Why the House Will Stay Republican

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 27 2012 9:55 AM

Why the House Will Stay Republican

My new piece will hopefully snuff out some of that irksome hope and glee emanating from Democrats by pointing out how much harder it'll be to win the House. This is a topic that can spin off into a million directions, and Democrats will say that they've baked the new Republican advantages into their own projections. But I wanted to point out how, if Barack Obama won exactly the same margins he did in 2008, he would be unable to bring along a Democratic House. I focus for a time on Ohio's first congressional district, which used to be swing territory.

In 2008, Obama won this by 31,128 votes and swept Steve Chabot out of office. In 2010, Chabot won a comeback bid by 11,098 votes. The overall Chabot vote slipped from to 140,469 in 2008 to 103,770 in 2010. But he’s safe now... The old district forced Chabot to compete in Cincinnati while winning Republicans in neighboring Butler County. But the new district excises Cincinnati—that’s the jagged hole—and brings in a chunk of Republican heaven, Warren County. It’s one of 11 districts that favor Republicans, and nine of them strongly favor Republicans. Obama may win the state with 51 percent of the vote while Democrats win 31 percent of the House seats.


Democrats will point out that their weakness in gerrymandered states will be overcome by wins in new California, Texas, and Illinois seats. And to an extent, they will! But it's very tough to see how they get to +25. Their best hope for taking back control later this decade is that the districts shift their demographics. In a quote I didn't use, Republican pollster John McHenry weighed that possibility

"It's hard to predict out a full decade," he said. "If the economy stays sort of stagnant, if we see further drops in immigration, will we have fewer Hispanic voters in the long term? We don't know where population growth will be. It seems like some breaks have been put on the growth of last decade. Georgia was growing really aggressively in the first part of the decade, but it slowed. People are going to keep moving to the sun unbelt and new South, but at some point even the iPhones sales don't double every year."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?