Aieeee! It’s A Tsunami!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water:
The contours of this landscape-altering election started taking shape more than a year ago. And by the first week of August, my Cook Political Report team and I began forecasting that if the election were held then, the Republicans would lose the House, and that their chances of holding the Senate were deteriorating toward 50-50. Our final predictions were that Democrats would gain 20 to 35 House seats (the final number appears to be about 29), four to six Senate seats (the party won six — and control), and six to eight governorships (the actual pickup was six).
The war in Iraq was the biggest factor in this Democratic wave, probably accounting for 70 percent of the total. The public’s disapproval of Republicans’ handling of a jumble of other issues — ranging from scandals, immigration, and federal spending and deficits, to stem-cell research, the Terri Schiavo case, and Hurricane Katrina — produced the wave’s other 30 percent.
Do we sense a theme building? Perhaps of an aquatic nature? Grab your surfboard and hang ten – it gets really good. Mickey Kaus comments:
Do the math: …[snip] … When the 6-point Democratic popular vote win is measured against the GOP’s 5-point win in 2002 and its 3-point win in 2004, it clearly constituted a wave.
Wow. So in 2002, a humdrum, non-wave election, the GOP won by 5 points. But this year, in a “wave election that rivaled the 1994 tsunami,” the Dems won by 6 points. See? No wave: 5. Wave: 6! Cook has a powerful way of putting things.
We suppose that’s one way of looking at it. Just watch out for the UnderToad.