Thursday, August 14, 2014

Andrew Kohut, founder of...

...the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, talks about the midterm elections in the New York Times today (my emphasis):

“The public is unhappy with the performance of both parties in Washington,” he said.

What will shape the results? Mr. Kohut said that all elections were basically a referendum on the times and that, more than five years after the recession and 2008 financial collapse, “we’ve got a chronic case of pessimism.” That leaves Democrats at a disadvantage, he said, despite Republicans’ record-low popularity, since “Democrats are seen as in charge because Obama is the president. I don’t think it’s more complicated than that.”

From the same piece:

Voters’ deep frustration with both sides explains why few election analysts, including people in both parties, predict a wave that would wipe out Democrats like in the 2010 midterms (or like 2006, when George W. Bush was president and Republicans lost their House and Senate majorities). Many Democrats argue that no single issue — certainly not Mr. Obama’s competence — is defining Senate races. Instead, they say, the contests are defined by the relative strengths of each candidate and local issues.

My takeaways:

1. It's the economy, stupid. 


2. There's no Republican wave on the horizon. They have to win every close race to take back the Senate. With several canny Democratic incumbents running (think Begich, Landrieu and Pryor), I'm still not convinced they can do that.

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