Will Loretta Sanchez become more liberal, with half the blue dogs gone?

Last week’s General Election decimated the ranks of the Blue Dogs – fiscally conservative Democrats in the House, who include Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in their number.  Voters booted half of the Blue Dogs.  “Only 23 of its 54 members were re-elected, and it lost two of its leaders, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota and Baron Hill of Indiana,” according to NPR.

The news is even worse for the Democrats in the South.  “Republicans now hold at least 93 of the 131 House seats from the states of the old Confederacy. Less than 20 years ago they did not even hold half,” according to the New York Times.

Does this mean that Sanchez will now be free to be more liberal?  Voters in the 47th Congressional District have long complained that she is too conservative.  Many voters remember that she was a Republican her entire life, before she suddenly became a Democrat and ran against former Congressman Bob Dornan, back in 1996.

Will Sanchez dare to join the Democrats’ Progressive Caucus?  I think her base would like to see that.

In two years she will be in a tough electoral battle again.  Termed out Assemblyman Van Tran is likely to run again in 2012, for her seat.  And today, moderate Republican Quang Pham announced in an email that he is “officially running.”  Pham ran this year, but he pulled out before the Primary, allowing Tran to win.

One issue Sanchez likely won’t have to contend with anymore is immigration.  With the House of Representatives now firmly in control of the GOP, there will be no immigration reform.  President Obama has also stepped up deportations, to record levels.  Sanchez has not said a word about this, and now she will continue to ignore the issue.

Sanchez must keep campaigning through 2012, as I expect the nation’s economy to be even worse then than it is now.  Obama will almost certainly be toast.  He sank his fellow Democrats in this year’s General Election.  He will surely torpedo them again in 2012.

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