Skip to main content

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the speaker's gavel to incoming House Speaker John Boehner after Boehner was elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS
Will the Senate gavel get passed to the right, like this one did in 2011?

Something was clearly in the water this week at the local chapter of the Society of Campaign Pundits.

Within 48 hours of each other, two of the more well-read voices of all things electoral, Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Report/Roll Call and Reid Wilson of the Washington Post, penned cautionary tales for the Democrats and their electoral fortunes in the upcoming midterm elections.

The common theme: 2014 could look a lot like 2010.

Driven by the recent ebb in the poll numbers for both President Obama in particular and the Democrats in general, both commentators seem to converge on the idea that Democratic control of the Senate is very much endangered.

By no means is continued Democratic control of the U.S. Senate a guarantee after the 2014 elections. That having been said, it seems, quite frankly, a little bit silly to sound the alarms after one or two weeks of polls. What's more: Comparisons to 2010 ignore some very basic realities that either are unlikely to exist, or simply will not exist, in 2014.

Follow me past the jump for the explanation.

Before the counterargument is made, let's examine the core points of the argument made by Gonzales and Wilson:

1. The president's job approval ratings are comparable to 2010, and there is little prospect for improvement.


In 2010, President Barack Obama’s job performance ratings were 44 percent approve/55 percent disapprove, according to the national exit poll. Today, the president’s job rating stands at 41 percent approve/55 percent disapprove, according to the Real Clear Politics average.
And there’s no sign that Obama will become more popular. Presidents who see their approval ratings dip so dramatically in the second term rarely see their numbers improve. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon’s approval ratings never recovered after the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal (Nixon, of course, didn’t stick around to see just how far his ratings could fall). George W. Bush’s approval rating sank in the spring of 2005, and continued falling through the end of his term. Obama’s numbers are starting to resemble Bush’s trend lines.
Obama's numbers are actually a touch worse now in the RCP average (40/55), but only a month ago, that spread was half of what it is today (all the polls for October combined yielded a job approval spread of 44/51). Neither of those, for what it's worth, is anything to pin on the refrigerator.

However, something that must be addressed is the poll numbers for the party whose potential ascendancy is being forecast. The RCP average for Congress right now? It stands at 9 percent approval and 85 percent disapproval. Recent polling by CBS and Fox put the job approval numbers for the Republicans in Congress at the same catastrophic locale: 21 percent approval, 73 percent disapproval. Quinnipiac's November poll was nearly identical (20/73).

Now, Democratic numbers aren't anything short of awful, either. But they are markedly better than those of the GOP. The average of those same three polls for the Democrats stood at 28/65. A negative-37 spread flat out sucks, to be sure, but it is still better than the negative-53 spread the Republicans are currently rocking.

In 2010, for what it is worth (and as hard as it might be to believe) voters actually had a more positive assessment of the Democrats than they did of the GOP. But the spread was far more marginal (44/52 for the Democrats, versus 41/53 for the GOP).

What's more, and this is another factor that seems to be ignored in this new wave of "Democrats are Doomed" chatter: In 2010, the Republicans were the automatic beneficiaries of being the out party in government. Therefore, any dissatisfaction with the mood of the country was going to be laid at the feet of the Democrats, even if voters were skeptical about the GOP as an alternative. Consider: In 2010, 61 percent of voters thought the country was on the wrong track. The Republicans carried these voters by a stunning 76-percent to 22-percent margin.

It is nearly impossible to conceive, with the Republicans indisputably responsible for what ails Washington (though the public can debate about the degree to which they are responsible), that the GOP would enjoy a similar sweep of the "wrong track" voters in 2014. Wilson lays the ability of the GOP to gain a House majority in 2010, despite weaker approval numbers, on their ability to nationalize the election as a referendum against Obama. But it was deeper than that: It was driven by anger about government. In 2014, anger at government might be even broader than it was in 2010. The key difference? Republicans own a piece of that discontent now in a way that they simply did not in 2010.

2. The Democratic albatross for 2014 is liable to be Obamacare.


Reaction to the bungled rollout of the health care law is overwhelmingly to blame. Already, the fallout has been evident: Public surveys in Virginia showed Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) leading Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) by wide margins in the wake of the government shutdown. But Cuccinelli made the final weeks of the race into a referendum on ObamaCare, and McAuliffe’s support began to erode. On Election Day, McAuliffe won by just 2.5 points, a narrower margin than even his internal polls showed. Another week, and Cuccinelli might be governor-elect.
To his credit, Gonzales doesn't "go there," but this has been a dominant theme of the pundit chatter about 2014, and it has been the primary theme of Republican spinners, to boot.

Leaving alone the very debatable point about Obamacare being a drag on Terry McAuliffe (the much more plausible explanation for the poll disparity was the presence of a major third-party challenger, which would explain why both the Democratic victories in the lieutenant governor and attorney general races came at almost precisely the polling averages), there are two problems with the "Obamacare will make it 2010 all over again" analysis.

For one thing, it is based on a very shaky assumption. The early hiccups with the website, and the torrent of negative publicity, have clearly been a catalyst in the dip of polling numbers for the ACA, and for President Obama, in general. For that to be a significant factor in 2014, one would have to assume that either (a) opinions on the health care reform are baked in, and unchanging or (b) the array of maladies that afflicted the program rollout will continue unabated through next November. While both are in the realm of possibility, neither of those outcomes seem all that likely. In other words, it is certainly plausible that what we are seeing now is the nadir of public opinion on Obamacare, and that the program will be more popular a year from now than it is today.

The second point: An argument can be made that even in its present circumstance, Obamacare is more popular now than it was in the 2010 midterms. By one measurement, the numbers support this argument. A recent CNN poll showed that 54 percent of voters either supported Obamacare (40 percent) or thought it should've been expanded/made "more liberal" (14 percent). Only 41 percent thought it went "too far." In the 2010 exit polls (though the question was framed slightly differently), more Americans wanted to see Obamacare scrapped (48 percent) than wanted it expanded (31 percent) or kept as-is (16 percent).

3. The Senate landscape is one that is not amenable to Democrats

Gonzales: I’ve written before, Republicans only need to win states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012 to get back to the Senate majority. The GOP won’t likely need victories in Michigan, Iowa, Colorado or New Hampshire. Those would just be icing on the cake.
The stakes are highest for Democratic senators seeking re-election in red states, where the Affordable Care Act is even more widely despised than it is nationally. Democratic incumbents in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska will face added headwinds unless the political climate changes.

And there aren’t many opportunities for Democrats to change that climate.

Leaving aside another "whoa" disputable point by Wilson (Obamacare is despised, even though more people either approve of it, or want it expanded, than want it scrapped?!): on this score, at least, it is hard to disagree with Gonzales and Wilson, if we confine our discussion to the landscape of the Senate battlegrounds heading into 2014.

Even our own Daily Kos Elections ratings on the 2014 U.S. Senate races identify a total of 13 potentially competitive Democratic-held U.S. Senate seats, versus just 3 potentially competitive GOP-held U.S. Senate seats. And a lot of those competitive 2014 Democratic seats lie in territory that is colored in a variety of shades of red.

However, in spite of all that, there is an elephant in the room, literally. We cannot overlook, nor can we underestimate, the propensity for Republican primary voters to obliterate electable candidates and salvage for the Democrats what would otherwise be eminently attractive Republican targets. Just ask Senator Joe Donnelly. Or Senator Chris Coons. Or Senator Michael Bennet. Or...well, you get the idea.

On a more basic level is something that (again, to his credit) Gonzales acknowledges to a far greater extent than did Wilson: It is highly premature to call any shots with nearly 350 days to go in the cycle:

Readers beware, this is not a projection. It’s too early for that. But Democrats ought not simply dismiss out of hand that 2014 could be another bad year — even a very bad year — for their party.
Gonzales is right, and it is why the early 2010 comparisons seem more than a trifle overdone. Heck, even Gonzales' boss (Stu Rothenberg) penned a "the GOP may well be in deep trouble" article as recently as six weeks ago. There are a raft of "game changers" (and, ugh, do I hate that term) just waiting out there, including a whole other round of budget fights.

And, if past is prologue, one cannot underestimate the capacity for Republicans to mess the bed when it comes to budgetary fights.

Could 2014 materialize into a Democratic nightmare? Of course, it can. Where I remain unconvinced is that Democratic prospects are dramatically worse now than they were a month ago. The anger over the shutdown gave many Democrats an artificially rosy forecast of their political futures (look at mid-October polls, and how historically awful they were for the GOP).

A month of horrifically bad headlines relating to Obamacare has now created a similar vector for Democratic poll numbers. Yet if voter discontent over the shutdown was not a permanent black mark on the Republicans in Congress, it is a little hard to understand why the recent discontent over the A.C.A. is infinitely more indelible in the minds of voters. Unless the bad news about Obamacare is unceasing for the next 11 months, it would seem to require some explanation as to why one poll catalyst is transient, and the other is not.

There will be many more ebbs and flows to the 2014 campaign cycle yet to come. While both Gonzales and Wilson are among the real bright lights in campaign analysis, I'm not sold that they aren't being more than a little premature in their assessments here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 03:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  The Democrats can only hope (10+ / 0-)

      I can't imagine that the Republicans will cause another shut down.  They saw how it benefited the Democrats last time.  At worst, they will simply vote to fund the government under existing law (the sequester levels). That's why I think that the only thing that can possibly come out of a budget deal is that the sequester cuts are shifted around a bit, or maybe the Administration is given some leeway in where the cuts are.  But there's no way that there's going to be any more tax increases (Republicans will not do this absent something they view as equally big in return, like an overhaul of the tax code or entitlement cuts) and no way there will be entitlement cut (Democrats are simply not going to sign on to that).  

      •  What you describe is how the non-teabagger... (19+ / 0-)

        ...Republicans would try to do it. Unfortunately, they are outnumbered, mostly in the House, by teabaggers. And you have people like Sheldon Adelson, Pete Peterson, and the Koch Bros. financing such crap.

        •  Actually, I think the sequester is the fall back (8+ / 0-)

          position, supported by the Tea Party faction.  Some of the more establishment Republicans don't like the sequester's effect on defense, but the Tea Party faction is all about cutting government.  

          There is no sentiment -- none, zero -- among ANY Republicans for raising taxes in these negotiations.  Not.  Gonna. Happen.  Raising taxes again is viewed by Republicans as their big, big card to play -- and they will only play it in exchange for something equally big in return, which means either a complete overhaul of the tax code, lowering rates while eliminating deductions, or entitlement cuts.  And there's no sentiment among Democrats for doing either of those.

          So, the "default" is existing law -- the Budget Control Act of 2011.  The Tea Party would consider that a win.  

          •  McConnell's furiously trying to neuter the TP (10+ / 0-)

            Precisely because they want another shutdown.

            McConnell knows how that will play out -- with the Republican leadership desperate to cut a deal with the Democrats.

            Before the last shutdown, the sequester was set in stone for the next eight years.  Cuts and cuts and cuts and no new revenue, ever again.

            Then the Republicans forced the shutdown -- and after a few weeks they finally agreed to Harry Reid's position, which was to put the sequester back on the table along with revenue enhancements, AND to give Federal workers their first COLA in three years.

            If they do another shutdown, they'll be doing it three months closer to Election Day, and they'll be doing it when they'd much prefer to be fundraising so they can fight off the Koch-backed primary opponents they'll be facing before they make it to the general election.  (That's a problem their Democratic rivals don't have, by the way.)

            Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

            by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:28:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think we will just have to disagree on that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbeach, MichaelNY

            The sequester appears to be a foregone conclusion for the Tea Party at this point.  Hundreds of GOP Representatives basically went on record saying that their single mission was to delay implementing the individual mandate for the ACA.  To retract from that position to simply accepting the BCA would be perceived as a loss.  That invites primaries that end up electing loonies, or it makes the base question why they ought to show up to vote in a GOP Senate if Obama is just going to stonewall them anyways from the White House.  

            They will have to do something to keep the party together.  If Boehner suffers another defection by the Tea Party, not only is he through as Speaker, it exposes whoever voted with him to primary challenges as well.  It is actually quite amazing when you think about it; the Tea Party has literally refused to concede on anything for the past 2 years since the BCA.  That fact alone makes it highly unlikely that they will just accept the starting position.  

        •  Is Pete Peterson a teabagger? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm not up on him these days, but in the 90's, he criticized the right wing of his party for catering to "fat cats" like himself - , he called for higher taxes on the rich, he was advocating universal health insurance, calling access to health care a right.

          Source: His book, "Facing Up."

          Has he moved to the right since then?

          Granted, he's definitely not one of us, and much of what he proposes on deficit reduction could turn to be a Trojan horse to start cutting programs to the poor, even if that's not his intention. I regard him with a great deal of suspicion, but I don't think of him as a tea bagger.

          Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

          by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:25:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sensible Congressmen are in the majority! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Actually, the non-teabaggers are not outnumbered.

          It’s just that Speaker John Boehner & Co are unable to find their balls. Their problem is a misunderstood adherence Hastert Rule, by which Boehner continues to insist that all legislation allowed to reach the House floor must have sufficient support to pass the House without Democratic votes.

          This effectively gives Tea Party Congressmen veto power over all bills. And this despite the fact that the Tea Party forms a vocal minority – and not a majority – in the House GOP!

          Ironically, the only way Speaker John Boehner can take command and wrest control from the right-wing usurpers is to bury the Hastert Rule and re-enter a fruitful dialog with the Democratic Minority.

          Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues are waiting.
          They’ve made many overtures.
          (And they can prevent a coup against Boehner’s Speakership.)

          There are more than enough votes in the House of Representatives to pass a sleight of sensible legislation, including Immigration Reform, if the Speaker will simply allow bills to reach the floor.

          “The meaning of life is to find it.”

          by ArcticStones on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 05:28:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That would be somewhat defeatist for Dems (8+ / 0-)

        The budget negotiations will be about optics more than anything.  If Ryan demands more cuts, Murray should demand more spending on extremely popular positions.  If the government shuts down over that, the contrast in that image would be enough to get a better deal than the status quo, especially if it was between Republicans wanting to cut Medicare vs. Democrats wanting to expand Social Security.  

        •  Ryan does not have to "demand more cuts" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, VClib, MichaelNY

          All he has to do is say, :"I'm willing to live with existing law."  

          Existing law is the Budget Control Act of 2011.  More cuts kick in unless there is a vote to change existing law.  

          If the government shuts down because Democrats won't fund government unless the BCA is essentially repealed, and Republicans are willing to fund government under existing law, I don't see the Republicans taking the majority of the blame for that.  

          •  That's what the media said last time (5+ / 0-)

            And guess what?  The GOP still took the blame.

            Of course, it helped that the GOP left their fingerprints all over the scene of the crime.

            Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

            by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:30:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The last time was about repealing the ACA (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dburn, VClib, jbeach, MichaelNY

              a fight that the Republicans had no chance of winning.  And they looked ridiculous saying, "we don't fund the government unless you repeal existing law."  

              This time, they will be saying, "we'll fund the government according to existing law."  

              I understand you think they want a shut down.  Bu I think you are wrong.  We'll have to see what happens in January, won't we?

          •  Except I don't think he can do that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The GOP believes, as we did a month ago, that they're riding a wave to victory in the polls next year.  It would be extremely difficult for Ryan to simply say that he is OK with the cuts without at least staging a fight.  The Republicans that vote for it, and the Republican leadership itself, would have to answer to a primary electorate that will not like how meekly they accepted a "deal".  

            We have been through this before.  If the Republicans were rational, they would've won the Senate already and had at least a 50/50 shot at knocking out Obama in last year's elections.  Boehner and the Republican leadership weren't even able to get a majority of their caucus on board to avert the debt ceiling, the violence against women act, or the default.  He has to at least give the Tea Party caucus a bone to chew on if he hopes to keep the gavel.

            It just depends on how it plays through.  If the party leadership can somehow whip extraordinary amounts of discipline into their members that we have never before seen, the GOP will certainly have a shot at winning the budget fight and retain the sequester.  If they play the same shenanigans that we've seen them play for the last 3 years, I think there's a decent shot at the budget overshadowing the ACA once again.

    •  I would love it (6+ / 0-)

      But if you listen to Rand Paul and Cruz's interviews, they are satisfied with what they "accomplished". There will not be another shutdown. We have to show the public ACA is working.

    •  It is my belief that the shutdown hurt Obama... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...a lot more than the GOP.  It wasn't noticed at the time, since the GOP got the brunt of the polling hit initially, but the longer term effects hit the president.  My evidence for this thesis lies int eh comparison of polling now vs. the polling in 2011 during the fiscal crisis.  Back then, the GOP took a sharp hit, too... only to recover after a few weeks and the brunt of the blame shifted to the president.  I think the ACA stuff lately is only part of the story.  I think the shutdown is hurting the president, too... look at the exit polls in VA where the president was tied with the GOP in who was to blame for the shutdown.  Like in 2011, the electoral effect was delayed.


      by LordMike on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:44:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for laying this out so clearly, Steve (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, JeffW, DRo, Vatexia, HappyinNM

    Appreciate it!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:06:40 PM PST

  •  Seems like they are ignoring that (14+ / 0-)

    the shut down ever took place. I think you're right and they are being totally premature in thier analysis.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:10:04 PM PST

  •  While I agree, let 'em sound the alarm (15+ / 0-)

    About the only way to get Dems to vote is to scare the shit out of them.  We have Conservatives WAY outnumbered but we just don't vote.

  •  A glitchy website is not the war in Iraq. (39+ / 0-)

    The comparisons to Nixon, Johnson, and Bush poll numbers are silly. Obama had a glitchy website. People don't remember that like they do a major war that people are dying in or months of a growing Watergate scandal. People stayed mad at those Presidents for a good reason, not because they made a mistake the press hyperventilated over for a month or two.

  •  Pundits always overdo polling shifts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, Sparhawk, VClib, LordMike

    that's what they do.  They can't help themselves.  

    In October, during the government shut down, Pundits were generally predicting the demise of the Republican Party, and talking about Democrats possibly having a chance to retake the House.  Where are those pundits now?  

    I think it's pretty clear that, in 2014, whether or not voters are angry at "governmnet" is going to have a lot to do with how they feel about the ACA.  And that's going to be heavily dependent on what happens over the next year with those who had insurance, and were satisfied with it, before the ACA.  (I think polls at the time suggested that something like 85% of the people who had health insurance at that time were satisfied.)  Essentially, the President promised them that we could extend health insurance to millions of people and there would be no downside to those who already had insurance they liked.  That was the whole "If you like the insurance you have. . . If you like the doctor you have . . ." pitch.  That was assurance to the vast majority of  the public that they would not, personally, see any down side as a result of the ACA.  

    Here's what I think.  If, next September, those people who liked their insurance prior to the ACA think they are better off personally (if their premiums are cheaper, for example) or at least no worse off (their insurance is largely unchanged) the Democrats will do well.  If those people who had insurance they liked before the ACA think they are personally worse off, such as if their premiums, co-pays, deductibles go up significantly when the insurance companies start calculating the premiums next fall based on who registers in the pool now; or such as if their networks narrow significantly and they lose doctors or hospitals; or such as if -- in the worst case -- they lose employer provided coverage and are forced into the individual market, Democrats will suffer for it.

    So, here's where I disagree with the diary:

    In 2014, anger at government might be even broader than it was in 2010. The key difference? Republicans own a piece of that discontent now in a way that they simply did not in 2010.
    Next fall, anger at the "government" is going to be dependent on on whether or not people (especially thoe who had insurance they liked pre-ACA), personally, feel they are better or worse off under the ACA.  In the immediate future, "government" is the ACA.  And for that, Republicans own none of it.  Nada.  Zero. Zilch.  That's because none of they voted for it, and because they've been fighting it every step of the way.  So, if the ACA has personally been a plus for people who had insurance they liked pre-ACA, the Republicans will share in none of the benefit.  But if those same people think they are personally worse off as a result of the ACA, Republicans will get none of the blame.  
    •  1 ACA existed b4 website 2 GOP will shutdown gov (6+ / 0-)

      All of the polling swings of the last month are directly attributable to negative coverage of the website.

      Already, the negative coverage is fading as the website improves and more positive stories start seeping into the public consciousness.  

      And there will be another government shutdown.  The GOP won't budge on the budget, because Cruz and Ryan want another shutdown -- they think that they can get the ACA repealed for real this time, ignoring the polls that consistently have shown (both before and after the shutdown) that Americans don't want the ACA repealed and that they sure as hell don't want the Federal government to be held hostage over it.

      All the federal workers I know have said that their agencies and their unions are telling them to prepare for shutdowns in January and February.  

      Shutdown 2 will happen.

      Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:47:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are wrong, but I guess we'll see (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew, VClib

        what happens.  

      •  The difference with the ACA is that (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew, ChadmanFL, VClib, CoyoteMarti, nimh

        the vast majority of people in this country who already had employer provided insurance didn't feel any effects -- good or bad-- from the ACA over the past three years.  The Republicans have spent three years predicting dire results, and most people just didn't see it in their own lives, so Republicans had no credibility (other than with their base).  

        Because of the kick in of the individual mandates -- and the kind of coverage that you have to have under those mandates -- 2014 is the first year where a lot of people who already had health insurance prior to the ACA could potentially see it affect them personally.  

        I am a bit concerned about what is going to happen next year with respect to small business and providing insurance to their employees, especially since the small business marketplace has been delayed a year.  If next fall's insurance provided to employees by small business owners is about the same as this year, I think Democrats will be fine.  If over the next year, a lot of small businesses drop coverage, or provide coverage that is more expensive for employees, or with narrower networks, I think that's very bad for Democrats.  Those people who will personally be negatively affected will almost certainly blame the ACA.  

      •  Phoenix (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryduck, nimh

        What is plan B if they don't shut it down? If you read anything other than our side of the blogs/media, the story moved past the website 2-3 week ago. It is about sticker shock etc...It will be a while before the subject is changed.

    •  Depends on if the people who don't like the ACA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vatexia, Stude Dude, CoyoteMarti

      are GOP voters who would vote for GOP candidates any way.  

      The wild card is whether people who are getting improved access to care are willing to get out and vote for Democrats to insure they can keep it.

      Or if people who are being denied improved access to care in GOP states that refused to expand Medicaid are willing to get out and vote for Democrats to improve their chances of getting the care they need.

      A lot also depends on how skillful the GOP is with their propaganda in blaming Democrats for the problems that Republicans cause.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:57:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Coffeetalk says (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Next fall, anger at the "government" is going to be dependent on on whether or not people (especially thoe who had insurance they liked pre-ACA), personally, feel they are better or worse off under the ACA.
      Huff Po
      That leaves 29 percent of the customers in this market, or more than 4 million people, who may see higher rates go up without the benefit of financial assistance.
      You seem to always fall for and repost GOP propaganda in here that always fails

      Cheer leading the demise of healthcare reform has to be as low as it can get

      You are correct about the obvious tho , that the GOP own none of the success of the ACA , but in 10 years they will be trying to take credit for it any way , and people like you will be on here re-posting that propaganda also

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 06:10:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I also said that if a lot of people feel that they (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew, VClib, nextstep, nimh

        are better off as far as their health care goes, they will credit the ACA, and  the Democrats will be seen as the cause of that, so they will get the benefit.  The logical counter to that is that if people personally feel worse off as far as their health care goes, they will blame the ACA, and so the Republicans will benefit.  How is that "GOP propaganda"?  It seems pretty logical to me.  I think that for most people, Democratic or Republican "sales jobs" on the ACA will be far less important than what they see happening in their own lives, with their own insurance, and their own health care.  

        •  " How is that GOP propaganda? " (0+ / 0-)

          Just because you take several different positions on one subject , that does not excuse the wrong positions expressed , you should have learned that from watching Romney / Ryan in 2012 , it just comes of looking baffling , or propagandish

          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

          by Patango on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 10:01:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously??? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CoyoteMarti, MichaelNY, nextstep, nimh
            that does not excuse the wrong positions expressed
            What's "wrong" about saying that if people perceive that their own health insurance situation is worse next fall, they will likely blame the ACA and the Democrats?

            Do you think that if they perceive their own personal health insurance situation to be worse next fall, they will blame Republicans?  That's just fantasy.  

            •  The point is there is not a (0+ / 0-)

              significant amount of people being effected in your scenario , the subject is pure MSmedia hype , you have a mountain of people benefiting from the ACA , next to the puddle of people in your example , that amount of people will not effect the next election nation wide , you can parse that number down to eligible voters , to active voters , to people who would never vote dem any way , and get your nota

              The GOP hyperbole that dems will be negatively effected by the ACA the last 3 years has went belly up every time , good luck with another conservative prediction there

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:37:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ACA has its impact in 3 waves to those who had (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                insurance.  We are seeing what is by far the smallest wave right now.

                First wave - those who individually buy insurance.  This is the bulk of the current discussion - about 5-10% of population.

                Second wave - employers with less than 50 FTE employees who provided health insurance.  Last week, HHS announced that the federal exchange for small business launch that was to be up and running in October 2013 is now pushed out to Dec 2014.  Fortunately, the private market still works for ACA policies in 2014.  Most importantly, in most states the employer can delay the impact of ACA by early renewal in 2013.  I did this in my small California business.  Continuing my non-ACA insurance into 2014 had a price increase of 2% for 2014, if I went to the ACA compliant policy my comparable affordable ACA insurance increases from $1960/mo to $2420/mo - needless to say, I am delaying this increase.  

                Third wave - employers with more than 50 FTE employees.  

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:29:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course you are going to skip over (0+ / 0-)

                  the tax breaks and subsidies you will recieve , the fact that people will not be given junk and worthless plans , that their kids can be covered till they are 26 , that insurance profits will be capped at 20% , that your employees will not have to file bankruptcy if they get sick , etc etc etc

                  It is all just that simple huh ? LOL

                  Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                  by Patango on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 05:27:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Patango (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, nimh

        Keeping your head buried in the sand is not a strategy. Taking on the problems head on is. Leave Kos for 10 minutes and to other progressive sites. They are saying the same thing as Coffeetalk.

        •  AlexDrew says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Keeping your head buried in the sand is not a strategy.
          I am not the one claiming 4 million people will make a difference in the next election , now that is some head burying
          They are saying the same thing as Coffeetalk.
          Sorry pal , I have seen her in action , there are no progressives talking like her

          The 3rd Way DLC are not progressives either

          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

          by Patango on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 10:08:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I mentioned this to Senator Coons... (8+ / 0-)

    ...when he spoke at my mother-in-law's naturalization ceremony.
    I said, referring to his initial position as a huge underdog against Mike Castle, "Thank you for running... it must have been a huge shock to actually win."
    He replied, "Oh, I got into the race intending to win."
    I smiled and said, a bit amused, "Well, we were definitely voting for you, but..."

    Senator Coons was a decent local (county) politician, and he surely knew he was "taking one for the team" when he ran for Senate. We can all be glad it turned out the way it did: he's a damned good Senator.

    Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

    by Tom Seaview on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:24:47 PM PST

    •  I am sure he intended to win, by running (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom Seaview

      For the senate Castle was not as invulnerable as when he was the incumbent house member... But he could have only hoped for a very narrow victory.

      But so glad we got a decent candidate to run in the end!

      Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

      by CF of Aus on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 03:28:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Castle was pretty much guaranteed to win (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Delaware is a small state town, and Mike Castle was popular with almost everyone who votes. (This is why he held the state's only House seat, in this very blue state).

        If the Democrats had any expectation of making the race competitive, they would have picked someone with a much higher profile than Chris Coons.
        However, that is not a complaint... as I said, he's turned out to be a great Senator.

        Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

        by Tom Seaview on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 05:48:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The healthcare act (11+ / 0-)

    is despised? Could that have something to do with the fact that the "liberal" media coverage of health care reform has been 100% negative from the start?

    When was the last time you heard the "liberal" media talking about the benefits of healthcare reform? All the media does is talk about the problems with the website.

    The website is probably improving and the problems with the website hopefully will be a thing of the past soon. By the next election the website's problems will be a distant memory. They probably won't have much of an effect on the election results.

    The question will be how the overall law will be working by then. If things are going more smoothly with it then it may be a benefit for Democrats. This is what Republicans fear. In any case, don't expect anything but negative coverage from the media.

    The Democrats have to do a better job selling the more popular parts of the law.

    In any case I don't think Democrats will gain back the House simply because of gerrymandering. The gerrymandering will be hard to overcome no matter what.

    Even if Democrats do gain back the House and maintain the Senate majority there will still be gridlock because they still won't have a filibuster proof Senate majority. So no matter what, the government will remain in a state of gridlock. Which party controls the House is pretty much a moot point.

  •  Definitely too premature right now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, MetroGnome, LordMike

    I certainly think Dems took a hit from the Obamacare rollout, but CNN, Quinnipiac, and Fox are showing an 11pt decline in the Generic Congressional Ballot within the span of weeks.  Not only does that just seem unrealistic, it seems like that has as little sticking power to it that our D+8 polls were.  

    Ultimately, we will not have a clear picture of what this race is going to be like until at least early Spring of next year.  2010 wasn't starting to look ugly for us until at least that point in time, and there are a number of things that could easily make or break the race in the interim for either side.  Tea Party members smelling blood in the water, for instance, could end up shutting down the government again, in which case that could wind up being a litmus test for the GOP primaries that plays into point 3 in the diary.  That would also screw them in them in the general.  Obamacare's rollout could also wind up being a lot worse than we expected, in which case we could also be looking at a cycle that would make 2010 look tame.  

    The polls are bouncing way too much, and not enough candidates for either side have declared, for anyone to be figuring out control of the Senate next year.  Come next year, though, if we start seeing one party consistently trail in the aggregated GCB for at least one or 2 months, I imagine that would be a difficult thing for the other party to overcome, although the Senate is definitely far more difficult to predict than the House (just look at Nate Silver's predictions the last 3 cycles).

  •  Judging from the anecdotes I've hearing about ACA (20+ / 0-)

    ....sign-up stories, it LOOKS like there's gonna be a few million people with a few hundred extra dollars in their pockets in just two months.

    Wonder what that will do to the economy.....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:27:22 PM PST

    •  But you see, according to the GOP (6+ / 0-)

      Their anecdotes are the only ones that matter.  The people that want to keep their sham insurance with $10,000/yr deductibles deserve to pay more for less!  

      At least, that's what CNN and other news outlets have been telling me.  It's like they have been beating the Republican war drums on overdrive after they were unfortunately forced to call them out for shutting down the government.

    •  The problem is that no one is reporting all the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      success stories.  It's all about Obama bashing.  It's all very coordinated.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:43:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya missed my point.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...imagine several million folks suddenly get a $250 raise per month for the next year....a real, honest-to-gawd extra cupla hundred bucks to SPEND, it's real, noticable, and utterly immune from spin!

        Dont tell me THAT doesn't completely overshadow any bleating from Sean Hammity!  It doesnt matter at all what they say, money TALKS and bullshit WALKS....

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 08:47:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unless they equate that savings as savings from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, nimh

          the ACA, they won't make the connection.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

          by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 08:50:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Several million people HAVE EXTRA MONEY IN THEIR HANDS.

            They KNOW it's the ACA because they paid $1600 per month in 2013 and they have a new policy that only costs them $1200 a month in 2014, they know damned well it's the ACA!

            "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

            by leftykook on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:03:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  ACA=Stimulus (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Those extra $$ in consumers' hands will be spent on groceries, car repairs, haircuts, meals out etc. It will improve the economy, which will improve average voters' feelings toward the president and dem candidates.

            The linkage may not be realized that explicitly, but just the fact that there are more customers coming in the door will make a difference.

            Medicare for All: the cleanest slogan and the best way forward.

            by furiouschads on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 04:53:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  don't see it happening (7+ / 0-)

    For one thing the republicans won so many seats in 2010 there aren't that many competitive house seats they could gain. Most likely it will be a gain of 10 or less for them even in a wave.
    I guess the senate could fall in wave but if we lose 6 seats we just may lose 10. People are fed up with both parties and no way can I see them anxious to reward republicans.
    My guess is we get status quo, few GOP pickups but no wave.

  •  Simple explanation (15+ / 0-)

    The establishment media is still by and large much more sympathetic to and afraid of the GOP, and therefore far more likely to be critical of Dems and soft on Repubs. This has been true since Reagan, who charmed, intimidated and won over the media, which had already lost respect for Dems in the 70's because they never fought back, and it's been the same ever since. So if they're downplaying the severity of what the Repubs have been doing to destroy government and the country, and massively overplaying Obama & Dems' failings, this is why. Oh, and they like their taxes low, like their fellow one percenters. The idea that the media is unbiased is laughably idiotic.

    It will be this way until the Dems finally realize that politics is ENTIRELY about playing hardball. The charm part is all superficial, for the morons.

    As Toby once said on the West Wing:

    They'll like us when we win.
    I'll take that one step further and say that they'll like us when we beat the living shit out of them and make them fear and respect us again.

    Anyone who doesn't get that that's how politics works is a fool.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:30:29 PM PST

    •  Is it me or are progressive arguments being heard? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Odysseus, DownstateDemocrat

      From random looks at Google news and listening a bit to some of the rhetoric coming out of the party right now arguments against the Democratic status quo appear to be broadcast a bit. Arguments against chained CPI, about raising the minimum wage, about the ever more obvious lack of safety nets might be introducing more people to a progressive viewpoint.

      Likewise, I'm not hearing a strong push back from the Democratic leadership. Indeed it's almost as if they are starting to listen to us with the unbudging triumph over the GOP government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, the Reid Rule, even some media pundits speaking up against austerity measures.

      I believe the ace up our sleeves is that we have a different approach based on historical and moral evidence which has been shown to work as opposed to the failed ideological common wisdom of the last 30 odd years. People might be ready for THAT kind of change.

      •  I agree that it's getting SLIGHTLY better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But mostly because some prominent Dems are finally pushing back and the GOP's gone too far of late, and Americans are still suffering. But it's still mostly business as usual in the establishment media, and will take many more years to turn around. Basically, so long as the establishment media is owned by big money, whose interests are in line with and better represented by the GOP, things will never be that much better. How could they?

        A more promising way past this is hoping that more and more Americans simply tune out the establishment media as it gets ever more idiotic, and they finally realize that quality, truth and integrity sell.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:59:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've begun to notice a little bit of that as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've also seen numerous articles (and not just from left-wing outlets) promoting Elizabeth Warren as a potential Democratic presidential candidate, even after Warren signed a letter encouraging Hillary Clinton to run for president.

        My parents made me a Democrat. Scott Walker made me a progressive.

        by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:56:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. I find that really odd (0+ / 0-)

          And much as I think Warren is fantastic and just how I would wish for all Democrats to be (at least in terms of advocacy for the working man and woman, homeowner, and pension-holder, if they can't manage an equal degree of social liberalism in a given place), I don't think she would have a good chance of winning a nationwide general election if she actually did choose to run and won the primaries. I think her sometimes strident manner of speaking and down-the-line progressivism wouldn't sell in enough swing states, unless her opponent were someone perceived as a real extremist, like Senator Cruz.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 02:19:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama media relationship (0+ / 0-)

      It is full out war with Obama and the MSM.  His crackdown on leaks hit their bottomlines.  He has limited their access to him.  All they have is faux news insistence that their coverage help him win in 2008.  They are angry with him and the democrats and that leads to the bad reporting ie...benghazi, irs etc.  This needs to be fixed right away.  ONLY OBAMA CAN FIX IT!!!!

      •  I think it's overdetermined (0+ / 0-)

        There is no ONE reason. I have one. You gave one. There are others. But I agree that he's added to the problem with his condescending attitude towards the media. He really doesn't seem to enjoy governing, which necessarily involves media relations. He seems to enjoy campaigning, speaking to large adoring crowds and "big picture" stuff. But the day to day detail stuff that governing is mostly all about, he clearly hates, and isn't very good at.

        Still can't figure out why he ran since he doesn't seem to like the job.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 10:02:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its not governing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Caped Composer, CoyoteMarti

          He had to realize that would be hard.  I think he is tired of the brickwall.  What he hasn't figured out is that only the media can help with the perception that a presidency is going well.  The media didn't openly attack Bush until Katrina because he had a strategy to treat them well.  He needs a strategy now!

  •  There's a lot of work to be done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Odysseus, SouthernLeveller

    1. Win at least a net 17 House seats, preferably more,
    2. Hold the senate, preferably gaining a 60 seat advantage, and
    3. Push Obama to disregard his fat-cat benefactors and return to his progressive roots, preferably with party unity.
    That's a tough agenda, but goals should always be set at least a little bit "too high."
    Get busy.

    •  I'm ever the pessimist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Caped Composer

      so I don't think these are necessarily possible, but from an electoral standpoint, how good 2014 ends up being will determine how far 2016 will go.  Just like how 2006 greased the skids for the '08 tsunami, 2014 will set the mood for 2016.  If we get a '98-esque showing, 2016 looks pretty good for Clinton to sweep Congress.  If we get a '94 showing, it might even keep our top tier candidates away from running in 2016, which would only make things harder downballot.  

    •  60??? What R Senate seats do you see us picking (6+ / 0-)

      up?  Maybe KY, that's it.  We're defending 21 seats to R's 14.

      Look at the 2014 Senate map

      We're looking at Montana, West VA and South Dakota in trouble with AK and LA shaky.

      We'll be lucky to HOLD the Senate.  Adding 5 seats?  Come on.

      Retired Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able). Sarcasm for - and derision of - True Believers / Entitlement "Reformers" / NSA cheerleaders (yes, significant overlap) still available 24/7, you betcha!

      by JVolvo on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:06:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At this time in 2007, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tronsix2, The Caped Composer

        Gordon Smith was considered a lock to hold the seat now held by Jeff Merkley.
        I said the outlook is daunting.
        Is the the cause therefore not just?
        What is your point?

        •  Oregon is a Dem-leaning state, though (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo, MichaelNY, Avedee

          so it could have been foreseen. At this point in 2007 things looked bad because we didn't have a prominent candidate. It ended up being moot because of how big Obama's win was here (in OR), which dragged Merkley across the finish line.

           In 2008 we had Republicans lose seats in Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Virginia and North Carolina, a bunch of blue and purple states. We don't have Republicans in Dem-leaning states up next year, aside from Susan Collins in Maine. Our best hopes are in Kentucky and Georgia, a couple red states. Meanwhile it looks like we'll lose seats in South Dakota, and probably West Virginia and Montana.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 06:48:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Reality is my point. It took TeaBag Batshit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL, nimh

          Wackos (TM) winning R primaries in 2010 and 2012 purple swing states - then losing to Dems - for us to avoid losing the Senate those cycles.

          Sure, we'll get lucky with another one or two of those but let's not hit the crack pipe re 60.

          Again, look at the map

          Retired Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able). Sarcasm for - and derision of - True Believers / Entitlement "Reformers" / NSA cheerleaders (yes, significant overlap) still available 24/7, you betcha!

          by JVolvo on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:12:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Chained CPI (8+ / 0-)

    Will surely help keep voters happy with the Democratic party.

    Yes, I know it hasn't been enacted.

    But no, it hasn't been renounced, and still has its own page on the White House's website.

    Because we can clearly afford to give Republicans extra ammo to use against us.

    While Republicans have no problem with it themselves, policy-wise, they wouldn't hesitate for a moment to use it against us, claiming Democrats want to cut Social Security.

    This has troubled me, and many others it seems, from the moment it was first discussed by our own party.

    Only time will tell whether fears of it impacting 2014 are overblown.

    I hope they are, but it would be even better if we just, you know, took off the table completely, because it's bad policy and bad politics.  

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:33:18 PM PST

  •  Phoning In The Lazy Recycled Bullshit nt (7+ / 0-)

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:33:50 PM PST

  •  I hate to say it (4+ / 0-)

    but given the general stupidity of the American voting/non-voting public, it wouldn't surprise me if the Republicans made some gains next year. One thing IS CERTAIN HOWEVER, the MSM will do it's level best to see that that happens.

    •  I honestly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I honestly don't see how 2014, at its very worse, is something more than a wash.  I don't get the doom.  I don't get the gloom.

      So long as the Dems are divided, it won't be good for us, but I don't see how it gets worse given the the decision America seems to have already made about both parties.  Things are becoming more baked in, not less.  The swings are simply going to be smaller until something finally breaks.  2010 is an abberation just as 2008 was.  Let me rephrase that.  Either the swings will be less severe, or they'll be equally severe in either direction.  

      There just isn't anyway with Americans trending to the left on quite a few key individual issues since 2008, especially, that you somehow get increasingly red Congresses out of it.  Gerrymanders only hold so long against trends.  I'm not saying Dems take the House back in 2014, but I don't get the line I hear from so many pundits that Dems aren't taking back the House any time soon.  We're in a holding pattern, basically, until someething gives...and I don't know what that something is or will be, but the Republican's positions ain't getting more popular, that's for damned sure.

  •  No one should under estimate the ability of the (3+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party to give up their advantage in the chase for the middle.

    Liberal Obama beat the front runner for the Primary. A marginally less progressive Obama handidly won 2008.

    A divided Democratic Party threw away 2010. They resuscitated the GOP. Almost all of the blue dogs who failed to deliver on the promise that they won on lost their seat. Why vote for people who failed to deliver?  The Austerity Obama created as a result of 2010 flopped in the polls until January of 2012.

    In the run up to 2012, Liberal Obama reappeared and won handily against Romney.

    So in 2014, what will the Democratic Party deliver?

  •  And the south will rise again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW, Phoenix Woman

    Lessons from 2010.

    The tea party is at least partially responsible for not gaining the senate, and definitely responsible for not have as large as possible majority in the House.

    The tea party will elect representatives that are not capable of achieving goals.  Obamacare is still the law of the land.  Military cuts are at level that left winger could never have dreamed of, and republicans are being blamed for taking Thanksgiving away from working families.  Thank the flying spaghetti monster.

    Ted Cruz is no longer the little darling of Texas moderates.

    Yes, what other gifts can the republicans give us in 2014.  More crackpots that will negotiate even more military budget  cuts?  Another shutdown that will give most federal employees a paid two week vacation but save us another two weeks of paying contractors?  Yippee.

  •  I didn't know Nathan Gonzales and Reid Wilson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theBreeze, Phoenix Woman

    are "two of the more well-read voices of all things electoral."

    Never has a clue on that piece of info.

  •  2013 GOP sabotage = 2014's more Republictage /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theBreeze, a2nite

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:41:26 PM PST

  •  Thats a pretty sober analysis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theBreeze, JeffW, Phoenix Woman, MichaelNY

    Luckily, there is a lot of time between now and then and hopefully things will move in our direction.

    •  Speak for yourself, fc. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've found that if you are intending to drink all day, you have to start in the morning.

      The core of the Daily Kos behavior guide is simple: don't be a dick.~Kos

      by theBreeze on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:48:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  FC speaks for me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, MichaelNY, furiouschads

        And others among us who don't confuse "right now" with "November 2014".

        If the GOP was really sitting so pretty, Mitch McConnell wouldn't be calling in every one of his chits trying to neuter the Tea Party in order to keep them from pushing for another shutdown.

        If the GOP was really sitting so pretty, Republicans wouldn't be itching to get out and fundraise to fight off their primary challengers.  (Most Dems don't have that problem -- they can bank their money until this summer, when the general election gears up.)

        Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

        by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:56:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  LOL, well I've only done that a few times (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but I ended by early afternoon :)

  •  Depends on the breaks. (3+ / 0-)

    Not long ago it was the GOP on the ropes with their government shutdown. But they were saved (again) by the Democratic Party, in this case a poor rollout of the ACA.

    It's like watching two punch drunk fighters, one crazy and other with a bad memory.

    "He's up! He's down! He's up again!"

    "Wait a second. His opponent got tied up in the ropes. All on his own."

    It's a bad movie.

  •  Good points, Steve. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think historical comparisons can be made beyond the mid 90s.   I don't think the electorate has the attention span to remember how they were screwed over 15-20 years ago by the same liars who lie to them today.
       I don't think that many of us have the necessary critical thinking to look beyond recent history and the constant lies, spin, re-interpretation of history that seems so prevalent in print and broadcast media.

    The core of the Daily Kos behavior guide is simple: don't be a dick.~Kos

    by theBreeze on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:56:09 PM PST

    •  It's also a new electorate. (3+ / 0-)

      Think of how many twentysomethings were toddlers during the 1996 and 1997 shutdowns.  Hell, even most thirtysomethings were still preoccupied with puberty and dating than with following current events.

      Most Americans have always been disengaged from politics; it's one of the defining characteristics of a typical American, unfortunately.

      Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:59:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Progressives Should Be on the Offensive (4+ / 0-)

    This is why progressives should be on the offensive. Most of the country wants liberal policy, they just want working liberal policy.

    We need to declare a peace dividend and transfer money from military spending to social spending, where it will help the economy gain traction. This can be thought of as a reward for the austerity people had to suffer under a Republican dominated capital.

    5X, etc.

    And Democrats should come out for building worker and environmental protections into our trade agreements. We need to insist that existing trade agreements have an international minimum wage added--or we pull out.

    We need to select and support Democratic candidates for 2014 that sign up for progressive initiatives. By shifting money to those candidates we show the American people we mean to fix the problems, not just sign on to Republican ideas. They've seen enough of Republican ideas. That's why the Republican numbers are subterranean.

  •  Comparing the ACA to Wars and man-made disasters? (5+ / 0-)

    Wow! If Reid and Gonzales aren't examples of shitty false equivalency journalists, well, then idk what is.

  •  Remember the "GOP is doomed" meme of October? (8+ / 0-)

    I would ignore this meme just as thoroughly as we should have ignored the previous meme.

    Nov '14 is a long way away. The Democrats need to keep doing their jobs and pointing out that they are doing things for the American people rather than to them.

    I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

    by Dave from Oregon on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:34:22 PM PST

  •  These pundits are all morons. We lost in 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama didn't live up to the hype and offered no change. We'll do just fine in 2014 because Obama is irrelevant and GOP policies suck.

    The thing that saved us was that the GOP mistakenly thought that aggravation with Obama in 2010 meant that people actually supported their policies. They are a dying breed and should be kissing Obama's ass for giving them more years to breathe.

  •  Here is how I see it: They vote more than we do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    furiouschads, CoyoteMarti, nimh

    during midterms.  We know this and it is the main thing we need to overcome...because they already vote in higher numbers on off presidential years, but if they come is even higher numbers because the ACA is not great then it will be a wave unless our loyal base get out the vote in record numbers (and we can do that).

    It is not just the website, that is the problem. We will have 24/7 news about the ACA and it really needs to get positive and quickly.  The website will be fixed, no doubt.  In a few days, weeks or months...the website issue will be history.  BUT...that is not the end of the scrutinizing that the ACA will undoubtedly face from the media and the voters.

    We will have the Jan 1 "deadline" to deal with this in the news.....

    Did enough people enroll?

    Did enough young people enroll?

     Did enough people enroll in the exchanges versus the number in Medicaid expansion?

    Have they been able to pay?

     Will their coverage work when they hit the doctors offices tomorrow?

    Will they be happy with how much they pay at that office visit? (presuming it is not a preventative check)

    Will they be happy with their doctor?  (was it a new one?  did they have to travel far to see one?  did they have to wait 3 weeks for an appointment or 3 hours in a waiting room etc etc )  

    Now, if all of that is a net positive for most people, they YAY!  We win!!!   If not, or heaven forbid even the website is still down...then watch the polls or and will be brutal.

    Ok, now you have the March "deadline" and the news will be all over this....

    Did 7 million people enroll in federal exchanges?

    Was there a ratio of about 40 to 50 % healthy young folks?

    Is the website completely working and is the back end also working so no one's information is getting lost or the insurance companies are getting paid on time?

    Are MOST people happy with their premiums? co-pays? doctor choice? treatment centers? deductibles? customer service? wait times? ETC ETC

    Then ask  all the questions listed above under January and ask them again now because the media certainly will and voters certainly will be yelling in any of the above is a problem for a lot of people.

    Now, if all of that is a net positive for most people, they YAY!  We win!!!   If not, or heaven forbid even the website is still down...then watch the polls or and will be brutal.

    Ok and we haven't even gotten to the point of thinking about companies cutting hours or dropping people from insurance or whatever....nor the possible rate increase in Nov 2014 if the 7 million number is not reached and/or too many sick or older people sign up versus young people.

    So that means the ACA will be in the news no matter what, good, bad, great or year.   It is simply fact.  If it is great...we win, period, because people will vote to keep something they love.

    If it is not great, they we really, really, really must get out the vote and remind our loyal base that we MUST vote in the midterm because the ACA is law and we must have time to fix it.  The hysteria over this law and the fact that every detail of it from now on will be looked at through the lenses of a microscope is what is going to guide the election next year.  We must make it a net positive for most people or get out the vote in record numbers.  

    Unfortunately we can't depend on people's empathy for their fellow man to be a factor.  Most people lost that idea a long time ago.


  •  Democrats alone own the government (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Most voters are disinformed, and they see the Democrats in power overall. The average American might not know who controls the House, and even if he knew he might consider it subordinary to the presidency and government in general. Which is indisputably Democratic.

  •  Three reasons why it's not 2010 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, furiouschads

    -- In 2010, the polling numbers for many Democrats were so bad we were seeing Democratic retirements all over the place as early as mid-2009.  That's not been happening this year.  (We are seeing a number of GOP retirements, including Michele Bachmann's.  Seems that her last win, in a district that had been freshly rearranged so as to have a key Democratic stronghold removed, and against an opponent she outspent 10-to-1, was a bit too close for comfort.)

    -- In 2010, the polling numbers had been bad, and consistently bad, since mid-2009, and were due to various factors that weren't going to change before the 2010 elections.  Right now, the polling numbers have only been bad for about a month, and are bad mostly because of the steady stream of negative coverage of the Obamacare website; as the website improves, the numbers will recover.

    -- In 2010, the Republicans weren't able to shut down the government.  They've already done so once in 2013, and will do so again (as every single Federal worker I know has told me) as soon as next month.  This will cause a replay of October 2013, except this time it will be that much closer to Election Day, and it will be right when Republican congresscritters will be wanting to get out and fundraise to fight off their Koch-funded primary challengers -- a problem most Democratic candidates don't have.

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:26:45 PM PST

  •  A party doesn't usually get a chance to ride the (3+ / 0-)

    high surf of outrage two elections in a row.

    Our side did get that chance in 2006 and 2008, but in those two cycles, we got to run against the most unpopular war in our history - Iraq, the worst economic crisis since the depression, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Sarah Palin.

    I think the outrage of 2010 has since peaked barring some sort of a prolonged crisis with the ACA. The ACA will most likely become less unpopular, and might be a positive good for our prospects. It would be cool if we could flip the Kentucky seat because of this. Kynect seems to be getting good reviews.

    The GOP probably won't do another prolonged shutdown, but just to prove their manhood, they might flirt with it, or even shut things down for a day or two. That won't help them much.

    I agree that nobody can really be sure this early. At this point in 2011, did anyone think that Obama would easily win reelection, and the Dems would gain seats in both houses?

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 07:34:24 PM PST

    •  Most unpopular war (0+ / 0-)

      I find it hard to believe that Vietnam wasn't ultimately more unpopular. Do you have polling data on this?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:00:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good question. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, CoyoteMarti, nimh

        I'm old enough to remember the last half of the Vietnam war. I turned 17 just before they were evacuating the embassy in Saigon. Obviously, we all know it was unpopular, particularly with my boomer generation who was expected to fight it - I was glad to see it over. But you'd be surprised about the number of people that still thought we should stay there and stick it out. I'd like to track down some old polling and compare the two wars at the end of each, although remember that the science of polling was far less developed at the time.

        Damn, you asked a good question. Both wars were manifestly unpopular by the end of our involvement  Involvement in both was for fraudulent reasons.The US body count was far worse for Vietnam. Both wars at the end had scores of conservatives who had turned against the wars, and scores of stalwarts who still defended the wars. I think Iraq definitely started with less of base of support - there were antiwar protests before the war even started, and establishment dissenters likewise, some of them right wing.

        I'm going to do some research and get back to you on this. Thanks for provoking my brain on this.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:13:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This does not constitute an in depth study, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, CoyoteMarti, nimh

        but it's the best I can do before I get to bed.

        Found an article on the Gallup site comparing polls they took in 2008 regarding whether our involvement in the Iraq war was a mistake and a similar poll taken in 1971 on Vietnam. Looks like Iraq scored a couple points higher on the negatives than did Vietnam. 2% is probably not statistically significant, so it's probably a wash as far as these two polls. I'd like to pursue this further.  

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:33:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't assume people identify KYnect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with Obamacare.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:01:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Democrats will do everything they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        can to remind Kentuckians about the connection. Ironically, so will the Republicans. They are hard wired to do so, even if it means shooting themselves in the foot. Oh, well, just another gun fail.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:25:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure you're completely right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RhodeIslandAspie, nimh

          There may be some Democrats who won't want to connect the two up. For one thing, KYnect really works, whereas the Federal health website so far has had a lot of problems, as we all know.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:41:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it's a great opportunity to show that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the ACA is basically sound, but could have been implemented better at the Federal level. It's also a chance to hoist the GOP on their own petard on their constant refrain that doing things at the state level gives us 50 laboratories to see what works best. The ACA gave the states the ability to do precisely that by running their own exchanges, and Republican governors and legislators almost universally rejected the opportunity, instead being stuck with the buggy Federal system. Democratic governors and legislators, on the other hand, were quite happy to set their own. We can argue that we are actually better Federalists than the Republicans are. Federalism for them means an excuse to do nothing, for us, it means having the states be true partners with the Federal government.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:47:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Way too early to tell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, DownstateDemocrat

    But, while i can easily imagine Democrats to lose Senate (6-7 seats are quite possible), there are simply no 63 seats in House to lose after redistricting. 15 - possible. So - "identical" results are unimaginable.

  •  I'm still cautiously upbeat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about the Senate. But I fear our chance to retake the House, uphill as it was, may have slipped out of our grasp. And, with it, any chance for real progress prior to January '17. I really pray the GOP coughs up the ball, again, come February.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 12:43:55 AM PST

  •  "Literally" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nimh, MichaelNY
    However, in spite of all that, there is an elephant in the room, literally.
    Really? There's "literally" an elephant in the room? What room?

    Sorry to be a stickler on this, but, why is there a need to add "literally" to this sentence when it is clearly not meant to be literal?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site