Democrats might just be getting delusional about their chances in November. In a memo sent to the Washington Post yesterday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee argued that it was, like, virtually impossible for the Republicans to take the House. In their minds, Democrats are guaranteed to win four Republican seats, so the Republicans need to win 43 Democrat seats, not 39, which means they need to “put 70-80 seats in play,” an impossible task. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com is not impressed with their math.
By even a conservative estimate, more than 80 seats are “in play,” whatever that means. Besides, there’s no real basis for that 70-80 claim, it’s just a random number. And Democrats aren’t guaranteed to win any seats—sometimes, in wave elections, a side gets shut out. Silver uses the memo to ring in his new “Penn scale,” named for ex-Clinton strategist Mark Penn, which rates “strategy memos which are vapid, disingenuous, jargony, or just plain fucking wrong.” You know, the kind of thing Penn loves writing. So congrats, DCCC, you got 3.5 out of a possible 5 Penns!