* Important post from Ed Kilgore: What the Florida special election outcome really highlighted is the Dems’ “midterm falloff problem,” a general dilemma that Dems must get far more serious about addressing right now.
* In that regard, go back and read this February story about the massive, $60 million turnout operation the DSCC is putting in place, which will be prioritized even if it cuts into the TV ad budget, with the explicit goal of changing the nature of the midterm electorate.
* Charlie Cook sounds the alarm for Dems after FL-13, sharing new Dem polling that shows Dem incumbents in really tight races in key red states, and adding this:
This election is not about the myriad of problems facing the Republican Party (with minority, young, female and moderate voters) but instead is about President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, both deeply unpopular. The fight for the Senate is being fought in terrain far more challenging for Democrats (read more Romney than Obama states) and with a midterm electorate that is older, whiter, and much tougher for Dems than the one that re-elected Obama in 2012.
What this means is that Republicans could win the Senate this year without addressing any of the barriers to the diversifying electorate that will loom two years later. But we knew all of this before yesterday.
* Steve Benen does a nice job recapping all the special elections since 2005 and showing how non-predictive they really were. The thing is, commentators know all this stuff, but conveniently forget it again…and again…and again….
* Brian Beutler patiently spells out the context many people seem determined to forget: Election Day 2014 is in eight months, and it’s marginally possible the politics of Obamacare just might have changed a bit by then.
“If you’re a Democrat and you go out there and say, ‘Oh man, health care, it scares me, I don’t want President Obama around,’ voters are going to know you’re full of it, that you’re just playing a game with them.”
ICYMI: See Dem pollster Stan Greenberg’s similar thoughts.
* A very good post by David Dayen on the new budget House liberals released today that’s heavy on spending for job creation and other progressive priorities, and why this is an important marker in the public debate, even if it will be marginalized outside the boundaries of respectable discourse.
* Frederick A.O. Schwartz, former Chief Counsel for the Church Committee in the 1970s, argues that charges of CIA spying on Senators, and other abuses in the Bush-Obama years, have created a full blown crisis so urgent that a modern day Church Committee is now a must.
* The NBC/WSJ poll putting Obama at 41 percent sucked up most of the media oxygen today, but a new Bloomberg poll has his approval rising to 48 percent, with 69 percent backing the minimum wage hike. What to do? Go to the average, which has him at 43.5 percent.
* House Republicans went ahead and passed that measure I discussed earlier designed to limit Obama enforcement discretion and undo deportation deferral for the DREAMers, and the GOP makeover continues apace.
* White House press secretary Jay Carney hits House Republicans over the measure:
“We were encouraged when we leaders in the House put forward their standards, their principles for comprehensive immigration reform….So it is in our view pretty amazing that today House Republicans went in the opposite direction by passing legislation targeting the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy that removed the threat of deportation for young people brought to this country as children, known as DREAMers.”
Interestingly, at a time when Obama is under increasing Latino media pressure to act on deportations, Republicans offered Dems a way to shift the focus right back to them.
* And GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher suggests Obama could be impeached for his “unconstitutional approaches” to the health law and immigration. Imagine the din if he acted unilaterally to ease more deportations…