Charlie Cook on the FL-13

Political analyst Charlie Cook opens his analysis:

Democrats haven’t had a week this bad since 2010 and its only Wednesday. While the headlines are focused on Democrats losing the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional district, even worse news came in the form of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll released last night, along with four statewide surveys conducted by a highly-regarded Democratic pollster in key Senate race states.

and ends it:

The bottom line here is that at least for today, this election is not about the myriad of problems facing the Republican Party (with minority, young, female and moderate voters) but instead is about President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, both deeply unpopular. The fight for the Senate is being fought in terrain far more challenging for Democrats (read more Romney than Obama states) and with a midterm electorate that is older, whiter, and much tougher for Dems than the one that re-elected Obama in 2012. Environmentally, this election reflects a mood not dissimilar to 2010; the big difference being in the House, where Democrats have relatively few vulnerable seats to protect, so the possibility of a party shift at a magnitude similar their 63-seat loss four years ago is extremely unlikely.

I think he goes a bit too far. Candidates that look good from party headquarters aren’t necessarily that appealing to the voters who actually show up to vote. The party label isn’t enough and, indeed, can work against you.

I do think that Democrats face headwinds that will only be made worse if they adopt a strategy of bitter negative advertising. Democrats may still hold on to the Senate. President Obama’s prospects for working with a Democratic Congress for the remainder of his term are vanishingly slim and IMO his tone for the last month or so suggests that his pollsters are telling him the same thing.

3 comments… add one

  • PD Shaw

    I thought Weigel probably had the best coverage, possibly because he’d seen the candidates in person and was actually linking to commercials. A couple of things that struck me as important that were ignored in at least the initial “explanations,” was that the Democrat wasn’t from the District, but she won the District when she ran statewide.

  • As I emphasized in my earlier post politics remains local. Although national pundits keep searching for national implications in local elections, they tend to ignore the local reasons which by and large are the more influential.

  • ...

    PD, she would hardly be the only Congressman in the central part of the state not from her district. Alan Grayson doesn’t live in his, and in reality he is a New Yorker chosen by tjeparty leaders in DC to be their guy in the Orlando area.

    And in the case of Jolly, he may be mote closely tied to his district than Sink, but he has spent a lot of hospice in DC.

    I think the important thing is that midterm voters tend to be older, whiter, more married and a little wealthier than presidential year voters. In sglmhort, they’re more likely to have their shit together and pay more in taxes, so they tend to vote to the notional right.

    And special elections held outside of the normal election cycle will skew even more heavily in that direction.

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