My eyes keep skittering over this Sean Trende piece about likely 2014 Senate losses. Not because it’s bad news: it’s not.
[Sean’s calculation table] is a grim picture for Senate Democrats, suggesting that the president would have to get his approval above 50 percent by Election Day before they would be favored to hold the chamber. This is also consistent with what we’ve seen in polling, which shows the seven “red state” Democrats in truly severe states of distress, while Democrats in Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and Colorado are exhibiting surprising weakness. If these 11 seats are showing similar signs of weakness in November, Democrats will have an extremely difficult time holding the chamber. At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.
It’s just so… surreal. What Sean did was a fairly standard Monte Carlo run that was tied to the President’s projected approval rating on Election Day; this is pretty basic stuff, and you would think that Democrats would be able to calculate it, too. And the President’s approval rating is, contrary to popular belief, amenable to positive manipulation: all Barack Obama has to do is start compromising with Republicans on things. Whatever else people’s opinions are on ideology, surely we can all agree that the executive branch must accept the realities of divided government, yes?
And yet this is not being done. It’s almost as if the President wants the Democrats to lose the Senate this cycle, the better to make his last two years an endless confrontation that will ensure that Barack Obama remains the center of the Democratic party’s attention…
…but that’s just crazy talk, surely.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Hot Air has a similar reaction, with a certain emphasis on the fairly obvious point that Obama’s unlikely to crack 50% between now and Election Day on his current trajectory. Allahpundit is, shockingly, a little more pessimistic than I am about the President’s ability to do that: truly, we live in strange times when that happens.