November 13, 2006 — At a Shorenstein Center brown-bag lunch, Jeanne Cummings, political reporter for the Wall Street Journal, offered a postmortem of last week’s midterm elections, dissecting the Democrats’ takeover of both chambers and prognosticating about presidential candidates.
“This was a significant election, not your classic six-year cycle,” Cummings said. She attributed the Democrats’ recent victory to a combination of strategic campaign spending, a “buffet of upsetting issues,” depressed Republican voter turnout, and a general anti-incumbent mood. She added that voters were frustrated by the extreme partisanship and “my way or the highway” style of leadership that had taken hold in Washington during the Bush administration.
Given the results of the election, where does the country go from here? Cummings believes this will be the big question in 2008, and that Iraq will be the decisive issue. As for the winning candidate? “Your guess is as good as mine,” she said.