A lot of talk in the past two national election cycles is the theme that as the Republican party has lost congress, the White House and the majority of governorships is that they are no longer a national party.
The big theme is that the Republican party is not only too conservative, but a party that has little if any representation outside the South.
As Jim Geraghty points out over at The Campaign Spot, that is not true at all.
The real problem, and it can not be understated, is that the Republican party is having a great deal of trouble in the Northeast and New England. The Republican party has only three of 29 congressional seats from New York state. None from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Those states other than New York represent 22 congressional seats. That is not chump change. But, it means that the Democrats have that region to thank in large part for its congressional majority.
What does that mean? Is it the fault of the Republican National Committee? The National Republican Congressional Committee? The National Republican Senate Committee? Each state GOP?
The fault is all of the above.
Without a strong state GOP, there is no incentive for candidates to run for any office and thus it gives ground to the Democrats by default.
Take the New York state congressional special election just concluded in the 20th district.
The New York state GOP encouraged and backed a state machine pol, Jim Tedisco. He looked like someone from central casting for The Sopranos. And, unlike a member of that motley crew, Mr. Tedisco did not have enough of a grasp on the issue of the so-called economic "stimulus" that he seemed to be for it before he was against it. The voters of the district saw a weasel and in the end either stayed home or maybe even voted for the winner, Democrat Scott Murphy.
A bright side aside.
The fact is that the previous winner, now Sen. Kristen Gillenbrand won the seat handily in 2008, a 62-38 blowout. The fact that a weak GOP candidate as Mr. Tedisco was able to knock 12 percent off and make it a 50-50 tie should be a sign of hope for the beleaguered New York state GOP.
While the Northeast and New England are almost alien territory for the GOP, the rest of the United States is rather competitive.
Look at this from Mr. Geraghty's post:
The South amounts to 44 percent of the Republican House delegation, which means 56 percent has to come from somewhere else.
Now, that is a lot, but nowhere near a rump party that the Dinosaur, Drive-By, Mainstream, Obama-Worshiping Media wants people to believe.
And, another statistic from Mr. Geraghty's post:
Even in their shrunken minority, Republicans hold 19 House seats in California, eight in Ohio, seven in Michigan, seven in Illinois, seven in Pennsylvania, five in New Jersey, five in Missouri, three in Minnesota, three in New York, three in Washington state, and the one seat in Delaware.
And it works in the reverse, too — Democrats actually represent more House seats in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia and North Carolina than Republicans. Neither party is as regional as conventional wisdom suggests.
So, as the Republicans used to have trouble winning in the solid South a mere quarter of a century ago, it is now the reverse. And, the Republicans are having trouble winning in the Northeast and New England.
Keep this in mind.
If the Republicans can gain say six seats in New York state, two in Connecticut, two in Massachusetts and split New Hampshire's two seats, that will give the Republicans roughly a quarter of the seats that are no longer in their corner in the House. And, if the Republicans hold their own in the rest of the United States, no gains or losses, they will have 189 seats in the House. And, if there is not a precipitous gain in the economy by November 2010, the chances are those numbers may be higher. And not just in the Northeast and New England but across the United States.
Keep this in mind when those who diss the GOP, as many do, that this is a party that is representative of the United States. And, they will rise again in the Northeast and New England.