The Daily Beast: A Midterm Flashback
Folks at The Daily Beast have been looking into predictions versus realities in elections gone by. Check out this report they turned up from the eve of the 1994 midterm elections.
Charles Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report:
“The Democrats will lose 20-25 in the House; four to five in the Senate. I’m seeing softening for Democrats in key Senate races, such as Virginia. Anti -incumbency, despondency among Democratic voters and a galvanization of GOP voters are the overarching trends. Democrats are disillusioned with Clinton; Republicans hate him and will turn out in droves. The GOP vote is coming home and it’s hardening earlier than usual.”
Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Report, a political newsletter:
“The Democrats will lose 24-26 seats in the House; three to five in the Senate. They’re vulnerable in the South and in traditionally Republican districts in the North that they’ve been able to hold in the past by splitting the Republicans. However, President Clinton’s unpopularity is uniting the GOP. This isn’t a particularly ideological election, though. It’s just insiders versus outsiders, and Democrats are the insiders right now. Voters remain skeptical about the role of government, another negative for Democrats. Clinton has tried to alter this widespread mistrust of governmental activism, but he hasn’t succeeded.”
Larry Sabato, professor of government at the University of Virginia:
“My slogan has always been: ‘He who lives by the Crystal Ball ends up eating ground glass.’ Nevertheless, it looks like Democrats will be lucky to lose only 24-25 seats in the House and four in the Senate. Much of it hinges on President Clinton’s popularity. Many of these elections are turning into a referendum on Bill Clinton, as is usually the case with mid-term elections and the President in power. About a half dozen Senate races will be decided with less than two percent of the vote. So last-minute trends will matter.
Considering that the same pundits are now saying that Republicans could gain anywhere from 50-70 seats in the House and eight to ten seats in the Senate, as folks line up at the polls today in what could be record numbers, it really has to make you wonder. At my polling place in Summerville, SC this morning, for example, pollworkers noted that people were waiting outside the doors in folding chairs since 6:30 a.m.
“I’ve never seen it like this,” one worker told me as I stood in line with my daughter.
Me either. It should be a fun night.