Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Welcome to Gridlock

My predictions were fairly accurate. I said +7 in the Senate and +61 in the House. So far it's +5 in the Senate, with Colorado, Washington and Alaska left. Alaska will be a Republican or Independent who caucuses with Republicans. If the other two split evenly, there's your +7. In the House, RealClearPolitics has it +61 with 423 races called. However, here's the bad news for the Democrats: in the remaining 12 races, every one is currently held by a Democrat. So if they split evenly, expect a final pickup of 67 seats in the House. Wow.

But the exact numbers don't really matter at this point. We know that the House will be GOP-controlled, the Senate Democrat-controlled, and of course the White House run by a Democrat. So unless the President tacks sharply to the middle, we can expect gridlock city. The GOP should try to pass useful bills, but will probably serve more of a pressure-generating role: they will need to put some ideas on the table that have not had an airing over the past two years. Ideally, some of these ideas might get passed. But if not, the second-best thing is to win the battle of ideas so that after 2012 conservatism can make some legislative progress.

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