Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Herald-Times, 01-06-1999

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GOP problems not deep

To the editor: In response to the Dec. 29 Herald-Times editorial, I thank the H-T for its concern in helping out the GOP with its "problems." But the problems are not as deep as the H-T thinks.

Nationally, 1998 was a status-quo election. True, the Democrats gained five seats, but five seats out of 435 only amounts to 1 percent of all seats. The gain is only significant when you consider the number of seats held by each party is very close. The GOP still holds 30 governorships, 221 Representatives, and 55 Senators. The 1994 Republican Revolution is still making its mark, as the GOP has yet to lose what it gained that year. Overall, more people voted for Republican congressional candidates in 1998 than for Democratic candidates.

In addition, if this was such a bad year for the GOP, why did John Hostettler, one of the most conservative Congressmen, win re-election with the biggest margin of his three races for the House? Hostettler won by 52 percent, a large margin in the "Bloody Eighth." Plus, Hostettler won Vandeburgh County, which no Republican has done since the 1960s. Yes, that was a big defeat for the GOP.

I laughed out loud when I read the H-T's statement about Clinton winning with a "landslide." Really, winning with less that 50 percent of the vote is a "landslide?" In two elections, Clinton got 42 percent and then 49 percent of the popular vote. Come on, H-T, when the majority of the American people vote against a candidate that candidate cannot claim any sort of mandate.