An Endorsement From Barack Obama Might Be the Kiss of Death This Year

A friend just emailed me with a gloomy outlook for Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. I don’t really have an outlook myself yet, though obviously Democrats suffer from a difficult electoral map, the traditional 6-year blues, and their usual problem turning out voters in off-year elections. But as long as we’re being gloomy, here’s something else to add to the bonfire. It’s an extract from a Washington Post poll graphic showing how voters react to congressional candidates being associated with the Obama administration. It’s not a pretty picture.

Now, if you want some good news, all you have to do is take a look at some of the other numbers in the poll, which makes it clear that most people have no idea what really makes them more or less likely to vote for someone. At the very bottom, for example, you’ll see that virtually no one is willing to fess up that they’re more likely to vote for an incumbent, despite mountains of research showing that incumbency is the single most powerful predictor of electoral success there is. So maybe this is all just a bunch of hooey. But I wouldn’t bet on it.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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