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Friday, October 29, 2010

CBS News: Evening News- Nancy Cordes- Democrats' Final Push



I think that this video makes it pretty clear that President Clinton tried to talk Representative Kendrick Meek into stepping out of the U.S, Senate race in Florida.  It's also clear that he tried to talk Rep. Meek into throwing his support behind Gov. Charlie Crist in the race.  Senate Democrats know that they'll have a net loss of seats on election day and might come close to losing their Senate majority.  They'll probably keep it but they could come damn close to losing it.  Any Republican seat that they can pick up will increase their chances of keeping the Senate, if only by a couple of seats. That's what the meeting between Bill Clinton and Kendrick Meek was all about.  Bill Clinton is probably the most popular current or former American politician right now.  I generally support his involvement because of his popularity, intellect, and political skills but any misstep he makes becomes a national story because of his status as a former president.

I believe the Democrats will hold the Senate just because of the long hill that Senate Republicans have to climb in order to take it back. Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have to pick up a net of 10 seats to win the majority.  The last time a party picked up ten or more seats in the Senate was 1980 when Ronald Reagan won 49 states defeating a very unpopular President Jimmy Carter. 

If this was a normal election year, which it's clearly not (and water is wet), Republicans would only have a snowball's chance in hell of winning back the Senate because of that long hill and their Party's unpopularity, something the Democrats haven't effectively used against them.  If there's a tie, it will be broken by Vice President Joe Biden and the Democrats would elect the Leader and the Republicans, once again, the Minority Leader.  To win the majority, the Senate Republicans have to be almost perfect, literally, winning 10-12 Democratic Seats.  They're currently not leading in all of them.

I see Democrats pulling away in California with Senator Boxer and Washington State with Senator Murray, which is huge for the Progressive Democratic movement.  Sen Mike Bennett is coming back in Colorado and has basically tied with Ken Buck.  The tie goes to the incumbent if the momentum is on his side because voters are saying that they're taking a second look and reconsidering the Incumbent they know.  On the other hand, the Democrats will lose Arkansas with Sen Blanche Lincoln.  It looks like Wisconsin is slipping away with Senator Feingold, a senator for whom I have a lot of respect as a fellow liberal and for his honesty and his sticking with his liberal ideology, even in an election year but he's an 18 year Incumbent and still hasn't closed the sale. Illinois is still a toss up with Republican Mark Kirk trying to win Barack Obama's old Senate Seat. 

The House, unfortunately, is a different story for Democrats.  As it stands right now, I expect them to lose 45-50 seats, giving Republicans a small majority, in which case, they'd elect current Minority Leader John Boehner ("Bayner," not Boner or Bonehead) as the next Speaker of the House.  That's only a prediction.  We can't know yet but two things are clear: Republicans will pick up at least thirty-five seats, not enough to retake the House, and the battleground and swing seats are in the Midwest.  Good news for Democrats as Republicans haven't closed the sale there.

I think that voters there are taking a second look at Tea Party House candidates and whether or not they actually want these people to be their representatives. So House Democrats still have some hope of victory.  They could achieve that while losing thirty-five or more seats.  They would still be in the majority, electing  the speaker and the committee chairmen and would still control the agenda.  With the next two years being almost nothing but gridlock, they would at least still be in the majority with a likely Democratic Senate and the White House in their hands. That also means no bogus Congressional investigations from the House or Senate going after the Obama Administration.

This much is clear:  Democrats will lose a lot of seats in the House and Senate on Election Day. It's only a question of how many.  As I see it, the midwest will be the battleground for the House.  On election night, all of you political junkies, right, left, or in the middle, who are not sure who will be in control of the House or Senate in January, should look at the results in the House races in the Midwest. If Republicans are winning a lot of Democratic seats, they'e on the way to winning control of the House.  If House Democrats manage to hold their own in the Midwest and pick up a few Republican seats where they weren't favored, they could hold on to the House.

Another thing that's clear is that whoever controls the House and Senate in the 112th Congress will only have a majority of a few seats and that both chambers will be in play once again in 2012. There will be nothing but gridlock for the next two years because of the tight majorities in Congress.  Both parties will have their eyes on 2012, a presidential year, when they'll be battling for complete control of the Federal Government.