Nate Silver on ‘Jon Stewart Test’: When Issues ‘Become Punchlines,’ They Resonate With Voters

Former New York Times polling blogger Nate Silver appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos and augured the narratives that would most impact the 2014 midterm elections, predicting that both the government shutdown and the troubled Obamacare rollout could complicate congressional races.

“I use the Jon Stewart test,” Silver said of what issues stick with voters. “More Americans are watching comedic shows. They’re watching Leno and Letterman and Jon Stewart, and when things become a punchline there, and resonate outside the Beltway, that’s when the issues might resonate forward to the next election.”

RELATED: Howard Kurtz on Jon Stewart’s ‘Neat Little Game’: ‘Wants to be Political Critic’ Until He Has an Impact

“These are maybe the two biggest lines that each side has,” Silver said. “The thing about the Obamacare rollout problem is it plays into this whole notion of how competent is big government, is there overreach here, competence issues. On the other hand, the Democrats can run almost an anti-incumbent campaign, saying the GOP is so dangerous when they get power, that we need to disempower them.”

Silver also poured some cold water on recent numbers showing generic Democratic congressional candidates up eight points to their GOP rivals, noting that polls don’t register the turnout gap that usually favors Republicans in midterm elections, and that the majority of districts are more Republican.

Watch the full clip below, via ABC News:

[Image via screengrab]

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