GOP’s House chances seem to brighten

Wash Post:

House races — with less-well-known candidates and less money flowing through them than Senate contests — tend to be heavily influenced by which way the national winds are blowing.

Heading into the summer, the political environment had been neutral to slightly positive for Democrats. But it turned in a meaningful way as Labor Day approached and anger over the growth of government under President Obama emboldened Republicans.

The signs of this environmental change were everywhere.

Which is a bit odd, since nationally the polls are pretty bad for Republicans as compared to Dems. So why in Congress are their chances looking up? The supposed “anger” from August was from a very small percentage of the population, and in any case, from people who didn’t vote for Obama anyway, and probably never vote Democratic. So why should their “anger” be a harbinger of anything?

I worry that it’s something much more nuanced. The Teabaggers did nothing to change public opinion at all, in and of themselves. What they did do, however, was scare the bejeesus out of Democrats and the administration. That got Dem leaders to back off, respond incoherently and weakly, and overall give an impression of fear and incertitude. Those are not qualities the voters like. So, while the Teabaggers may be nuts, and fringe, and small and irrelevant, how our elected officials react to them – to any threat or challenge – is watched very closely by the voters.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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