Cementing the Wisconsin GOP Revolution
This has tended to get lost in the hyper-focus on the presidential race, but Republican control of the House of representatives is a near certainty, and Wisconsin's two Republican freshman -- Reid Ribble and Sean Duffy -- are favored to hold their seats. Both of them won seats that were won by Democrats in the Obama wave of 2008 and should have been hyper-vulnerable in what was supposed to be the second Obama wave in 2012.
Redistricting that favored the GOP obviously helped, but Duffy's case is especially interesting: he holds the seat held since time immemorial by Democrat lion David Obey and yet is favored to hold it Tuesday. (The analysis below gives him a 63.33% chance of winning. Ribble's seat is not considered to be in play.) The same seems to be true of the races for the state legislature, where Republicans seem likely to retain control of both houses. (Christian Schneider opined on the irony of the post-turmoil status quo in a column a few weeks ago.)
This suggests that whatever happens at the presidential level, the 2012 election could essentially cement in place Wisconsin's GOP surge of 2010.
There isn’t going to be much net movement, but as I said in October, there’s a real possibility the GOP could actually pick up a few seats here. My 2010 model predicts a GOP pickup of 3 seats. The model revised for a non-wave 2012 election predicts a Dem pickup of one seat. Because of the ambiguity I noted above, I’m splitting the difference and predicting a net GOP pick up of one, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual result came in between GOP +4 and Dem +2.
The Fix now projects that the 2012 race for the House is likely to be close to a draw, and there is even a fair chance that Republicans will add to their biggest majority in six decades on Tuesday.
The Post analysis lists both Ribble and Duffy as "lean Republican."