Jeff Greenfield outlines the headwinds that Democrats face in November:
If you’re looking for a truism that remains true, then reach out and grasp this one: the “six year curse.” With one (highly instructive) exception, the party that holds the White House will lose Congressional seats in the six-year midterms. It happened to Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt; it happened to Ike and LBJ and Reagan. It will almost surely happen to Barack Obama this November.
- It’s been a long time since George W. Bush was president. Blaming current events on him is less compelling than it was four years ago.
- Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot (and might not help much even if he were).
- A poor public mood hurts the sitting president’s party.
- The party of the sitting president has lost seats in the House in the midterm elections of his second term for the last century except in 1998, “The Great Exception”.
- Economic conditions are not as buoying to the public mood as were those of 1998.
I find the public mood is as sour today as at any time of my recollection. If the primaries are any gauge, turnout for the general election will be very low and, frankly, anything can happen. Much depends on who turns out and whether those who are very disaffected with conditions are more likely to show up than those who support the status quo.