With the government shutdown and debt ceiling battles behind us — at least until January — focus has turned to what in politics passes for the long term: Next year’s midterm elections.

It’s tempting for Democrats to say the government shutdown put Republicans on a course to lose the House of Representatives.

It’s also tempting for Republicans to say the bungled ObamaCare website will haunt Democrats through next November.

The reality is that there’s still more than a year before the midterm elections and the storyline is still being written.

Chris Riback had a very interesting and revealing conversation with Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report on how he sees next year’s political battle lines forming.

Give it a listen here:

This is part of a new series of conversations we’ll be having with top political analysts, pollsters, and consultants in the coming months. Let us know what you think in the comments and if you would like them featured in The Cloakroom.