The Shutdown Probably Won't Kill the GOP in 2014

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 11 2013 9:25 AM

The Shutdown Probably Won't Kill the GOP in 2014

183983971
A supporter of Organizing for Action holds a sign critical of the Tea Party's roll in the U.S. government shutdown.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Two interesting pieces of shutdown reading this morning. One is Nate Silver breaking his silence to scold pundits for overhyping the electoral consequences of the budget shutdown and the other is the NBC/WSJ poll indicating that the shutdown is killing Republicans with the public.

It's worth reading these things in conjunction because I think it's worth trying to really understand why even big events like a government shutdown probably won't drive the 2014 midterms. The reason is that conservative opinion leaders will (probably) freak out about these polls and the GOP will (probably) more or less back down and by 2014 we'll (probably) be back to normal where all the people who think abortion should be illegal vote Republican and all the people who think it should be legal vote Democratic.

Advertisement

Probably.

But today that's not what's happening. Today what's happening is the GOP is doing things that are a bit outside the grid of ordinary politics and its moving the needle in a big way. The political system has a lot of self-correcting elements and strong incentives for Republicans not to persist in this course and then for the 50 percent or so of people who basically agree with Republicans about public policy to forgive and forget. But that happens precisely because people don't dismiss these event-driven polling spikes as irrelevant. They adjust.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.