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On North Carolina and the State of the Midterm Battle

2:29 PM, Jul 22, 2014 • By JAY COST
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If you go back to 2006, you see something similar. Democrats were set to pick up Senate seats, but the contours of their victory were not yet apparent. Virginia certainly was not on the radar at this point in 2006; nobody thought Harold Ford would run a close race in Tennessee; and few people expected the GOP would lose all the close incumbent-held races.

Go back to 1994, and very few of the major pundits saw the GOP wave coming -- even until the very end. Michael Barone was a notable exception.

In other words, big midterm victories are often not apparent at this point in the cycle. And why should they be? In this case, the GOP has only recently selected a number of its nominees, and anyway voters are not yet fully engaged. It’s vacation time!

So, I would not put the GOP “on the clock” for another month. And my guess is that in a month things will still look roughly the same as they do today.

Cohn is certainly right about one thing: The Republican party is enormously unpopular, and that could spoil any wave that might otherwise build. One could argue that something like this happened to the party in 1978, as well. But it is still quite early in the cycle to make that call.

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