Though he made it clear that the political climate can still change seven months before the midterm elections, a prominent former Clinton pollster said in between waffles today that Democrats today are reminding him a bit too much of the Democrats of 1994 for comfort:
Stan Greenberg — alongside his fellow strategist and party adviser James Carville — said that the signs of electoral bloodbath exist today, though not quite as strongly as they did 16 years ago.
“We are on the edge of it. but we are not there,” Greenberg said, at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “If the election were now, we would have a change election; we would have a 1994.”
Greenberg goes on to suggest that Scott Brown’s upset win in Massachusetts may have been the cathartic moment that wary voters — particularly independents — needed to get out of their system ahead of the midterm elections.
“When we look back on this, we [could] say [Scott Brown’s election in] Massachusetts is when 1994 happened and after that we have seen a different set of events,” Greenberg concluded. “It is still going to be a tough election and it will be marginally better than where it is now. But I don’t think we will have a [repeat of] ‘94.”
Admittedly, it’s not clear exactly why the White House has decided to suddenly focus its attention on energy issues, which polls show the public cares a good bit less about than health-care, Afghanistan, the deficit, taxes, terrorism, and unemployment, combined. But if you need to give Republicans a concession after a bitter health-care vote that led to shouting matches on the House floor, and most agree the Democrats do, it might as well be about one that most people — including your base — just aren’t that passionate about.