Unfortunately the Dems' only bad year in the last four cycles was 2010, and serious gerrymandering work has raised the US House bar really, REALLY high.
But my perspective is local. Serious number crunching late this week. Obama's percentage was down about two points from 2008, but Dave Loebsack held firm. Sally Stutsman takes a 60-40 win in the open House 77 seat - now we have an open supervisior seat coming up.
But Dick Schwab didn't get as big a Johnson County margin as he needed, and fell short in House 73. (A lot of local Dems are VERY mad at some locals who backed Schwab's primary challenger, never really got on board, and publicly trashed Schwab as recently as last month.)
Congrats to the No forces on the justice center. Though I supported it, I share many of their concerns. Not about size - we need to think long term - but about local and national law enforcement issues and bad laws. Three things need to happen locally for the justice center to pass on a future attempt, in order of importance.
1) Fire Iowa City police chief Sam Hargadine, if he doesn't skip town to a new job first. But firing would be a better message. He has no sensitivity to the concerns about minority arrest rates that the No forces legitimately raised, and the ICPD was the No side's best ally.
2) Fire Campus Security chief Chuck Green. The University's zero-tolerance crackdown fuels the myth that the jail is full of students. And related:
3) Repeal 21 bar. An 18 year old is an adult. These things will show that the community is serious about addressing progressive concerns. Do the City and the University want to be part of the solution, or do they want to be selfish about their own flawed interests?
I shed no tears for Leonard Boswell. Bye-bye, Blue Dog. I only wish he had lost in a primary rather than to a Republican. The chronically underperforming Boswell's stubborn refusal to step aside at an appropriate time just cost Iowa Democrats a congressional seat that a stronger candidate - say, Christie Vilsack? - could have held. (Vilsack, in a far worse district, won a higher percentage of the vote than Boswell. And the Vilsacks had moved to Des Moines when Tom left office) Notice that our two progressive Democrats won by bigger than expected margins. Proud to be a Loebsacker since 2005. Watch for a VERY hot Democratic primary in the 3rd CD in 2014 and may the best woman win.
Remember when Shawn Hamerlinck told students lobbying him on a bill to "go home"? Well, the voters just told Hamerlinck to go home.
And suck it, Vander Plaats: Wiggins survives and the Iowa Senate holds at at least 26-23 and possibly 27-22. The Senate 28 race is very close with Decorah Dem John Beard down just 37 votes. Provisional ballots and late-arriving absentees should favor a Democrat in a district with a college campus, and I expect this to be the recount of the year.
There's also the Dec. 11 special election in Senate 22 to replace the late Pat Ward. More on that after recuperation.
And if a re-elected Wiggins and a re-elected Democratic Senate isn't enough for BVP's nightmares, I have three words from the northeast: Senator. Tammy. Baldwin.