I don’t know when I’ll get around to posting my eagerly-awaited (?) post-midterm election analysis; I may actually want to take some time to, y’know, think about it. But as I wrote back in January– after Republican Scott Brown won a special Senate election in Massachusetts– it’s still the economy, stupid. And given a still-weak economy with high unemployment, expect the Democrats– who hold a substantial majority of the seats in Congress– to take a pounding.
Brendan Nyhan agrees, and adds:
Instead of focusing on these structural factors, journalists and other political figures have constructed a staggering number of ad hoc claims about messaging, tactics, etc. to “explain” what has happened to Obama and the Democrats:
-Obama’s message is not populist, thematic, simple, and/or comprehensive enough;
-Obama failed to “connect” with voters (in part because he often uses a Teleprompter);
-Obama has an “empathy deficit”;
-Obama has no chief economic spokesperson, lacks sufficient political and policy integration, has failed to distance himself from Congressional Democrats, and needs to delegate more to his cabinet on domestic policy;
-Obama is seen as an elitist;
If the unemployment rate was half of what it now is, of course, the results for the Democrats would be much better, and none of Obama’s perceived or actual flaws and mistakes would matter much.
The Democrats will probably lose their majority in the House of Representatives, but if they manage to maintain control of the Senate, it will be in part because the Republicans nominated some especially weird candidates this year.
Nyhan has even created a Bingo card so you can play along with the all-too-predictable musing of the pundits as the results come in:
Update: Rand [shudder] Paul, spawn of Ron Paul, wins the Senate seat in Kentucky, replacing another Republican.
Further update: Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell loses the Senate race in Delaware.