Candidates in this year's mid-term Congressional elections have spent record amounts of money in what many believe will be a transformational election.
Because voters are widely dissatisfied with the leadership coming out of Washington, and they are looking for change.
We need only look at the latest Consumer Confidence readings (which are hovering around 50 compared to the 10-year average of 88) to get some gauge of the current level of pessimism. "Twice as many American voters prefer a first-time candidate to someone who has served for more than a decade," wrote Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal, quoting results from a WSJ/NBC poll this month. The same poll in March of this year found that half of all respondents would replace every single member of Congress if they could. We think you'd have to go pretty far back in history to find this level of antipathy toward the government.
As a result of the dissatisfaction with Washington, Republicans are widely expected to gain the requisite 39 seats to take control of the House. In the Senate, Democrats are expected to maintain their majority but by a smaller margin. In anticipation of such a Republican victory (as well as additional quantitative easing by the Fed), investors have sent stock prices soaring. The S&P 500 is up nearly 16% since the year's low on July 2, and the gains seem to keep coming.