The great triumph of Obama’s re-election was his campaign’s success at turning out so-called “unenthusiastic voters” — people who would, if pressed, pull the lever for the guy but who were unmotivated to do so…
But why couldn’t the Democrats press their technical advantage in 2010, when Republicans won 63 seats in the House and nearly 700 down-ticket races across the country?
The answer: Technique doesn’t mean everything. When the electorate wants to send a message to Washington in no uncertain terms, as it did after Obama’s legislative overreach in 2009 and 2010, the message will be sent.
But this year Republicans decided this wouldn’t be an issue-based election, in part because the party itself isn’t sure where it stands collectively on a variety of issues — and in part because, having recruited a first-class team of candidates, it was thought they would do better making a case for themselves state by state.