Rumblings: More Republicans looking forward to midterms now than at this point in 2010

posted at 4:01 pm on January 8, 2014 by Allahpundit

Surprising, although it probably shouldn’t be. Any indicator that the GOP in 2014 might somehow outperform the big red wave of 2010 is noteworthy, but timing is everything here. I think.


In January 2010, ObamaCare hadn’t passed yet. Scott Brown was headed for victory in the Senate, imperiling the Democrats’ chances of getting it done. Republicans hadn’t reached peak outrage. In January 2014, we’ve just wrapped up three months of technological disaster, mass policy cancellations, and arbitrary weekly top-down tweaks by HHS to America’s new health-care regime. We may be at peak outrage now. I don’t think so — wait until small businesses start cutting insurance to their employees later this year — but it’s not unimaginable. It’ll be hard even for President Bumblefark to outdo the incompetence and imperiousness of late 2013. Notice too that Democrats are themselves more enthusiastic about the midterms right now than they were four years ago. I wouldn’t have expected that after the past three months, but maybe there’s some critical mass that thinks O-Care’s worst days are behind it and/or that the national game has moved on to issues like income inequality. All of these numbers help explain, I think, why you’re seeing seemingly contradictory headlines about congressional Republicans aiming for a light agenda this year and also pushing splashy anti-poverty ideas. The latter is a defense to the left’s inevitable “Republicans don’t care about the little guy” midterm messaging but the former reveals the truth that they’d rather not try anything ambitious when their base is already revved up to vote. Which means comprehensive immigration reform is, in the words of “The Princess Bride,” mostly dead for now.

One key question that’s unanswered, though: What about independents? There are a lot more of them than there are Republicans or Democrats. The fate of the Senate depends on which way they’re leaning and how enthusiastically. The most arresting graph in the Gallup poll that Ed posted earlier is the one showing a nine-point rise among indies in just the past year alone. I assume that’s being driven by contempt for the governing Democratic agenda on the one hand and contempt for the Republican-led House on the other, but which way that breaks electorally, I don’t know. It’s probably mostly a case of tea partiers and libertarians casting off the GOP label (as has been true for the past few years) while intending to vote Republican anyway, but some segment of these people may be so disaffected by gridlock and various government shenanigans — O-Care screw-ups, the shutdown, a slow economic grind that neither party can solve — that they’re just going to stay home. I’d rather know that than partisan enthusiasms right now.

I know, I know: This means I owe you a palate-cleanser later. Hmph.

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— Evidence that Boehner wants an immigration reform bill —

John Boehner works on immigration ‘principles’

Speaker John Boehner told colleagues Wednesday morning Republicans are working on a list of “principles” for immigration reform.

Boehner gives immigration backers hope

On immigration, Holler [communications director of Heritage Action for America] warned that any deal including a pathway to citizenship would have grave consequences for the GOP’s capacity to energize its grassroots supporters.

“There have been signals from high-ranking Republicans for some time that they were going to ‘address immigration’ in 2014. When they say that, it is typically code for some sort to amnesty,” Holler said. “That is a major concern, not just for policy reasons, but because you can’t afford that, heading into a midterm election when you need your base to turn out.”

Robert_Paulson on January 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Johnnyreb on January 8, 2014 at 4:36 PM

And more:

John Boehner resurrects immigration reform

If personnel is policy then House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is serious about immigration reform.


— Others —

Chamber vows to “pull out all stops” to pass immigration reform

“We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted,” Donohue said at his 2014 State of American Business address. “The Chamber will pull out all the stops — through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics and partnerships with unions, faith organization, law enforcement and other — to get it done.”

Robert_Paulson on January 8, 2014 at 7:03 PM

apologies to all for the multiple postings, wasn’t sure if my original post was going to make it out of moderation.

Robert_Paulson on January 8, 2014 at 7:05 PM

If Boehner passes amnesty, the midterms will be a bloodbath for the GOP.

Jack_Burton on January 8, 2014 at 7:08 PM

How about if we get a majority in the 2014 elections, and then have the Senate Republican caucus choose a different senator as the majority leader?

…oh yes…like they did in the House!…that worked well…didn’t it?

KOOLAID2 on January 8, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Importantly, in terms of this discussion, McConnel can be badgered into doing the right thing, Reid doesn’t care what most people on this site think and doesn’t care if they know it.

V7_Sport on January 8, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Historical evidence, with specifics in regards to McConnell please.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 8, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Let me get this straight.

In 2010 the differential was Rs +12.

In 2014 the differential is Rs +10.

According to who’s “new math” is that better?

Next thing we’ll hear about is some projected voter poll where the Ds are +3, but that really means the Rs are +2.

Do we really have to re-live the failure of 2012 in 2014?

It’s beginning to look like it.

Carnac on January 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Obamacare was not a tough vote to keep the party together on. Happy Nomad on January 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM

You are incorrect. Keeping the caucus together in the Senate just before Christmas 2009 (when Reid wouldn’t let them go home) was a very difficult challenge. Contrary to your revisionist history, there was tremendous pressure on every GOP moderate senator for any one of them to break — pressure from the White House, Redi/Schumer, K Street, not to mention the MSM.

Any of the moderates could have broken – Snowe, Collins, McCain, Murkowski, Ensign, Voinovich, among others — and yet McConnell — against long odds — held them together.

If anyone thinks this was an easy task, then you are woefully ignorant of the United States Senate.

matthew8787 on January 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

The ol’ lady? Or the kids.

Lanceman on January 8, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The wife, 5’3″ and can fight like a Navy SEAL.

That is exactly what I am doing, by supporting their primary challengers, and then if they survive that, by possibly voting against them in the general election.
Meople on January 8, 2014 at 6:16 PM

If you vote for a democrat thinking that you are pursuing conservative principles you are truly brain dead.

V7_Sport on January 9, 2014 at 8:01 PM