GOP’s Inconsistent Foreign Policy Appeal in Midterms Could Backfire

President Barack Obama arrives to vote early in the midterm elections, Oct. 20, 2014, Chicago, Ill. (AP photo by Evan Vucci).
President Barack Obama arrives to vote early in the midterm elections, Oct. 20, 2014, Chicago, Ill. (AP photo by Evan Vucci).
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Traditionally, U.S. midterm elections have been referenda on how a president has managed domestic affairs, a vote of confidence or rejection of his various policy choices. International events, however, can emerge as issues in the campaign to the extent that they indicate whether the country is moving in the right or the wrong direction. In 2006, for instance, the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the Iraq War became a factor in the recapture of both houses of Congress by the Democrats because it was put forth alongside domestic disasters—such as the handling of Hurricane Katrina—as part of an effective campaign slogan […]

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