2013 Symposium: Do You Have Any Mid-Term Congressional Elections For 2014?

Cartwright:  I hope the Republicans keep the House of Representatives and retake a majority in the Senate in 2014.  At least we’ll have a chance of emasculating the Obama administration and keep it from doing any further damage to our nation and our economy.  However, I would point out that I think the DNC is capable of anything.  I think they perpetuated massive fraud in the 2008 and 2012 elections, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they try the same thing in 2014.  After all, Mr. Obama’s aim it to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House again.  God help us if that happens, but I wouldn’t put anything passed Mr. Obama and the DNC. 

I think the moderate American people are going to see through the smoke and mirrors of this administration.  If you’re on the government dole, you’re happy.  If you’re a moderate or independent who voted for Mr. Obama not once but twice, you might start having second thoughts, particularly when taxes rise and you get a cancellation notice from your insurance company.  Obamacare’s launch has been a vast failure and the full impact has yet to be felt.  I think the allure of the Obama administration and the false promises of the Democratic Party will wear off and the independent voters will wake up this year.  And least I’m hopeful of that.

North Carolina:  Prognosticating the 2014 mid-term months away from Election Day 2014 is a daunting task.  Republicans currently hold a 17-seat majority in the House, and according to the non-partisan group Fair Vote, those seats would normally be in play for other Democrat or Independent candidates. Redistricting in 2012 changed that, which made for fewer competitive seats, along with the winner-take-all effect, which usually locks the field and entrenches incumbents.  All of this affects any major upsets in the House.  It appears that the House will remain in Republican Control with small gains by the party, with a possible one or two seat gain by Democrats.  In 2014, Fair Vote expects Republicans to pick up 48 more victories than Democrats. They further predict that Democrats would have to win 55 of the 61 races that  concern special factor races and would have to outdo Republicans by 10 points nationally to overcome setbacks.

Newsmax contributor and political analyst, Karl Rove predicts that Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives with a possible pickup of four to six seats.  He sees a gain of as many as 51 seats in the Senate.  Karl predictions have been off in the past, but he appears to be more on his game for the 2014 mid-terms.  With Obama’s disapproval ratings falling in Gallup and other polls, mid-term election of Democrats will most probably be jeopardized.  Karl also predicts that the continuing problems with Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) will more than likely bring Republicans in agreement on many issues and will provide a united front for Republican candidates to gain strength and stability in the mid-term elections.

Twenty-one seats in the Senate, currently held by Democrats, are up for re-election in 2014, with more than half of those seats at risk.  These original seats were won on the coattails of the 2008 election of Barack Obama, with a stream of new voters in the picture who aided in their election.  Republicans are defending 14 seats in predominately-conservative states while Democrats are defending a conglomeration of liberal, moderate and conservative seats.  In order for Republicans to take control of the Senate, they would require a six-seat win, which has been predicted by Karl Rove. With a fair estimation that Obamacare will be repealed or stymied before the 2014 elections, Democrats who supported and funded the bill will scramble to distance themselves from it and Obama.  They will shift the blame to Republicans and insurance companies.  Voters may ignore those efforts, and reelection campaigns in both the House and Senate will be affected.  Though not one Republican supported the 2009 bill, there were those who later supported its funding, and they are vulnerable and subject to being primaried out before the elections.  Two such examples are Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.  Predictions always bring turnarounds and surprises, but it is most probably safe to say that the House will remain in Republican control with modest gains.  The Senate could have some interesting upsets with Republican incumbent losses and a gain by Republicans of at least six seats with some possible losses by Democrats, but they will probably retain nine Democratic Senate seats in Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Orlando:  Making midterm predictions 9 months away from the election feels a bit like trying to determine the sex of a baby before its parents have turned the lights out, but the central issue on the horizon is the debt ceiling. While realistically, the decision to raise the debt ceiling is a no-brainer, politically, it is much more complicated. Republican representatives from solidly red states like Alabama, Kansas, and Mississippi have already faced Tea Party challenges in primary elections, and challenges from the right remain the most credible ones they will face. The impetus to toe the party line and reject any policy proposition because it is what Democrats want will likely imperil the deal. If the deal doesn’t get done, though, the quick financial ruin of the money behind the Tea Party will likely make those challenges disappear, along with modern conveniences like food and water. So, let’s assume the deal gets done.

Several Republicans could face significant challenges from the right in the primary. Specifically, much of the Florida delegation may see a revolt from the right. A bell-weather for the state is Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, from the 27th. Her relatively centrist voting record makes her among the most moderate of the states Republicans, and she is the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, as well as the most senior Republican woman in the house. Other significant battles will occur in Michigan, which will likely have working class voters out in force given the egregious conditions facing the state. Rep. Fred Upton, another relatively moderate Republican, already faces a challenge from the right in the primary. His campaign will likely provide a fair indicator of the climate in Michigan.

State ballot initiatives will likely be another source of considerable change, as more states may follow the example of Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana use. Other Midwestern states like Illinois, which, in 2012 established a medical marijuana program, and Kentucky, where struggling farmers may seek to make green by growing green, may attempt similar ballot initiatives. Gay marriage will likely again come under fire in solidly red states, particularly in response to the recent Utah federal court ruling. Expect to see constitutional amendments attempted in several states, although they are unlikely to generate the momentum to succeed.

Washington, DC: On November 4, 2014, American citizens will be able to re-elect their representatives in Congress where all 435 seats at the House and 33 out of 100 seats at the Senate will be contested. At the moment, the House is controlled by the Republican Party (232 Republican seats, 201 Democrat seats, 2 vacancies) and the Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party (53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 Independents). As a result, many political initiatives are difficult to pass and the government was even forced into shutdown in October 2013. According to a Gallup poll, Congress only had 14% job approval rate in 2013, the lowest number compared to all the previous polls conducted since 1974.

In the Senate, Republicans will need to gain six seats to obtain a majority (if you include Independents with Democrats who caucus with them).  In the House, Democrats will need to get that coveted 218th seat in order to gain the control which, according to David Wasserman of Cook Political Report, could be made possible by a 6.8% lead in national vote. However, based on election results of 2008 and 2012, political writer Nicholas Goedert asserts that Democrats will need to win the popular vote by 5% to win the majority of seats in Congress.

Undoubtedly, the upcoming elections will be close ones; at the moment, there are many widely different speculations coming from political analysts, polls, and general population regarding the possible outcome. Some of the main issues which will determine the results will be ObamaCare and its effect on national health program, American debt and the necessary measures to contain it, the state of American economy, as well as America’s foreign policy. However, there is always hope that new elections will bring the end to partisan bickering and will enable the Congress to be effective and productive.

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