Skip to comments.Republicans Really Could Win It All This Year
Posted on 01/06/2014 11:29:29 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Another midterm election beckons, and over the next 10 months well see headlines about a thousand supposedly critical developmentsthe game changers and the tipping points. But we all know there arent a thousand powerful drivers of the vote. Id 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.
1. The president. His job approval numbers are perhaps the best indicator of the publics 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 presidents party does poorly in midterms, especially the second midterm of a two-term administration. Its a rare president who doesnt make enough mistakes by his sixth year to generate a disproportionate turnout among his opponentsthus 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 doesnt 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 Clintons 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 redistrictinga tactic engaged in by both parties but currently tilted to the GOPreduces Republican chances for a House seat sweep in 2014 because there simply arent many additional seats available for Republicans, barring a tidal wave of voter anger even larger than 2010.
But Obamas 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; its just as likely Obamas polling average, currently in the low 40s, will decline furtherthough 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 publics 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 its bad. Eisenhowers 57 percent approval rating couldnt 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 Bushs war in Iraq, the economy wasnt 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 doesnt seem to help the presidents party much in many midterm elections, with 1950, 1966 and 1986 being strong examples. So while economic hard times are likely to hit a presidents 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 presidents 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 classesone-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 years 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 dont 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.
Not if they can help it
They have some kind of mysterious gig going on rove is all too happy to run around defending.
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..
The Republicans really could have won it all the last time around too.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I don’t trust a thing Sabato says due to the partisan role he played when George Allen ran for governor in Virginia
He supported Allen?
No. Sabato helped the Democrat by accusing Allen of saying the N word during college.
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.
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.
Oh no. They will find a way! They can’t hurt the Dems feelings! Besides, who needs the Senate.
Didn’t Sabato think Romney would win?
I WANT to believe.... I really really do !
Rigged voting machines equals required Demwit wins.
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.