Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
Correlation, meet causation. You two are unrelated.Namely, the people showing up to the polls in an off-year election aren't a sample of either the underlying or the Presidential year voting populations--or even, I suspect, the midterm populations, although I'm not sure on the data for that. The underlying issue was an enthusiasm gap between McDonnell supporters and Deeds supporters.
In other words, when 2006 voters overwhelmingly stated that they were voting Democrat to check Bush's power, that had no bearing on Bush's performance? I don't think so.
Not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that the group of people voting for Deeds weren't the same group of people voting for Obama. Lots of people stayed home. That does contribute to the outcome of an election, obviously. And I'm not going to engage in one of those silly "should have won" counterfactuals.But it's important to note the difference between voters staying at home as a result of being disappointed with Obama and those staying home because Deeds was a generally sucky candidate who ran a sucky campaign. I suspect not very many people were in category 1, but many people were in category 2. And so the people who do show up are there because they don't like Obama, but in an election that's not really individually-driven (midterm/non-gubernatorial/non-ballot-measure elections) you'll see a much better reflection of Obama's standing.
Fair enough. But the fact that the gubernatorial campaigns tried as hard has they could to tie their candidates to Obama and failed miserably to mobilize their supporters speaks volumes about this partisan (in the Skinnerian sense) president.
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