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Friday, September 05, 2014

A funky Friday for Democrats

Here’s a thought experiment: If someone had told you a year ago that the jobs report out today would be miserable, that Americans would be feeling levels of anxiety on national security not seen in years and that the president’s job approval rating would have skidded to 38 percent, how would you have forecast the elections two months away? What if you also knew that Democrats had committed a series of unforced errors, including a senator dropping his candidacy over plagiarism and a star recruit accidentally posting her whole campaign strategy online? What if you also knew that no Republican incumbents had been unseated in primaries? There are plenty of factors to consider, particularly Democratic spending advantages, but today provides a snapshot of a cycle that is tilting out of control for the majority party. Badly. Remember today the next time someone is trying to tell you that the atmosphere this year is anything other than brutal for Democrats.

The emerging conventional wisdom is that voters are “kind of over” ObamaCare and that the midterm elections are about other things. But that’s sort of like saying that people are over fire being hot: It may not be a surprise anymore but it still matters quite a lot, especially when it flares up. Just consider the news that, true to widespread and oft-repeated warnings, hackers breached the site for the program and that the incursion went undetected for six weeks. The problem is that it comes as a surprise to no one since the administration ignored its own security requirements and plowed ahead with the now infamous launch. President Obama’s signature entitlement program has been helped by low expectations following its 2013 crash – ObamaCare: Not Dead Yet! – but every time Americans are reminded about the botched and bungled implementation, it further hardens opposition to the law. What really matters, though, is what’s coming in the two months before the election.


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