Debunking myths about the 2010 midterm election

An article is out today in the Washington Post: “Five myths about midterm elections.” It’s co-authored by Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist who wrote one of the textbooks that I assign in my Parties and Voting Behavior class at Centre College. The article makes the following interesting arguments about this fall’s election:

  1. The results of the 2010 midterm election will have little to no effect on the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.
  2. Despite conventional wisdom that it’s an “anti-incumbent year,” most incumbents will win re-election.
  3. Obama’s rhetorical successes or failures will have little effect on the outcome of the midterm election.
  4. While the results of the election might be affected by the BP oil spill, Obama’s support for a mosque in New York City, the health care law, or immigration… in all likelihood it’ll be all about the economy.
  5. The results of this fall’s election will not provide a “mandate” for the winning party in Congress.

The article can be found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081203591.html

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