DISCLAIMER: 2014 election numbers are still trickling in, so the numbers below are a snapshot when I compared this year to 2010’s midterms numbers.
Jim Acosta says the POTUS’s electorate “rejected” him in the midterms; Jonathan Chait says “The Obama movement melted away almost immediately” after the “giddy wake” of 2008’s election of the first African-American POTUS.
They’re both dead wrong – and more pundits like them. Wrong.
Now remember the beltway wisdom is “2010 was a tea party/Republican ‘wave'” and “2014 was a drubbing of the Democratic party” and, ultimately, wrongly, “the future is with the Republican party” because Democratic voters don’t show up in midterms.
OK, three states, watch this:
“The future of the state is red. It’s gone conservative since the days of Clinton as Governor.” Etc. etc.
2010’s midterm had 739,774 voters
2014’s midterm had 806,217 voters
Bottom line: MORE PEOPLE VOTED. That’s great for democracy.
Republicans had an increase of +22,812; Democrats an increase of +43,631.
Both years a Republican won, but bottom line is Democrats had a 2:1 increase in voters in a climate when Democrat supporters supposedly don’t turn out.
Now this was a fun state to watch. Nunn should never have stood a chance, and she not only challenged the Republican, but these numbers are SHOCKING.
2010’s midterm had 2,486,420 voters
2014’s midterm had 2,509,780 voters
OK, so 23,360 more people turned out to vote. Not a drastic increase unfortunately… but, are you ready for this?
Republicans had a LOSS of -134,512 voters
Democrats had an INCREASE of +157,872 voters
Yeah, read that again pundits. 134k fewer Republicans turned out in 2014 than in 2010; and 157k more Democrats turned out in 2014 than 2010.
Basically, y’all are sphincters when it comes to listening to the PEOPLE.
A Republican won this year, good for them. But if “[Republican] voters turn out for elections reliably, not just in spasms of quadrennial excitement,” (c’mon Chait) then tell me how those numbers make sense.
Another state, that supposedly signaled weakening support for “the Clintons” and the Democratic machine in the first-in-the-nation Hawkeye State:
2010’s midterm had 1,089,901 voters
2014’s midterm had 1,078,526 voters
OH now that’s interesting. Fewer people voted this year than in 2010. Now, according to punditry logic, that’s because fewer Democratic supporters turned out, correct?
Wrong. I mean, BULLSHIT.
Republicans had a LOSS of -131,359 voters
Democrats had an INCREASE of +119,984 voters
Again, overall fewer people turned out to vote in 2014 than 2010, but Republican voters specifically dropped off in huge numbers.
Read another way: more than 130k voters were less excited by Joni Ernst in 2014 than they were by Chuck Grassley in 2010. Stick that in your punditry pie.
Now there are other states — shame on you Colorado — where the numbers showed an increase in voter turnout that largely favored Republicans. But by and large the LONG-TERM TREND favors the Democratic Party.
Pundits really should go state-by-state-by-state and write thorough articles instead of infusing hyperbole and their own cynicism and skepticism when pretty objective numbers suggest otherwise.
Take all this into account when you consider that 34 Senator seats are up for grabs in 2016, including, you guessed it: Arkansas, Georgia, and Iowa (seats currently held by Republicans). If GA and IA see another 100,000+ Republican voters drop off and 100,000+ Democratic voters gained, you can see where things are headed: a minority-majority coalition of Democratic voters. For at least the next 30 years.
Unlike them, I don’t get paid to write this.