Unlike Dean Bocobo and John Marzan (of the now inaccurately named but still reliably interesting Philippine Politics 04 site), I think that the mid-term elections in the United States will definitely break the Democrats’ way, in large part because many American voters will decide they’ve "had enough" of Bush and the bloodletting in Iraq and Halliburton and the partisan politicization of the war on terror and (stop me if, Newt Gingrich-like, you’ve had enough). But I also shared the apparently widespread view that the Republicans’ get-out-the-vote campaign could still spoil the party, or at least confuse the results — until I read Ruy Teixeira’s latest feat in number-crunching.
The sweet spot:
So, things look good–very good–for the Democrats. What could turn this situation around for the GOP? At this point, it appears that the GOP is putting its faith overwhelmingly in one factor: turnout. Rev up their 72 hour turnout program they argue and–presto!–many of those Democratic margins will disappear on election day and the Democratic wave won’t amount to much more than a splash.
I am highly skeptical. As I and others have been arguing for awhile, the GOP turnout machine is overrated and is simply not capable of turning defeat into victory in the manner alleged by GOP operatives and apparently believed by many in the press and even some Democrats. In this regard, I strongly recommend reading Mark Mellman’s very nice deconstruction of the GOP turnout myth in today’s edition of The Hill.
Mellman’s piece is a truly interesting read.