Major Legislation Unlikely In Tough Year For Democrats
BMI View: US President Barack Obama's low approval ratings lead us to believe that he will have limited success advancing his domestic agenda in 2014, and that Republicans are likely to retain control of the House of Representatives and pick up seats in the Senate in the November midterm election. Indeed, if Republican gains are large enough, they could wrest control of the upper chamber from Democrats, further reducing Obama's ability to affect policy in the final years of his second term.
We see few major changes in the trajectory of US politics in 2014, implying that partisan gridlock is likely to remain the norm. Polling data show President Barack Obama to be quite weak politically after a series of setbacks in 2013, and focus on the November 2014 midterm election will make compromise hard to come by. We expect to see action on must-pass legislation - such as funding the federal government and raising the debt ceiling - but aside from that, we are fairly pessimistic about the potential for major legislative initiatives to find support. The midterm election will be the key political event of the year, and we see the potential for Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives and take the Senate from Democrats, an outcome that would severely limit Obama's ability to implement his agenda in his final two years.
Obama Mired In Low Approval Ratings
|A Low Water Mark|
|US - Approval & Disapproval Rating Of Pres. Obama, %|