From RNC Communications comes this promising memorandum regarding the 2014 elections. RNC Chief of Staff Mike Shields says the Republicans position is encouraging:
Republicans begin March in a position of strength for the midterm elections. Polls are increasingly favoring our candidates. We’re expanding a map that was already difficult for Democrats. And the RNC is both better funded and better prepared than the DNC to engage voters for the midterm elections.
It’s no wonder that Democrats have effectively given up on retaking the House and are beginning to look resigned to the fact that they will lose the Senate. But don’t take our word for it.
This week, USA Today ran a story with the headline “Senate Battleground Expands In GOP’s Favor,” and National Journal said on Friday that Republicans were “In Command” of the Senate landscape. That’s not all:
· Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg sees a “huge D problem.”
· Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter warned it’s not a good year to be a Democrat.
· NBC News’ Chuck Todd says Democrats are “running scared” from President Obama.
· Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews can’t cheerlead for liberals; he thinks Democrats could lose 10
seats in the Senate.
Why are reporters and liberal pundits alike sounding the alarm? They can read the polls, the map, and the overall political climate.
Democrat Senate candidates are running in the low 40’s in Michigan, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Alaska, and Montana. Republicans are also well positioned in New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon, and Minnesota. That’s 14 states; Republicans only need to flip six to take the majority, and recent polls have Republicans currently leading in 8 of those races.
This is a dynamic not lost on political prognosticator Charlie Cook, who writes in National Journal this week:
“No matter how you look at it, the House seems out of reach. Today, Republicans appear a bit more likely to gain than to lose seats; it would take a cataclysmic event for Democrats to score the net gain of the 17 seats they need to take the majority … What’s changed is that Democrats’ chances of holding onto their majority in the Senate is looking increasingly tenuous. There are now at least 10, and potentially as many as 13, Democratic-held seats in jeopardy.”
In addition, Republicans lead in the generic ballot by three points, according to the most recent New York Times/CBS poll of registered voters. Even more alarming for Democrats, a new Washington Post poll found that, “in the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats.”
President Obama’s low approval rating signals bad news for Democrats as well. Or as National Journal’s Alex Roarty put it, “Obama is at 41 percent approval for NYT/CBS poll. Which should scare the bejeesus out of Dems running in ’14.”
And in Connecticut, where the president is campaigning today, Quinnipiac finds his job approval rating underwater six points (45/51), and the incumbent Democrat governor is polling at 42 percent. President Obama won the Nutmeg State by 18 points in 2012. That’s a dramatic reversal of fortunes for Democrats.
It’s important to recall that on the day Republicans made historic gains in 2010, Obama’s average approval rating was underwater by less than 4 points (45.6/49.4). He’s polling much worse now – underwater by 10 points according to the NYT/CBS poll – with no immediate opportunity to reverse the trend.
As Democrats’ prospects deteriorate, the DNC can offer precious little help. The RNC has outraised the DNC for the cycle thus far — $88.4 million to $71.4 million. The RNC is debt free, while the DNC has $15.9 million of debt. As former DNC Chair Howard Dean said, the DNC “can’t be a force” until its millions in debt are paid off.
Since early last year, the RNC has been building up its permanent, precinct-based field operation, investing in a massive digital and data upgrade, as well as deploying staff and recruiting volunteers across the country earlier than ever before.
That infrastructure — combined with voters’ frustration with Democrats, the president, and their signature policies — points to Republican victories in November.