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AMERICA STILL LOOKING FOR CHANGE THAT IT CAN BELIEVE IN

MAY 9, 2013 DOUG SOSNIK

The country has gone through tremendous change this century. In only the last twelve years, we have been through 9/11, fought two wars, suffered through the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and experienced the most significant technological transformation since the Industrial Revolution. The rapid pace of change has had a disruptive effect on all segments of our society, creating a small handful of winners and a much larger set of losers. Although the Dow has topped 15,000 for the first time in history, the country still has a 7.5% unemployment rate. During this time our world has become more interconnected. And the turmoil and problems around the world have contributed to our own vulnerabilities at home. But as our difficulties have grown, our leaders and public institutions have proven ill-equipped to face the challenges in front of us. It is against this backdrop that Obama begins his second term. Beneath the surface of more divided government where little will get done is a country looking for leadership from its government and its institutions. If the current group of politicians fails to act, we are likely headed to our fourth change election in the past eight years. This absence of leadership has created a huge opportunity for someone who is currently outside the political process, as well as a third party to fill this vacuum in 2016, particularly if Hillary Clinton does not run. The country is still looking for change that it can believe in. THE MOOD OF THE COUNTRY: MORE ANXIETY THAN HOPE Since the beginning of Obama's second year in office, every NBC/WSJ poll has shown that half or more of Americans believed that the country is headed in the wrong direction, at one point reaching as high as 74%. (See slide 2) Their most recent April poll found that more than 60% of Americans believe the country is still on the wrong track. The electorates downbeat mood is no doubt due to the anemic economic growth and the limited job prospects for unemployed and underemployed workers. The times may be good for Wall Street and those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder, but for the vast majority of Americans not enough has changed since the economic crisis that began at the end of 2007.

The unresolved federal budget crisis, the across the board sequester cuts, a fragile European recovery that many economists feel is at heightened risk and the implementation of Obamacare, which is likely to raise health care rates for many Americans, will continue to put downward pressures on the sluggish recovery. Obama ran for the White House on a change agenda, and he has gone to great lengths throughout his presidency to separate himself from the status quo and the failed institutions in our country. On several occasions President Obama has directly addressed the electorates diminished faith in its government. In a commencement address to Ohio State University graduates last Sunday, Obama spoke directly to the publics discontent: . [T]he fact is that all too often the institutions that give structure to our society have, at times, betrayed your trust. I think its fair to say that our democracy isnt working as well as we know it can. It could do better. And so those of us fortunate enough to serve in these institutions owe it to you to do better, every single day. The betrayal of the publics trust has contaminated the countrys mood and is the dominant influence behind the current attitudes toward elected officials and institutions in our country. (See slides 3 and 4) PRESIDENT OBAMA REMAINS RELATIVELY POPULAR Heading into the 2012 elections, the conventional wisdom gave Obama low odds of winning a second term in such a bad economic environment. However, the President defied history due in part to his personal strengths, his challengers weaknesses and the lingering blame that voters placed on Bush for the bad economy. (Ten weeks prior to the election a Washington Post poll found that more than half the country (54%) still blamed George W. Bush more than Obama (32%) for the nations economic problems.) Obamas victory last November was a great political achievement, but the fact that he didnt set out a clear policy agenda for a second term left him without a clear mandate to govern over a politically divided Congress. Compounding the problem is the fact that during his first term Obama did not put the time or effort into building personal relationships with members of Congress, an essential element to getting a recalcitrant Congress to act on difficult issues. Lyndon Johnson, who was a well-known master in the art of working with Congress, put the task of a President simply and clearly: There is but one way for a president to deal with Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it is really going to work, the relationship has got to be almost incestuous. At this point, its almost impossible for Obama to effectively engage the Congress and build relationships since the politics for most Republican members have overwhelmed their ability to work with the President around issues of compromise. Furthermore, theres not a single member of either party who fears paying a political price for not falling in line with the President, making it even more difficult to get members to cast difficult votes.
Doug Sosnik

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Despite Obamas challenges in Washington, his support and popularity among the public have remained very durable throughout his presidency. While rather modest by historical standards, Obamas support stands out as relatively strong compared to all other political figures and institutions in the country during his presidency. A close look at Obamas first-term job approval ratings reveals the stability behind his support. (See Slide 5) Putting aside the first year of Obamas presidency when he enjoyed his honeymoon period, the overall trends in his job approval ratings show a lot of consistency - fluctuating only 12 points and never dropping below 40% or rising above 52%. (See slide 6) This is pretty remarkable given the economic turmoil that the country has gone through, as well as a presidential election cycle in which almost $2 billion was spent on partisan political campaigning. The stability of Obama's strong support among Democrats, liberals, young people, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians has enabled him to maintain a relatively high floor of support, while his lack of support among Republicans, whites and older voters has limited his ability to ever reach a higher ceiling. Based on the evidence of the past four and a half years, there is little reason to think that this dynamic will change throughout the remainder of his presidency. If you compare Obamas flat job approval ratings throughout his presidency to those of the last three Presidents who won re-election, the differences are stark. According to Gallup, which has polled presidential job approval since 1945, Reagan had a 23-point fluctuation (35% to 58%) during this same period, Clinton had a 21-point gap (39% to 60%) and George W. Bush had a 38-point fluctuation in his approval ratings (84% to 46%). U.S. CONGRESS: FROM BAD TO WORSE Congress approval ratings have been dismal for so long that no one considers it newsworthy that Americans are disgusted with Congress in general and with their own members in particular. This prevailing sentiment explains the three successive change elections from 2006 to 2010. Gallup reports that last years 15% congressional approval yearly average was the lowest in their 38-year history of asking the question. We are now approaching a decade in which the country has had a more negative than positive view of Congress. (See slide 7) This prolonged period of anger toward our elected officials is as damaging as the current 15% approval level. Many of the members elected in the last four cycles ran as outsiders who were intent on taking on the entrenched interests in Congress. Since their elections, these members many of whom had never served in office before have shown no interest or inclination in actually governing.

Doug Sosnik

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Its difficult to overstate the significance of the amount of turnover in Congress in recent years. When the next Congress convenes, more than half of the Senate and House will not have served prior to 2007. In order to get anything done, the tectonic plates of public policy imperatives need to line up with the politics of the elected officials. The only time that the politics and policy have aligned this year in Washington has been when air traffic controllers were laid off due to sequester cuts. When the politicians became fearful of the political wrath of their constituents, they moved swiftly in less than a week to fix the policy problem. But at this point, the politics simply dont line up with the policy needs of our country. That is, most of politicians short-term political imperatives dont line up with the countrys long-term challenges, while the decisions that are in the countrys long-term interests frequently create short-term liabilities for politicians. This is particularly true for Republicans, but it also applies to Democrats. As we approach the 2014 midterm elections and the final two years of the Obama presidency these political needs will increasingly override policy considerations. For congressional Republicans many of whom fear losing a primary more than they do a general election - the pressure will increase to deny Obama and the Democrats any wins. At this point The Club for Growth and Heritage Action have virtual veto power on the House Republican Conference. For Democrats in the House there will be increased pressure to highlight the distinctions between the two parties rather than muddy the waters through compromise. In order to take back the House, it is in the Democrats interest to nationalize the midterm elections by portraying the Republicans as dangerous and out of touch with the mainstream of the country. The one trend that transcends this partisan divide is the emerging populist movement in this country. Recently elected members of Congress, regardless of party, have shown a much more populist tilt. Many of these members were elected after the big spending of the last decade, the wars of the Bush years and the big bank bailouts. These recently elected members from the left and right have several things in common: a strong bias against big institutions, opposition to nation-building efforts around the world, a resistance to maintaining high levels of defense spending, disapproval of corporate welfare for big business, and a strong interest in holding people responsible for the abuses that occurred on Wall Street. On several occasions this year weve seen the right and left coalesce, tapping into this populist anger. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has joined with Senator Sherrod Brown (DOH) to cosponsor a bill, which requires the big banks on Wall Street with $500 billion or more of assets to maintain capitol reserves of at least 15% (a much higher level than currently exists). In addition, their bill would make it more difficult to use taxpayer funds to bail out failing banks.
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Several Democratic Senators supported Rand Paul's position against the governments policy on drones, including Senator Wyden (D-OR), who joined Paul on the floor during his 13-hour filibuster on the issue. There is even more related activity at the state level, led by an alliance of Tea Party backers and the ACLU. A recent Politico analysis found that in more than three-quarters of states legislators from both parties are seeking to limit the use of unmanned drone aircraft. Another example of these emerging partnerships is the populist coalition of Libertarians and progressives who just last month forced the U.S. Senate to put the anti-online privacy Cyber Intelligence and Protection Act (CISPA) on hold due to privacy and civil liberty concerns. Many of the Republicans who have set their sights on the White House have started to make their own populist appeals. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made headlines earlier this year when he talked about the future of the Republican Party: We are a populist party and need to make that clear. We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes or big anything. We must not be the party that simply protects the well-off so that they can keep their toys .We are the party whose ideas will help the middle class, and help more folks join the middle class. CORPORATE AMERICA:
GIVING UP ON WASHINGTON

Over the last 15 years lobbying at the federal level exploded. According to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), between 1998 and 2010 lobbying spending at the federal level more than doubled from $1.4 billion to $3.52 billion dollars per year. Yet this growth has started to subside and we have now experienced two consecutive years of decline in lobbying expenditures, as well as a continued reduction in the number of lobbyists who have registered with the federal government. (See slide 8) CRP also reports that the first quarter lobbying reports for this year show a 16.7% decrease in expenditures from the same period in 2010. The CRP analysis projects that lobbying expenditures for 2013 will be the lowest level since 2007. There are at least four factors that might explain the decline: Gridlock: At a time when Washington isnt even pretending to solve the nations problems, it is hard to justify making a major investment in lobbying Washington. The partisan gridlock has gone on for the past two and a half years, and there is nothing to indicate that this wont persist for the remainder of Obamas presidency. Loss of Faith in the Federal Government: One of the consequences of the paralysis in Washington is business loss of faith in the ability of the federal government to get anything done. This isnt the first time that the country has experienced gridlock. But the depth of the problem and the apparent unwillingness of our elected officials to work together has led business to lose hope that the people in power are capable of stepping up to solve our problems.
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The Economy: The most recent recession forced companies to reexamine all areas in their balance sheet, including expenditures for lobbying. These actions put downward pressure on hiring and the fees paid to lobbyists. The continued economic uncertainties suggest that the pressures will continue into the foreseeable future. Spending: For most of the last decade the federal government experienced enormous growth in spending while simultaneously cutting taxes for corporations and individuals. These actions made it a ripe environment for corporations to employ lobbyists to affect the distribution of the federal largesse. The debt and spending debate in Congress is now about cutting, not increasing, spending levels. Given the current landscape, its likely that were entering a sustained period of cuts in federal spending. While there is some debate as to whether this decline in spending is a temporary phenomenon or a long-term trend, there is no question that there has been a paradigm shift when it comes to influencing public policy in Washington. Moving the needle in Washington these days increasingly requires building real grassroots support from constituents back home rather than the synthetic inside the beltway advocacy of the past twenty years. Technology has made it easier to engage people on an individual level, allowing the public to have its voice heard in real time. There is so much clutter in Washington that traditional lobbying tactics and paid media dont have the same impact they once had. Like the rest of America, business isnt banking on the government as an instrument to get things done. And unless and until Washington gets back to work, the decline in lobbying expenditures will likely continue. Even if things improve the money will increasingly be spent in the states, not inside the beltway, to influence policy matters. THE STATE LEVEL: CHANGE IS IN THE AIR Unlike the divided government at the federal level, there are now 37 states with one-party control. In many of these states, there is a veto-proof majority in the legislature. (See slide 9) The Republicans currently control 30 governorships and the entire political apparatus in 24 of these states. Despite the fact that the Republican Party is largely defined at the national level as a congressional party, the real work of repositioning the party and putting policies into practice is happening in the states. There is an emerging movement across the country largely led by first term Republican governors to reduce or eliminate state income taxes while expanding sales taxes and tacking on user fees for products and services. These types of proposals were first introduced and passed by Governor Brownback and the Republican-controlled legislature in Kansas last year.

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These proposals have generated opposition from the left and the right. The left is opposed to an increase in sales taxes because of their regressive effect on the taxpayers who can least afford it. The right is opposed to some of the tax proposals due to an increase in taxes for businesses. There are at least 10 states that have or are considering some reductions in income taxes, with very mixed outcomes. In Louisiana, Nebraska and Ohio proposals for big cuts in state income taxes were shelved. In Indiana the legislature reduced the scope of Governor Pence's income tax reduction and voted to phase it in over a longer period of time. The legislature also voted for a delayed phase-in to Governor Fallin's tax reductions in Oklahoma as well. North Carolina and Maine have introduced income tax reductions, while raising sales taxes and adding user fees. Republican legislators in Arkansas and Missouri also plan to pursue a reduction of the state income tax. THE POLITICAL PARTIES: IT JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE As Americans continue to lose faith in American institutions, nowhere is this more true than in the decline of the two major political parties. History and logic would suggest that when one party suffers a decline the other party benefits. That was certainly the case for most of the past decade. But an interesting trend has developed since the early days of Obama's first term. Excluding the run up to the 2012 election - both parties favorability ratings moved in the same direction at the same time. This was likely caused by the publics overall disgust toward politicians in Washington. (See slides 10 and 11) The Republican Party The Republican Party has been going through a transition since the end of the George W. Bush presidency and the loss of the last two presidential campaigns. The establishment wing of the party that has been in control of the party since Reagans presidency over 30 years ago has been shoved aside by a Tea Party-inspired grassroots movement. The Club for Growth/Heritage Action conservatives have taken a dominant position over the Neocons and social conservatives. And the southern/southwestern geographic base that ushered in the Reagan era has become a party dominated by the plains, border states and the South. The only united principle for the Republican Party so far has been its ongoing opposition to President Obama. However, their focus on stopping the President rather than on solving our nation's problems has come at a price for the Party, as evidenced by their historically low ratings. A May 8th Pew poll found that 42% of respondents blamed Republican leaders for gridlock in Washington, while only 22% blamed Obama. Transitions are difficult and take time to sort out. Right now, its open season on the Republican Party with some of the most vicious attacks coming from their leadership and rank and file. Whats worse is that its all happening in public for the entire world to see. In short, the problems of the Republicans can be summarized as follows:
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1) Lack of Party Leadership: The lack of a leader will not be resolved until there is a presidential nominee THREE years from now. If that nominee loses in 2016, the party will be without a leader until 2020. 2) The U.S. House Serves as the Face of the National Party: The U.S. House, dominated by Republican right wingers, currently shapes and defines the image of the party. Since 1994, the Republicans have won eight of the last 10 congressional elections. 3) Primaries will Push Republicans Rightward: The congressional and presidential primaries will continue to push Republicans further and further to the right and away from the rest of the country. 4) Social Conservatives are Out of Step with Mainstream America: The social movement conservatives are increasingly out of the mainstream as they continue to impose a party litmus test on their policy priorities. This pressure will make it more difficult to present a modern and forward-looking image, particularly for younger voters. 5) The Changing Face of the Voting Public: Demographic trends have younger antiRepublican voters replacing older more conservative voters. 6) The Republican Partys Failure to Reach Out to Hispanic and Asian Voters: More than seven out of ten Hispanic and Asian voters voted for Obama in 2012. Both groups are experiencing dramatic growth and will become a larger percentage of the voting public in future elections. 7) The Electoral Math Doesnt Add Up: The Electoral College map in presidential elections strongly favors Democrats. In each of the last five presidential elections, Republicans lost the same 18 states totaling 242 electoral votes - each time, leaving the Democrats only short 28 electoral votes that they could pick up from the remaining 32 states. Since 1992, theyve easily reached 350 electoral votes four times. 8) Republicans are Losing the Talent & Technology Race: Republicans have demonstrated a talent and technology gap compared to the Democrats. 9) Donor Base Divided: Losing has left the Republican donor base disillusioned and divided, which has resulted in a lack of a unified funding effort going forward. 10) The George W. Bush Legacy: Bush will continue to be a drag for all Republicans on the general election ballot. The Democratic Party Obama's successful 2008 campaign and his 2012 re-election masks a party that is also in decline and one that is at considerable risk when Obama is no longer on the scene. Since Obama was elected President, the Democrats have lost nine governorships, 56 members of the House and two Senate seats. During his presidency, the partys favorability has declined 15 points. (See slide 10)

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Obama not only got elected by running against the party establishment, but he has governed as a President who does not emphasize his party label. Its easy to understand why Obama has taken this approach since the key to his "brand" has been change. And its hard to be a change agent if you are lugging around a party label in an era where voters are so strongly disaffected from all of our institutions. Obama also didnt campaign for other Democrats or raise money for any down ticket candidates during the 2012 elections. Since his victory, he has also established an independent $50 million organization to advance his legislative goals rather than focusing on creating a lasting legacy for the party. It bears noting that Obama has made a substantial commitment to congressional Democrats moving forward by agreeing to participate in at least a dozen fundraisers this year. But these efforts will be much more meaningful to the individual candidates in the short-term rather than to the party-building apparatus for the long-term. In short, the Democrats challenges going forward include: 1) Obamas Personal Favorability Doesnt Translate to Democrats Broadly: The nature of Obamas strength is personal and is not easily transferable to other candidates in the future. 2) Obamas Failure to Build the Party for the Long-Term: The Presidents lack of commitment to build up the DNCs structure and base will have lasting consequences for the party. 3) Declining Favorability: Democrats cant afford to ignore the partys declining support among all voters since Obama took office. This decline is in spite of a Republican Party that has been in political free-fall. 4) 2010 State Losses Created an Enduring Grassroots Deficit: Moving forward, it will be very difficult for the party to fully recover from the devastating losses at the state and local level from 2010 elections. With their success, Republicans controlled the reapportionment and redistricting process in a majority of the states, enabling them to draw very favorable district lines at the state and federal levels, which will benefit them for the rest of this decade. 5) Declining Democratic Party Self-Identification among Younger Voters: Millennials (born 1981-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1980) have voted overwhelmingly Democratic for the past decade. However, their votes have largely been more about support for Obama and opposition to Republicans than they have been about identifying as Democrats. According to Pew polling from last year, 45% of Millennials self-identify as Independents, which is a six-point jump since 2008, and 31% self-identify as Democrats, which represents a four-point drop since 2008. The same analysis showed that 42% of Gen Exers identify as Independents, an eight-point increase since 2008, and 29% self-identify as Democrats, a five-point decline in Democratic self-identification during the same time.
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6) Democrats Should Not Count on Same Levels of African American Turnout and Support without Obama on the Ballot: According to a Census Bureau report on the 2012 elections issued this week, for the first time in history black eligible voters turned out at a higher percentage than whites (66% v. 64%). In addition, a Gallup analysis of the African American vote found that 18-34 year olds are nine-points less likely to self-identify as Democrats (75% v. 84%) than African American voters 55 years or older. 7) Declining Democratic ID among Younger Hispanic Americans: Although Hispanics have overwhelmingly voted against Republicans since George W. Bushs re-election in 2004, younger Hispanics feel less of an allegiance to the Democratic Party than their elders. A Gallup analysis of last years tracking polling found that Hispanic voters aged 18-34 are nine points less likely to self-identify as Democrats (50% v. 59%) than Hispanic voters 55 years or older. Young Hispanic voters are a disproportionately large share of the Hispanic electorate. 8) Asian American Support for Democrats in Recent Elections Exceeds Their Party Identification: Despite voting overwhelmingly for Obama in the past two elections - with their support topping 73% in 2012 a 2012 Pew poll found that only 50% of Asian voters self-identify as Democrats. 9) Midterm Turnout Favors Republicans: Historically, the voters who are most likely to vote Democratic are the least likely to vote in a midterm election. 10) Thin Presidential Bench beyond Hillary Clinton and Uncertainty that Democrats can Replicate Obama Turnout Levels: While Clinton laps the field against any and all contenders, the election is still over three years away. If she doesnt run, there is not an obvious and ready pool of candidates to step in and fill the void. Furthermore, without Obama on the ballot, it is far from certain that the Democrats will be able to generate the same high levels of voter turnout that proved decisive in the last two Presidential elections. THE 2014 ELECTIONS: THE FOURTH CHANGE ELECTION IN EIGHT YEARS? There is every reason to believe that the 2014 elections will be the fourth election out of the past five in which the electorate will vote for change. This puts Senate Democrats in the in a vulnerable position, while threatening Republican's control of the House as well as their sizeable numerical advantage in the governorships across the country. However, the key to Democrats success for next year will be turnout as the electorate in off years tends to be older, whiter and more Republican. Democratic turnout has been exceptionally high when Obama was on the ballot and it was dismally low during the 2010 midterms when he wasnt. (See slide 12) While Democratic candidates don't need Presidential levels turnout to win next year, they cannot succeed with an electorate that resembles the last midterms. This issue of turnout will be the single most decisive factor in determining the outcomes of the elections next year. (See slides 13 and 14)

Doug Sosnik

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The U.S. Senate For the Republicans to take over the Senate, they need to pick up a net of six seats (assuming that the Democrats hold the open Kerry seat in Massachusetts). For the third cycle in a row, the Democrats are forced to defend far more seats than the Republicans. Of the 35 seats up this cycle, the Democrats must defend 21, with seven of these seats in states that Romney carried Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. This cycle is the last real opportunity for Republicans to take back control of the body this decade since they will be defending a majority of the marginal seats in the 2016 and 2018 cycles. For a variety of reasons, including age, health and the tough political environment, six Democratic Senators have already announced their retirements. Two Republicans have also stated their intent to step down at the end of their term. Despite these structural advantages, Republicans appear to be repeating the mistakes of the past four years by failing to recruit top tier candidates, allowing messy ideological primaries, and being outraised at the candidate and party committee level. The Cook Political Report shows 10 Democratic seats as tossups or leaning Democratic, while there isnt a single Republican seat considered competitive next year. (See slide 15) Of these 10 seats, Republicans appear headed toward contentious primaries in West Virginia, North Carolina, Alaska and Michigan. They have also failed so far to come up with top tier candidates in Iowa, Montana and Arkansas. All five of the Democratic incumbents running for re-election reported strong cash on hand in the most recent FEC reports, with Landrieu posting $3.5 million, Pryor $3.4 million, Hagen $2.7 million, Franken $2 million and Begich $1.5 million. Based on the most recent reporting, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) continues to outperform the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC). So far this year the DSCC has raised $13.7 million (with $8.4 million cash on hand), while the NRSC has only raised $6.9 million year to date (with $5.3 million cash on hand). The U.S. House Republicans ability to maintain control of the House of Representatives is based almost entirely on their success during the 2010 midterm elections when they were successful in taking control of the reapportionment and redistricting process throughout the country. Despite getting only 48% of the popular vote in the 2012 House elections (and getting 1.4 million fewer votes), they were able to control 54% of the seats. The structural advantages that they enjoyed in the last election will continue for the rest of this decade. Due to this political process, there are far fewer swing districts than there were in the past. In 2012, there were only 30 House seats where the incumbent got less than 55% of the popular vote. Furthermore, there are only 17 current Republican members of Congress in districts that Obama carried and only nine Democratic members in seats won by Romney.
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The constituents in these Republican-held districts are also not reflective of the rest of the country, further complicating the national party's efforts to become the majority party. The Cook Political Report points out that even though the white share of the overall population fell from 69% to 64% in the past decade, the effect of gerrymandering has been to make Republican-held congressional districts even more white. Their analysis found that the white share of the average Republican House district rose to 75%, while in Democraticallycontrolled districts the white share of the vote is only 51%. The Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to take back the House but the Republicans structural advantage gives them the edge going in to next years midterm elections. The most recent Cook report shows only 28 seats that are considered either tossup races or that lean to one party or the other, with the Republicans defending only 11 of these seats and the Democrats 17. (See slide 16) Governors The Republicans had tremendous success at the state level in 2010 and have more incumbent governors (30) than either party has had in 12 years. They control every state house in the industrial Midwest (with the exception of Illinois) and every governorship in the South and Southwest, stretching from Virginia to Arizona. In addition to holding New Jersey and Virginia in 2013, Republicans are defending 22 seats in 2014. Democrats control 14 seats that will be on the ballot. Obama carried every one of the eight Republican-held states that are most potentially competitive for Democrats. In four of these states Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maine recent polling shows the Republican incumbents running for re-election have job approval numbers under 40%. The Democratic incumbents are favored to hold their seats since they survived the 2010 Republican landslide and Obama carried every one of these states last year. There is only one incumbent (Quinn (IL)) whose job approval is under 40%. Additionally, analysts rate the governors race in Arkansas as a tossup for the Democrats. (See slide 17)

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