Silver sizes up the IRS scandal:
In a basic sense, scandals that reduce trust in government have the potential to harm those who argue for more government. Mr. Obama has predicated much of his agenda on the idea that Americans can and should trust the government to take action on health care, gun legislation and other issues.
Enten argues along the same lines:
There are reasons to believe that Democrats shouldn’t see major losses [in 2014]. The economy is doing better, and an incumbent president’s party rarely loses big twice in midterms. Still, if trust falls, it may trump these structural factors. The thing to watch over the next days, weeks, and months is how big the scandals become. If they become big news, and that seems quite possible, Obama’s Democratic party may be heading for major losses in 2014.
Nyhan’s research “suggests that the structural conditions are strongly favorable for a major media scandal to emerge.”