As most of you know, I am a student at the University of Florida in Political science. As one who had to be graded often, I find that clear expectations are the key to a good grade. With this in mind, I decide to write my grade rubric for Democrats for November in state Government. According to Wikipedia, “A scoring rubric is an attempt to communicate expectations of quality around a task”. While analysis will follow afterwards, these are how I will set up my expectations.
Here is how I will grade Democratic performance:
A+ Governor and Attorney General win, no loss in the house, no loss in the Senate.
A Governor and Attorney General win, lose one seat in the house, no loss in the Senate
A – Governor and Attorney General win, lose two seats, no loss in the Senate
B+ Governor wins and AG lose, drop two seats lose, do not lose any seats in the Senate
B Governor wins and AG lose, drop three seats in House, no loss in Senate
B – Governor wins and AG lose, drop four house seats, no loss in Senate
C+ Governor loses, but Attorney General wins, lose two house seats, no loss in Senate
C All cabinet loses, lose three house seats, do not lose any seats in the Senate
C- Lose four house seats, do not lose any seats in the Senate
D+ Lose two house seats, lose Senate seat
D Lose three house seats, lose Senate seat
D- Lose four house seats, lose Senate seat.
F Governor Scott returns with a full Republican cabinet and a veto-proof majority in the house and senate.
As we have talked many times, incumbent protection is the theme for this November. While with better candidate recruitment it may have been possible to pick up a seat or two, the likelihood of adding to 45 is very slim at this point. The best possible scenario is that no net loss – while Clelland and Zimmerman look to be in serious trouble and a few others on the brink, we were lenient in grading on gains in the house. In 2016, expectations will be higher for a few seat pick-ups, with the hope that the Democrats can break 50. With the Senate seats still in question with the LWV lawsuit, it will be interesting to see if the Senate districts get redrawn.
While we at the Squeeze are frequent critics of the party, hopefully this will clear up how I will be evaluating party performance after November elections. And everybody please remember to vote – you can bump up the party’s grade.