Midterm Elections

Foreclose? For Shame.
October 21, 2010

We sometimes hear that Barack Obama and his top people read The New Republic, but they must not have been paying attention during the campaign when we ran an article titled “History Lesson: FDR Solves the Mortgage Crisis,” by Andrew Jakabovics. If they had done so, they might have proceeded a little differently in dealing with the current crisis and with the controversy over foreclosures. In 1931, the United States began to suffer from a foreclosure crisis similar to the one today—in that year, 1.4 percent of all homeowners lost their homes.

Chris Coons Is Not a “Bearded Marxist”
October 21, 2010

Since winning the Republican nomination for Joe Biden’s Senate seat in Delaware (thanks in part to $150,000 in out-of-state Tea Party money), Christine O’Donnell has provided virtually all of the race’s rhetorical oxygen.

How Money Works In Congressional Elections
October 20, 2010

You’ll want to read John Sides on the David Brooks column about money in politics. As John says, Brooks is correct to say that people overrate the importance of money in elections--but John corrects him on the current debate over spending effects: “the major debate is not over whether money matters, it’s over the relative impact of incumbent and challenger spending.” The people who study this (and I’ll repeat John’s citation of Gary Jacobson) most definitely do believe that campaign spending matters--but not as much as some think. Why does money have only limited importance?

Why Are Republican-Hating Voters Voting Republican?
October 20, 2010

Polls have shown that the public trusts President Obama and Congressional Democrats more than Congressional Republicans. Yet the public is prepared to give the Republicans a huge victory. Why? Shankar Vedantum says it's something called "action bias": When we are stuck in a bad place, whether that bad place is a marriage, a traffic jam, or a weak economy, it is very tempting to try something new.

The Republican Overreach Begins
October 20, 2010

If Republicans take control of the House, apparently their plan is to take revenge upon the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to accede to the demands of lobbyists by tying up agency head Lisa Jackson in endless hearings: On the campaign trail, Republicans have adopted the Environmental Protection Agency as a favorite symbol of the White House’s regulatory overreach.

The Elephants and Donkeys Shall Lie Down Together
October 20, 2010

No one really knows what the final numbers will be when the dust settles, but we already know the most important outcome of the November 2 elections: The strategy Democrats used to pass legislation during the 111th Congress will no longer be operative.

Good Polling News For Dems (Look Quickly!)
October 19, 2010

With just two weeks left until Election Day, and early voting well under way in many states, we’ve reached that point where partisans are getting sweaty palms and looking for any kind of evidence of a late trend in their direction. In this respect, today has been a good day for Democrats. New polls show alleged dead heats in two Senate races (Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) where most observers were all but assuming Republican victories as a near-certainty.

How Third-Party Candidates Could Screw Up The Midterms: A Primer
October 19, 2010

Can't get enough of this year's possible spoilers? Check out TNR's slideshow of some of the best (and most bizarre) third-party candidates who could sway some of the country's biggest elections. One of the under-appreciated facts about the 2010 midterms is the sheer number of races that could be scrambled by third-party candidates. Quixotic Tea Party runs could thwart GOP gains in more than a dozen key House races. Former Republicans like Charlie Crist and Lisa Murkowski are foraging for votes without official party backing. The Green Party is doing its usual spoiler thing.

The Most Despicable Ad of the Year
October 19, 2010

There are still two weeks left until the midterm elections, but it’s not too early to declare a winner in the contest for the most despicable political ad of this campaign season. On Friday night, Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, released a 30-second spot questioning the Christian faith of his Republican opponent Rand Paul. Conway’s ad focused on two episodes from Paul’s days as a college student in the early 1980s.

NY Gubernatorial Debate: More Fringe Candidates, Please!
October 18, 2010

By all rights, tonight's gubernatorial debate in New York should've been a daffy three-ring circus—even by the abysmal standards of the 2010 midterms. Put aside, for a moment, Republican candidate Carl Paladino's well-known penchant for emailing bestiality porn to his friends and uttering physical threats to reporters.