October 13, 2013
The GOP will lose 'the polls,' keep the House, and very likely win the Senate
Silvio Canto, Jr.
Nate Silver knows a thing or two about polls. His message about the GOP and the shutdown is worth sharing:
"The media is probably overstating the magnitude of the shutdown's political impact.
Remember Syria? The fiscal cliff? Benghazi? The IRS scandal? The collapse of immigration reform? All of these were hyped as game-changing political moments by the news media, just as so many stories were during the election last year. In each case, the public's interest quickly waned once the news cycle turned over to another story. Most political stories have a fairly short half-life and won't turn out to be as consequential as they seem at the time.
Or consider the other story from President Obama's tenure in office that has the most parallels to the shutdown: the tense negotiations, in 2011, over the federal debt ceiling. The resolution to that crisis, which left voters across the political spectrum dissatisfied, did have some medium-term political impact: Obama's approval ratings declined to the low 40s from the high 40s, crossing a threshold that historically marks the difference between a reelected president and a one-termer, and congressional approval ratings plunged to record lows.
But Obama's approval ratings reverted to the high 40s by early 2012, enough to facilitate his reelection. Meanwhile, reelection rates for congressional incumbents were close to their long-term averages.
None of this applies if the United States actually does default on its debt this time around, or if the U.S. shutdown persists for as long as Belgium's.
But if the current round of negotiations is resolved within the next week or so, they might turn out to have a relatively minor impact by November 2014."
I think that Nate will be right again. By the summer of 2014, "the shutdown" will be as much of a factor as it was in the summer of 1996, i.e. not much.
My guess that President Obama is the one who has really been hurt here.
Why? Because he is the president, the CEO and the man who must lead.
Last, but not least, Nate Silver shoots down the 1995 narrative again ("The impact of the 1995-96 shutdowns is overrated in Washington's mythology") and the polls about the shutdown ("The polling data on the shutdown is not yet all that useful, and we lack data on most important measures of voter preferences")
I don't usually bet anything but a coffee AND my money is on Nate being right again.