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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 5/20 (296 comments)

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  •  My hypothesis is that presidential elections (4+ / 0-)
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    ChadmanFL, David Nir, MichaelNY, JBraden

    bring out lower info voters and those lower info voters tend to just vote a straight ticket. Thus, the midterm electorate is relatively more predisposed to ticket splitting which hurts someone like Bachmann. I think this seems quite logical, however I haven't seen a study that tries to prove it.

    •  That sounds right... (4+ / 0-)

      However, midterm elections also tend to bring out less younger people and minorities that tend to skew Democrat, even in Republican districts. Hence why I'm a bit skeptical the whole "presidential ticket" thing will be that much of a help to Dems, even in Republican districts.

      It could be with someone like Bachmann, who is controversial, that she will lose enough Republicans and inspire enough Dems to turn out that the midterm will be the end of her, despite the usual trends. But Bachmann has won both her midterm races. So I think the evidence is out.

      •  I can't think of any argument that (4+ / 0-)

        would make a logical case that a midterm in the Minnesota 'burbs will be good for Dems.  Just like in South Carolina's special, most of the more dedicated partisan voters will ignore the flaws of their party's candidate.

        She might lose because voters get even more tired of her, but it will be despite being a midterm not because of it.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:59:34 PM PDT

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        •  Yup, that's what I think as well. (1+ / 0-)
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        •  because it'll be the most important race on the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCCyclone, MichaelNY, JBraden

          ballot, with MN-Sen and MN-Gov both probably having also-rans as the R nominees.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:31:37 PM PDT

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        •  I don't think (5+ / 0-)

          SC-01 buttresses your argument exactly. Sanford ran well behind Romney, after all. Some of those hardcore partisans ignored his flaws—indeed, enough did. But quite a few did not.

          Anyhow, my reasoning is simple, and is exactly what Stephen offered: You get lower-info voters in a presidential year—folks who may not know a thing about Bachmann except that she has an (R) after her name.

          I don't think it's by any means automatic that the more motivated voters who will show up for a midterm like Bachmann more. My thinking is that Bachmann has in fact turned off a material portion of even such partisan Republicans as these, in the same way that Sarah Palin doesn't tend to rate well in GOP polls.

          We're all familiar with the concept of a strong top of the ticket dragging someone downballot over the finish line. I think that's what happened with Bachmann in 2012.

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          by David Nir on Mon May 20, 2013 at 04:39:41 PM PDT

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          •  Put another way (5+ / 0-)

            Sometimes, for unusually toxic politicians, the better people know you, the worse you do. We can call it the Rudy Giuliani effect. And I think Bachmann's in that box: She needs people to come out to vote who don't know her.

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            by David Nir on Mon May 20, 2013 at 04:41:09 PM PDT

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            •  Your argument still doesn't follow at all (0+ / 0-)

              The idea that "low information voters" don't turn out is simply saying that of the 100 Republican low information voters, many won't turn out and of the 10 Democratic low information voters, many won't turn out.

              PPP presented the same idea as you are with their hopelessly implausible poll showing Sanford behind, based on a sample that had virtually no chance of existing.  The evidence there in the end shows that Romney voters turned out in greater percentage than they did in the Prez election.

              Bachman did much worse in 2012 and 2008 than 2010 for the Occam's Razor reason, Dems have more low information voters who vote in Prez years but not midterms.  That is likely to remain the same for the forseeable eternity.

              If Bachman loses in 2014, it will be because she succeeds in alienating more people than she has in the past, causing them to change their votes, not because there will be a different type of no-showism than we've seen historically.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:05:54 PM PDT

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              •  I think turnout doesn't make a damn's difference (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY

                The bottom line is there is no pattern of one party doing better in midterms than in Presidentials, either in individual states or nationally.  No pattern, none.

                Whatever disparities that might or might not exist between each party's favoring voter groups in midterm turnout dips, it's clear any such disparities are smothered beyond recognition by other factors.

                There are certainly localized instances of turnout being predictably worse for one party than the other because of the nature of the election.  The best example that comes to mind for me is 2008 GA-Sen, when Jim Martin held close to Chambliss in November but predictably got blown out in the runoff when so many black voters and other Democrats just weren't interested in a second vote.  But instances like that are exceptions to the rule.

                45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:39:09 PM PDT

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                •  I have to disagree with this for two reasons (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wwmiv, MichaelNY, JBraden

                  For one, Bachmann's insanity was so much more well known in 2012 due to her failed presidential run than in 20008, and secondly, while the poli sci research I've seen, especially more importantly recent elections, has shown that the less partisan voters show up for presidential elections but not midterms, and that has left a poor taste in the mouths of Dems and that we tend to underperform and certainly in the subsequent runoffs when only the most partisanly activated voters appear such as GA-Sen 2008. I'd love to give you a link, but I can't think of a source at the moment, however this seems to make sense logically anyway, that's all a reason for presidential turn out to save her, it clearly was barely enough if that's the case.

                  So put me in the camp of presidential turnout saving her, but only at the margin as the effect can't be that big. I definitely think we can defeat her in 2014 if she runs again.

                  •  Fully agree (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Allen, MichaelNY, JBraden

                    All the research on this shows that partisans are more reliable voters all around and that the mushy ideological middle only shows up to high salience elections (e.g. presidential cycles). It also shows that high income voters (disproportionately Republican) are more likely to turn out, while low income voters (disproportionately Democratic) are less likely to turn out especially during midterm elections.

                    And Cyclone's previous comments alone buy into this argument, especially when he talks about the demographics of Virginia lagging in state cycles behind midterm cycles, which are themselves behind presidential cycles. The only implication of which is that those other cycles disadvantage Democrats.

                    So which is it Cyclone?

                    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                    by wwmiv on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:42:38 PM PDT

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              •  I can't say that I follow (1+ / 0-)
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                Your response either, so I guess we're even. And the idea of comparing a wave year like 2010 to 2008 and 2012 makes little sense to me. Occam's Razor has its limits.

                I'd say we'll just have to see what happens to Bachmann next year, but it won't make a difference. Most people will just interpret it as they please.

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                by David Nir on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:36:08 PM PDT

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      •  Well she would have lost in 2010 (1+ / 0-)
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        had it been anything like the preceding or subsequent cycles. She only won with 54% in 2010 of all years, and she wasn't remotely well known until a month before the 2008 election with her un-American gaffe. After running a disastrous presidential campaign her flaws are so much more well known now that to compare to prior campaigns does you a disservice. I think she's in for the fight of her life and her recent campaign and congressional activity have shown it.

        •  I agree but... (1+ / 0-)
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          It has nothing to do with there not being presidential turnout. My point is the fact it's a midterm helps her, not hurts her. Doesn't mean that these other factors won't end up making her a loser this time around.

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