Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Mid-term Interest
As we go into the US mid-terms today, more thoughts on why the Republicans may not lose the Senate from Business Day op-ed writer Kenichi Serino, a journalism MA at Wits. Serino explains:
"Democrats talk, Republicans vote. Some statisticians theorise that in any given election, this discrepancy results in a 5%-7% spread that favours Republicans.

At the same time, the senate strongly favours conservative candidates. This is because each state receives two senators regardless of population. Sparsely populated conservative states such as Arkansas or Oklahoma receive the same number as densely populated liberal states such as New York or California. Mathematically, there are simply more conservative states, resulting in a Republican senate majority. The lower house, by contrast, is elected by proportionality. This means that densely populated areas, which tend to be more liberal, have more influence. It also means that more local issues can take precedent. This brings us back to Ohio. Though still nominally conservative, the corruption raindrops which began to fall in 2004 have turned into a deluge. The implicated read like a who’s who of state Republican politics. As a reaction to this, many independent voters are rejecting their local candidates."

Look for the Democrats to win the House, but the Senate may well remain with the Republicans. It all depends on the US bellweather - the Independents. Is there enough anger about Iraq to drive them to the Democrats and belie recent voting patterns? We will know by tomorrow morning. Even if the Senate is retained, losing the House may well doom Bush to the traditional end-of-term lame duck presidency.