Friday, June 21, 2013

Udall Faces Challenges

The latest Quinnipiac poll headline claimed Senator Mark Udall “gets lukewarm” support. In fact, there are few U.S. senators up for re-election that are not facing an unhappy electorate. The latest Gallup poll puts confidence in Congress at 10 percent below big business and organized labor, mostly due to a lack of accomplishment.

But, Udall will face a special challenge in 2014. Turnout will be substantially below that when he ran in the 2008 presidential election and won by 53 percent to Bob Schaffer’s 42 percent (Obama won by 7 points). It will be more like the lower turnout 2010 election. More than 2 million voters turned out in 2008 versus the neck-and-neck Michael Bennet vs. Ken Buck race when less than 1.7 million people showed up. The 434,000 voters who stayed home made a bigger difference for Democrats than Republicans.

Beyond general alienation with the Washington establishment and low turnout, 2014 could be a bad Democratic year. The normal second term midterm election blues, exasperated by a series of scandals, sluggish economy and warring in the Middle East, is making for a very difficult final election for the President as the head of his party.

No comments: