 when the president is at the top of the ticket, but I hope by then the uncalled for war is just a bad memory.


Anonymous said...

Actually, although I was upset about it at the time, the best thing to happen to Republicans was for Granholm to win last year.

She's going to continue to screw our state into the ground over the next four years, and this time, she won't be able to use the "Republican-controlled legislature" as her excuse.

That will pave the way in 2010 for a Republican governor (Mike Rogers, Candice Miller or Terry Lynn Land), and the GOP will also take back the House and retain the senate.

So live it up now. You're going to be back out of power in 2010. The Republicans will then be able to control redistricting in 2012, and we'll be set for the next decade.

Granholm is going to be remembered as the worst governor we've ever had.

Communications guru said...

That’s a lot of wishful thinking, but there is nothing to back up that pipe dream. You just keep dreaming. After all, you have to have some fantasy to cling to, who-ever-you-are. Mike Rogers, Candice Miller and Terri Land are the best you have to offer? If that’s the case we will retain the governorship in 2010, and the more than 12- seat majority in the House is going to be tough for you to overcome. Can you tell me anything Rogers or Miller has accomplished, and Land is perhaps the most uninspiring so-called leader I have ever heard speak.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to back up my pipe dream?!

Please tell me what you're backing up YOUR pipe dream with! Bill Ballenger's analysis? Those are opinions, not facts.

I have my opinion, you have yours, Bill Ballenger has his. We'll see who's right in 2010.

This is a fact, though: Under Granholm, Michigan has gone down the crapper.

Communications guru said...

I suggest you read the post one more time because you clearly did not get it. Here’s a fact, the Democrats took control of the House for the first time in more than a decade, and the republicans fared the worst in this past election since 1986. Incumbents are usually hard to beat, but the Democrats managed to bump off three incumbents in November. They picked up the six net seats in a year where there was just light turnover with term limits, but that turnover will be extremely heavy in 2008 when 45 seats are term-limited. Those are the facts the prediction was based on. What are you basing your fantasy on?

The Governor inherited a mess from the last governor, and he was balancing the budget with some and mirrors the last two years of his term, such using one-time things as collecting taxes early and other tricks until someone else took over so he could dump in their lap and get out of the state as fast as his legs could carry him. I don’t know how you can blame the governor for the state’s largest employer going into the tank, and the federal government failing to enforce the free trade agreements and encouraging outsourcing but you will try.

Anonymous said...

So, what you're saying is that none of this is Granholm's fault, and there's nothing she can to to turn it around?

Then why did she want to be governor?

Communications guru said...

What I am saying is the Governor, or the governor of any state, can only affect the economy so much. When government influences the economy it does it through two ways; monetary policy (i.e., interest rates) and fiscal policy (taxing and spending). States do not engage in monetary policy.
What she can do and is doing is create a climate for companies and businesses in Michigan to want to come to and stay to provide good high paying jobs for residents, and that includes a fair and predictable tax climate, good quality of life, good infrastructure and roads and a quality public education system and higher education system. Why does she want to be governor? She’s the best person for the job.

Anonymous said...

The best person for the job? Are you kidding?

And I guess I missed her campaign slogan: "As governor, I can only affect the economy so much!" Wow! You Democrats sure know how to sell your people!

She's a charismatic, attractive woman who had the good fortune of running against an Amway salesman in what turned out to be a Democratic tsunami of an election year. That's the only reason she won.

As governor, she has been a disaster. You agree she's been a disaster, but you claim it hasn't been her fault. It's John Engler's fault and the auto industry's fault.

I say this woman needs to be man enough to take some responsibility for the state of our state.

Anonymous said...

It is John Engler's fault ... then and now.

He was a disgrace as a governor and got the hell out of Dodge as soon as he possibly could. You never hear him defend anything he did as governor.

Now, while heading the manufacturing lobby, he won't lift a finger for the auto industry.

What a slime. A FAT slime.

Communications guru said...

I agree with you to a point when you say she had “the good fortune of running against an Amway salesman,” but the alleged Democratic tsunami of an election year you speak of had very little to do with Michigan. The top of the ticket inn Michigan was the giovenro, not the president.

True, he was just an Amway salesman, but he was an Amway salesman who inherited millions and millions of dollars, and he spent a record amount of money trying to buy the governor’s chair. He spent something like $43 million in the quest to buy the governorship. Just think if he had invested the majority of that money in Michigan. Instead, he hired an out-of-state consultant for all that advertising money he spent. He’s never been big on investing in Michigan.

She has not been a disaster, and I certainly never voiced that lie. She took office when the slow economy and problems were like a boulder rolling down a hill gaining speed, and she has had to try and stop that speeding boulder and push it back uphill with the limited resources and powers she, and every other governor, has at her disposal.

She is taking responsibility and attracting non-exportable, high-tech and high paying jobs to the state. By the way, what’s the largest employer in Michigan?

Anonymous said...

"The top of the ticket inn Michigan was the giovenro, not the president."

OK, how about we don't start drinking until after we're done blogging, all right?

Communications guru said...

I don’t drink, but thanks for pointing out the typo. However, the point is still valid, and that is that the “Democratic tsunami” you allage would only have occurred in Michigan for a national issue if there were a presidential election, not a mid-term election.