Online registration for this event is closed. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted. Please note that video of this event will be livestreamed online at http://www.american.com/watch/aei-livestream
For an in-depth analysis of Tuesday's election results, join AEI's Election Watch team at a luncheon on November 4. Karlyn Bowman, Michael Barone,
Download Audio as MP3 John C. Fortier, Henry Olsen, and Norman J. Ornstein will examine the exit-poll results, review important campaigns, preview the new Congress, and look at the future of the Republican, Democratic, and tea parties. Panelists will consider the following topics: Who won and why? What were the campaigns' political missteps and masterstrokes? Who will chair major committees and what will it mean for legislation, oversight, and the 2012 elections? What comparisons can be made between the Republican House takeover, the Democratic Senate retention, the Republican governor gains, and the strong Republican performance in the state legislatures?
WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 5, 2010--In the final session of the 2010 Election Watch series, Karlyn Bowman began by discussing the demographics of the electorate. Three groups that have a near-perfect record in predicting elections once again proved to be good bellwethers--independents, white Catholics, and voters with some college education sided with Republicans in this election. John C. Fortier discussed the House races, noting that the Republican wave washed over Republican and swing districts, but it stopped short in mildly Democratic districts. A more ideological electoral map has now emerged, one with fewer Democrats representing Republican-leaning districts. Henry Olsen then discussed the white working class. He pointed out that the white working class constituted the second source of the Republican electoral wave, the first source being the Republican-leaning districts that voted out Democrats. Michael Barone discussed the major pickups that Republicans made in state legislatures, far more than were expected, which gives them major advantages in redistricting. Barone cautioned, however, that the redistricting party cannot count on redrawn electoral lines for guaranteed success in the future. Norman J. Ornstein discussed how the election results would affect governing in Congress, focusing on a possible tug of war among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, early shutdowns of government over continuing budget resolutions and the debt limit, and potential cooperation on the issue of infrastructure.
- "What is significant about this election is that Republicans did better with women than in any other House contest since 1980. Despite the fact that there may be some losses for women in Congress overall, women win just as often as men at every level of our politics."
--Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow, AEI
- "The map for Democrats before the election a couple of nights ago was that they were holding some pretty substantial Republican territory. . . . With the election, the number [of Republican districts Democrats hold] has gone down dramatically. You go from eighty-five districts that Democrats hold that Bush had won to only twenty-six districts."
--John C. Fortier, Research Fellow, AEI
- "Is this [Republican wave] unique? It seems unique in one sense because of the size of the wave, but this is in fact the fifth time since the Great Depression that we've seen a massive Republican gain, and in each time it's been founded in a large shift in the white working class, often times . . . among the northern white working class."
--Henry Olsen, Director, AEI's National Research Initiative
- "I should add that redistricting doesn't guarantee an enduring advantage. Earlier in the decade, we heard that the redistricting that was done in 2001 or 2002 . . . locks in the redistricting party for the remainder of the decade. Those predictions have not survived the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections."
--Michael Barone, Resident Fellow, AEI
- "Americans are not ideological, they are pragmatic. When government doesn't work, throw out the bums who want a bigger government. When the private sector isn't working, let the government step in to help us out. And right now, they want to get the economy moving, and they'll be happy to accept a government package that works."
--Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, AEI
Michael Barone, a political analyst and journalist and a resident fellow at AEI, studies politics, American government, and campaigns and elections. The principal coauthor of the annual Almanac of American Politics (National Journal Group), he has written many books on American politics and history. Mr. Barone is also a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.
Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI. She compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, the environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics resulting from key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
John C. Fortier is a research fellow at AEI. He studies American politics, the presidency, continuity of government, elections, the electoral college, election reform, and presidential succession and disability. He is the senior counselor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project, executive director of the Continuity of Government Commission, and a fortnightly columnist for Politico. Mr. Fortier's books include Absentee and Early Voting: Trends, Promises, and Perils (AEI Press, 2006); After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College (AEI Press, 2004, 3rd ed.); and Second-Term Blues: How George W. Bush Has Governed (Brookings Institution Press, 2007). He is also a frequent radio and television commentator on the presidency, Congress, and elections.
Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.
Norman J. Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News. He also serves as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold, which reformed the campaign-financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press, 2006, with Thomas E. Mann); and, most recently, Vital Statistics on Congress, 2008 (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, with Mr. Mann and Michael Malbin).