Barone: 2010 Congressional Election Has Lessons For 2012 Presidential Election
Michael Barone, one of the sharpest and savviest political prognosticators out there, breaks down a lot of demographics and decides that 2012 doesn’t look good for Barack Obama:
Looking back over a decade of the popular vote for the House, we see a nation that appears marginally Republican in 2000-2004 and again in 2010 (Republicans’ 48% of the House vote in 2000 was fractionally larger than the Democrats’ percentage that year) and rather solidly Democratic in 2006-2008. In the rather solidly Democratic nation, no region is heavily or reliably Republican, while Democrats carry the Foundry and Germano-Scandinavian America by small margins and the North Atlantic and Pacific by very wide margins. In the marginally Republican nation, only the North Atlantic and Pacific are solidly Democratic, while both Southern regions and the Frontier are pretty solidly Republican (though the Frontier may be getting less so), and Republicans are highly competitive in the Foundry and Germano-Scandinavian America.
Which America will we be living in for the 2012 election? Recent precedent suggests it will resemble 2010 and 2002-2004 America more than 2006-2008 America. But there can be no certainty about the outcome. A more modest suggestion may be in order. In making assessments about possible outcomes, psephologists would be wise to keep in mind not only the 2008 vote for president, which is commonly used as a benchmark, but also the popular vote for the House in 2010, which helps us understand the range of possibilities as we try to look ahead.
I tend to agree with this analysis, but on a more “gut” level… the things I see out there tell me that the public was mighty upset and disappointed with the Democrats in 2010, and the events since then haven’t really reassured them, so they’re at least as upset and disappointed, and quite possibly even more so.