Tags: midterms | GOP | Democrats

With 2014 Midterms, Like 2006, President Is the Party Killer

By    |   Monday, 06 October 2014 11:05 AM


The 2014 midterm elections offer "striking" similarities to the 2006 midterm cycle, where incumbents fought off an association to an unpopular president and where control of the Senate was left in the hands of only a few the ruling party, The Washington Post reported.

The only difference this time is Republicans appear in the driver's seat, as anti-Obama sentiment is hurting a core of veteran Democrats fighting off tough stands with Election Day less than a month away.

Obama's approval rating sits at a dismal 41 percent, according to Gallup's latest survey, while in 2006, a similar unpopular rating was registered by George W. Bush, whose approval dipped to 37 percent, The Post noted.

Of the election tenor, the paper said: "That distaste for the head of the Republican Party made Democratic messaging easy: Don’t like President Bush? Send him a message by voting against the person who has voted with him [fill-in-the-blank-but-it’s-a-lot percentage] of the time. Bush stayed largely hidden on the campaign trail, but it didn’t matter."

And a host of well-known lawmakers — including Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Jim Talent in Missouri — all went down in defeat, reshaping the political landscape that ushered in the Obama era.

Now, those looking vulnerable on the Democratic side amid anti-Obama sentiment include Arkansas's Mark Pryor, Colorado's Mark Udall, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, Alaska's Mark Begich as well as Kay Hagan in North Carolina, The Post noted. Those incumbents, "sit in states that, at best, swing between the two parties and, at worst, are firmly Republican at the presidential level," wrote Post political reporter Chris Cillizza in handicapping this year's shift.

He added: "In each of the five races, the Democratic incumbents have spent much of the past 22 months successfully fighting against the negative pull of their national party — making the case that voting for them has little to do with supporting (or not) Obama."

Other political prognosticators are outlining a similar narrative.

The University of Virginia's political analyst Larry Sabato, in his latest his "crystal ball" report, highlighted the trouble faced by Democrats and a trend that seemed to be favoring Republicans.

"Right now, Democrats are behind the eight ball," Sabato and co-author Kyle Kondik of the Center for Politics wrote in a handicap from Oct. 2.

"So many undecided contests are winnable for the GOP that the party would have to have a string of bad luck — combined with a truly exceptional Democratic get-out-the-vote program — to snatch defeat from the wide-open jaws of victory. Or Republicans would have to truly shoot themselves in the foot in at least one race, which has become a clear possibility over the last few weeks in Kansas," the authors said.

While older voters tend to turn out more for midterm voting, that isn't the only precursor to voting patterns, the data website fivethirtyeight.com noted in highlighting the likely midterm trend. Registered voters are key.

The generic ballot — which puts a generic Republican against a generic Democrat and is considered a solid indicator of the "national political environment"— also suggests clues to where 2014 is headed,  it noted.

"Over the past month, the Democratic advantage among registered voters on the generic ballot is down to 0.5 points. That’s a gain of 2.7 points for Republicans," the website reported.


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The 2014 midterm elections offer "striking" similarities to the 2006 midterm cycle, where incumbents fought off an association to an unpopular president and where control of the Senate was left in the hands of only a few the ruling party.
midterms, GOP, Democrats
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2014-05-06
Monday, 06 October 2014 11:05 AM
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