The Democrats’ Long, Steady Slide In The Senate

Now, this is a cheery little graphic — well, if you’re a Republican. If you’re a Democrat, it’s pretty scary:

A few quick thoughts inspired by this graph…

#1) The Democratic decline in the Senate is not a fluke. It has been a long, slow, steady slide that started during the Vietnam years, was masked for a short period in the post-Watergate years, and has sped up since the early nineties. So this is not a “band-aid” problem for the Dems, it’s serious business.

#2) Also, notice that although there are peaks and valleys, the height of the peaks is getting progressively lower. Furthermore, now that the Dems have almost completely lost the South, they may not even have the capacity to get more than a seat or two above 50 for the foreseeable future.

#3) How low will the Dems go? Well, given the polarization of the country, that Bush took 31 states in 2004 and Kerry took 19, and the political die-off of “conservative” Southern Dems at the national level, it’s entirely possible we could see the GOP reach the magical “60 number” sometime between 2008-2016, unless something changes. Of course, it goes without saying that’s speculative….

#4) Here’s a scary thought for Dems: the two biggest troughs on this graph occurred when Democrats took over the White House. If Hillary Clinton were to take the White House in 2008, that could be the very event that would help the GOP to finally go over the 60 seat mark.

Hat tip to DANEgerus Weblog for the graph.

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