The Low Information Voter

Ken AshfordElection 2014, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

  The author’s inspiration for this cartoon comes in part from this piece from September, about Kentucky voters who love the state’s new health insurance exchange (Kynect) but still disapprove of the Affordable Care act: “I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, … Read More

2014 Election Was NOT A Sea Change

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

Demographics remain the same, says Pew: Yesterday’s elections brought a widespread win for the Republican Party, which will increase its share of seats in the House in the next Congress, and take over the Senate, with a net gain of at least seven seats. Nationally, 52% of voters backed Republican candidates for Congress, while 47% voted for Democrats, according to … Read More

Let’s Not Do What Legislators Do

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

National Review has an editorial today that’s headlined: The Governing Trap Yup.  The National Review is suggesting that governing Republicans should not actually try to govern the country: The desire to prove Republicans can govern also makes them hostage to their opponents in the Democratic party and the media. It empowers Senator Harry Reid, whose dethroning was in large measure the … Read More

Election 2014: A GOP Wave (Or Was It?)

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

So what happened? In retrospect, it was a fairly familiar midterm story. A ruling party went into a campaign with an unpopular President and a discontented electorate, and, on an Election Day characterized by low turnout among the general population, and by intense excitement among activists in the opposition party, it got trounced. What was surprising was how long it … Read More

Election 2014: It Won’t Matter (But You Should Vote Anyway!)

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

One outcome from today’s elections has pretty much already been decided: Whether Democrats somehow hold the Senate or whether Republicans capture it, we are only headed for more polarization, not less. Presuming Republicans win the Upper Chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will claim a new era of constructive governance has arrived, while simultaneously claiming a mandate to chip away … Read More

Election 2014: Here It Is

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

* THE FINAL FORECASTS: The HuffPollster model puts the odds of a GOP Senate takeover at 79 percent. FiveThirtyEight puts it at 76.2. And the New York Times’ Upshot hast it at around 70 percent. * THE FINAL POLLING AVERAGES: In Colorado, Cory Gardner leads Senator Mark Udall by 1.9 points. In Georgia, David Perdue leads Michelle Nunn by four … Read More

Things Not Looking Good For 2014 Elections

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

Nate Silver: For most of 2014, Republicans’ probability of taking over the Senate has been somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent, according to theFiveThirtyEight forecast. The gambler in me says that’s not quite close enough to describe as a “tossup”; you’d make a lot of money over the long run betting on a coin toss weighted 60-40 to your … Read More

Nate’s Back…. With Bad News

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

538 is rebooting today and the great oracle Nate Silver delivers a gut-punch: But if you’re looking for a headline, we have two. First, Republicans are favored to take the Senate, at least in our view; the FiveThirtyEight forecast model gives them a 64 percent chance of doing so. The reasons for the GOP advantage are pretty straightforward. Midterm elections are … Read More

The Cost Of Obamacare Repeal

Ken AshfordElection 2014, Health Care, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

The GOP wants to run on repealing Obamacare in the upcoming elections?  How will that play at the state level?  A new Department of Health and Human Services report documents the impact federal subsidies under Obamacare are having on the insurance costs of people receiving them, and the Plum Line gives the bottom line: But if subsidies were repealed, people … Read More

The Cantor Earthquake

Ken AshfordCongress, Election 2014, RepublicansLeave a Comment

The House Republican leadership, so solid in its opposition to President Obama, was torn apart yesterday by the defeat of its most influential conservative voice, Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.  Cantor, with a 96% conservative rating, was defeated by a tea party candidate, David Brat. Brat spent a total of $200,000 on his campaign; Cantor spent that much just … Read More

NC Elections As Bellweather for the US?

Ken AshfordElection 2014Leave a Comment

CNN gives us five takeaways from last night's NC primary results: 1. Republican establishment passes early test: The GOP establishment — that galaxy of Washington-based political operatives, national party committees and business groups who care first and foremost about winning — promised early on that they wouldn't let controversial candidates jeopardize their chances of re-taking the Senate this year. North Carolina … Read More

Go On Offense

Ken AshfordElection 2014, Health CareLeave a Comment

Just a week ago, things looked bleak for Democrats and Obama for 2014. But then thePaul Ryan Vanity Project collided with 7 million new signups under the Affordable Care Act, and now the Democrats have the makings of a winning ticket for this year: Go on offense. One of Karl Rove’s basic tenets of politics was to attack from your area of weakness. In the … Read More

Post Shutdown Polls

Ken AshfordElection 2014, Polls, Republicans, Tea PartyLeave a Comment

Post-shutdown polls are coming in and they are brutal: The numbers: * Dems lead in the generic ballot matchup by 49-38. Among independents — a key midterm constituency — those numbers are 46-35. * Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the federal budget, versus 77 percent who disapprove. Among independents: 20-78. Among moderates: 14-85.  … Read More

Too Discouraged To Blog

Ken AshfordBlogging, Class Warfare, Election 2014, Gun ControlLeave a Comment

There's this… which is totally true.    The headlines this week, buried in the back of your favorite newsite, said: Income Disparity Between Richest 1% And Rest Of US Biggest Since ’20s WASHINGTON (AP) — The gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it’s been since the Roaring ’20s. The very wealthiest Americans earned … Read More

Lack Of Sensitivity

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, Election 2014Leave a Comment

NYC mayorial candidate Bill de Blasio is a meanie: When New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio first proposed taxing the rich so every child in the city could attend all-day preschool, it was October and he had support from fewer than 10 percent of Democrats in polls. Now he leads the pack. And some of the wealthy New Yorkers … Read More