The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza says 49 is the most important number in politics today (one of his recurring features). That’s the number of Democrats representing congressional districts carried by John McCain, a subject I’ve discussed many times and bring up again in the fortchoming September issue of the print magazine.There are some districts that will be very difficult for the Democrats to hang onto in 2010, a fight that will made tougher by votes on the stimulus, cap and trade, and health care.
Writes Cillizza: “The problem for Pelosi in this debate is that her caucus is almost too big. Democrats picked up more than 50 seats in the past two elections, many of them in places like Idaho where Obama took just 36 percent; a vote for the president’s agenda, particularly on an issue as divided along partisan lines as health care, could be enough to convince their constituents that they are more loyal to the national party than to their own state.”
After the 2006 and 2008 elections, there was a lot of focus on the congressional seats once held by moderate to liberal Republicans, especially in the Northeast, that are now held by liberal Democrats. That’s a real trend, and it isn’t going away anytime soon, just like the Southern districts that went from electing conservative Democrats to voting for conservative Republicans. But there are also a lot of districts that were real reaches for the Democrats and their trend away from the GOP is likely to prove temporary.
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