By Arnold Kling
I predict that Republicans will regain control of at least one branch of the federal government at some point between now and January 20, 2017 (two inaugurations from now). So Arnold, how about a $100 bet at even odds?
Done. There are effectively 10 elections over that period–two Presidential elections and four Senate/House elections. The Dems have to retain 50+ in the Senate, 218+ in the House, and the Presidency through all 10 elections for me to win.
Why I think I will win:1. The larger Hispanic population poses a challenge for Republicans.
2. For the next few years, the Federal government will dominate the economy as never before. Corporate leaders will come to realize that it is a business necessity to support Democrats financially and to co-operate with them in terms of public relations (for example, the health care trade groups promising to help President Obama with health care costs).
3. As I recall, the Senate elections in 2010 will have more vulnerable Republican seats, so that the Republicans should be deeper in the hole for 2012 and 2014.
4. The census in 2010 is likely to show much bigger population increases in urban areas. Although the fastest-growing states are Red states, the shift within those Red states is probably toward more urban, Democratic populations. That will hurt Republican chances of gaining in the House. Also, note that the White House has taken control over the census.
5. The Republican Party leaders are not exactly impressive.
6. The divisions within the Republican Party seem difficult to overcome. Both economic libertarians and social conservatives fear being betrayed. Yet all sorts of people are telling the Republicans that in order to broaden their appeal they have to be either less socially conservative, less economically libertarian, or both.
7. Young voters are neither socially conservative nor economically libertarian. Look at how badly the Republicans did in 2008 with voters born after 1980. Over the next several elections, the proportion of the electorate born after 1980 is going to increase.
I think Bryan’s best chance is with the Presidency. It’s possible for one individual to use charisma to overcome generic party disadvantages In 1952, Eisenhower was able to win–otherwise, the Republicans lost every election from 1932 through 1964. The other thing that can happen with the Presidency is that things can go so badly that the incumbent has no chance (Hoover in 1932, Johnson in 1968, Carter in 1980).