Posted by Curt on 9 September, 2014 at 3:40 pm. 2 comments already!


Chris Cillizza:

Within the space of the last 24 hours, Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook — the two best-known non-partisan political handicappers in Washington — penned pieces with decidedly optimistic takes on Republicans’ chances in the November election.

Here’s Stu:

After looking at recent national, state and congressional survey data and comparing this election cycle to previous ones, I am currently expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave. The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party. President Barack Obama’s numbers could rally, of course, and that would change my expectations in the blink of an eye. But as long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.

And, here’s Charlie:

The Democrats whom I have talked and emailed with in recent weeks seem increasingly resigned to an ugly midterm election. Of course, it’s not likely to be the wipeout that 2010 was—after all, in the House, the best news for Democrats is that you can’t lose seats you don’t have. After losing 63 seats in 2010 and getting only eight back in 2012, Democrats don’t have that many more they can lose.

Both men draw on similar data points to reach their conclusion; President Obama’s job approval is in the low 40s nationwide (and worse in some key Senate races), the perception of a still-sluggish economic recovery, a map in the Senate that heavily favors Republicans and historical numbers that show a president’s second midterm election is almost always terrible for his side. (The president’s party has lost an average of 29 House seats and five Senate seats in second term midterms since World War II.)

So, why the change in their confidence level?  Mostly Obama’s approval problems, as Stu explains: “With the president looking weaker and the news getting worse, Democratic candidates in difficult and competitive districts are likely to have a truly burdensome albatross around their necks.”

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