Jim VandeHei has a piece this morning in the Post explaining that Ralph Reed’s defeat Tuesday in Georgia has put political strategists in both parties on notice that the issue of political corruption has real traction, at least for candidates directly implicated in the on-going investigations.
He begins the article with this lede: “While political corruption has failed so far to take root as a national issue, the defeat of scandal-stained Ralph Reed in Georgia on Tuesday showed that federal investigators could tip some key House and Senate races this fall, according to party strategists.”
Now, I know that national polls haven’t registered too strongly on the issue of corruption per se. And readers might fairly wonder whether I have some professional investment in the issue of corruption, given that I founded a site dedicated to muckraking. But I’ve wondered for a while whether the conventional wisdom VandeHei is stating here is really accurate. It seems to me that the constant stories of indictments and pay-offs and lobbying scams have, all together, had a strong atmospheric effect, weighing heavily on the popularity of the Republican majority. When we see the GOP double digits behind the Democrats and voter perceptions that they’re out-of-touch, not serving the voters’ interests, self-seeking, etc., I think the corruption issue has had more to do with that than people realize.
What do you think?