Today, in his statement on the fiscal cliff and tax rates, President Obama said that “on Tuesday night we found out that the the majority of Americans agree” with his plan for people “making over $250,000” to pay more in his taxes. Now, to be sure, that was one of the few concrete proposals he did make in the campaign.
If the American people really did agree with him, how come the majority of Americans voted for legislators opposed to this approach?[*] “Republicans“, reports Michael Barone in the Wall Street Journal
. . . won or are leading in 236 of the 435 House seats, down just six from the 2010 midterm. And they achieved this despite losing five seats because of partisan redistricting in Illinois and another five in California thanks to a supposedly nonpartisan redistricting commission that the Democrats successfully gamed.
Today, Democrats only have complete control in two, Colorado and Minnesota, and hold both houses of the legislature in Nevada while a Republican sits in the governor’s chair. Republicans have complete control in six, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, almost complete control in Virginia, holding the governor’s chair, the state House and with a split state Senate.
Since 2009, in those twelve swing (or near-swing) states, Republicans have lost only the governor’s chair in Minnesota. Democrats have lost the governor’s chair in Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, the state Senate in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia (from majority to tie) and Wisconsin, the state House in Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While some state legislatures (e.g. Colorado House, New Hampshire House and both chambers in Minnesota) flipped from Republican to Democrat this year, none that were in Republican hands in 2009 flipped back to the Democrats this year. None.
In an election year that favored the Democrats at the national level, Republicans are not just in a stronger position in the states than they were right after Obama’s victory in 2008, they are also in a stronger position there than Democrats were right after that banner Democratic election. In a D+6 election, Republicans did very well down ballot.
And the only governor’s chair to flip this year was in North Carolina where it flipped from Democrat to Republican.
Hardly a sign of a party in decline.
*UPDATE: Ann Althouse takes issue with Obama’s claim. It’s short and well worth your time.