Elections 2014: The Republicans Are Reduced To A Party Of Midterm Spoilers

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Good for Midterms only. Anti-workers' rights Wisconsin governor Scott Walker -- face of the Republican Party

It's widely expected that the Republicans will seize control of the U.S. Senate after today's midterm elections.  Democratic hopefuls continue to pray, pointing out that many of the close Senate races are within the margins of error in many of the polls.

The Washington Post's political blogger has the GOP winning five State Senates and nine State Houses. New York's senate race is a close one and the blogger sees it falling into Republican hands.

In terms of the U.S. Senate, most polling shows the Republicans with an easier path to a net gain of six seats, which is what they would need for control. A 50/50 tie isn't good enough since Vice President Joe Biden would cast the tie-breaking vote.  Biden himself yesterday brashly predicted that the Democrats would retain control of the Senate.

Here's why it's believed Republicans have an easier path for Senate control.

Polls show Republicans easily winning three Democratic-held Senate Seats -- Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. This means they would only need to gain three more without losing any of the ones they're protecting.

This could happen if the Republicans retain Kentucky, where Senator Mitch McConnell faced a veritable assault from challenger Alison Lundgren Grimes,  but seems to have settled into a lead; or, if Republicans win other close races such as in Alaska where Senator Mark Begich faces a challenge from Republican Dan Sullivan and Colorado, where Senator Mark Udall is in a heated contest with Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

Democrats were somewhat buoyed when Alaska's remained a close race.

Still, Democrats are biting fingers in New Hampshire, where a political refugee from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, has narrowed Senator Jeanne Shaheen's lead.

Democrats are thankful that Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, has surged in Georgia against David Perdue; that race will likely go into a run-off.

In Louisiana Senator Mary Landreu, a Democrat, faces very serious challenge from Rep. Bill Cassidy. Her best bet is for the race to go into a runoff so she gets to campaign again for the seat.

There are a number of interesting Gubernatorial races.

In Connecticut Republican challenger Tom Foley, a business executive, and Governor Dannel P. Malloy, both commanded 43% each in the last Quinnipiac University poll. In their 2010 race Malloy beat Foley by less than 7,000 votes. Malloy could win by an equally tight margin; or, Foley could flip the table.

In Wisconsin, the enemy of unions, Republican Governor Scott Walker has consistently been ahead of challenger, Mary Burke, albeit by only two points.

In Florida, Republican-turned-Democrat, former governor Charlie Crist is running slightly ahead of Republican current governor Rick Scott.

Also nationally, in a sign that the drug reform movement is gaining steam, there are at least seven states --including California, Florida, Alaska, and Oregon-- and 17 municipalities where people will vote on marijuana legalization or reform of the criminal justice system as it relates to drugs. Washington, D.C., also has marijuana legalization of the ballot.

So what could happen if the Republicans end up controlling both houses? Could things get any worse for the currently comatose Congress?

The ball is in the Republicans' court.

The GOP could continue to indulge in the same political lunacy they've engaged in since the election of the nation's first African African president in 2008; until they lose the presidential election in 2016.

Afterwards, they would bid time and prepare for the 2018 midterms. If one thing's certain it's that by appealing to White nativist sentiments, xenophobia and anti-immigration parochialism, Republicans can continue to win a few more midterm cycles.

During the interim, the Republicans could continue their assaults on Obama Care, even though they know full well that President Obama has the veto. And they may even revive their baseless presidential impeachment witchhunt.

Should the GOP control both houses, the party should reach out to President Obama and find a compromise in order to enact comprehensive immigration reform and other serious legislation.

In the not-so-distant future, as the nation's demographics continues to rapidly transform, even the Republicans' nativist appeals will no longer be able to win them the midterm elections; most certainly not The White House.

Perhaps that wouldn't be such a bad thing at all.

 

 

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