Chris Cillizza’s Fix column this week in WashPo focused on the Monkey Cage Blog (the WashPo’s kinda-answer for Nate Silver’s retired from NYT/soon to be resurrected “FiveThirtyEight.com” exercise) prediction for a “meh” midterm House battle in 2014 with D’s losing a few seats, R’s holding the majority — but no mandate. (All bets are off if Senate switches — that’s for the next post.)
Why? Both sides are distrusted. No one is immune from blame for the gridlock/distrust/inaction on Capitol Hill. Republicans won a bunch of the possible swings in 2010 — there aren’t many competitive ones left. President’s fav/unfav is weak — and his in-contested-house-district strength even weaker. Redistricting/gerrymandering has essentially created stalemates/firewalls for both parties to win their safe seats and squabble over fewer and fewer battleground seats.
What to do? Break the logjam with more contested districts by re-drawing lines to make them more competitive thus making hyperpartisanship more difficult by removing incentives for ideologues to play to their most intense bases to win primaries in safe R/safe D districts. Look for opportunities for independents and centrists to play kingmaker where they can.
From the Cillezza lede:
The Monkey Cage Blog released the first prediction from its 2014 House forecasting model on Wednesday. The conclusion — in part — read this way:
At this moment, the model predicts that Democrats will win approximately 48 percent of the national popular vote for the House. The model also predicts that Democrats will win 196 seats, for a loss of 5 seats.
That may seem like a small loss for the Democrats — perhaps “too small,” given the rocky rollout of Obamacare and the loss that the president’s party typically sustains in midterm elections. But there aren’t that many Democratic seats for the taking, thanks to the Republicans’ huge gains in 2010. There are currently 24 seats held by Democrats where Obama received less vote share than his national average in 2012. In 2010, there were 69 such seats.
- No Wave Coming in 2014 (politicalwire.com)
- There’s not enough water for a 2014 wave (washingtonpost.com)
- Sorry Democrats, you’re likely to lose House seats in 2014 (washingtonpost.com)
- There is no wave coming in the 2014 election (washingtonpost.com)