114. The 2014 Midterm Elections: A Perfect Storm

The “Perfect Storm” of factors leading to Dem losses in 2014.

We have seen many articles about why the Democrats lost so much in the 2014 Midterm elections. Lots of people would like a simple, bumper-sticker solution to complex problems. But really, it was a combination of so many factors, as in the movie, A Perfect Storm. If we want solutions, we’ll need a huge effort on many fronts.

Where possible, we have added links to sources, and will add more if we find them.

Second Midterm History

Rachel Maddow did an excellent segment showing that in modern history, a two-term President always loses both houses in his sixth year.

http://j.mp/1zBdpBX — (WashingtonPost.com) MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow riffs on what Fox News says about Senate going Republican.

http://j.mp/1xdNAEA — (NPR.org) The most reliable guide to Campaign 2014? History.

Caucus Room Conspiracy

Thom Hartmann reminded us that, while Democrats were attending Obama’s inauguration balls in 2009, Republicans were plotting to sabotage his Presidency.

http://j.mp/1tRdZbD — (Truth-Out.org) Democrats Duped by the Caucus Room Conspiracy.

http://j.mp/1Ef4q7n — (ThomHartmann.com) The Caucus Room conspiracy is alive and well!

Dark Money

Most sources say of the reported money sources, Republicans led Democrats, but not by an awful lot. However, this election had lots more completely Dark Money in it, which has not been traced, and of that, the GOP probably had much more. This is money from sources like the Koch Brothers.

http://j.mp/1Ef4GTP — (DemocracyNow.org) The priciest midterms ever, brought to you by "Dark Money" and election finance out of control.

http://j.mp/1yfqi0v — (Politifact.com) Which side spent more on the 2014 midterms, Democrats or Republicans?

http://j.mp/1xqJ2dd — (CommonDreams.org) Deep-pocket Dark Money bulldozing democracy.

http://j.mp/1tmUCSq — (OpenSecrets.org) Money won on Tuesday, but rules of the game changed.

Voter/Donor Fatigue

We don’t have a source for this yet, but our guess (from our own experience) is that Democratic and Progressive organizations, almost in panic, flooded the inboxes of past or potential donors. This, plus the constant TV ads, probably turned off a certain number of voters/donors.


After the 2010 elections, many states re-drew electoral maps, making it much harder for Democrats to win in those districts.

http://j.mp/1quiGCU — (MotherJones.com) Now that’s what I call gerrymandering!

http://j.mp/1zcna6w — (ThinkProgress.org) Republicans brag they won House majority because of gerrymandering.

http://j.mp/1vWdd9M — (NYTimes.com) The Great Gerrymander of 2012

http://j.mp/1xbKrHO — (AddictingInfo.org) Why Democrats may never win back the House.

State GOP Takeovers

Republican takeovers in many states led to a number of advantages for the GOP.

http://j.mp/1zcd8SZ — (WashingtonPost.com) The Republican takeover in the states.

Citizens United and Other Decisions

The five GOP-appointed (some would say owned) members of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) have handed down several decisions that tilt the playing field sharply in the Republicans' favor. Citizens United, McCutcheon, and others.

http://j.mp/1oyEPoc — (RawStory.com) Supreme Court ruling handed midterm elections to Republicans.

http://j.mp/1ttFrad — (Wikipedia.org) Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

http://j.mp/1wHtDad — (PublicIntegrity.org) McCutcheon — More money to pour into political process.

More Democratic Senate Seats

As bad luck would have it, there were also more Democratic Senate seats up for election this time, and many of those were in purple or red states.

http://j.mp/1tPNr99 — (Wikipedia.org) 21 Democratic vs 15 Republican.

Voter Suppression

With the weak excuse that someone might impersonate a legitimate voter (it really happens very seldom), Republican legislatures have passed laws or made rules that disenfranchise voters selectively along party lines. This is one of the most un-American things they do.

http://j.mp/1tNlKhf — (ACLU.org) Voter suppression measures passed since 2013.

http://j.mp/1qwdeQe — (MSNBC.com) A poll tax by another name is still a poll tax.

http://j.mp/1uLHT2i — (HuffingtonPost.com) Here are five common voter suppression tactics to watch for.

http://j.mp/1zaDRiO — (Salon.com) Wingnut voter ID group fails again: “Voter integrity” outfit unable to find midterm fraud.

http://j.mp/1xHe2Js — (MMaynard119.Wordpress.com) The vast right-wing conspiracy grows: The real result of the 2014 midterm elections.

Corporate Big Media

All major "news" organizations are owned by one of the (six?) huge corporations. They may give lip service to being bipartisan, or even "leaning forward" (MSNBC), but they all have a hidden agenda to support big corporations and billionaires.

OpEdNews.com — (OpEdNews.com) The myth of liberal media bias.

http://j.mp/1ssU8Ls — (FAIR.org) Media advise Dems to move to the right once more.


Many of us actually believed that racism was on the decline in the U.S. Until 2008.

http://j.mp/113j6dC — (Salon.com) It is still about race.


The rise of the Tea Party, Creationism, Birtherism, Climate Deniers, and similar factors has caused a sharp rise in anti-science, anti-intellectualism. This makes rational arguments rather difficult.

http://j.mp/1tmQKAR — (TheGuardian.com) Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US.

Dems Running from Obama and Obamacare

Democrats running in purple or red states, even in some blue states, made a tactical decision to distance themselves from Obama, Obamacare, and other Democratic achievements. This had the effect of validating the GOP arguments and lost traction with the Democratic base.

http://j.mp/1x9KgNk — (TheOaklandPress.com) Running away from Obama is what cost Democrats.

Lots of Charts and More Factors

If all that weren’t enough, here are more charts and data to support the idea that Democrats lost due to many factors that favored Republicans, few if any having to do with actual issues of governance.

http://j.mp/1xxIiDa — (VOX.com) 40 maps and charts that explain the 2014 elections.

— Changed 24 Jan 2018


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