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GOP Will Take the Senate

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Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 12:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Predicting this year’s election results isn’t hard. But perhaps more important than the returns are the reasons behind the vote, since understanding the electorate’s mindset provides insight into what direction the country will take.
 
The American people have always accepted their government not being efficient. After all, democracy — free people governing themselves — is not a particularly efficient system. Just the best.
 
But for whatever reason, things have become exponentially worse. Now, there is a pervasive feeling that we have returned to the Jimmy Carter years, where nothing seems to work because the system is utterly broken.
 
Examples abound: the Obamacare website failure was a multibillion-dollar fiasco; the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s website repeatedly crashed after the recent airbag recall; the CDC’s response to Ebola was fraught with amateur mistakes; NASA cancelled the shuttle program without a replacement, and its latest rocket exploded in spectacular fashion; the immigration crisis continues unimpeded; and the Secret Service’s multiple failures, including its inability to literally lock the front door to the White House, makes them look like the Keystone Kops. And the list goes on.
 
Taken individually, none would influence the vote. But collectively, given the level of disgust over the government’s ineptitude, people will vote against the party in power. The buck stops with the president, so Election Day will be a boon for Republicans. But a word of caution to the Grand Old Party: They would be wise to understand that it’s not so much people embracing them but rejecting the status quo.
 
Here is the breakdown:
 
Governors: In the critical electoral state of Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf will trounce incumbent Tom Corbett in an historic landslide. It will be a humiliating defeat for Corbett not only because he will become the first modern-day governor to lose re-election, but, quite possibly, the only Republican governor in the nation to lose, as Rick Scott will likely prevail.
 
Despite riding to victory in 2010 with a 10-point margin and having record Republican legislative majorities, Corbett failed at virtually everything, from liquor privatization to pension reform, though he did manage to give Pennsylvanians the highest gas taxes in the nation.
 
But far and away, the biggest reasons Corbett will lose are his handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation while attorney general and his devastating effect on Penn State and its football program. Half of the university’s mammoth alumni network think Corbett put Joe Paterno in his grave prematurely, and the other half are convinced he allowed a monster on the street much longer than necessary for purely political reasons.
 
To this day, Corbett has adamantly refused to answer the most basic questions: Why did he direct a narcotics agent with a small staff, instead of specialized child predator units, to lead the pedophilia investigation? And why did it take three long years to make an arrest?
 
Much of Corbett’s base has abandoned him because they simply cannot trust a man whom they believe put political fortunes above children’s physical welfare. This election has little to do with Tom Wolf and everything to do with Tom Corbett. The Sandusky affair will always cause great pain, but for many, booting the governor will bring about a sense of closure.
 
Congress: Given the redistricting after the 2010 census, control of the House of Representatives will remain in Republican hands — great news for the GOP since it holds a sizable majority. In fact, Republicans will pick up a handful of seats nationwide, and hold many being vacated by GOP members.
 
U.S. Senate: Democrats currently control the 100-member chamber with 53 senators (though effectively they have 55 since two independents caucus with them), but their majority will almost certainly fall. Republicans are poised to pick up seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
 
Louisiana will probably see a run-off, where the GOP’s prospects are favorable. Kansas, typically a Republican stronghold but where GOP incumbent Pat Roberts is in trouble, will, in the end, stay Republican. Depending on the extent of the Republican groundswell, North Carolina may flip, with gains in New Hampshire and Virginia possible, though significantly less likely.
 
Despite the GOP’s penchant for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, a Republican majority is all but guaranteed.
 
Interestingly, the GOP’s anticipated majority may be short-lived. The tables could well be turned in 2016, when Republicans will be forced to defend more seats than the Democrats, a task that much harder if their presidential nominee is a dud, wholly unable to relate to the average American, a la John McCain and Mitt Romney.
 
What Republicans do with their gains — simply be obstructionist, or articulate and execute a bold vision — will go a long way to determining their future success.
 
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
 
 

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Predicting this year’s election results isn’t hard. But perhaps more important than the returns are the reasons behind the vote, since understanding the electorate’s mindset provides insight into what direction the country will take.
GOP, Senate, elections, predict
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2014-05-04
Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 12:05 PM
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