The modern Democratic coalition is a boom-and-bust coalition that depends heavily on minorities and young people who turn out much less regularly in midterm than presidential elections. Older voters, who are trending steadily toward the GOP, vote much more reliably. Beyond any short-term factors, this is creating a structural disadvantage for Democrats in off-
From 2008 through 2010, turnout dropped about one-third for African-Americans, almost two-fifths for Hispanics, and fully 55 percent for 18-to-24-year-olds, compared with about one-fourth for whites and only one-eighth for seniors.
The Tectonic Plates of 2014, Ron Brownstein
In the actual election that took place, with all 50 states plus the District of Columbia voting, Obama won handily over Mitt Romney. Obama got 332 electoral votes, while Romney got just 206. But if the electorate in 2012 had consisted only of voters living in states participating in this year’s Senate elections, Romney would have won comfortably, with 165 electoral votes to Obama’s 130.
If the GOP Takes the Senate, This Map Will Explain Why, Jonathan Cohn
(1) The Democrats lost.
Badly. This wasn’t just a tough map. Democrats lost Senate seats in Iowa and Colorado. They lost governor races in Florida and Wisconsin. Hell, they lost governor races in Illinois, Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts! Democrats really can’t blame losing elections in Illinois, Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts on the map. (See the results from key races here.)
9 takeaways from the 2014 election, Ezra Klein
The 2014 midterms were a perfect storm for Republican candidates. Six years ago, Democrats swept into power across the nation boosted by disgust with George W. Bush and unprecedented enthusiasm for candidate Barack Obama. This week, that huge overhang of seats became a vulnerability, forcing the Democrats to play defense in many tough states. And enthusiasm for Obama was a thing of the past. The unpopular incumbent president powered conservative turnout, while the midterm setting was unfavorable for the Democrats’ boom-and-bust coalition.
But after the bust comes the boom. Obviously the ultimate outcome in the 2016 election depends on inherently unforeseeable events, but the fundamentals of the race should look very different — and much less favorable to Republicans. But then it’s all going to flip again two years later.
According to a CNN exit poll, 8 in 10 Americans disapprove of how Congress has been handling its job, while almost 6 in 10 are displeased with President Obama. A full 44% have a positive view of Democrats; 40% have a positive view of Republicans. Americans have just elected the party they like the least to run the government body they least trust. Even greater cynicism is the most likely outcome.
Barack Obama has now been in power for longer than Johnson was, and the question remains: “What the hell’s his presidency for?” His second term has been characterised by a profound sense of drift in principle and policy. While posing as the ally of the immigrant he is deporting people at a faster clip than any of his predecessors; while claiming to be a supporter of labour he’s championing trade deals that will undercut American jobs and wages. . . . If there was a plot, he’s lost it. If there was a point, few can remember it. If he had a big idea, he shrank it. If there’s a moral compass powerful enough to guide such contradictions to more consistent waters, it is in urgent need of being reset.
. . . So his ascent to power had meaning. It’s his presence in power that lacks purpose.
But now comes the hard part. Because Republicans didn’t run on an agenda other than antipathy toward all things Obama, they created a policy vacuum — and it’s about to be filled by a swirl of competing, and contradictory, proposals.
Republicans find themselves with neither a consensus program nor a clear hierarchy among congressional leaders, the half-dozen aspiring presidential candidates in Congress and the various governors and former officeholders who also think they should be the party’s 2016 standard-bearer. Republicans have set themselves up for chaos, if not outright fratricide.