A 2014 GOP Wave? Romney’s Pollster Says No.

Both Democrats and Republicans see the map as challenging for Dems.

A woman stands in front of a large wave on Sochi's beach in October 2010.
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
April 30, 2014, 3:15 p.m.

Neil Ne­w­house, who served as Mitt Rom­ney’s poll­ster dur­ing the 2012 cam­paign, does not be­lieve the 2014 midterms are look­ing like a wave that would sweep Demo­crats out of of­fice na­tion­wide.

“I’m doubt­ful there’s go­ing to be a real wave elec­tion,” Ne­w­house said Wed­nes­day at a bi­par­tis­an pan­el sponsored by The Wall Street Journ­al. Waves hap­pen, he said, when the oth­er party isn’t pre­pared. “I don’t think we’re catch­ing any­body by sur­prise.”

Both the Demo­crat­ic and Re­pub­lic­an strategists at the event agreed that the midterm map was chal­len­ging for Demo­crats.

Brad Dayspring, com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or for the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee, bragged that Re­pub­lic­ans were con­test­ing 14 states. “Voters no longer trust the pres­id­ent,” Dayspring said. “”¦. That’s trick­ling down to Sen­ate races across the coun­try.”

Joel Ben­en­son, who has served as Pres­id­ent Obama’s poll­ster, named Alaska, North Car­o­lina, and Col­or­ado — which he said was “neck and neck” — as the top Sen­ate races to watch.

Ben­en­son said a big chal­lenge for Demo­crats is that the size of the elect­or­ate typ­ic­ally drops off by as much as one-third in non-pres­id­en­tial years. Many of those who are ex­pec­ted to stay home are typ­ic­ally Demo­crats, in­clud­ing young­er and non­white voters. “The elect­or­ate will be more white,” Ben­en­son pre­dicted.

Jeremy Bird, who was na­tion­al field dir­ect­or for Obama’s cam­paign, said Demo­crats shouldn’t be try­ing to re­run 2012. “You don’t need the Obama co­ali­tion to show up,” he said. “You need a win­ning co­ali­tion to show up.”

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4926) }}

What We're Following See More »
THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
57 minutes ago

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
1 hours ago

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
9 hours ago

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
9 hours ago

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Jim Webb Rules Out Independent Bid
9 hours ago

UPDATED: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will not be playing the role of Ralph Nader in this year’s election. Speaking in Dallas today, Webb said, “We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically, it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”