Juan Williams: Taking the right lessons from the midterms

What he said…Libergirl!

thrashing - a sound defeat
Image: free dictionary

A trouncing! A tsunami! A shellacking!

That’s the conventional wisdom about last week’s midterm elections. But it’s wrong.

Yes, the GOP picked up 12 seats in the House and gained at least 7 seats in the Senate. But calling that a shellacking requires closing your eyes to some really big numbers.

First, the average pick-up for the opposition party in midterm elections that take place in the sixth year of a presidency is 29 seats in the House and 6 seats in the Senate. The GOP had an undisputed victory and was able to claim the Senate majority in emphatic fashion. But a tsunami? It did not come close to that.

Second, 60 percent of voters told exit polls they were either “dissatisfied” with Republican leaders in Congress (37 percent) or “angry” with them (23 percent).

Yet the lesson drawn by Republicans on Capitol Hill is that last week’s vote was a repudiation of President Obama.

Admittedly, the president’s approval rating is on the low side, at 44 percent among last week’s voters. But nearly half of the voters, 46 percent, said President Obama “was not a factor” in their vote.

The real message from the elections is that the public is turned off by the current state of our politics. Two-thirds of eligible voters did not go to the polls. Among those who did, exit surveys show a populist, angry vote against status quo politics. That vote is spearheaded by older, white men in “red,” mostly southern, states won by Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race.

More from Juan Williams @ The Hill

Posted by Libergirl

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