Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report sees two recent House Democrats’ retirement announcements as another positive sign for the GOP:
Every time Democrats take a small step forward, is seems as if they are jolted a few steps back. Twin retirements by nine-term Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre (NC-07) and Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), first reported by Politico, more than offset PA-06 GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach’s retirement earlier in the week and add to Democrats’ existing challenges heading into 2014.
NC-07 moves from the Lean Democratic column to the Likely Republican column, while NY-04 moves from the Solid Democratic column to the Lean Democratic column.
McCarthy’s district votes heavily Democratic in presidential elections, but much less so in off-year contests. “McCarthy’s three weakest performances (53 percent in 1998, 56 percent in 2002, and 54 percent in 2010) all came against relatively weak GOP nominees in midterm cycles. In 2006, McCarthy took 65 percent, but it’s unlikely 2014 will be anywhere near as good a year for Democrats as then.” And, Wasserman points out, only four of 34 Democrats who voted no on Obamacare have a chance to survive in 2014.
For Democrats running in 2014, the president’s collapse in support remains a dark cloud hanging over their re-election efforts. Today’s Quinnipiac poll reports:
After a plunge which saw his job approval rating drop from 46 – 48 percent in August to a negative 38 – 57 percent December 10, his all-time lowest score, President Barack Obama has stopped the drop, but not started the rebound, with a negative 41 – 53 percent job approval in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
Women go negative 44 – 49 percent, unchanged from last month. Men are negative 36 – 58 percent, compared to 31 – 64 percent last month, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Negative approval is 9 – 86 percent among Republicans and 35 – 58 percent among independent voters. Democrats approve 81 – 15 percent.
The 2014 congressional races are tied as 38 percent of American voters say they would back a Republican candidate, while 37 percent would back a Democrat.
Voters want Republicans to take the U.S. Senate 46 – 42 percent, with independent voters going for the GOP 45 – 40 percent. Looking at the House of Representatives, 46 percent want Republicans to keep control and 44 percent want Democratic control.
The lesson there might be that staying out of sight helps the president and Democrats. However, the White House is unlikely to adopt that view. (It is also the case that when the Republicans make the debate about Obama and his policies, they do far better than when making it all about them.)
Obama’s constant presence, the ongoing Obamacare fiasco and the drip-drip-drip of retirements suggest another midterm Democratic “shellacking” is in the cards. Republicans need to avoid getting in the way of the Dems’ meltdown.