Basic civics teaches us that the US senate has 100 seats; with each state having two representatives therein. It also teaches that a full term for a US senator is six years; and that in a controlled rotation, one-third of the senate is up for re-election every two years. To win a majority in the senate, one of the two major political parties in contemporary US politics (Republicans and Democrats) has to secure fifty seats plus the vice-presidency -since the Veep’s vote breaks all ties.
Here is the present make-up of the senate: 55 democrats and 45 republicans. In this year’s election cycle 33 seats are in play. Of those, at least 21 can be deemed relatively safe for either side -based on objective historical measures of evaluation, analysis and prediction. This suggests to me that control of the senate hinges mainly on the outcomes in about a dozen races.
For months now, mainstream mediums have been projecting a republican controlled senate come January 2015. The bookmakers are suggesting that in those dozen aforementioned races, republicans appear to have the upper hand. Many democrats have been spooked by the dire predictions of doom and gloom; many Dems in media appear to be depressed beyond normal.
Here are some of the reasons why they go in this direction:
- President Obama’s poll-numbers show that almost sixty per cent of the US voters appear to be consistently disenchanted with his leadership; thus his popularity has been in negative territory for years now.
- The present health crisis brought on by this “Ebola” scare.
- Those nagging and troublesome foreign policy issues: mainly the “Islamic State” with its military aggressions and ambitions; military actions in the Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and in quite a few other corners of the world; the Arab-Israeli impasse; and the seemingly intractable “Middle-East” turmoil(s).
- The lethargic US economic-recovery and the attendant individual-fears of many many citizens.
- The constant barrage of negative political-news stories emanating from media in general.
- The perpetual hammering of the president and his team, by the Fox News Network -which just happens to be only the most watched news network in the country. This hammering continues to shape the perceptions of many who refuse to evaluate this presidency in an objective and dispassionate way.
- Republican obstructionism which has led to the least productive congressional session in this country’s history; which in turn has created an unprecedented type of voter-cynicism which might just defy conventional political analysis: relative to election-outcomes.
- An overall sense of frustration, disappointment, confusion and malaise, brought on by distortions and outright lies of those in media with specific and distinct political objectives.
- A strong feeling that voter apathy will dampen enthusiasm and turnout.
Look; I could list many other aspects to this enveloping analysis generally driving these pre-election projections; but that will consume too much of our time; so let’s just say that most of the analysis appears to be meritorious, and is usually grounded in reason, polling, news reports and logic.
Furthermore, republican enthusiasm is being buoyed by the added fact that at least half a dozen of the senate seats in play, are located in states which Mitt Romney carried in the 2012 presidential election: some by double digits; percentagewise.
However, despite all this, I am here to tell you all that republicans will not be controlling the senate come 2015: and you can bet the rent.
For one; despite Obama’s negative numbers overall, there is a solid hard-core group of supporters who will stand with him come hell or high water. They blame near all Obama’s troubles on Tea Party Republicans, blatant racism, premeditated obstructionism, and the Fox News Network. They are itching to show that “payback” is a bitch.
Secondly; the demographics of this country will continue to haunt the imbecilic republican strategists. White women in a plurality, combined with single women in general, will again vote heavily for democrats. Republicans will not be able to offset the combination(s) of women, union workers, blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, coming out in numbers higher than normal for a mid-term election.
The shenanigans of the Supreme Court over the past few years will also hurt republicans this time around. Some of the decisions made by republicans on SCOTUS will reverberate come November.
REPUBLICANS WILL NOT REGAIN THE SENATE FOR DECADES TO COME; LIKEWISE THE PRESIDENCY: YEARS FROM NOW YOU CAN ALL GO BACK TO THIS COLUMN FOR VERIFICATION.
Most likely you will see Republicans holding control of the House of Representatives for now; but even before the next census comes around in 2020 (and likewise another round of redistricting) that hold will be tenuous.
The fact that republicans have failed to articulate a policy-vision for the country (beyond more cuts in social services, more war, and more tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals), will bury them on Election Day. And please don’t forget that there are many folks who are itching to vote now, especially after vicious republican attempts at voter-suppression through new legislation.
When the cornerstone of your party’s agenda is ostensibly the intrusion on women’s vaginas and life-choices, then you will have a problem with female voters. When every member of your party votes against legislation mandating parity in salaries for women, then you will have a problem with female voters.
I could give you a host of other valid reasons why republicans will not be controlling the senate next January, but I choose to stop here: let the so-called experts scratch their head come November.
If the repugnicans were on their way to victory, the polls wouldn’t be this close in so many of these races; especially those in the so-called “red-states”. Blacks and Hispanics are nearly always under-sampled in these surveys, and therein lies the matrix for predicting this year’s outcome.
The coalition(s) which delivered Obama in 2008 and 2012 will again hold this year. In the crucial races, Election Day pull-operations will make up the difference between winning or losing; higher than usual turnout in states with significant minority populations will deliver democrats again. Wherever you find states that have politically active trade unions -with strong GOTV operations- you will find extra voters for democrats to tally at the end of the night. This is a simple fact that seems to elude republican strategists/analysts.
To me, the chances of republicans carrying the senate were always slim; and yesterday, I spoke to the guy called SLIM: he isn’t down with this program. He said:”NO PASARON”.
So relax democrats: “chill” (as they say on some Brooklyn streets); “this aint no thing but a chicken-wing”.
Stay tuned-in folks.