GOP Project 54: Reality Check

New Mass. GOP Chairman Robert Maginn has plans to increase his party’s share of members in the Massachusetts House to the point where they could sustain a veto without any help from Democrats.

It’s called “Project 54,” a reference to that magic number. Maginn, touting that the number of GOP reps doubled in the 2010, hopes to repeat that trick in 2012.

While he’s right that the number of GOP representatives increased from 16 to 33 in the last election, that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. As the graph illustrates,


the number of GOP reps has mostly hovered around 32 since 1978, when the State Constitution was amended to reduce the size of the House from 240 representatives to the present 160. The doubling of the GOP membership in 2010 essentially restored them to the mean over the past 34 years, after the drought years of 2002-2008, when their numbers dipped as low as 16.

Which brings us to the next point. Maginn is hoping that Mitt Romney will be Republican Presidential nominee and he believes that Romney’s candidacy will help the party meet its “Project 54” goal. And who was Governor for most of the time when the state GOP’s fortunes were at their lowest?

As they say in the private equity world, past performance is not a guarantee of future success.

(Crossposted at BlueMassGroup)

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