Most likely you remember the Karl Rove interview on NPR where he talked about "the math" going into the 2006 election (and my dissection of his craptastic inability to bluff). I may not be a "boy genius," but I can do a little math as well.
And the WaPo poses an interesting problem, that is well worth some thought. According to them, the Democrats took eight seats that are absolutely guaranteed to be targets for the GOP in the next election cycle: DeLay's district in TX, Foley's former district in FL, Ney's former district in OH, Sherwood's former district in PA, and then four other seats that the WaPo identifies as "two in Indiana, one in Kansas and one in North Carolina." Beyond that, the WaPo article says this:
But even if Republicans were to take back these seats, they would have to win about six others to take the House in 2008 — and those six are not so clear. The Democrats will have roughly a 14-seat advantage in the House.
On the Senate side, the GOP faces more trouble. The Republicans need at least one seat — and maybe two, depending on who wins the presidential race — to take back the upper chamber. But while 12 Democrats are up for reelection in 2008, 22 Republicans are.
Only a few Democrats and Republicans, however, are considered vulnerable. Still, Republicans could be buffeted by a string of retirements that would make the field more competitive. As of now, the two most vulnerable Democratic senators appear to be Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), while the most vulnerable Republicans are Wayne Allard (Colo.), Norm Coleman (Minn.) and John E. Sununu (N.H.).
Now, I'm not exactly Albert Einstein or anything when it comes to complex mathematics, but it seems to me that "the math" says that the GOP is in a world of hurt when it comes to taking back either chamber of Congress.
But it's never a given on anything in politics — if we have learned nothing from this past election, let's take away that lesson, shall we? So, let's talk shop. It is never too early to start planning and, frankly, I would like to identify some folks who need to go, and start looking for the folks who ought to be running against them.
Think about it for a moment: if you had told Joe Sestak four or five years ago that he would take out Curt Weldon, he probably would have laughed in your face. Let alone Jon Tester or Jim Webb or Jerry McNerney or…well, let's just sit back for a moment and think about what happened in the last election cycle. And then let's start the process of thinking about who is next.
Because when I do "the math," I'd like it to add up to better people doing their job for all of America. That my version of "the math" could give Karl more heartburn? Well, that's just a side benefit, isn't it?
(For more on the linkage between finite differences and calculus — and where I got the above image — click here.)