A sad and somewhat ignorant fact is that the party whose President is in power and has an unfavorable rating in a midterm election loses ground in Congress. In this particular year when Congress has been an enormous failure for the past four years, Democrats will face the anger of the voting public although the Republicans are primarily responsible for nothing accomplished. Because of voters who lack knowledge about what happens in Washington, Democrats will lose the Senate on November 4th.
There are close races in several states. There is no doubt that they could go either way. But polls show one important statistic; Independents are voting against incumbents, and that’s bad news for the left side of the aisle. And they are expressing their misguided disgust with our political system.
The most recent polls show 13 states which are considered a guarantee for Republicans; Alabama, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, both seats in Oklahoma and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming will be retained or gained by conservatives.
Seven states will most likely go to Democrats; Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.
West Virginia is in the category most likely to go Republican, while Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia are expected to elect Democrats.
Two states are labeled as ‘leaning Democratic; New Hampshire and North Carolina. Four are leaning towards Republican; Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Dakota.
That leaves five that are considered ‘toss ups;’ Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana.
Simple math shows that 18 Republicans will most likely be elected in 2014, versus 13 for Democrats. Republicans need six seats to gain control of the Senate. The five that are undecided will dictate which party controls the august body.
As Election Day grows nearer, the polls will change due to early voting and the flow of Independents. At present it appears that Republicans will regain control of both houses. Therefore the important election results will exist in the House. If President Obama denies passage of legislation with his veto power, a two-thirds majority in the House is required to overturn his rejection. That number is 290.
So what does this all mean? Gridlock will continue. The 112th and 113th Congress’ have the worst history regarding effective legislation in our nation’s history, and it is rightfully attributed to the House and its so-called leadership by John Boehner. Its accomplishments can be measured on the head of a pin.
Infighting between the two parties has reached a level of national destruction. The anger from the voting public is easily understood, although it may be misdirected. Ted Kennedy, Barry Goldwater and others who mediated between the parties are long gone. Nobody on either side has placed themselves in a position to negotiate and accomplish a compromise situation which would make our government work. Instead infighting inside the Republican Party makes bipartisanship less likely.
Far less importance is relegated to dominance by one party in Congress when the Executive Branch is controlled by the opposing party. The reality is that the American people become the losers. We pay $174,000 for each member of the Congress and Senate to work for our needs, desires, and necessities. That is a waste of 931 million dollars each year. And they have health care and life insurance benefits for life; something they deny the working class.
Goddamit, wake up America and smell the stench of the wealthy we elect.
A commentary by James Turnage