Bad economic policy decisions made by President Obama and congressional Democrats came back to haunt them during the 2014 midterm elections. The National Journal,
No truer words were ever spoken then when President Obama told a Northwestern University audience last month, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.” Civics and political-science textbooks have long told us that midterm elections are usually a referendum on the incumbent president and his party. Yet every time a midterm election comes up, there seems to be a certain amount of denial that occurs, though wishful thinking is probably a more accurate term. The “out” party wants a nationalized election, while the “in” party expresses complete confidence that it can effectively “localize” the elections instead.
However, to the extent that elections are about any single issue, far more often than not that issue is the economy. Although some Democrats were content ito recite the improvement in the unemployment rate—which has dropped below 6 percent—and how many consecutive months the economy has created 200,000 or more jobs, in reality this election was not about the unemployment rate per se or what any economist says about how the economy is doing. Rather, it was about how Americans feel the economy is doing. The fact is that most Americans do not believe the economy is doing better. Specifically, they do not think their personal economy has yet recovered.