Thursday, July 5, 2012
Elections Since 2008 - What Are the Voters Saying?
Last week's SCOTUS decision was was a horrible turn for the conservative movement, to be sure. John Roberts wants to be invited to better Georgetown cocktail parties, apparently. The invitations are in the mail. Alas, voters can't do anything about Roberts. He's untouchable.
But what have the voters been saying lately, when they've had the chance? Elections in off years are often viewed as referenda on the person occupying the White House, so what have they been telling us?
The vox populi has been unequivocal: President Obama is in deep trouble.
The first stirrings of discontent manifested in 2009 with the elections of Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey. The Christie election was especially startling given New Jersey's status as a thoroughly blue state. Scott Brown won in an even bluer Massachusetts.
Then, of course, there were the house elections in 2010, where Republicans picked up 63 seats, the most in 72 years.
Then we had Bob Turner's election to Anthony Weiner's seat, which straddles Brooklyn and Queens. You would be hard pressed to find a bluer place.
More recently we had the emphatic rejection of Scott Walker's recall in Wisconsin, another blue redoubt.
Also, sometimes overlooked has been the huge swing towards Republicans in state house races across the country.
The only bright spot for Democrats was retaining Gabrielle Gifford's seat in Arizona, an election greatly influenced by Gifford's personal popularity and sympathetic story.
It is difficult to understand why anyone believes Obama is the favorite to win in November. For three years, voters have been champing at the bit to send a proxy message to the White House. What will happen when they have the opportunity to send a much more direct message?
Intrade betting markets still have Obama at about a 55% probability for re-election. I would put the odds at 35-40%.