Craig Crawford: Was 2008 the Outlier?

How can elections two years apart look so different? But Tuesday’s vote seems to be the norm. Its center-right results fit into the main stream of the last 30 years far more than 2008’s assumed lunge to the left.

Even the Democratic congressional sweep of 2006 was actually more in keeping with tradition. Democrats won Congress largely by recruiting centrist candidates – which created a time bomb that exploded in their faces this week, as voters in those right-leaning districts and states switched back to the Republican column.

This has me wondering if Barack Obama’s election was merely an exception made possible by the alluring uniqueness of his personal history and appeal. If so, the biggest mistake Democrats made was in assuming that their recent successes were transformational, instead of merely temporary.

Craig blogs daily for CQ Roll Call

From The Huffington Post


  1. You’re absolutely right that ’08 was an outlier. This cycle was more of a return to near normal than it was a wave. Democrats didn’t really lose any liberal districts.

    Neither party should expect that swing voters like me will actually support them anymore. More and more of us each cycle are totally giving up on both. A lot depends on the district and candidates of course, but with the way we are so dissafected with both parties, we see split government as the best option available to us… at least until we get more moderate &/or fairly centrist independent options.

    Solomon Kleinsmith
    Rise of the Center