The consensus (more or less) among political analysts was that the GOP was likely to lose in the shutdown showdown, but was unlikely to suffer serious electoral consequences. The first prediction appears to be the case (but see Peter Beinart’s smart contrarian take). How about the second one?
It is early, but what evidence we have seems consistent with the idea that the GOP didn’t take on much electoral water from this loss. This isn’t to say that there isn’t any evidence that the shutdown hurt Republicans, but the idea that their prospects were seriously jeopardized is thin.
Start with Wednesday night’s Senate election in New Jersey. Democrat Cory Booker defeated Republican Steve Lonegan by just over 10 points, 54.6 percent to 44.3 percent. This result is right in the middle of previous Republican gubernatorial and Senate performances in the state (gubernatorial races are in odd years; Senate races are typically in even years):