Did Support of Obama’s Agenda Doom the Democrats?

Did Obama’s ambitious agenda — specifically, health care reform, the economic stimulus, cap and trade, and his vigorous support for TARP (even though he wasn’t president at the time) — contribute to the Democratic seat losses?  ….. Simple answer: they mattered a lot. A Democratic incumbent in the average district represented by Democratic incumbents actually lost about 2/3 of a percentage point for every yes vote. For Democrats in the least Democratic districts (Chet Edwards of TX or Gene Taylor of MS), the model suggests a loss of about 4% for every yes vote.

What might have happened if vulnerable Democrats hadn’t voted for any of the four bills? …. The Democrats gain back 32 seats, enough to retain control of the House.

Full post at The Monkey Cage blog. HT to Tyler Cowen.

Comments (5)

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  1. Ken says:

    Glad to see someone is approaching this intelligently. There is a lot of nonsense and spin out there right now.

  2. Paul H. says:

    When the analysis is done in a half serious way, the conclusion is: Votes for Obama’s agenda hurt Deomocratic candidates.

  3. Bruce says:

    I don’t believe we need an economic model to know this. Just look at the behavior of the candidates themselves. All but a handfull of Democrats, for example, ran away from ObamaCare.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    If the Democrats had spent as more time debating how to improve the economy and create jobs; and passed a scaled down version of health care reform (like Rahm Emanuel advised), the Democrats would not have suffered losses as great as they did. According to the PBS show Frontline, it was President Obama that held out for the comprehensive health reform package that his public health advocate advisors wanted. The bill essentially cut out everyone right of center and that led to the year-long rancorous debate that ultimately cost Democrats the election.

  5. Larry C. says:

    The answer to your question is: yes, of course it did.