As a follow up to my post on how the tax deal might affect Obama’s reelection chances, here is a bit of insight from superanalyst Dan Clifton of Strategas Research:
It wasn’t just the economy, stupid. The historic losses suffered Tuesday by Democrats in the U.S. midterm elections owe as much to the unpopular and off-point agenda of President Barack Obama as it does to high unemployment. A policy pivot might have limited the damage, but the White House failed to recognize the trouble until too late.
My call is 64 and 9. But Super-smart, super-plugged-in Washington political analyst Dan Clifton of Strategas lays out his reasoning for a mega-tsunami:
Nate Silver speculates on why the GOP tidal wave could actually be a tsunami: 1) Once voters start pulling the R lever for one race, it will become habit; 2) Tea Party draws in “unlikely voters” that pollsters are missing; 3) The notion that undecided voters tend to break against the incumbent; 4)”Scott Brown Effect” — voters in blue states use this election as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to send an R to Congress; 5) some likely voter models based on past voting histories are overrating the propensity of Democrats to vote.
The final numbers are almost beside the point. Whether Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress, the 2010 congressional midterms will almost surely be an epic rebuke to the party and President Barack Obama. Two years ago, Democrats actually thought they would probably gain seats during these elections, just like Republicans did in 2002. What happened? This, politically and economically:
Some fascinating numbers from longtime Democratic pollster Doug Schoen (via U.S. News & World Report). Among them: Voters prefer Bush over Obama, want the GOP to control congress, favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, don’t favor another term for Obama and would give Palin nearly 20 percent of the vote if she ran as a third-party presidential candidate.
I think John Podhoretz aptly sums it up:
We’ve had 18 months of data points from many different sources that all tell the same story: Americans who vote have radically changed direction when it comes to which party they prefer. In both 2006 and 2008, voters said they preferred Democrats by margins of 8 to 12 points, and on Election Day handed Democrats landslide victories. But Republicans have led in the so-called “generic polls” since March 2009 without letup — and the gap between the two parties has remained stable at a level comparable to the previous Democratic advantage. This means that, probably at minimum, 16 percent of the electorate has shifted from voting Democrat to declaring its intention to vote Republican. That is an astonishing degree of change, and it’s why you’ve heard so much talk about this being an unprecedented election.