If we compare this year to the other midterm years when foreign policy loomed large in the voters’ minds, it’s not hard to understand why these issues are being neglected now. The ’02 election took place a little over a year after the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and it was happening in the middle of the ongoing debate over attacking Iraq that stemmed from the administration’s agitation for war. It was therefore an extremely unusual election that we wouldn’t expect to be repeated unless there were similar conditions today, and the conditions aren’t remotely similar. The 2006 election followed what had been up until then the worst year of the Iraq war, which saw not only an increase in American casualties but also a major deterioration in security for Iraqis. Bush and his allies made a point of demagoguing national security for political gain in 2002, and then suffered a backlash in 2006 because of the administration’s incompetence and disastrous Iraq policy. These elections have two things in common: they happened at a time when national security and foreign policy issues were at the forefront of voters’ minds because they were directly affecting the U.S. or U.S. forces, and the president’s party was clearly positioned to gain or lose support specifically because of these issues. Neither of these things is true this year, and so these issues attract little attention and don’t cut for or against the president’s party in a big way.