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A friend who watches politics for a trade association makes an apt observation: Voters don’t always behave the way the experts expect them to.
 
Republicans are still celebrating their 2010 victory in North Carolina. They’re certain their redistricting schemes will give them a lock on the state for the decade – or maybe the rest of the century.
 
Tweet! That’s a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration!
 
My friend notes that the GOP won its big majorities in districts drawn by Democrats. And a reversal could happen again – in 2012 or 2014.
 
Two reasons. First, North Carolina is a dynamic state. It’s growing fast, and population patterns are changing fast. Most important is the transition from a rural to urban state.
 
Second, politics is inherently unstable and unpredictable.
 
Winners always assume the last election means that the voters finally have come around to their way of thinking – and will stay there forever, head over heels in love with the incumbents.
 
No. Instead, the politicians in power inevitably do something that makes voters mad. That’s what happened to Republicans in 2008 and to Democrats in 2010.
 
My guess – and it’s only that – is that the 2010 Republican wave will roll on into 2012. Republicans may win the White House, the U.S. Senate and the governor’s office.
 
They’ll truly be convinced then that the Millennium has arrived. They will stand like giants astride the political universe, hurling thunderbolts and indulging their every whim.
 
For two years.
 
It’s the law of political karma: Every victory sows the seeds of its own defeat.

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