Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What happened to the great Republican wave?

For months pundits have been declaring that the 2014 midterms would bring on a great Republican wave. The ingredients that would lead to that outcome included things that were baked into this particular election (several Senate Democrats up for re-election in red states combined with traditionally low turnout for Democrats in midterms) as well as some assumptions about:
  1. President Obama's approval numbers tanking
  2. Obamacare being a disaster for Democrats
  3. Scandal-mania (Benghazi, IRS, etc)
The most obvious place to observe this great wave was going to be in Senate races where it was assumed that Republicans would gain a significant majority based in part on them ousting Democratic incumbents in places like New Hampshire and North Carolina.

We should all be noticing by now that - regardless of the outcome of the Senate majority - it is increasingly unlikely that we'll see a Republican wave. In terms of Senate races, Republicans will probably win in deeply red states like Georgia, Louisiana and Arkansas. But they won't be picking up seats in NH or NC. And they just might lose in Kansas. The real contests at this point are in swing states like Colorado and Iowa. No wave in sight. 

Of course we're not seeing many pundits declare the death of the Republican wave. After the election, everyone will scramble to explain how the results favor their side or validate their predictions. But I find at least a hint of recognition about this change from Stu Rothenberg - who just a month ago predicted that Republicans would gain 7 Senate seats. Yesterday he hedged his bets by writing: What if I'm wrong about GOP flipping at least 7 seats? That's as good of a mea culpa as you're going to get from guys like Rothenberg.

And so, when it comes to the great Republican wave of 2014...time to wave goodbye :-)


  1. Rothenberg always leans Republican, the reason being is that he is a Republican.

    1. That's exactly why his backtracking yesterday is worth noting.

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