Political Animal


December 31, 2013 9:16 AM Welcome To the Roller Coaster

By Ed Kilgore

It’s helpful to think of tomorrow not just as the beginning of a midterm election year, but as the starting point in a three-year cycle that is likely to feel like a roller coaster.

As I discuss in my latest column for TPMCafe, most of the advantages Republicans take into 2014—midterm turnout patterns where older white folks walk tall, and a very favorable Senate landscape—will more than likely be reversed in 2016. And there’s no particular reason to think this alternating pattern of R-dominated midterms and D-dominated presidential cycles is going to end any time soon, which is a recipe for gridlock in Washington for the foreseeable future.

People in both parties need to think deeply about how to change these patterns, and if that’s impossible, how to achieve governing objectives when bipartisanship has all but died yet neither party can consistently win elections.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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