May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
March 13, 2006
/ 13 Adar, 5766
The Lessons of 1994
Twelve years ago I was the first in the national press to write that the Republicans had a serious chance to win a majority of seats in the House. That article appeared in the issue of U.S. News that hit the newsstands July 11, 1994, less than four months before the election. That's how late it was in the cycle before anyone except Newt Gingrich and his acolytes took seriously the possibility that the Republicans would win control for the first time in 40 years. In this cycle, many reporters have been contemplating the possibility that Democrats will take it back this November. That's partly because most reporters are Democrats and find that result congenial. More important, Democrats can take control with a net gain of only 15 seats this year, while Republicans needed 40 in 1994 (and got 52). It's always easier to see how a party can gain 15 seats than 40 although 1994 was the only time in the past 20 years that any party gained more than 10.
Democrats' chances of taking those 15 seats are not very good if the voting patterns and political contours that have held steady since the 1995-96 budget showdown continue to prevail. Ordinarily in a decade we see a shift in these patterns. Some geographic regions or demographic groups move to one party or the other, or the whole electorate does. But that hasn't happened in the past 10 years. In the five House elections starting in 1996, Republicans have won between 49 and 51 percent of the popular votes, Democrats between 46 and 48.5 percent of the popular votes. Nor have regional patterns changed much. From 1990 to 1996, the nation's largest metro areas became more Democratic while rural areas and the South became more Republican. Since then, things have stayed about the same. And this is regardless of whatever problems were facing party leaders like Bill Clinton, Gingrich, and George W. Bush.
The redistricting that followed the 2000 census was based on those same voting patterns. That's why so many safe seats resulted from Republican gerrymanders in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Texas; Democratic gerrymanders in North Carolina and Maryland; and bipartisan incumbent-protection gerrymanders in New York, California, Illinois, and Ohio. If the political contours should shift, as they did in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, then some seats designed to be safe will become marginal, and some will shift to the other side.
Southern slide? That's what Democrats hope is happening this year. Pollster Stanley Greenberg says his latest Democracy Corps poll shows Republican support falling sharply in the Deep South, in rural areas, and among downscale men groups among which Republicans have had big leads. Such a change wouldn't affect many House races, because these groups are concentrated in districts that are heavily Republican. But it could put another dozen or so Republican seats in play, over and above the dozen or so where Democrats are making strong challenges (Republicans are making strong challenges for about half a dozen Democratic seats).
In years when voters have shifted sharply to one party Democrats in 1974, Republicans in 1994 the winning parties captured only about half the seats they targeted. So even if the field of contested seats expands as Greenberg suggests, Democrats could take the House only if they picked off half their targets while successfully defending every one of their own contested seats. But few seats are captured without strong challenger candidates, and while Democratic recruiting has had some successes, it hasn't produced serious challengers in all these seats. Democrats have a chance to win the House, but it's far from a sure thing.
Of course, not all the factors have played out. At this point in the 1994 cycle, the Clinton healthcare plan had not yet collapsed, the Democrats had not yet embraced gun control, and the Republicans had not yet rolled out their Contract With America. Will rural voters, however cross with Bush, vote to install as speaker of the House a San Francisco Democrat? Finally, the polls, whatever their bad news for Republicans, offer few clues about who's actually coming out to vote. In 2004, Republicans won because they did a better job turning out their party base than the Democrats did. They expanded the electorate and have a bigger reservoir of voters to draw on. My guess is that turnout more than voter shifts will determine who wins in 2006.
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Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future
America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.
JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.
Michael Barone Archives
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