That’s distinct from a landslide.
A landslide happens when one party wins
the endorsement of the people and the other side does not.
A tsunami happens when both sides have
lost the trust of the people.
Tsunamis are marked by spectacular
upsets, results that are completely unexpected. The House Speaker
isn’t re-elected, for instance.
A tsunami is also bipartisan. In the 1994 election, Democrats
actually took four seats from the Republicans – too bad they lost
How can you tell a tsunami election
from a very long way away? Easy. You look at party primaries.
Over the last few months an
unprecedented number of incumbents have lost party primaries. Joe
Lieberman is the best known. But on that very same day, Democrat
Cynthia McKinney was beaten in a Georgia primary run-off.
And Michigan Republican Joe Schwartz was knocked out by the
more-conservative Tim Walberg.
More upsets may be on the way. Al Wynn
faces a tough primary in Maryland. Lincoln Chaffee may lose
his Rhode Island Senate seat. Daniel Akaka faces a tough primary in
What’s going on? How does this prove a
tsunami is in store?
What’s going on is that members of both
parties are demanding their candidates be more true to party
principles. To Republicans, this means the principles of Ronald
Reagan. For Democrats, this means not selling out to corporate
It’s happening everywhere. In South
and North Carolina,
self-styled “Reagan Republicans” are going after what they call
RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. In Wyoming, incumbent Rep. Barbara
Cubin barely survived a primary challenge. In Alabama, a
majority-black district selected a white lesbian as its state
The enormous advantages of incumbency
seem to have almost disappeared. Despite all the money, despite all
the gerrymandering, incumbents across the country are more endangered
than at any time in ages.
That’s a tsunami. (Ten points to whoever can identify this old weasel.)
A tsunami says, “throw the rascals
out.” It’s against the government, it’s against the media, it’s against the pundits and the pollsters, it’s
against anyone having anything to do with the way things are.
So ignore the polls, please. Polls don’t tell you who is going to
vote. And I think more people than ever before are lying to
pollsters. I think more people are hiding from pollsters on cell
phones. Folks are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.
Democrats will gain an advantage
on-balance, but Democratic incumbents should watch their backs. Hillary Clinton may even be up past 10.
And somewhere a Democrat given absolutely no chance, perhaps being out-spent 10-1, whose opponent is right now off in other districts campaigning for other candidates, is going to wake up a Congresscritter.
Proving once again it’s the people’s House.