Biggest News of Super Tuesday
Forget how many delegates this or that Republican presidential candidate got.
The most important political result from Super Tuesday was that 15-year Democratic Congressmen and two-time presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), lost his bid for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
It is big news for two reasons:
- It shows the widening cracks in the Democratic Party’s armor
- It shows the rising power of Republicans almost everywhere
The Democrat’s bright spot is the presidency. Holding it shouldn’t be a problem. Republican’s can’t seem to get their presidential act together.
The Achilles’ heal of the Democratic Party, though, isn’t with the Presidential election; it is with the U.S. Congress and in state, county and municipal offices.
The U.S. Congress
Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – likes Congress. Congress would lose a popularity contest to Satan himself. However, the Congress makes up 1/3rd of the government of the United States. Someone has to fill those 535 seats and whoever does will wield great power to shape the national agenda.
Congress is like a “winner takes all” primary. Whichever party wins the majority runs the show. He who controls the agenda, controls everything.
Republicans won back the U.S. House in 2010 and are poised to win back the U.S. Senate in 2012.
The Kucinch loss is a poster child for problems facing Democrats this year.
Crumbling the Democratic Party
In 2008, Democrats were invincible!
They had the presidency, a super majority in the U.S. Senate and a huge majority in the U.S. House. They controlled 60% of state governorships and controlled the vast majority of state legislatures.
By 2010 that all changed. Republicans now have a strong majority in the U.S. House. The Democrat’s unbreakable super majority in the U.S. Senate shrank to a slim majority.
But the biggest changes of all were in Statehouses. Republicans now control nearly 60% of the governorships. Nationwide there was a swing of 625 seats to the Republican Party in state legislatures. CNN must have missed that stuff in their coverage.
It was the biggest slaughter in modern times.
The Kucinich Lesson
The Kucinich loss, more than anything yet so far, demonstrates the new found Republican power over Democrats that they gained in governorships and in state legislatures in 2010.
In Ohio in 2010, Republican John Kasich ousted Democratic incumbent governor Ted Strickland and Republicans took commanding two-thirds majorities in both houses of the state legislature. Ohio Democrats have to get a permission slip from the Republican leadership just to go to the bathroom.
Republicans used their new redistricting power to combine two Democratic held U.S. House districts into just one and pit Kucinich against another popular Democratic U.S. House Representative, Marcy Kaptur. Kucinich lost. Now he is out in the cold.
Nationally, most redistricting this year in state legislatures was controlled by newly elected Republicans and drawn to favor Republicans running for office.
The Great U.S. Congressional Shakeup of 2012
Long time Democrats have been dropping like flies in 2012. Most prominent among them is 16-term Congressmen Barney Frank. There are at least 17 Democrats not seeking reelection in the U.S. House this year.
That is a sure fire sign that individual Democrats believe they cannot retake the House and given up.
Though much ado has been made of the retirement of Republican Olympia Snowe from the U.S. Senate over political gridlock lately, Democrats are the ones in electoral trouble. Snowe’s defection is balanced by Democratic Senator Ben Nelson who isn’t running. He is infamous for the “Cornhusker Kickback” to buy his vote to pass Obamacare.
Democrats will be very hard pressed to cling onto their slim majority in the Senate.
The most U.S. Senators since 1996 have decide to pack it in, in 2012. Ten of them are Democrats and only three are Republicans. Far more Democrats are up for reelection this year than Republicans.
If Republicans have any brains, and that is a big “if”, they’d concentrate their efforts on winning Congressional races and shoring up their state and local government gains from 2010. At this point, its not looking good for Republicans to unseat President Obama.
Fortunately for them, Karl Rove is a savvy behind-the-scenes Republican strategist who pulls most of their election funding purse strings. He most certainly is aware of the situation. He is a smart guy.
While Democrats are preoccupied with a close presidential election, Republicans should point their howitzers strait at the Congress.
Should Republicans win both houses of Congress and followup on their 2010 victories in statehouses across the country, then that is better than winning the presidency.