Here's the situation a week and change before the midterm elections:
Obama'sapproval rating recently hit an all-time low of 40 percent and the Democratic Party's approval rating is at a 30-year low of just 39 percent. Most analysts now give the Republicans a 55 percent to 76 percent chance of winning the Senate. That's despite the fact that Republicans' approval ratings, at just 33 percent, are even lower than Obama's or the Democrats'.
I've got a Daily Beast column up that ties voter disaffection to the stunning and persistent unwillingness of Democrats and Republicans to talk about anything really substantive. Faced with voter antipathy, itself a product of political silliness, candidates are doubling down on shambolic issues. To wit:
When faced with a demotivated electorate, there's no reason to talk seriously about policy. The smart play is to fire up your party's faithful and try not to be as hateable as your opponent, which is actually more difficult than it seems for most politicians. Consider fading Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, best known for holding her bladder during an 11-hour, completely symbolic pro-choice filibuster in the Texas Senate and becoming the darling of progressive Democrats all over the country. Her campaign actually sent out a press release hyping an article about her opponent that was headlined "Greg Abbott: Dildos? Against 'em. Interracial Marriage? No Comment." Forget that the Anglo Abbot is married to a Latina. This jibe comes after ads in which Davis attacked the paralyzed Abbot for not caring about other wheelchair-bound Texans.
The most serious candidates in the midterms are folks such as Sean Haugh, a Libertarian is running for Senate in North Carolina, who is "pro-choice" and "anti-war" on everything. He's more than covering the spread between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis.
Howze bout it Reason readers: Are you voting on November 4? If so, who for and why?