The GOP surge depended on the consolidation of the Bush vote; districts that had been splitting their ballots—voting for Republican presidents and Democratic congressmen—stopped doing so in 2010. Thus, most Republican gains last year came in areas where the party has been strong for some time. In the 66 districts the GOP won from the Democrats, George W. Bush carried on average 55 percent of the presidential vote in 2004. Even John McCain carried an average of 51 percent of the vote in those same districts in 2008. This suggests that, unlike in 1946, the GOP sweep in 2010 will have staying power, even if President Obama should be reelected. To hold their majority in 2012, House Republicans will basically have to defend their home turf.The Republicans have been known to seize defeat out of the jaws of victory, don't get cocky.
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