Bitching Brew

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mid-term elections in the US.

I'm not living in the US, but I have closer exposure to its people and media than my European friends. So let me present a sceptical assessment.

The common belief, garnering much media traction, is that the Democrats are going to sweep control of the House, and possibly of the Senate too. Many reasons have been cited, ranging from anger at the Iraq war, to the wreck of New Orleans, congressional ineptitude and scandals, and all the financial woes that have been affecting low- to middle-income families. I don't disagree that the Republicans have been busy digging a grave for themselves, led by the great excavator himself.

The question is: are the Democrats fit and pretty enough to tip the elephant into its soggy tomb? I'm less certain than the consensus is. If anti-war sentiment is the major wild card in this election, then how does that translate to pro-Democrat sentiment? Sure, it might keep the floating voter from casting for a Republican. Yet the small fact ignored by the great consensus is that the Democrats are overwhelmingly pro-war, and despite the best efforts of individual candidates, the party as a whole is constrained from portraying itself as an opponent of the war. Thus I'm far from clear whether the angry floating voter will be sufficiently motivated to drive to the polling station and vote for a Democrat. The same suspicion pertains, more strongly, to the disillusioned Republican.

If the Democrats can't mobilise a large turnout, they won't gain control of either chamber. They have a good chance of victory, but I think the odds are far lower than the media is making out. We'll soon see.

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  • Well, shit. You've reminded me that I have to vote today. I don't feel like it - blame it on voter apathy. (Oh, by the way, I did nothing on Halloween - how was yours?)

    By Blogger dpineapple, at Tue Nov 07, 03:41:00 p.m.  

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