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Republicans Really Could Win It All This Year
Politico Magazine ^ | January 6, 2014 | Professor Larry J. Sabato, UVA

Posted on 01/06/2014 11:29:29 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Another midterm election beckons, and over the next 10 months we’ll see headlines about a thousand supposedly critical developments—the “game changers” and the “tipping points.” But we all know there aren’t a thousand powerful drivers of the vote. I’d argue that three factors are paramount: the president, the economy and the election playing field. And, at least preliminarily, those three factors seem to be pointing toward Republican gains in both houses in the 2014 midterms.

Why?

1. The president. His job approval numbers are perhaps the best indicator of the public’s overall political orientation at any given time, a kind of summary statistic that takes everything at the national level into account. In a large majority of cases, the president’s party does poorly in midterms, especially the second midterm of a two-term administration. It’s a rare president who doesn’t make enough mistakes by his sixth year to generate a disproportionate turnout among his opponents—thus producing a political correction at the polls. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower in 1958, Lyndon Johnson in 1966, Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford in 1974, Ronald Reagan in 1986 and George W. Bush in 2006 all experienced significant corrections in their sixth-year elections.

Still, this doesn’t always happen. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 and Bush in 2002 managed to gain a few House seats, but this was in their first midterm. The Democrats lost no Senate seats and actually picked up a few in the House in 1998, President Bill Clinton’s second midterm.

President Barack Obama might take some heart from the Clinton example, but only up to a point. Like Clinton in 1994, Obama was unpopular enough by 2010 that Democrats lost the House in a landslide. That and partisan redistricting—a tactic engaged in by both parties but currently tilted to the GOP—reduces Republican chances for a House seat sweep in 2014 because there simply aren’t many additional seats available for Republicans, barring a tidal wave of voter anger even larger than 2010.

But Obama’s popularity has sagged badly in his fifth year. While some unforeseen event in 2014 might add some points to his job approval average, the odds are against a full restoration; it’s just as likely Obama’s polling average, currently in the low 40s, will decline further—though Obama may have a relatively high floor because of consistent backing from minority voters and other elements of the Democratic base.

As 2014 begins, the environment for the Democrats in this election year is not good. The botched, chaotic rollout of the Affordable Care Act is the obvious cause, but it is broader than that: the typical sixth-year unease that produces a “send-them-a-message” election. Fortunately for Democrats, the GOP-initiated shutdown of the federal government in October has tempered the public’s desire for a shift to the Republican side, too. “None of the above” might win a few races in November if voters had the choice.

2. The economy, but mainly if it’s bad. Eisenhower’s 57 percent approval rating couldn’t prevent Republicans from losing 47 House seats and 13 Senate seats in 1958 because of a shaky economy. GDP growth had contracted by an astounding 10.4 percent in the first quarter of that year, though it rebounded later in the year. More recently, there was the 2006 election; while most analysts thought the Democratic takeover of Congress that year was mainly about Bush’s war in Iraq, the economy wasn’t performing on all cylinders. GDP growth in the second and third quarters of 2006 was an anemic 1.6 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. The economy, still reeling from the 2008 economic near-collapse, was also the root cause of the Democrats’ 2010 debacle.

But in politics the converse does not always prove the rule; in fact, a good economy doesn’t seem to help the president’s party much in many midterm elections, with 1950, 1966 and 1986 being strong examples. So while economic hard times are likely to hit a president’s party hardest, it may be that restless voters shift their concerns and unhappiness about a president to other topics in the absence of economic woes. So even if the economy continues to improve, Obama and the Democrats might not reap an electoral benefit.

3. The electoral playing field. How many vulnerable seats are there in the House for the president’s party? This is mainly a result of prior elections. A presidential victory with coattails (think 1936, 1948, 1964 and 2008) results in a party winning lots of vulnerable seats that can be swept away when the tides change in subsequent midterms. The Democrats lost their weaker members in 2010 and failed to add many seats in 2012; these disappointments protect them from drastic House losses this coming November.

The Senate is a different story. There is no such thing as a typical Senate election. These high-profile contests are idiosyncratic, driven by distinctive circumstances, sometimes quirky candidates and massive spending. A hidden determinant is the division of the Senate into three classes—one-third is elected every two years, making the combination of competitive Senate seats unpredictable and ever shifting, unlike in the heavily gerrymandered House. One party is usually favored to gain seats from the outset, thanks to the pattern of retirements as well as the structure of the Senate class on the ballot.

So: How many Democratic Blue or Republican Red seats are there in an election year? How many incumbents are running, and did any senators holding seats in states favoring the opposite party step aside? How strong has the candidate recruitment been in both parties? Generally speaking, this year’s Senate slate strongly favors the Republicans.

***

At this early stage, the combination of these three factors suggests a good election year for the GOP. The president is a Democrat and his approval is weak. The economy may be improving, based on GDP growth (4.1 percent in the third quarter), but voters still don’t believe their personal economy, at least, has picked up much. Instead, the major national issue of the moment is Obamacare, which at this point is a loser for Democrats. The structure of the election in the House and Senate also bends in the GOP direction.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2014; democrats; obama; polls

1 posted on 01/06/2014 11:29:29 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not if they can help it

They have some kind of mysterious gig going on rove is all too happy to run around defending.


2 posted on 01/06/2014 11:51:33 PM PST by stanne
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ah! a republican rout... at the polls..

Yeah.. well barring massive voter fraud by legal voters and massive illegal voter fraud.. whether amnestied or not..

You could be right...
then there’s the serious possibility of voting machine virus’s or trojans.. or outright ballot box stuffing...
but I don’t want to be downer...

Hey, very republicans even care about those things..


3 posted on 01/06/2014 11:52:56 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Republicans really could have won it all the last time around too.


4 posted on 01/06/2014 11:54:19 PM PST by RC one
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Don't worry. The GOPe will think of some way to screw everything up.
5 posted on 01/07/2014 12:01:08 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Finally Sabato is beginning to face reality. This is good because he is one of the leading voices of Political Science and Politics/elections in Virginia and on national talk shows.

Also, he’s not a hardcore leftist, but more of a moderate liberal with an honest streak. Wonder how long he will last if he continues to predict Democrat defeats.

This Global Warming we are now experiencing in Virginia (and around the country) is teaching a lot of people what kind of bullshit some of the “climate change” scientists have been preaching, including Michael Mann, now at the Un. of Virginia.

Gasoline prices have risen again and this hurts when you are trying to pay heating bills.

ObamaDoesn’tCare failures, impending “taxes” (fines) and the loss of millions of insurance policies held by “you can keep you policies if you want to” voters esp Democrats, and ridiculously high deductibles, and high unemployment have made “believers” out of some of the “true believers”.

Whether this will still be on the minds of the mindless “low education voters” in the Fall remains to be seen, but even some of those “Stuck on Stupid” are now beginning to become “unstuck”, and they vote.

Obama’s 57th State winter vacation taken while parts of paid-in-American blood Iraqi cities fell to Al Qaeda is now even on the front pages of the Wash. Post. Well golly gee whitakers, even the marxists are taking notice of the Messiah’s failures.

One problem: John Kerry promised the Iraqis aid in their fight against Al Qaeda. They should ask the So. Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians of 1973-75 just how good a promise that is (ask those who survived).

Ben Ghazi. The dagger in the heart of Comrade Hillary, backstabbing bastard John “f***king Kerry, Comrade King Obama, and the cowards of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I hope that some congressmen and women have the balls to drive that dagger in so deep the the Benghazi Four rise from their graves and shout “Hoorah”.

One thing that Customs/ICE and TSA could have done last week that would really shown that they are on the ball would have been to demand to see Obama’s Hawaiian Birth certificate before he could come back into the US.

Wouldn’t that have been a bitch!

Oops, he’s married to one. Sorry!


6 posted on 01/07/2014 12:06:58 AM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Republicans are seriously getting close to losing my votes forever.

I’ve never voted for a democrat and I never will, but if pubbies are going to act like secret democrats with an (R) by their names I guess I’ll just have to stay home and watch the destruction of my country from a distance.

This is a position I never thought I’d take but I’m sick to death of being betrayed by a bunch of lying sacks of shit.


7 posted on 01/07/2014 12:09:10 AM PST by Bullish (America should yank Obama like a rotten tooth before he poisons the entire body)
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To: Bullish

The Republican brand needs to be thought of as an electrical appliance, with Tea Party endorsement of a particular candidate as that Underwriters Laboratories logo signifying a level of safety so you can be reasonably assured your house won’t burn down.


8 posted on 01/07/2014 12:24:34 AM PST by SpaceBar
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Sabato ignores two critical facts.

First, in 2010, Black and Hispanic turnout was very low.

In 2014, Democrats are completely focused on getting those two groups to the polls, especially in certain Red states like Texas, where a large Hispanic turnout could knock out several GOP congressmen.

Second, Sabato is basically unaware of the total disgust felt by most Conservatives for the GOP leadership.

Since Obama was re-elected, we have surrendered on ObamaCare, we have surrendered on gay marriage, we have surrendered on the budget, and, before the November election, we will probably surrender on Amnesty.

Sabato does not understand the lesson that was taught in 2012 when 4 million Conservatives stayed home.

That number will go up in 2014, when even more Conservatives will stay home because they have no Conservative candidates to vote for.

My 2014 prediction.....

Republicans have no chance to win the Senate.

Republicans will lose House seats, but will maintain a small majority.

9 posted on 01/07/2014 12:24:44 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t trust a thing Sabato says due to the partisan role he played when George Allen ran for governor in Virginia


10 posted on 01/07/2014 12:29:49 AM PST by RginTN
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To: RginTN

He supported Allen?


11 posted on 01/07/2014 1:02:04 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

No. Sabato helped the Democrat by accusing Allen of saying the N word during college.


12 posted on 01/07/2014 1:11:50 AM PST by RginTN
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To: Bullish
I'm coming to the conclusion that the ĞOPe really are Dems who faked their credentials just to win the election. They haven't a shred of concern for true Republican ideals. Their biggest concern is being accepted by Dems.
13 posted on 01/07/2014 1:23:17 AM PST by NoExpectations
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To: Bullish
I'm coming to the conclusion that the ĞOPe really are Dems who faked their credentials just to win the election. They haven't a shred of concern for true Republican ideals. Their biggest concern is being accepted by Dems.
14 posted on 01/07/2014 1:23:18 AM PST by NoExpectations
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

A Republican sweep? If the Republicans are Tea Party canidates, I’d say Great. If it is a RINO sweep, I’d say the same old crap is in charge.


15 posted on 01/07/2014 1:40:45 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (2014 the year of dead RINOs)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This fills me with about as much excitement as would knowing that the crips are doing much better than the bloods at recruiting teenagers in my town.


16 posted on 01/07/2014 2:10:49 AM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh no. They will find a way! They can’t hurt the Dems feelings! Besides, who needs the Senate.


17 posted on 01/07/2014 2:11:55 AM PST by jch10 (The Republican Party cannot win without the TEA Party. Too bad only the Democrats know it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Didn’t Sabato think Romney would win?

I WANT to believe.... I really really do !


18 posted on 01/07/2014 2:42:54 AM PST by Baldwin77
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Rigged voting machines equals required Demwit wins.


19 posted on 01/07/2014 4:14:41 AM PST by Old Yeller
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To: Old Yeller

Once again the republicans will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They have such a great history of doing so, why expect anything different this time.


20 posted on 01/07/2014 4:30:30 AM PST by DaveA37
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not is they act like dick lugar and work for communist candidates to get them elected.


21 posted on 01/07/2014 4:30:52 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

But he’s not facing reality…..he doesn’t mention Obama Care til the seventh paragraph, and then only as a subset of the roll out being an approval rating problem for the Pres, as if it’s just another issue.

No situational awareness at all on his part….reached the right conclusion for the wrong reasons.


22 posted on 01/07/2014 4:58:46 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

One thing I hope isn’t done by pubs anymore is to keep pivoting to walking across the aisle.

This is on giant mistake and the last two gop goobers running for president made that monumental mistake.

In spite of what the media says and the silly pundits say, people do not want to make nice with the current scum on the left. If people vote for them, they want this tyranny reversed, not appeased.

The left needs to be discredited and defeated. Lukewarm sissies are destined to lose.

Boldness and bravery will be what convinces people.


23 posted on 01/07/2014 5:11:35 AM PST by dforest
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

(*sigh*) Nobody can screw up a sure thing faster than the GOP establishment.


24 posted on 01/07/2014 5:14:09 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Nope. Lazy stupid doesn’t win a thing....


25 posted on 01/07/2014 5:15:44 AM PST by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ?....... Enforce the Bill of Rights................................ It's the LAW !!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Republicans will NEVER win again.....the Dems are way too good at VOTE FRAUD.


26 posted on 01/07/2014 5:23:08 AM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Perfect summation for me, too.


27 posted on 01/07/2014 5:28:52 AM PST by tioga (Wise men still seek Him.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The party of stupid will not take the Senate ... because they dont want to. That would put congress at odds with the first black president ... and they would be blamed for the continued economic doldrums ...

They would rather the Dems keep the Senate and pin their hopes (pipe dream hopes) on the 2016 Presidential election.

28 posted on 01/07/2014 5:32:15 AM PST by dartuser
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To: RC one
The Republicans really could have won it all the last time around too.

Yes, they could have but Republicans on purpose chose a candidate that they knew from historical data could never win.

Beyond all the screwy voter fraud republicans chose a liberal, tax loving, gun hating, gov. health care nut, pro-abortion candidate from the NORTHEAST.

Through historical data Republicans know their base sits on their behinds at home for such a candidate...show me one Northeastern liberal who has won the presidency for the Republicans?

The real question is what the agenda is behind closed doors of our so called republican leaders.

29 posted on 01/07/2014 5:33:51 AM PST by Lady Heron
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s up to Conservatives to organize, including veterans all over the country, to ensure that RATs and RINOs are sent packing. Expose them all! Start with the primaries. Find candidates NOW who have the spine and guts to tell the American people the truth about the corruption in DC and expose the RATs and RINOs publicly. Name names and provide proof of their duplicity.

Climb in their sewer and fight them to win.


30 posted on 01/07/2014 5:38:29 AM PST by ExTexasRedhead
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Heres vfond dream of mine.

The republicans take the Senate and increase their hold on the House. A revolt in the House replaces the Speaker with an actual conservative.

The House prepares articles of Impeachment for Obama and Biden. The Senate convenes a trial, convicts both and the Speaker becomes President.


31 posted on 01/07/2014 5:47:38 AM PST by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: ExCTCitizen
A Republican sweep? If the Republicans are Tea Party canidates, I’d say Great. If it is a RINO sweep, I’d say the same old crap is in charge.

Agreed...see my tag line. I'm done voting for those that will put this frog (me) into a pot of water, and gradually raise the temperature to a boil. That's Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John Cornyn, and the rest of GOPe.

I've got news for the Chamber of Commerce: you're pi$$ing me off...if you're going to fight me (the Tea Party), I'll vote Democrat to bring the whole thing crashing down. I want to give my kids and grandson a fighting chance to rebuild the American dream. Won't happen by a slow descent to Detroit-like conditions.

32 posted on 01/07/2014 5:47:50 AM PST by Night Hides Not (For every Ted Cruz we send to DC, I can endure 2-3 "unviable" candidates that beat incumbents.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“The Democrats lost no Senate seats and actually picked up a few in the House in 1998, President Bill Clinton’s second midterm.”

Perhaps there was no change in numbers, but this was the election that Republican Peter Fitzgerald defeated Senator Carol Mosley Braun (R-Illinois).


33 posted on 01/07/2014 6:13:23 AM PST by railroader
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I agree 100%.

However the GOP needs to be for American jobs.

American jobs. Hire American, and bring back US jobs.


34 posted on 01/07/2014 6:14:53 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The GOP will lose by attacking their base.


35 posted on 01/07/2014 6:50:20 AM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well now that it looks like they might take back the Senate they have panicked and are going to pass amnesty and cut the veteran’s benefits. God forbid they actually take power and have to accomplish something.


36 posted on 01/07/2014 10:02:10 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The GOPe will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


37 posted on 01/07/2014 7:06:18 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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