GOP takes Senate 2014
To start things off, I’d like to come out swinging by making a prediction that the Senate and House will be taken by the Republican Party after all is said and done in the 2014 midterms.
Let’s look at the two extremes of the fight. On one side, you have the yellow-dog Democrats (Democrats who would rather vote for a yellow dog than a Republican), and the other side you have the rabid Republicans who can smell a RINO (Republican in Name Only) from three counties over. But in between those outer limits, is where a lot of a senator’s constituency lies. And keeping them happy is the name of the game; either A) Appease your constituents so much that they’ll do just about anything to keep you in office or B) Appease your constituents just enough to make them vote for you again while expanding your appeal.
Back to the point at hand, if I say the GOP will take the Senate, how are Republicans doing either of those things? Look at the healthcare debate. A huge group of the GOP party members hate the Affordable Care Act with a burning passion. Republican representatives have done what they can to make an effort (or at least the appearance of one) to reflect their constituency’s desires and repeal the ACA. They’ve failed many a time, but every time the ACA gives them something to fight with, they dig in their heels and take another bite to show their commitment to what the GOP voters desire. Not to mention they’ve been attempting to redefine themselves for a couple years. It hasn’t been exactly successful, but people take notice of that particular kind of effort.
Flip back to the Democrats. The Democrats promised many things during the ‘08 and ’12 election season. For example, does “If you like your doctor, you can keep it,” sound familiar? It should, because it’s one of Obama’s famous lines describing the ACA. Now, the Democrats had a very simple job, make healthcare affordable, wholesome, and diverse. They may have hit two out of the three (at best), and the jury’s still out on the rest. Now, we can debate this affordability all day long, but the fact of the matter is: many voters both inside and outside the Democratic Party have felt jaded and disillusioned by this multiple turns of events, despite their original fervor. And as a result, they won’t be out to the polls to support the ones they once did. In fact, due to public opinion of Obama falling and his close association with the Democratic Party, it is likely to see some Democrats “walk across the aisle.” It’s not that Democrats don’t care about their voters, it’s simply that many of their grand promises (which is a fantastic tool for expanding your appeal) have fallen flat.
In conclusion, the Republicans have been playing the right cards for the past two years. They’ve drawn good press and bad, and either way, scandals pass in a heartbeat… Except Benghazi (ha). But the end result is, people are thinking about them, and a lot of voters will be thinking of them all the way to the ballot box.
Norwood is a sophomore majoring in political science and philosophy.