September 26, 2014

Holder's leaving. So what?

I meant to hop on this yesterday as the story broke, but I didn't have time. Better late than never.

Is the Eric Holder departure a cabinet shake-up move designed to move the needle on voters prior to the midterm elections? Maybe so:

But how it is supposed to help Democrats before the midterms is not exactly clear. The Tea Party crowd is roughly zero percent more likely to support Democrats based on a new Attorney General in the administration.

African Americans are not likely to care much, although some might be annoyed if the replacement is not another African American who sees racism in everything. But again, it won't make much electoral difference with them either way.

Hispanic voters are not likely to change their impression of the administration either way as a result of this. Those annoyed by the president over his stall on naturalization of illegal immigrants aren't likely to be any happier, even with a Hispanic replacement if that is in the cards. Holder isn't the primary dial-mover for them, Obama is.

Democratic voters in general certainly aren't focused on Holder vs. a potential replacement. So is it voters on the fence who the administration is focused on impacting? Even for them, with ISIS, the economy, healthcare, Russia and a myriad of other issues on the table, while Holder's departure is worth noting, it's not a game changer - it's far down the list in terms of importance with voters.

UNLESS, Holder's departure is part of a bigger picture and more resignations and changes are to come. But even then, how meaningful is that in a midterm election when it's the executive branch changes in an election about the Congress and Senate?

It's like someone opened the playbook and said, "Hey, a cabinet shuffle before an election can make a difference, let's try that!"

It smacks of desperation, and makes me think that a wave is still certainly possible. Perhaps the Democratic pollsters, the ones who far outdid Republican pollsters in 2012, are seeing things that haven't bubbled to the surface yet.

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