Midterm Elections

How Bad Is the Democratic Brand?
November 03, 2010

From a Miami Herald dispatch on Rick Scott's narrow win over Alex Sink, to become Florida's next governor: "I wouldn't have voted for him if I had another Republican to choose from,'' said Frank Paruas, a 38-year-old Kendall Republican. "I think Alex Sink isn't a bad person. But I just couldn't vote for anyone in the Democratic party right now.'' It's just one quote. But it seems typical of how a lot of voters felt yesterday.  

Interpreting the Election? Think About Who Showed Up.
November 03, 2010

Older voters still tend to vote in midterm elections. Younger voters don't, at least not to the same extent. And while I'm still sorting through the historical comparisons, there's no question that pattern held in this election. Here, via Matt Yglesias, is a graph showing the proportion of the electorate each group made up in this election and the last one: As Yglesias properly note, this makes it more difficult to argue that the national mood has shifted in the last two years. If turnout had more closely matched what it was in 2008, Democrats would have done a lot better.

Why Tea Party Candidates Are Such Bad Orators (With Marco Rubio Being the Glaring, Terrifying Exception)
November 03, 2010

If there is one thing that remains untarnished in the Obama legacy thus far, it is that the man has raised the bar for public speaking in American political culture. Until a couple of years ago, this was a country where the last time anyone had made a speech worthy of anthologizing was Mario Cuomo in his “City on a Hill” speech way back in 1984.

It Was a Brutal Night
November 03, 2010

How bad a night was it for the Democrats? Worse than it seemed on television, I think. Early in the evening, Democrats were surprisingly competitive in a bunch of key races--for house seats in Kentucky and Indiana, Senate seats in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and governorships in Florida and Ohio. Although they would go on to lose all of them, pending final numbers in Florida, they held onto their Senate majority. And that complicated the media narrative. The symbolic importance of Harry Reid's victory, in particular, made it difficult for pundits to call the night a Republican rout.

The House Is Republican And It Ain't Going Back
November 03, 2010

Republicans won a huge victory in the House, and -- as Nate Silver explained at 4:15 AM, a time stamp that makes me only slightly skeptical of his conclusion -- they won more seats than you'd expect given their share of the overall vote. This is the third straight "wave" election in the House, and one might think the pattern could recur for a while, with control shifting back and forth. I doubt it. Get used to Republican control of the House of Representatives. It's going to stay that way for a long time. Why are Republicans in strong position to hold the House? Three reasons: 1.

A Lost Generation
November 03, 2010

Asked on Monday to assess the significance of the coming Democratic defeat, Tim Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tried to portray this election as fairly typical.

Covering the Coverage of the 2010 Elections
November 03, 2010

Jesse Singal bravely agreed to watch the cable news coverage of Election Day 2010, in its entirety, and report on it for us. These are the illuminating results: Mine Eyes Will See No Glory I'll be spending the remainder of this afternoon and evening watching election night coverage and blogging about it here. Think of it as an ultra-concentrated reenactment of the Chilean miners' ordeal.

No To Pot and Gay Marriage, Yes To Long State Names
November 03, 2010

As always, there were an assortment of ballot initiatives and other random acts of direct democracy that voters dealt with today. The two most famous, California's Prop 19 (legalization of marijuana) and Prop 23 (suspending the state's carbon emissions law), are losing, as polls predicted. On Prop 19, the theory that pot aficionados would hide their vice from pollsters appears to have been less compelling than the theory that pot aficionados would zone out on election day. More likely, the recent California law that reduced penalties for possession of small quantities of weed to a $100 fine un

As the Polls Close In Alaska, Joe Miller Simultaneously Attacks / Bear Hugs the Media
November 03, 2010

The polls just closed in Alaska, but before they did, Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller managed to sneak in one last dig at Murkowski and the media. Over the past few days, he's been blasting media outlets for colluding against him: Accusing the Murkowski camp of successfully intimidating radio outlets into pulling Miller ads; lumping that incident in with the removal of a right-wing radio host who had urged Miller supporters to sign up as write-ins to make Murkowski’s name harder to find on candidate list; and accusing an Anchorage CBS affiliate of fabricating stories after receiving a

Cleveland! Are You Ready to Riot? How Populism Worked in Ohio.
November 03, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] For months now, a variety of left-leaning pundits have warned Democrats to strike a more populist tone if they want to survive politically. Unless your definition of “survive” is pretty liberal, it’s hard to argue that Democrats accomplished that last night (though losing control of the Senate would obviously have been much worse). Looking over the reams of data that the midterms generated, is there any evidence that the kibitzers were right? The short answer is yes. And, ironically, it comes by way of a contest the Democrats lost.

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