My question is, what is the estimate of people who will be voting in a particular way because of the events around the government shutdown and threat of a default on the budget caused by deadlock between the house and senate a year ago? And, if people are swayed who are they and how are they likely to vote now?

Will the budget battles affect the current senate race?

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    To answer the title question: The cynic in me wants to say none at all. We're too amnesic to remember what happened before the most recent news cycle, let alone what happened 13 months ago. But I don't have any data to back that up. – Tyler Nov 3 '14 at 20:51
  • I'd have to agree with you, I am wondering as well if anyone has brought up specific people's actions in attack ads to remind the voters – kleineg Nov 3 '14 at 20:56
  • Less significant than an ad, so I don't know if you'd count it, but I've seen a meme on FB along the lines of "remember how we had to shut down the national parks in 2013, yet we have money to drop million dollar bombs in Iraq?" Of course, there's a significant selection bias when you collect data from libertarians. – Tyler Nov 3 '14 at 21:01
  • ...I don't see that as a partisan issue, it does not matter if you are on the left or on the right, it will always be easier to get money for bombs than for parks. And it does not matter if you are on the left or on the right, you can always point the finger at the other side. – kleineg Nov 3 '14 at 21:09
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    Not sure this is answerable outside of pure speculation. – user1530 Nov 3 '14 at 21:22

The shutdown will likely have very little impact on the election.

First and foremost, the shutdown was over a year ago, and voters have a notoriously short memory. The Sandy Hook shootings, Edward Snowden, Benghazi: all are stories that were major political stories in 2013 that received only token mentions throughout the 2014 election.

One way to get a good idea of why and how people are voting is to poll on voter priorities. The most recent CBS polls found the most important issues for voters are the economy, health care, terrorism, and immigration. The most generous interpretation is that some of the 8% of Americans who name the federal budget as the most important issue were thinking of the shutdown. But the vast majority of voters simply aren't thinking about the shutdown.

As to why the shutdown never emerged as a campaign issue, bringing up the shutdown would have been politically risky. Polls at the time showed a majority of Americans at the time blamed the Republicans. But the shutdown was immediately followed by the botched Obamacare rollout, vindicating the most hardline Republicans who based their support on repealing the law. Neither Democrats nor Republicans had too much to gain by bringing it up.

Finally, there wasn't much of a way to personally tie too many Senate candidates to the shutdown. Of the eight RealClearPolitics tossup races, only two Republican candidates were in the House at the time: Cory Gardner in Colorado and Bill Cassidy in Louisiana. But there isn't really a way to blame guys like former Senator Scott Brown and businessman David Perdue for a shutdown they literally had nothing to do with.

  • +1 for a good answer. -10 for a super-naive "there isn't really a way to blame". There's ALWAYS a way to blame your political opponent for stuff, especially for Democrats thanks to their control of the legacy media. Witness Republicans being blamed for left-wing shooter of Rep. Giffords. Or for not enough Ebola research money. Or for favoritism to Big Banking. – user4012 Nov 4 '14 at 16:36
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    @DVK Cherry-picking instances of bias is itself bias. Libertarian ultra-cynicism of any grouping of two or more people isn't an improvement over naivety/preliminary respect of political representatives. – LateralFractal Nov 4 '14 at 22:09
  • @LateralFractal - I didn't say Republicans don't do that. I said Democrats have an easier time of it since a vast majority of the Western mass media is firmly allied/wedded to them. Getting the narrative out isn't an issue. – user4012 Nov 4 '14 at 22:15
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    Are we really having a "the media is run by the liberals" debate in comments? – kleineg Nov 6 '14 at 18:38
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    Hey, you were right on the money! – kleineg Nov 10 '14 at 13:26

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