CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A political forecaster says he thinks 2014 will be a tougher year for President Barack Obama than 2013.
“It was bad, but not nearly as bad as next year’s going to be,” said Larry Sabato with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics of the past 12 months for the White House. Sabato puts together political predictions through “Sabato’s Crystal Ball.”
Next year will be a mid-term election year. “Election years are even less productive, if that’s possible, than the year we’ve just seen and, as you move farther into a second term, you become more of a lame duck,” said Sabato of the 2014 possibilities for the presidency.
The year 2013 for President Obama was the year of falling approval ratings, a problem-plagued roll out of health insurance enrollment through the Affordable Care Act, revelations of wide-reaching government surveillance on Americans from the National Security Agency and little progress on a whole list of White House domestic priorities, including immigration reform, that have yet to be addressed.
The Obama Administration is now heading into its sixth year.
“Something strange could happen or, God forbid, a terrorist attack. You can conjure up all kinds of possibilities, but if we stay on the track we’re on, we’re on the longest lame duck presidency in American history,” said Sabato. “It’s going to last for three and a half years.”
Republicans are eyeing a possible takeover of the U.S. Senate in 2014. The GOP already controls the U.S. House. “I can tell you they’re going to gain seats (in the U.S. Senate), but I can’t tell you exactly how many seats they’re going to gain. It’s too early,” said Sabato. “They need a little bit of a wave to get six seats.”
Sabato was a guest on a recent edition of MetroNews “Talkline.”