No Wave Election in 2014

by Dave Schuler on February 13, 2014

If 2014 will be a wave election, the generic ballot polling results certainly aren’t showing it. That the conclusion of Larry Sabato’s highly respected Crystal Ball:

Democrats would need a very substantial lead on the pre-election generic ballot surveys, something in the vicinity of 12 to 14 points, to have a good chance of gaining the 17 House seats needed to regain control of the chamber. At this point, that appears highly unlikely — no nonpartisan poll in the past year has shown a double-digit Democratic lead on the generic ballot. Moreover, no party holding the White House has gained anywhere near 17 seats in a midterm election in the past century. It seems highly unlikely that 2014 will see such a result. On the other hand, it also appears highly unlikely that Republicans will be able to significantly increase the size of their House majority in November. Right now, the most likely outcome of the House elections would appear to be a near standoff.

I strongly suspect that the president’s pollsters are telling him the same thing: he can’t expect to work with a Democratically-controlled House in 2015. That’s the reason behind the “if I can’t do it with you, I’ll do it without you” tone of his remarks for the last few months.

The real battle will be for the Senate. To win the Senate Republicans would need to win all the races they look likely to win at this point and either win at least two of the races that are toss-ups right now or win some races they’re not expected to win. My hipshot reaction is that Republicans are likely to fall just short of that, taking 49 or 50 seats in the Senate, not enough to control that house of Congress.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

... February 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

In other words, we will continue to have the divided Congress that allows the Executive to do whatever the Hell he pleases. Two more years!

PD Shaw February 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

My prediction is still for a 50/50 Senate, but there is also the potential “catch” that Angus King (I-ME) has said that he wouldn’t rule out caucusing with the Republicans if they retake the Senate. He strikes me as a John Anderson Republican, whose probably not enthralled where the national party stands ideologically today, but he is enthralled with claiming his own independence and the vices of partisanship. The cynic might wonder from which quarter he sees his most serious challenge to re-election, or what he can get for control of the Senate.

jan February 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

….interesting, PD. That’s news to me that King would consider caucusing with Republicans.

I’m of a mixed mind, though, that the R’s could win enough seats to control the Senate. There is so much dissatisfaction with both parties, as well as cynicism regarding the honesty, innate competence and capability of any party politician to put beneficial long-term policy-making in place over short term legislative incentives devised to only divide the electorate and win elections. This leads to national attitudes of everything is rigged and corrupt in DC, so why even bother to vote, not boding well in creating a substantial wave of enthusiasm for any party in the near future.

Dave Schuler February 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Angus King caucusing with the Republicans—slightly surprising.

Bernie Sanders caucusing with the Republicans—fall down on the floor in a faint surprising.

PD Shaw February 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

@Jan, King said that back when he was first elected in Nov. of 2012. I don’t know if his views have changed, but I doubt he will rule anything out.

michael reynolds February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Wow, fun scenario. Angus would own the Senate.

steve February 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

Does this mean our country would be run by a King? Boy have we regressed.

Steve

jan February 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Does this mean our country would be run by a King?

It already is run by a King — King Obama!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: