How bad will it be for the Democrats? - Macleans.ca
 

How bad will it be for the Democrats?

They are sure to lose ground in the Nov. 2 mid-terms. The question is, how much?


 

Larry Downing/Reuters

It is an American tradition that the president’s party loses congressional seats in the mid-term elections as voters chasten the party in power. Losses of 32 seats in the House of Representatives have been average since 1862. The wave on Nov. 2 is expected to be bigger—the only question is by how much?

Republicans now hold 181 House seats and need to reach 218 seats to form a majority. Analysts at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics predict a gain of 47 seats—20 more seats than they were forecasting just a few months ago, and more than enough to take control of the chamber. “We just haven’t seen the economic rebound that Democrats needed. The doom-and-gloom narrative is just building on itself,” says Isaac Wood, analyst for the Crystal Ball, the centre’s respected election predicting website.

The U.S. Senate is expected to remain in Democratic hands, but barely. Republicans now have 41 out of 100 seats. Because Senate rules give a tiebreaking vote to the vice-president, Joe Biden, Republicans need to gain 10 seats to take control. Republicans were well on their way to eight or nine likely seats, but their chances look one seat weaker after Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party-backed candidate, won the Republican nomination in Delaware last week, beating a long-time moderate Republican congressman, Mike Castle. O’Donnell, whose personal baggage includes painfully embarrassing statements and alleged misuse of campaign funds, will face a tough battle in the Democratic-leaning state.

“Just as the national tide was moving their way, [the GOP] put seats into play that should have been easy seats, like Delaware, Alaska and Nevada,” says Wood. In Alaska, moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is threatening to split the GOP vote by running a write-in campaign after being ousted as the nominee by Tea Party-backed candidate Joe Miller. In Nevada, Senate majority leader Harry Reid saw his chances of re-election improve after Republicans nominated Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle, who has advocated controversial policies such as phasing out Social Security. But with the primary results surprising most pundits, no one can say for certain how far the Republican wave will go. The Crystal Ball notes that every time control of the House has flipped in postwar history, the Senate has flipped too.

If the Republicans take control of the House, they have pledged to push for deep spending cuts and to stymie President Barack Obama’s health care reform by blocking funding and enforcement of portions of the law. And expect Republican-led committees to launch a variety of investigations into the Obama administration’s conduct. “The main result we’ll have from the mid-terms is that Obama’s agenda will be put on ice for the next two years,” says Wood. “He won’t be able to pass anything. But Republicans won’t be able to pass anything because you’ll have Obama’s veto pen looming.”

If Republicans manage a slim majority in the Senate, individual senators would once again hold great sway over the fate of legislation and could use it as leverage for special deals for their individual states—the kind of political conduct voters are rebelling against. “It’s going to be a tough situation. You’ll see neither side govern with a strong hand,” says Wood, who compares the scenario to the aftermath of Republicans taking Congress in the 1994 elections halfway through Bill Clinton’s first term. Other than welfare reform, “it was mostly naming post offices and congratulating sports teams on their victories.” It’s hardly the result legions of frustrated voters are clamouring for, but it could be what they get.


 

How bad will it be for the Democrats?

  1. Thanks for your point of view on this case ! Poor Mr. Obama has to face decreasing popularity. The life of a politician, I guess.

    Best Regards

  2. Socialism doesn't work, never has, never will. Americans didn't have to elect a socialist to figure that out, it's obvious around the world. Obama should do the right thing, admit his mistakes and step down. Any manager at McDonald's has more executive experience than Obama, hire one of them to finish out his term.

    • And philanthropists are still as clueless about anything as they were in the 18th century.

      What's your point?

  3. Amazes me how unhappy the middle class was before that they voted in the biggest idealogue and zealot the western world has ever seen. An example forevermore of, 'Be Careful What You Wish For'. The historians are gonna have a field day with this one.

    • I'm always at a loss to figure out where this ideologue and zealot label comes from. If anything Obama gave up a lot of ground without asking for anything in return, which was by far his biggest mistake. The health care bill he passed is practically identically the proposals advanced by the GOP in the early 90's. On the military front he's bombing and executing "evildoers" at a faster rate than Bush. He put the petal to the medal in Afghanistan. He wanted a carbon tax but instead decided to go with cap and trade (which McCain and what's her face from Alaska ran on). On top of all that he's been the toughest Dem on school reform in a generation and giving the teacher's unions hell.

      That's some ideological purity! What exactly makes you think he's an ideologue and a zealot? At worst he's an idealist but mainly a pragmatist. His problem is not that he's an ideologue (he's not) but that he's a massive pussy like the rest of the party.

      Go back to reading your fantasy-land stories about his Kenyan anti-colonial musiln black christian liberation theology. That would seem to be more your reading level.

      • The GOP proposed that everyone be forced to buy healthcare – in violation of the 10th Amendment – in the 90s? Palin and McCain ran on Cap and Trade?? Tough on the unions???

        What the hell are you talking about?

        • They Sure did! The republicans supported an individual mandate in the early 90's in thier opposition to Hillarycare.

          Palin and McCain did run on cap and trade. Do a 30 second youtube search, pretty hard to deny it when the video is there. Let's also not forget McCain lost his everloving mind running for senate again.

          On teachers unions this is more about Obama than the Dems. He's been pushing back on thier control over the system. Although that being said he pushed hard enough in DC that the teacher's union put serious money behind the opponent and put those efforts into question.

          I was really just trying to illustrate he's more of a pragmatist than he's given credit for. But he is just to much of a nice guy to get it done and everyone else seems to have incredibly short memories.

          • Truman tried to get a national healthcare bill passed back when he was in office, but that was shot down by the insurance companies. And Barack Obama is a pragmatist, but to see that he's a "nice guy" is just not right. Do some research on how he got his seat in the Illinois legislature, and you'll see how much of a "nice guy" he is. The reason he appears to be a "nice guy" is because he had his pitbull Rahm Emmanuel at his side to do his light work. Well, Rahm's headed back to my home town so it will be interesting to see how Obama acts now.

  4. And I thought our politics were a mess…

  5. A few weeks ago, you ran an article about how the United States was becoming a third-world nation. Well, that's almost right. The only thing that's missing is a revolution. And guess what! On November 2nd, we're going to have a doozie! So to paraphrase an old saying, "the revolution will be televised." Just watch and see.

  6. Americans don't know what they want. First they elected the man, now.
    I guess capitalism and the money grubbing “republicants” always have the upper edge in America.
    The poor and the middle class always loses in America.

  7. Tony–Bill Gates creted hundreds of millionaires by CREATING opportunities. Tell me, what have you contributed lately??? You are right about one thing though–socialism is for whiners.