The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.
In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.
It’s a bad time to be a Democrat, apparently, because they needed to toss out stuff like this pretty darn early this cycle: “[T]he most important news for Democrats going into November is that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is planning to spend $60 million on data-driven GOTV efforts specially focused on reducing the “midterm falloff” factor.” The link – unlike TPM’s – works, but I wouldn’t recommend clicking one way or the other. The major questions raised by that quote: (more…)
This is from, of all places, NPR:
“We always look at the question: how interested are you in the upcoming elections on a 1-to-10 scale, with a 9-to-10 being the most interested.” said Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican research firm, who pointed to a recent Wall St Journal/NBC News poll his firm did with Hart Research Associates.
“In a presidential election, it doesn’t mean as much because everybody votes. In a mid-term election, where you’re looking at 40 percent turnout, it does make a difference… Among voters who rate their interest a 9 or 10, Republicans have a 15-point advantage, 53 [percent] to 38 [percent]. So you have Republicans now gaining the same kind of intensity they had in 2010. It’s like our guys are campaigning downhill as opposed to the Democrats.”
But, as the title says, don’t get cocky. “Confident” is fine, though. People react well to that and it’s good for morale.
Strictly speaking, I am not criticizing the Fix for not drawing a more explicit link between Presidential approval ratings and Senate churn in a midterm election. They established the basic point, which was that both parties are increasingly taking seriously that the President’s current low numbers will translate into Democratic losses in the Senate. The Monkey Cage spells it out:
Presidential approval is strongly correlated with midterm congressional election outcomes. Gallup has polled Americans on presidential approval during every midterm election cycle since 1954. Across the 16 midterm election cycles from 1954 through 2012 the average level of presidential approval during the first quarter (January to March) of the election year is about 58 percent. Over the available Gallup presidential approval polls for the first quarter of this year, Obama’s approval is significantly below the average, about 42 percent, worse than every other year except 2006 and 1974.
These two tweets pretty much sum up my reaction…
Take note future nominees – ads can only move polls a little bit, but tanks will move them 50%+ every time. https://t.co/8MrO50SAJb
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) March 17, 2014
.@JasonBWhitman Well, Putin ran a hell of a campaign. Really targeted key demographics like soccer moms & people who didn't want to be shot.
— Mig Greengard (@chessninja) March 17, 2014
(Via Hot Air Headlines) The entertaining bit about this Bill Press piece is not that he’s hilariously wrong about where the evvvvvvillllll Koch Brothers fall on the donor scale, or perhaps scale of donors; nor is it that he seems to think that there’s more than a physics’s chance* of the Democrats retaking the House. It’s that his basic point is, in fact, sound: by all means, the Democratic party should concentrate on the 2014 elections first**. But the likelihood that the institution in question will think clearly on that subject? …Well, that’s another physics’ chance.
Moe Lane (more…)
Speak for yourself, Chris Cillizza…
While most people focus on the 63-seat Republican gain that brought the GOP control of the House, what often gets lost is the remarkable turnover in governorships and state legislatures.
…my readers were properly informed. And then there’s this chart, which shows that the only times in the last century or so that the President’s party gained state legislature seats in a midterm were in 1934 (first flush of the New Deal) and 2002 (first flush of the GWOT). Those are grim odds for the Other Side’s political partisans.
PS: Remember: state legislature seats. Even in 1998 we apparently picked up seats at that level.
PPS: There is no such thing as an unimportant election.
Conservative Intelligence Briefing reminds me that the RGA carpeted-bombed the Mary Burke campaign today:
Short version: 130K jobs lost, 3 billion shortfall under Burke and Governor Doyle, Burke’s family’s company outsourced jobs to the Chinese (it’s that last one that’s gonna hurt worst in Wisconsin). Welcome to the 2014 election cycle! …Hope you don’t blanch at the sight of a good blood splatter.
I mean, I get that on the GOP side it turned out to be safe to bet that McCain was going to get the nomination in 2008 after losing out to GWB in 2000, and that Romney would get it in 2012 after losing out to McCain in 2008. But the assumed Democratic nominee for 2008 in 2005 was Hillary Clinton, and the assumed 2004 nominee in 2001 was Gore, and… I don’t remember who the assumed Dem candidate was in 1989, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Bill Clinton. For that matter, the assumed GOP candidate in 1997 wasn’t GWB (can’t remember if the assumed GOP one in 1993 was Bob Dole: wouldn’t surprise me either way).
My point is this: don’t assume inevitability. Particularly on the Democratic side. The whispering campaigns have already started about Hillary Clinton – and unlike Barack Obama in 2008, the Clintons in 2012 have a history.
Glenn Reynolds, on the upcoming (and apparently very good) Mitt Romney documentary*:
…Romney was always a better man than Obama — he’s quite possibly the best human being to run for the White House in quite a few election cycles — but he was a worse candidate, and that’s what determines elections. The voters decided what they wanted, and now they’re getting it good and hard.
I had to be jollied into stumping for Romney – but it didn’t grate on me the way that having to stump for John McCain did. I wish we had nominated somebody who had won, because the country would be in a much better position right now if we had. But we did not. I don’t particularly groove on the negative reinforcement that we’re receiving as a consequence – but my hands are, as they say, tied. (more…)