Looking at this November's midterms, then, the wind certainly appears to be blowing in favor of Republicans. The main question is whether it is a light, moderate, strong, or hurricane-force wind. In terms of cycles, on the other hand, Democrats picked up just eight House seats in 2012, after having lost 63 seats in 2010 and having gained 52 seats in the solid Democratic years of 2006 and 2008 combined. The House is pretty much sorted out, and minimal change can be expected. Republicans look likely to pick up a handful of seats.Greg Sargent:
But because Republicans won so many governorships—23—in 2010, they should be prepared to lose seats this year. The only question that remains is to what extent the seasonal partisan winds and the GOP's midterm-election-turnout edge will offset a scenario otherwise favorable to Democrats. Right now, Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy (who oversees both gubernatorial and senatorial coverage) predicts Democrats will net two to four governorships.
Both seasonal and cyclical forces are working against Senate Democrats, suggesting a really bad year for the party in the upper chamber. Duffy currently sees Republicans picking up four to six Senate seats. A bigger gain of seven or more seats is more likely for Senate Republicans this election than a smaller gain of three or fewer.
To be clear, this dance could work for Republicans, given how bad the fundamentals are for Dems. But if Begala is right, aggressively attacking Republicans over Obamacare, and fighting for the law rather than just defending it, will make the GOP strategy of keeping ”replace” vague harder to sustain. And it will gin up the Dem base — addressing the Democrats’ most pressing Obamacare problem.More politics and policy below the fold.
It could be the difference between a tough year with limited losses, setting up Democrats for a boffo 2016 when the Senate landscape improves immensely and a presidential electorate is in play, and something more like 2010. And Plouffe’s right: there’s no magic technological instrument at hand. It will take exceptional targeting, but also a lot of old-fashioned motivation. A good start would be a refusal to take the bait and panic over Obamacare, which remains more or less a wash, best as we can tell.Dana Milbank:
The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February, or about 25 percent of total enrollees. If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.That's simply untrue. Because of the three R's (reinsurance, risk adjustment and risk corridors), ACA is stable for the next year and beyond, even with the current mix. What matters in the long run (and what is still to be determined) is how many healthy people of any age sign up. But the program doesn't succeed or fail based on the mix on March 31.
A top campaign advisor to Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, scoffed at the notion McConnell is "invincible" in a new memo set to be released Friday.NBC News:
The memo from Grimes campaign senior advisor Jonathan Hurst, which was obtained by Business Insider, comes one day after The New York Times published a lengthy analysis of the unprecedented nature of a potential McConnell loss.
"We do not think that 'it hasn't happened before' is good analysis or a smart way to run a campaign," one Grimes campaign adviser told Business Insider. "One of the hardest messages to win on is 'invincibility.'"
The document comes a day after Nate Cohn of the New York Times wrote that “Mitch McConnell is not as vulnerable as he seems,” writing that McConnell will benefit from the state’s favorable environment for Republicans and dismal ratings for the president.Here's Nate's piece.
Facing a possible defeat in the Senate, the White House is considering delaying a vote on President Obama’s choice for surgeon general or withdrawing the nomination altogether, an acknowledgment of its fraying relationship with Senate Democrats.You can't do much when you don't have the votes. We're still not where we need to be.
The nominee, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internist and political ally of the president’s, has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, and opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot.