If you look at generic presidential ballot polling, it seems likely that President Obama will lose, which is also what economic forecasting models suggest. At the same time, generic ballot polling of the House suggests that Democrats will take the majority, which is also what the massive unpopularity of congressional Republicans indicates. And yet nobody in Washington is taking that scenario seriously. Jon Chait says he thinks we should.
I have my doubts. My view of the intelligence and discernment of the average American swing voter is not very high. But I do think he or she will realize, by election day, that expressing discontent with the status quo by voting out your incumbent GOP House member and simultaneously voting for the GOP presidential challenger doesn’t make sense. Ticket splitting happens, of course, but pro-incumbent ticket splitting is much more logical than anti-incumbent ticket splitting. What’s more, ticket splitting behavior is in decline. I think swing voters will, over the course of the campaign, decide which party they blame for their unhappiness and vote against it.