Archive | October, 2014

Elections update 2014

31 Oct

The midterm elections are less than a week away and things are looking less clear than a month ago.  The most recent polling shows tightening races with few candidates showing any kind of advantage.  The country’s mood is sour as it has been the last several elections.  It is tough for me to compare this to any other election as it is too close to call.  The Democrats will likely gain seats in the gubernatorial column but may lose the senate.

In the Senate, Democrats are almost certain to lose in South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia.  That means the Republicans need 3 seats to take control of the Senate.  The current states that are tossups right now are Alaska, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia and Kentucky.  There is one state that may act as the spoiler or wildcard this election which is Kansas.  The independent candidate is currently leading incumbent Republican Pat Roberts narrowly.

So what does this mean?  In presidential election terms, it’s too close to call.  In 2010 the Republicans were gaining momentum and were certain to gain seats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.  This year things tend to favor the Republicans for control of Congress, but there are still undecided races that could determine control of the senate.  I think the Democrats will lose control of the senate, but this election does not look like 2010.  President Obama may be unpopular, but the Republicans aren’t running away with this election as they did in 2010.

One of the most disappointing things for me this election cycle is the lack of issues being talked about.  Democrats and Republicans around the country are talking more about their dislike or disagreement with the president.  In the absence of issues, candidates are talking about fear.  Some senate candidates like Scott Brown (New Hampshire senate race) and Thom Thilis (North Carolina senate race) are getting desperate and talking about Ebola and ISIS.  I don’t see ISIS as a partisan issue since congress voted in a bipartisan matter to support the rebels who are fighting ISIS.  The threat of Ebola to Americans is so insignificant that it shouldn’t be talked about much during campaigns.

We are looking at two main scenarios after the election.  The Democrats will have a narrow senate majority or the Republicans will have a narrow senate majority.  What is the difference? Not much.  A Republican majority will mean the Republicans will have a limited legislating power.  They will be a thorn in the president’s side and probably launch investigation after investigation going after the president, but they will still have to get any legislation past the president’s desk.  A Republican senate majority will also mean more gridlock.

A Democratic senate majority will mean pretty much the same thing we have now.  They have some leverage to legislate but there will still be more gridlock.  This election will be important as are all elections, but will pale compared to 2016.  As much as the Republicans want to say it, they will be unable to undo all of the things President Obama has done after this current election.  If a Democrat succeeds President Obama, most of his policies will remain in place for a long time.

 

 

One final note before the election, research the candidates and GO VOTE!