I’m paraphrasing, natch, but there’s a reason why this ad is heavy on human imperfection and verrry light on party identification. Pryor’s rightly worried about how the Democratic agenda’s playing at home in Arkansas, and by “agenda” I don’t mean raising the minimum wage. Odds that a future ad will include the phrase “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”: 95 percent.
Actually, O-Care’s only half his problem. The other half, Sean Trende argues, is that all signs over the past year point to an even steeper than expected drop-off for Democrats in 2014.
Taken together, of the 170 contested elections that have been held this year for state legislative seats, for federal office, or for statewide office, the Democrat ran ahead of President Obama’s 2012 showing in only 27 races. By contrast, the Democrat ran more than 10 points behind the president’s showing in 47 races. On average, Democrats ran 5.9 percentage points behind the president, with a median drop-off of 6.4. Even if we knock a point off of these numbers to account for the Chris Christie effect in many of these races, that’s still a big decline.
What does this mean for 2014? Possibly nothing. There is a lot of football left to be played, the president’s job approval rating could rally significantly, the Democrats could become enthused, and drop-off could become a non-issue.
But if that doesn’t happen, Democrats have a real headache coming on. Let’s assume they can expect a drop-off of four to five points from Obama’s 2012 performance, all other things being equal. Twenty-eight House Democrats occupy seats where Obama won less than 55 percent of the vote. More disturbingly for Mr. Jackson’s Party, 13 Senate seats fall into this category. This is consistent with what we’ve seen in polling: Democrats putting up terrible numbers in places like Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina, while races in states like Michigan and Iowa are looking surprisingly tight.
Bottom line: If the GOP can’t beat this stiff, who also voted for amnesty, in a conservative state with a Harvard Law grad turned decorated veteran as its nominee, it should disband. Exit question via David Freddoso, who notes that Republicans, of course, have played this game too: Who’s witnessing for whom here?