That’s what David Wasserman at The Cook Report is saying, The GOP’s Built-In Midterm Turnout Advantage:
If and when Republicans gain a modest number of House and Senate seats in November 2014, the Beltway set may be tempted to interpret the results as a sixth-year itch rebuke of President Obama on everything from IRS/DOJ/Benghazi to rocky implementation of the Affordable Care Act. To do so would be to ignore simple demographic math: likely GOP success in 2014 has much more to do with a shifting electorate than shifting opinions.
Wasserman explains, the electorate is getting older as a whole and older (and wiser – my edit) voters still vote Republican:
Midterm elections have always drawn older voters, and usually drawn white voters, to the polls in disproportionate numbers. Older voters are less transient, have grown deeper roots in their local communities, and pay much more attention to non-presidential elections than their younger counterparts…. Today, that amounts to a built-in midterm turnout advantage for Republicans….
Republicans’ built-in midterm turnout advantage really began to emerge in the early part of the last decade but has ballooned in the Obama era. That’s because partisan voting patterns are more polarized by age and race than they ever have been, and Obama’s coalition is more highly dependent on young and non-white voters than any presidential coalition before it….
The American electorate has steadily aged in the last 20 years, thanks to both increased life expectancy and the maturation of Baby Boomers. The share of voters under 45 fell from 56 percent in 1992 to 45 percent in 2012. But, the drop-off in younger participation in midterm elections has been amazingly consistent. Since 1994, the share of the electorate under the age of 45 in each midterm has fallen an average of 9.6 percent versus the presidential election immediately preceding it….
For most Democratic House candidates, a good rule of thumb might be to subtract two to three points from the 2012 Democratic percentage in the district to come up with a reasonable approximation of a “starting point” for a 2014 race. That means most Democrats probably need to perform about five percent better among Independent voters in 2014 just to stay afloat at 2012 levels, and would need an even higher share of Independents to pick up seats. Wow.
I think you need to compound that analysis by a conservative and Tea Party base highly motivated by the IRS targeting.
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