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Carville shares the most underreported story of the 2008 election.


Greenberg, Carville Predict November 4

Carville shares the most underreported story of the 2008 election.

As I prepared to do my own "Gizzi Predicts" feature on what I felt the outcome of races for the House and Senate would be, I decided to get an opinion from folks I don’t normally talk to: pollster Stan Greenberg and political gun-for-hire James Carville, best-known for their role in Bill Clinton’s election as President in 1992.  The duo were the headliners at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Friday morning.  Citing my own article earlier this year speculating on whether the elections of 2008 could be another "sea change" election such as that of 1932, I asked the two veteran Democratic operatives whether they felt their party would sweep the House and Senate they now control (Greenberg and Carville had already made thier case that Barack Obama would win the presidency handily).

"You know, we have elections every four years, someone wins, another loses, and we go on," Carville told me, "But this election is one that is like no other in our lifetime.  It’s a ‘change’ election.  I mean, nothing is going to be the same after.  It’s like pre-Katrina and post-Katrina."

When I pressed the "Ragin’ Cajun" on specific numbers his party would gain in Congress, he replied: "I haven’t looked at all of the races and districts specifically, but six and thirty seems about right."  (He was obviously referring to a gain of six seats in the Senate, which would give Democrats a 57-seat majority, and thirty in the House, giving Democrats an edge of 266 to 169 — the likes of which they have not held since the 1970s.)

Greenberg agreed, saying this would indeed be a "change" election and that, as it was in ’06, gains in the House would come from suburban districts that are historically Republican.  The veteran pollster stopped short of seconding Carville’s prediction of a thirty-seat gain, however, saying that after the Democrats picked up about that many seats in ’06, it was almost "unprecedented" that they would gain the same number in the next election.

"It will be a gain for the Democrats like none seen in most of our lifetimes," he concluded. 

When I asked if 1932 was a fair analogy, Greenberg replied "yes."

"And you know what happened after ’32?" chimed in Carville, turning to me. "Roosevelt was in, then Truman and Democrats had the White House for all but eight of the next thirty-six years.  Those eight were when Eisenhower was President and some would argue he was more a ’60-40 Republican’ than a Republican.  And Democrats held both Houses of Congress for all but four [1946-48, 1952-54] of those years."  He strongly suggested that this election would be that kind of election that was a harbinger of Democratic rule for a generation.

Carville also admonished reporters to watch the elections for state legislatures and reminded us that legislatures in most of the states draw the lines for congressional districts in 2011.  In his words, "That ‘six and thirty’ figures [his predictions for the Senate and House] will be the most overreported story on November 5 and the results in the legislative races will be the most underreported story.  But while those results won’t have an impact on the congressional races in 2010, they will have an impact on congressional races after that and up to 2020."

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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