Midterm Defections: The Real Story of 2010

By Mark Mellman, The Hill - December 8, 2010

Turnout fetishists, who interpret this and most every election in terms of who did and did not come to the polls, are again infesting the commentariat. Of course, almost by definition, if more Democrats showed up, along with fewer Republicans, Democrats would have performed better. But that is always true and therefore usually trivial.

The real question is: Were the results driven by an unusual set of suspects turning out or by voters shifting their allegiance? If it's not already obvious, I'll blow the surprise: 2010 was fundamentally about the failure to persuade, not turnout failure.

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