Kos provided the following graph of party identification over the past four years. (It’s from the Huffington Post, but he doesn’t provide a link and I’m kind of mad about what they are becoming, so I’m none too interested in looking for it.) It’s remarkable. I was expecting a peak around last November that would fade afterward. This is what happened with the Republicans, if by “dip” you mean “entered an abyss with no end in sight.” The Democrats had a peak in November, but have grown steadily since then.
If you look at the Independents, you can kind of see what has happened. More and more of them are saying, “Let’s get real: I’m never going to vote for the Republican Party the way it is; I’m really a Democrat.” Similarly, a lot of Republicans are saying, “Let’s get real: I’m conservative but it’s embarrassing to associate with the Republican Party.” That pretty much summarizes this chart:
According to Kos, if the Democrats are going to retake the house in 2014, they need to win the popular vote by 7 percentage points. Let’s take a moment to think about that. In order for the United States to be an actual democracy, we first have to win the White House. Republicans are doing everything they can to make this ridiculously undemocratic, but for the time it is only moderately undemocratic because of the Electoral College system. Then, in order to have control the house, we need to have a 7 point advantage. And to control the Senate, we have to have a 20 point advantage. (Actually, it is even worse than that, because the Senate is a highly undemocratic institution and Republicans tend to dominate in low population states like Wyoming.)
That was the bad news. The good news is that if this trend holds, we will be able to retake the House. And if that happens, we ought to hold the Senate as well. And if that happens, maybe we can get get real filibuster reform. And if that happens, we might get some real moderate policies enacted. And let’s face it: I’ve been so disappointed that even that would be a major accomplishment.