2014 Will Not Be a “Wave Election”

Bush wave

No, not that kind of wave.

Our friends at "The Fix" produced an interesting list today titled, "The 10 Things We Know 10 Weeks Before Election Day." While there are several interesting points on the list, the one that stood out most to us is #2:

This isn't a wave election. Yet.  The last two midterm elections — 2006 and 2010 — were waves, elections totally dominated by the national issue environment to the detriment of individual candidates trying to swim against the tide. (Terrible water metaphor alert!) That doesn't look like it's happening just yet.  The generic Congressional ballot — "if the election were held today would you prefer a Republican or Democratic controlled Congress?" — shows Democrats with a narrow one-point edge, a far cry from the five point (and building) margin that Republicans had at this time in the 2010 election. And, in Senate races, candidates like Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Mark Begich (Alaska) are hanging in races that, if the national environment was worse, would already be lost.

It has been awhile since we heard much talk about another midterm "wave election" similar to the 2010 version that gave Republicans control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Earlier this year, Republicans were giddy about the prospect of another wave that could enable them to pick up the Senate in 2014, but this election cycle looks and feels much different than 2010. Remember how much media coverage was given to Congressional town hall meetings in August of that year? Republicans may be more excited about the election than Democrats in general, but 2014 definitely does not have the same political fervor that enveloped 2010.

It's also worth noting that the 2010 national wave was significantly less impactful for Republicans here in Colorado. While Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton did capture seats held by Democrats (Rep. Betsy Markey and Rep. John Salazar, respectively), both CD-4 and CD-3 were not what any political handicapper would have called Democratic seats; Gardner and Tipton essentially won back seats that the GOP should have held anyway. In the 2010 Senate race, first-time candidate Michael Bennet defeated Republican Ken Buck in a race that Buck could have — and some say should have — won for Republicans. In CD-7, incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter absolutely destroyed GOP challenger Ryan Frazier, winning re-election by a 12-point margin.

"The Fix" hedges their bet about 2014 by saying that this "not yet" a wave election, but the "not yet" is unnecessary. If 2014 was indeed shaping up to be a "wave election," we would already be feeling it by now.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ZappateroZappatero says:

    If Markey and Salazar were smart then they both could've founds ways to be re-elected. My advice would've been to listen to Harry Truman's advice from so long ago that is still relevant today. IMHO, they both were towers of pudding and triangulated themselves out of a job. Salazar even got caught pretending he wasn't a Democrat in an amazing video filmed by a democratic activist in DC. Way to go, John!

  2. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Markey is targeting

    • retirees – (her oppponent wants to gut PERA, she wants to maintain it)
    • working people (folks resent Stapleton's lack of a work ethic, want the Treasurer to seek economic benefits for Colorado)
    • public in general, who want a non-partisan, professional Treasurer

    She shouldn't be too partisan – that's not the way for her to win. Professionalism and competence is.

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    Until and unless the GOTP morphs into a sane, rational political entity completely unrecognizable from the debased, deranged, unhinged, nihilistic, racist, reactionary, hypocritical, power-mad, plutocratic, regressive, morally, culturally, spiritually and ethically bankrupt cabal it is today, it has most likely seen the last "wave" it ever will.

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      I think that just about covers  them, DP. From your lips to the elecotate's ears. We need to buttonhole every wishy-washy unaffilated voter we can find with exactly that message

      • Not Dame Edna says:

        It's not the wishy-washy unaffiliateds that worry me. It's the lazy Dems and the fact that the R's are dedicated voters.

        • BlueCat says:

          Even if they do quite well in 2014 due to a challenging senatorial election map for Dems, demographics are  coming to overwhelm them, eventually to overwhelm many gerrymandered districts in southwestern states.

          They've already lost their ability to win a national election. They'll never elect enough Senators to override a Dem President's veto and until they take their party back from the extremists who run it now, including those laughingly called moderate, they aren't going to have a GOTP President to sign legislation or a GOTP 60 vote block in the Senate (if they get a whisper thin majority there in 2014 they'll lose it in 2016) to get legislation even that far. They aren't going to be able to get anymore conservatives onto the Supreme Court without a Republican in the WH either. 

          Not saying there's nothing to worry about but remembering the positives too is good for the blood pressure. Also a big cleansing breath or two.wink

  4. Andrew Carnegie says:

    If taking back the Senate and picking up seven Senate seats, as projected by RCP is not a wave, so be it. I would be OK with that.

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