The LA Times Top of the Ticket blog mentions Gene Ulm’s post on about the misery index.
Gene Ulm has an interesting examination of the Misery Index, the combination of the unemployment and inflation rates.
Of the 15 midterm elections in the last 60 years, Ulm notes fully 13 have been “change” elections, meaning the party controlling the White House loses seats in both the Senate and House as a kind of halftime verdict on the sitting president as American voters rebalance the political teetertotter. Only two midterms have seen the White House party gain seats.
According to Ulm’s research, the average Misery Index in “change” elections was 10.1; the average in status quo was 6.86. The president’s party lost an average of 26 seats in change elections, with Bill Clinton’s first midterm the worst, a loss of 52 Democratic seats in the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 after the failure of health-care reform.
The Misery Index has now passed 8, with many experts expecting unemployment to rise throughout this year. Double-digit misery seems to spell congressional misery for White House incumbents.
In Politico, Carrie Budoff Brown discusses the Republicans’ place in health care reform and lists Bill McInturff as part of a “familiar lineup” of policy analysts known for their health care expertise.
Republicans are fielding strategic and policy advice from a familiar lineup, including Gingrich, Scott, pollster Bill McInturff, Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner, and Heritage Foundation health policy expert Robert Moffitt. All were involved in the health care debate in the early 1990s.