Early Voting May Help Democrats In Midterms
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Cokie, good morning once again.
COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: You know, I was walking pass a polling place, polling station over the weekend and got accosted by people with signs and so forth.
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INSKEEP: I was very surprised. But early voting. Early voting is underway.
ROBERTS: But, of course, a lot depends on that ground game - whether they can get their voters energized and out to the polls on Election Day itself, not just in this early voting.
INSKEEP: And let's remember that even if there's a higher turnout than expected, it's still not going to be the massive turnout you see in presidential years. But seniors do tend to vote rather consistently. Who benefits from that?
ROBERTS: And these senior voters are in a very sour mood. Four in five have a negative view of the economy. Only four in ten like the president, and they are ready to go for people who have never held office, which surprises me. You would think that they would go for experience, but no, they want - they're saying that they want people who have never been in office before. And almost 30 percent are saying they want to vote for people who say they will never compromise, that they just - they're in a nay-saying mood this year and obviously that is a problem for Democrats.
INSKEEP: Well, Cokie Roberts, you've seen a lot of presidents come and go, Congresses come and go.
INSKEEP: And based on that experience, I'm wondering what it would mean for President Obama if he in fact wakes up next month and sees that he has at least one Republican House of Congress, maybe two, who knows?
ROBERTS: But the Republicans might feel that they need to show that they've done more than simply stop legislation. That is the big question mark for the new Congress, if in fact one or two Houses is Republican.
INSKEEP: I'm also remembering that when President Clinton worked with a Republican Congress, they did get a fair amount done, but he also made a lot of Democrats mad.
ROBERTS: Yes, but not enough Democrats mad to mount a challenge to him in the election of 1996. And that is really a problem for President Obama. If, in fact, he does - is able to work with Republicans, he's going to make the left, which is already unhappy, even madder - and that could mean that somebody would challenge him in the primaries. And we know, that if a president is challenged in the primaries, he loses in the general election. That has been our history, whether it's Ford, or Carter, or Bush I. And so that is something that he's going to have to constantly keep an eye out for, trying to balance getting something done - compromising to get something done - with not angering the left so much that he has a challenger in the primaries. And that's going to be a tough road.
INSKEEP: OK. Thanks as always. That's NPR's Cokie Roberts on this Monday morning.
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INSKEEP: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.
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