Does a weak Republican ticket help them with lower ballot races?

Though to some people the 2012 election may seem like a long ways away.  Political pundits and junkies like myself are already in full campaign mode.  I had an interesting conversation with a coworker and wanted to share it and get your thoughts.  Are the Democrats in lower ballot races going to be in for a long night?  I know in recent weeks Republicans have not fared well in Washington, and if last night’s results in New York as well as the in fighting between Republicans and the Tea Party Caucus,  are a sign of things to come, this could be irrelevant.  However, could voter over confidence lead to some Republican success in 2012?

In no way am I already declaring President Obama the winner, but as things are shaping up right now on the Republican side, there just isn’t a great candidate right now.  There could be a dark horse somewhere, or a current candidate could blossom into someone who can be a challenger.  Currently though, there is a lot of sentiment that Obama has an easy bid at reelection.  Voters, while they may not be fully engaged yet, are still listening.

I believe, after the sweeping results in 2008, that some previous Obama supporters may think it isn’t as important for them to come out to the polls and stay home.  In 2008, those amazing numbers of voters helped push Democratic candidates down the ticket.  People like my Senator Kay Hagan benefited from this.  The question remains though, what will happen in 2012?  I wonder, as does my coworker, if all this talk of a weak Republican ticket will influence some voters to stay home.  If this happens, I think it could be a win for Republicans down the ballot.  It is no secret that the Republicans view is to have fewer people at the polls.  Generally, when fewer people vote, they win.

I hope that voters prove me wrong and come out to the polls and vote in 2012 regardless of the strength of the ticket.  I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.  Comment away!

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