Conventional wisdom says that in a presidential election year, turnout for state offices is increased because more people come out to vote for our highest office. Winning presidential candidates have “coattails” and help pull their party to victory in the down ballot races.
But I believe that this year Americans will be highly motivated to turn out for their state races, to swing a pendulum that moved too far to the right after the 2010 triumph of the Tea Party. 2010 saw the GOP win many gubernatorial races and take total control of many state legislatures.
People who thought they were voting for smaller, more efficient government found that once these candidates were sworn in, it was all abortion, all the time. While voters certainly wanted negotiation with public unions, such as on health care and pension contributions, they didn’t want those unions to be stripped of all their rights.
Angry voters showing up to fix things in their state houses will help President Obama stay in the White House. I believe there will be reverse coattails in 2012.
Yes, gas prices and the unemployment rate matter for him. But so do transvaginal ultrasounds.
Hubris and over-reach are consistent losers for both political parties.