The Republican magic number is 39. They must win 39 seats to take control of the House of Representatives. Well run spin machines often obfuscate the facts. House of Representative control has been an elusive task for the Republican Party. Prior to the landslide victory led by Newt Gingrich in 1994, the Democratic Party has controlled the House of Representatives all but 4 of the previous 72 years. The Republicans were ousted in 2006 and have only been in charge 16 of the previous 88 years.
It is no secret that the incumbent party struggles during mid-year election cycles. The facts are that the average change in seats for the last 17 mid-year election cycles has been 28. The 1994 change of control was significant on two accounts. First, since 1950, the House Speaker has always been a democrat with the brief exception of one congress prior to 1994. Second, the Republican Party claimed 54 seats in 1994 which is far more than the average of 28.
In 2006, the House of Representatives once again changed control back over to the Democratic Party. In addition to the sitting President, George W. Bush, losing favor with an approval rating dipping down to 38 percent, the Republic Party lost their vision and broke the Contract With America. They succumbed to excessive spending and exploring constitutional amendments on gay marriage and flag burning. This change of control was touted as a landslide victory by the mainstream media; however, they only won 31 seats, slightly more than the mid-year average of 28. It paled in comparison to the 54 seat swing in 1994.
Nancy Pelosi orchestrated a Six Point Plan in 2006, commonly called the Six for 2006. This plan called for securing our nations’ borders, better jobs with better pay, lower gas prices with energy independence, affordable health care and abandoning the privatization of social security. She also vowed to clean up the corruption. Much like the Republican Party breach of contract, Nancy Pelosi and her democratic cronies are at risk of losing control of the House. Once again our elected officials have over-promised and under-delivered.
In 2010, the American People are not voting for a new president, they will be holding the Democratic Party accountable for failing to deliver on the Six for 2006. Border security is an abysmal failure. Job creation took second seat to Healthcare Reform which has driven premium costs higher. Cap and Trade legislation threatened to intentionally skyrocket energy prices. Stimulating the economy was used as an excuse to spend taxpayer money at historical levels. Americans were told unemployment would not exceed 8%. Another promise was broken.
39 seats is a significant challenge for the Republican Party. The irony is that if they win 37 seats, it will be viewed as a failure even though it outpaces the Democratic victory in 2006 and well above the historical average. It is all about control. This will be pass or fail.
Broken promises to the American people drove the change of control in the House of Representatives. 2010 will be about holding the House of Representatives accountable for failing on their 2006 campaign promise. They are avoiding the record because they are embarrassed by their performance. In my view, the Republican Party will get one more shot. If they fail, you will see a third party candidate in 2012 which will change the landscape of politics as we know it today. Americans will not tolerate more broken promises.