Too Early to Know Whether Democrats Will Fall Prey to Second-Term Jinx

This early in the 2014 congressional midterm-election cycle, it’s impossible to know what the election will be about—whether there will be a wind in favor of either party and, if so, what the velocity and impact will be. Recently, we have had three back-to-back wave elections, with 2006 and 2008 in favor of Democrats and 2010 benefiting Republicans. While 2012 cannot really be considered a wave, the election did display certain dynamics that benefited Democrats—at least in national races, although not in gubernatorial ones.

It’s important to remember that wave elections are not the norm—they are actually the exception to the rule. The adage by the late Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill that “all politics is local” would more accurately be “all politics is local, except when it is not.” [cont.]

Charlie Cook