Making sense of the 2006 elections: a recap of recent post-election analysis

Be sure to read this e-mail Simon just sent out - there's a ton of good stuff in it. (Note: this can also be found in memo form on the NDN website here)


We’ve all had a week to think about it, and there is now little question that 2006 was an historic event. It doesn’t matter if you call it a wave or a thumpin. This election now takes its place alongside the other the game-changing elections in our nation’s recent history: 1994, 1980, 1974, 1964 and even 1932.

I’m very proud that our work here at NDN has helped to put this election in context, and explain through the media the meaning of these important events. You can read some of the many pieces that feature our analysis: on NPR (here and here); at Business Week, La Opinion (here and here), Investor's Business Daily, The New York Times (here and here), The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Week In Review, Newsweek, US News And World Report, Reuters, The Washington Post (here and here), The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times (here and here), The Miami Herald, The St. Petersburg Times, The St Louis Post-Dispatch, The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, The Santa Fe New Mexican, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, and blogs like DailyKos and TPMCafe. Also listen to our commentary on The Al Franken Show on Air America.

Here at NDN we’ve been thinking a lot about how to think about what just happened, as I’m sure you have too. To help make better sense of this historic event, I wanted to send along a compilation of all the four key documents we have put out, trying to contextualize and explain the magnitude of last week’s events.

  • My initial narrative, highlighting a “day of reckoning” and discussing the end of the generation-long conservative ascendancy, along with a second piece on the same theme.

  • Our post-election analysis, highlighting some of and the practical reality that the Republicans are no longer America’s dominant party.

  • An analysis of the importance that the economy played in the victory, and the clear mandate for economic action that follows from this.

  • A memo outlining the strategic importance of our victory, and the republican failure, in the year long battle over immigration.

We also recommend the following essays that you might find helpful - some of the best analysis on the elections from friends in the progressive family.

  • NPI fellow Joe Trippi in the Washington Post talking about an election that kicked "open the door to a new era in American politics."

  • Matt Bai, of the New York Times, in a preview of an essay to come out this Sunday, on the "last election of the 20th century."

  • John Podesta, of the Center for American Progress, gives his view on the impact of the election for the conservative movement.

  • Bruce Reed, head of the DLC, gives his thoughts on the election, and our lame duck president, in his columns over at Slate.

  • Tom Schaller’s post-election analysis from The American Prospect (here and here).

  • Ezra Klein, at The American Prospect, rebutting the notion that last week’s elections were a victory for conservatives.

  • The website immigration2006 to get an even more in depth look at how immigration played in the election.

  • Stan Greenberg's comprehensive post-election polling analysis on "The Meltdown Election."

It was a remarkable election. But as important as it was, it feels like even more important ones lie ahead.