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I don't think it does. Think about it. Right now, Democrats are definitely going to win in ten House races. In the open seats of IA-01, CO-07, AZ-08, TX-22, OH-18, and now, with FoleyGate, FL-16, Democrats are basically guaranteed to win. Incumbents Don Sherwood of PA-10, John Hostettler of IN-08, Mike Sodrel of IN-09, and Chris Chocola of IN-02, are all down by significant margins in private and public polling, from campaign internals and from independent firms. Additionally, there are at least another 20-40 Republican seats that are vulnerable this year, with at least fifteen of those showing GOP incumbents or GOP candidates running within the margin of error with their Dem challengers. Therefore, with the ten seats Republicans have basically conceded to us at this point, we only need five more seats out of the 15 vulnerable to take back the House. In a year like this, with scandals popping up all over the place, and the war in Iraq destroying the already imploding Republican party, this is not difficult to imagine.

So, if Dems have an 80% chance of taking back the House at this point, why do we need to take back the Senate. Don't get me wrong. I would love to take back the Senate, and I think we definitely have a shot. But why do we need to?

A Democratic House of Representative with Speaker Nancy Pelosi could prevent Republicans and President Bush from passing any meaningful and dangerous legislation. And even if we took back the Senate, a Democratic Congress could not accomplish anything without impeaching both President Bush and Vice President Cheney to avoid Presidential vetoes (I do not actually think that either Bush or Cheney have really committed impeachable offenses, though I think they're very close).

So, if we can't do very much anyway, and we can check GOP abuses without it, why spend tens of millions of dollars on Senate races. Let's spend it instead on dozens of more House races so we can build a large and sustainable majority in the House.

A million dollars in a Senate race maybe shifts two points to our side. A million dollars in a House race ends the election and picks us up a seat.

The DNC and the DSCC have about $100,000,000 cash on hand now. The DCCC has about $40 million. Instead of the DNC and DSCC spending $60,000,000 on Senate races, take $30 million of that and dump it into House races and we've just picked up dozens of seats and forced Republicans to spend money where they never thought they'd have to before.

If we only have 220 seats in the House after this election, it will be hard to hold onto our majority two years from now, especially since TX-22, AZ-08, FL-16, PA-10, and many other GOP-leaning seats with Democratic congressman will be easy targets with better
candidates and without the extraordinary circumstances over the last two years. We need to have at least 230 seats coming into 2008 if we are to hold our majority.

And the Senate picture will look much better for us in 2008. 21 Republican seats will be up that year, with about five GOP Senators looking to retire. Many of the GOP Senators are vulnerable one-termers who are not extremely popular in their states, and if Democrats challenge every seat, they could pick up almost a dozen. The Democratic side looks great, with only 12 Dem seats up, and with no retirements looking likely. Beyond that, only two incumbent Dems look at all vulnerable that year, and even they look in a strong position to win reelection.

So in 2008, Dems could net 10 seats in the US Senate. If we pick up three or four seats this year, as we look likely to do, even without major funding, we would have nearly 60 seats in the Senate after 2008. And if we pick up the Presidency too that year, Dems will have strong majorities in both Houses of Congress and control of the White House, enabling us to enact a progressive agenda.

So why waste money on the Senate this year when we really could only have 51 seats in a best-case scenario and when it will add nothing to our agenda? That money is better spent building a durable House majority for years to come.

So come on, Chuck Schumer, cough up the loads you're raking in for Senate races and dump millions into our effort to take back the House. We'll see the fruits of this strategy when we get universal health care enacted in 2010.


Anonymous said...

wow, that's really true.