Elections are the product of both short-term forces and deeper underlying political or demographic trends. But in some instances, economic conditions, an unpopular war or a really weak candidate primarily tip the scale. Such was the case in 2010 when a bad economy and strong anti-government sentiment, fueled in part by negative reaction to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, led to big congressional losses for the Democrats. The outcome of the midterms contrasted with 2008, where, by comparison, the short and long-term forces were better aligned, resulting in decisive Democratic presidential and congressional victories. The central question leading up to the 2012 elections was whether deep economic problems or steadily accumulating shifts in the composition of the electorate would prevail.
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- The 2012 Elections
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- Chapter 3