2010 Campaign

What Democrats’ Losses in 2010 Can Tell Us About 2018

Nate Cohn: “If the political consequences of President Trump’s health bill are anything like those of President Obama’s, the vote on Thursday could become a litmus test for moderate, Democratic-leaning voters who often vote Republican in statewide or congressional elections.”

“A study by the political scientists Brendan Nyhan, Eric McGhee, John Sides, Seth Masket and Steven Greene showed that the Democrats who voted against the A.C.A. outperformed those who voted for it by a net 10 to 15 points in 2010… Our estimates are lower, at around 5 to 10 points, in part because many of the Democratic A.C.A. opponents fared particularly well in the 2008 elections, but it’s a considerable effect either way.”

“This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Democrats would have done 5 to 10 points better in the 2010 midterm elections if they had never pursued the Affordable Care Act. It just means that the members who didn’t vote for it did better than those who did.”

Roberts Declared Virginia Home His Residence

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) “put a signature to documents associated with the mortgage on a Virginia residence that identify the Fairfax County home as ‘principal residence’ of the three-term incumbent Republican,” the Topeka Capital Journal reports.

“The re-election campaign of the Kansan has been awash in controversy about whether his ownership of a duplex in Dodge City, which is rented out, and his payment of about $300 a month for a room in a Dodge City supporter’s home satisfied legal requirements for public office.”

Quote of the Day

“If you go back to how brutal my campaigns were, it was difficult to turn off the campaign switch and to remember to turn to governing.”

— South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), in an interview with The State, on how anger from her 2010 race shaped her governing style.

Walker Says He Was Unaware of $700K Donation

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said that he played “no role in soliciting cash from a mining company for the Wisconsin Club for Growth during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections, adding that no one should be surprised that the pro-business governor backed legislation helpful to the firm,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The Washington Post notes Walker’s “aggressive efforts” to raise money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth, “which allegedly served as a de facto arm of his campaign, are the latest details to emerge about a controversial two-year investigation of whether Walker’s campaign illegally coordinated with outside groups.”

Low Approval Rate Hurts Congressional Republicans

Harry Enten notes that while Democrats will likely be hurt in the midterm elections by President Obama’s low approval rating, the “effect of Congress’s approval rating seems very real. Republicans look like they could be hurt by that low approval rating. This flies in the face of the idea that this or any election with split control is solely a referenda on the president.”

How 2014 Isn’t Like 2010

Charlie Cook: “President Obama’s job-approval rating–generally bouncing around between 43 percent and 45 percent–is about where it was going into the 2010 midterms, when Democrats suffered devastating losses of 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.”

“But many other current circumstances aren’t quite like 2010. In 2006, Democrats picked up 31 House seats, and then another 21 in 2008, setting the party up for big House losses in 2010. Since those 2010 losses, Democrats picked up only eight House seats in 2012, so in 2014 they aren’t carrying a huge number of seats in difficult districts. Putting aside the fact that 96 percent of Democratic House members are in districts that Obama carried in 2012, a basic axiom in politics is that you can’t lose a seat that you’ve already lost. Having lost so many seats in 2010, Democrats can’t lose them again.”

Walker Urged Government Workers to Promote Him Online

“In the heat of the 2010 governor’s race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“It was just such anonymous posts by a county worker on campaign issues that prompted prosecutors to expand a secret ‘John Doe’ investigation — launched to probe into missing money in a veterans fund — to also examine whether taxpayer dollars were being used illegally to finance political operations.”

Reflecting on Rand Paul

Trey Grayson (R) talks to New York magazine about the meteoric rise of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the man who beat him in their 2010 U.S. Senate race:

“He wasn’t very good at retail politics. He didn’t shake hands very well. He didn’t work the room. I remember thinking, I can stand here and shake hands, and I’m going to win that comparison. But one of the things that struck me was that at events, his staffers would always say to people, ‘Have you heard Dr. Paul speak?’ They wouldn’t say, ‘Have you met him?’ They would say, ‘Have you heard him speak?’ And it was interesting because he wouldn’t get up there and do all these little pleasantries. He wouldn’t begin with ‘Hey, it’s great to be here in Johnson County! It’s good to see Senator So-and-So, he’s doing a great job! I love your apple festival in the fall!’ He wouldn’t even say, ‘Thanks for having me! It’s nice to be here!’ He would just sort of begin his talk and it would be pretty serious. Even the jokes weren’t very lighthearted. But people would go to his town-hall events and tell their friends, ‘Hey, I heard this Dr. Paul guy, you should go hear him speak, he made some really good points.'”

Quote of the Day

“I listened to that tape, and I couldn’t hear the word in question. I couldn’t hear it at all… I don’t know who it was. I’m not saying it couldn’t have been me. I thought OK, it probably was me… By the eighth time listening to it, I thought it wasn’t really worth my time.”

— California First Lady Anne Gust Brown, quoted by the Sacramento Bee, on whether hers was the anonymous voice who called 2010 gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R) a “whore” on an answering machine.

How Republicans Kept the House With Less Votes

Bloomberg has an excellent series on the GOP’s lock on the House of Representatives.

“One big reason the Republicans have this edge: their district boundaries are drawn so carefully that the only votes that often matter come from fellow Republicans.”

“The 2010 elections, in which Republicans won the House majority and gained more than 700 state legislative seats across the nation, gave the party the upper-hand in the process of
redistricting, the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional seats. The
advantage helped them design safer partisan districts and maintain their
House majority in 2012 — even as they lost the presidential race by
about 5 million votes.”

Health Care Reform Cost Democrats the House

A new study suggests President Obama’s health care reform effort cost Democrats their majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 election.

Washington Post: “The study ran 10,000 simulations of a scenario in which all vulnerable Democrats voted against the health care bill and found that the rejections would have saved Democrats an average of 25 seats, which would have made the House parties close to a tie. (Republicans won 63 seats overall, but the study suggests around 25 of them would have been salvaged.) In 62% of the simulations, Democrats were able to keep the House.”