On the Record

The U.S. Economy and the 2010 Midterm Elections

William A. Galston

In an interview with the Economist, William Galston discusses the most important issue on voters’ minds as the midterm electios approach: the economy.

Christopher Lockwood:  With just days to go until America’s midterms, we turn for this week’s podcast to the issue which will more than any other will probably shape the result, the economy.  I’m Christopher Lockwood, the U.S. editor of the Economist, and joining me from Washington is Greg Arepart, U.S. Economics Editor, and Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution, a former top member of Bill Clinton’s White House. 

Bill, if I can start with you, all polls show that the economy is the single most important subject on voters’ mind as they head into these midterms and clearly the economy is still, despite having a technically resurging recession, in an awful shape.  How serious of a dropping do you think voters will give the President and Democrats because of this.

William Galston: There is a range of outcomes from bad to very bad.  The consensus at this point is that the Republicans will retake the House of Representatives, which would imply a gain of at least 40 seats; many analysts think substantially more than that.  And the Republicans are likely as well to substantially narrow what is now a large Democratic majority of 18 seats in the Senate.  The odds are that the Republicans will fall a bit short of retaking the Senate, but not by much.

Click here to listen to the full interview