On a high-level campaign conference call Tuesday afternoon, Democratic donors and strategists commiserated over their disappointment in Obama. A source on the call described the mood as “awful.” “People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless,” said the source. – Twin defeats spark Democratic fears
Steve Benen writes about “context” of the special elections yesterday.
Okay, then let’s provide real context, not simply partisan sunscreen to soothe the roasted beast.
From Nate Silver comes the numbers, including Hochul’s win in upstate New York, with numbers uninterested in anyone’s need to cover Pres. Obama’s abysmal part in the shellacking or the Democratic Party’s current trajectory:
Even if you include it, however — as well as a July special election in California, where Democrats won but by an underwhelming margin — Republicans have overperformed the P.V.I. baseline by an average of 7 percentage points across the four races. That squares with what we saw in 2010, when Republicans won the popular vote for the House by an aggregate of 7 percentage points.
In other words, the four special elections, taken as a whole, suggest that Democrats may still be locked in a 2010-type political environment. Democrats might not lose many more seats in the House if that were the case, since most of their vulnerable targets have already been picked off, but it would limit their potential for any gains. And it could produce dire results for the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, where they have twice as many seats up for re-election.
Let’s also remember for one moment how Kathy Hochul won in a red district. She pummeled Republicans on their Medicare voucher idea, coming from right-wing darling Paul Ryan.
Pres. Obama is preparing, along with his “super committee,” to take that weapon away from Democrats, because of “reforms” being planned, which he’s reportedly set to outline next week.
Marc Ambinder writes about the White House spin, which started early and was piled on thick:
Still, Obama always has had trouble with Orthodox Jews, and two Obama advisers said they understand that at least some of the frustration may be exercised in the form of a vote against the Democratic candidate. They concede that the election might bring to the fore how difficult it will be for Obama to win back the trust of independents—no matter what their faith. This New York contest would seem to have implications beyond Brooklyn and Queens.
Partisans trying to make Democrats and progressives feel better about the reality being faced right now aren’t doing anyone any favors. But that’s what partisans do. They support the status quo, because otherwise they’d have to admit that their team sucks.
I honestly don’t know what else Democrats and progressives need to see for them to wake up to reality, which may be ugly, but is better to face now than this time next year.