Web Exclusive

February 25, 2014 Midterm Signals and Noise

Why Democrats Could Do Better in November Than Everyone Thinks

By Curtis Gans

It is possible that Obama’s approval rating will not improve by September, that the public at that time will continue to have a dim view of the ACA and that absent stimulus, the economy doesn’t improve. If that is the lay of the political landscape when citizens are paying attention, the noise of the present will be the signal of the future, and the current conventional wisdom will become accurate prophecy.

But public opinion on a person or an issue is usually formed on a comparative basis. And in that context, it is hard to believe that a party whose leader in the Senate would see in 2011 his single most important goal as “to make Obama a one-term president,” and whose leader in the House would say, “We should not be judged on how many laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal,” would be given a 2014 mandate to continue on its present path.

*Two of these states have received waivers that allow them to use expanded federal Medicaid funds for private insurance for those who qualify and one of those states, Virginia, now has a Democratic governor who supports Medicaid expansion.

Curtis Gans has been a student and analyst of American politics for the past 38 years as director of the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Prior to that he challenged the conventional wisdom of the time by providing the theory for and helping to organize the "Dump Johnson" movement and serving as staff director of Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign.


(You may use HTML tags for style)

comments powered by Disqus