|Image hacked from The Economist|
"Democrats are at risk of losing control of the Senate this November, after a new poll found that voters prefer a Republican-controlled Congress to check President Barack Obama's agenda when his approval rating is at its lowest point ever."Democrats are looking for a silver lining, but with no "wave" election in sight, we're likely to have a classic Tip O'Neill "all politics is local" midterm. This is good news for dividists like your loyal blogger, but there may be even better news lurking in another finding from the poll:
"Democrats, however, do enjoy an overall advantage on voter trust. Voters say they prefer Democrats' stances on health care (43-35), immigration (40-34), and the economy (41-38), among others. By a 40-34 margin, voters also say they trust Democrats to "coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years."The Dividist interprets this apparent contradiction as indicating voters are no more inclined to trust Republicans with all the keys to the castle than they are Democrats. Which implies that losing the Senate in 2014 will actually help position Democrats to keep the White House in 2016 and extending divided government into the next administration. It's a good thing.
But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. Some Democrats are thinking about what the post mid-term environment on Capitol Hill might look like if the Obama administration is faced with a Republican majority in both the House and Senate. While Republicans in the House usually get the majority of the blame in mainstream media for obstructionism and the "least productive Congress in history", it's instructive to take note of which party is in a panic that Congress might actually "get things done" in the waning years of the Obama administration: