2012 Leg Race Preview

The latest analysis of special elections around the country shows an emerging pattern of wins that look very favorable to Dems.

The key point of the latest analysis:

Since March 1st, Democratic candidates have overperformed in almost every similar special election compared to the Democrats who ran in the same districts in 2010.

Across the nation, legislative races saw a 10-15% increase in democratic votes.  Of course, taken individually these races wouldn’t tell us much about how the election cycle is shaping up, but taken as a whole they portend likely wins for legislative democrats across the nation.

What would this mean for the Montana Legislature?

Based on last years vote numbers from the Secretary of State’s website, this would translate into enough of an increase in democratic vote performance to to flip enough house seats to give the deems a solid majority in the mid fifties.

That’s not counting the conventional wisdom that says that all else being equal, a lower-profile election will produce a more Republican electorate. That’s likely why we saw such an effort on voter suppression bills in Montana this past session, and around the U.S.

But 2012 is a presidential year (like 2008) and should see better Democratic performance than a midterm like 2010, which in turn should see better Democratic performance than an odd-year special election (like the 2011 votes analyzed above).  Not to mention the fact that field expertise is the strong suit of Tester’s campaign leadership.

Based on these numbers, we’ll likely see some strong candidates from the Democrats step up to run, folks that have been considering a run in the back of their minds who realize that this is their year.

Posted: May 24, 2011 at 7:21 am

11 thoughts on “2012 Leg Race Preview

  1. Dan

    The memory of Montana’s worst legislative session in state history will no doubt also figure heavily on the 2012 state legislative races across Montana. If you have any doubt, try this experiment. Sit down at the counter at your local cafe and bring up one of the bills the GOP sponsored, such as the gold standard or the Montana militia, and see what the reaction is from your fellow diners. Priceless.

  2. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Heck, this dude should be a Montanan! (or a Boy Scout! Always prepared you know.)

    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2011/05/24-0

    He’s at least as goofy as pregtested man! But seriously, compassionate conservatism is on full display around the country. Why even eric cantor wants to send no help to the tornado victimes unTIL we can cut somewhere else! Might I suggest our wars, or maybe the defense/CIA budget, or maybe drain just a wee bit from “rebuilding” Iran and Afghanistan?

    The sooner folks realize that we’ve been taken over by sociopathic criminals, the better.

  3. Publius II

    Eric Kantor, ‘King of Konservative Kompassion’? No problem throwing trillions to endless wars and how about the stunning Democratic victory in HD26 NY!!

  4. Steve Kasun

    Debt ceiling, Tea Party, Credit Rating
    The last few weeks the tea party has shown its true colors with their uncompromising ideology concerning a balanced federal budget almost igniting a complete governmental meltdown. This political coalition could not be pressured by the party leaders resulting in the circus we witnessed the last couple of weeks over the raising of the federal debt limit. Their unwillingness to compromise and not allow “business as usual” in Washington D.C. has some politicians calling them “blackmailers” and “terrorists”.
    Does anyone really truly believe that we can or will ever pay off the 4 trillion dollars that we currently owe let alone the new trillions just authorized? We currently borrow $1.00 for every $3.00 that we spend or 33%.The new debt limit will allow us to borrow $1.00 for every $2.00 that we spend 50%. It was just announced that a credit rating agency has lowered our credit rating from (AAA) down to (AA+) for the first time in our countries history because we want to BORROW more and more and more money.
    The tea party campaigned on slowing government spending and growth. What do you think the chances of them getting reelected are if they continue to live up to their campaign positions and can’t be pressured or bought off by party leaders or special interest groups?

    Steve Kasun

  5. MTCowboy

    I’d guess the D’s pick up about 12-15 seats in the House. It really doesn’t matter how many more Missoula Dems show up at the polls – all the D’s can possibly gain there is one seat as they already hold 9 of 10. The D’s could take back the 2 seats in Helena they lost last time. Maybe a couple in Billings. One in Butte. Maybe 3 of the reservation seats. Might even get 1 or 2 in the Flathead :)But I just don’t see the D’s picking up 20+ seats in the House to get a majority “in the mid fifties”. The only place that will happen is in your dreams.

    Have to love term limits. 35+ newbies in 09, 40+ in 11 and looking like 35+ in 13. Without any guidance from the “old timers”, I think we can expect more “bat crap crazy” sessions.

  6. Farmboy

    I really think that the Democrats need to look East if they want to re gain the Montana House, couple of targets Im thinking of are Matt Rosendale of Glendive, Austin Knutnson of Culbertson, Wayne Stahl will be leaving his seat on the high line, possibly even Bill Harris from Moseby, atleast ought to see some competition this time around, I would hope. Also we need to retain the Miles City seat of Bill McChesney, and of course re gain the reservation seats. I also see the possiblity for gains in the Havre area, aka Wendy Warburton, ought to be a target, and so should Krisin Hansen. Also there is an open State Senate seat in the Glendive, Sidney areas be vacated by Walter McNutt, now there is a real target right there, and if you can pull off a win in oil rich Richland County you would send a message to the GOP.

    1. MTCowboy

      I would mostly agree that the seats you mention are vulnerable. However, even if the D’s were to win allof them, the R’s would still have the majority. The D’s need to retain all 32 seats (5 termed out so new faces there that need to win) plus win the seats of the 3-4 D’s that will make a run for the Senate or just not run. On top of that, they need to pick up 19 seats currently held by R’s to gain the majority. I just don’t see that happening.

      1. Farmboy

        In politics anything can happen, frankly if you would have asked me or anybody else 10 years ago who Barak Obama is unless you either lived in Illinois, downtown Chicago, or in Hawaii you did not know this man, and today he is our President. Right now if I were to go down on Mainstreet of my hometown here in Eastern Montana, I dont think 3 out of 4 people could name the top Republican Presidental condenters for 2012. Also another thing Montana people are very independent minded, and are notorious ticket spliters, they may vote Republican for President, then Democrat for Governor, then Democrat for US Senator, then Republican for US House, then Independent for County Commissioner. To most of us it is not the party that gets you elected, its who the person is and the persons name. So henceforth I believe that if the Democrats get a good crop of candidates, they could win this baby.

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