Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Projections & Predictions: Congressional Elections 2010!

Hello out there! It's me again! Wow--what a fantastic job you all did in your comments and responses about the Bill Clinton video, as well as to one another. I'm very excited to see where our 'blogosphere conversations' can go throughout the rest of the semester; I may jump in now and then myself to clear something up or pose another question based on someone's comment (don't worry: this won't add to the number of posts you each have to make!).

If I can make one request: I love the back-and-forth discussion that went on, and in 99.9% of the comments I didn't sense anything more than honest and respectful disagreement about the issues, but I thought it was important for me to be perfectly clear when I ask that we don't attack one another and don't get too personal in our comments. I love that you all are so willing and eager to express yourselves and that you do so in such a thoughtful and articulate way, but I will hold you responsible for anything you post that is inappropriate or purposely hurtful to one of your classmates.

OK, now that we've got that out of the way, this next post is all about the midterm Congressional elections that are coming up about 12 months and 3 weeks from now! I handed out 2 readings in class, and if you click the above link it will take you to another column, this one written by University of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato (if that name sounds familiar, it's because he's one of the authors of our AP Government textbook!). Here are another couple of links that you might want to take a look at:


http://www.cookpolitical.com/ (this is the "Cook Political Report" that is mentioned in one of the readings I handed out in class--you'll need to surf around a little bit to get the actual information about specific races from state-to-state for next year)

Based on ALL of this information, here's what I'd like your thoughts on:

Why do you think it's so common--almost expected--that the party in power will lose Congressional seats in the first 'off-year' election of a President's term?

What is your reaction to the various authors' predictions about Republican prospects next November? What about the Democrats' response to these predictions? What seem to be the most credible reasons each side gives for their position?

Even though you may only now be getting familiar with these issues and with how Congressional elections work, if you had to make a prediction yourself right now, what do you think will happen in the 2010 elections? Right now the House is 255-178 for the Dems, and the Senate is 60-40 for the Dems; what do you think those numbers will look like on November 3rd, 2010?

I look forward to your comments (deadline is next Friday, 10/30)--if possible, try and remember to post as a comment to THIS post, rather than starting a new post of your own.

Thanks, Silvy :)