Midterm elections are the red-headed stepchild of American politics — no one cares about them.
A new poll from Gallup confirms that theory, at least for this year. Fully 53 percent of U.S. voters told Gallup they are less excited about voting in this year’s midterms than in previous elections, while 35 percent said they are more enthusiastic. In 2010, those numbers were basically reversed.
It’s clear that voters are not as fired up about congressional races as there were four years ago. But should they be? Aside from a handful of interesting Senate races — in Louisiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alaska, and Michigan — the midterms aren’t offering as exciting a toss-up as expected. Nate Silver predicts that Republicans are “slight favorites” to win control of the Senate. And unlike in 2010, the 2014 midterms don’t offer Republicans an opportunity to usurp the Democratically controlled House. Now, it’s a given.
In 2010, voters were unusually enthusiastic about the midterms. But that was in the midst of the tea-party uprising, when Republicans were fired up about electing people who would overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Four years later, not much has changed in that respect. GOP candidates are still campaigning on their animosity toward Obamacare. Even Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — who voted for Obamacare — is now using the health care law as a whipping boy against her Republican opponent in North Carolina.
Campaign tactics may not have changed much since 2010, but voter engagement has. This time around, they just seem tired.
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"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a sweeping constitutional challenge to Seattle’s minimum wage law, in what could have been a test case for future legal attacks on similar measures across the country. In a one-line order, the justices declined to hear a case by the International Franchise Association and a group of Seattle franchisees, which had said in court papers that the city’s gradual wage increase to $15 discriminates against them in a way that violates the Constitution’s commerce clause."
Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs."
"The New Columbia Statehood Commission—composed of five District leaders including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and D.C.'s congressional delegation—voted today to publicly release a draft of a new constitution for an eventual state next Friday, at the Lincoln Cottage." It's the first step in a statehood push this year that will include a constitutional convention in June and a referendum in November.
Amid outcry by President Reagan's children, actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of a movie that makes light of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease. A spokesperson for Ferrell said, “The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."