National Journal: Probability of Republican 'Wave' Growing

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 08:14 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Political analysts who are predicting that 2014 will not produce a Republican "wave" are "whistling past the graveyard," Josh Kraushaar wrote in the National Journal.

Nate Cohn of The New York Times, while acknowledging that a Republican landslide in November is a decided possibility, this week cited reasons to think it may not happen. The GOP is less popular today than four years ago even as disapproval of Obamacare is fading from public consciousness, according to Cohn.

"To be fair," Kraushaar wrote, "a lot of the disagreement stems from semantics — the definition of the word 'wave.' Cohn argues that if Republicans merely sweep red-state Democratic seats and perhaps pick off a stray swing seat, it's not a wave election — even if Republicans net seven seats on their way to the majority."

Waves usually are judged by shifts in the House of Representatives since only one-third of the Senate is on the line in any national election. With fewer and fewer competitive House seats due to gerrymandering and Republicans holding a 234-seat majority, plus expectations of picking up a few more, a wave may not be technically in the cards, Kraushaar wrote.

Four House Republican incumbents are in danger of losing their seats while the figure for Democrats is 13, Kraushaar wrote, citing the Cook Political Report.

Senate races in Colorado, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and elsewhere are trending in the GOP direction. In Georgia, David Perdue, projected by CNN to be the Republican Senate nominee, looks to be a credible candidate, Kraushaar wrote.

Democrats have "stabilized" their prospects in North Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire. "But even wave elections feature weak [Republican] candidates and missed opportunities," Kraushaar wrote.

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg found that the president's disapproval numbers are a shattering 60 percent in a dozen Senate battleground states, according to Kraushaar.

"Republicans are far from guaranteed of a wave election at this point," but anyone dismissing the possibility is ignoring the dire outlook facing the Democratic Party in November, Kraushaar said.

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