2014 Midterm Election Predictions

Time to look into the crystal ball.

Election 2014

It’s that time in the election cycle again. In twenty-four hours, people will be heading to the polls across the country to vote in the midterm elections. In some states, of course, voting has been going on for at least the past couple of weeks thanks to early voting, though. By all accounts, it seems likely that turnout nationwide will be lower than it has been for a midterm election, perhaps at levels approaching what we saw in 2002 and 1998 before numbers started picking up in the wave years of 2006 and 2008,. That would seem to bode well for the Republican Party’s hopes of taking control of the Senate. As if to confirm that, the last round of polling over the weekend showed Republicans pulling ahead in a number of states crucial to their hopes of taking control of the Senate. Additionally, the latest projections from Nate Silver and RealClearPolitics bode well for the GOP as well. Whether those projections prove to be true remains to be seen, of course.

As in past years, here are projections for the Senate, House, and Governor’s race. I’ll start out first, and further thoughts and projections from other OTB writers will be added as they see fit. We may not know how close these projections are quickly, of course, and there are three races that are likely headed to runoffs, but here we go.

Senate:

Beyond the obvious races, like, for example, Alabama where Jeff Sessions is running unopposed. There are several races where races that were once thought as possibility competitive where we won’t see any party change, including Virginia, Oregon, and Michigan, all of which will remain in the Democratic camp. The focus of the night, though, will be the battle for Senate control, which will center on these thirteen races:

  • Alaska — Mark Begich won this race six years ago largely thanks to the fact that Senator Ted Stevens had recently been convicted on corruption charges. Since then, he’s managed to maintain popularity notwithstanding the fact that Alaska is, in the end, a Republican state. Notwithstanding that, he has always been on the vulnerable list for this year because, well, Alaska is a Republican state. Republicans managed to avoid the mistake of 2010 when the nominated Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, and their nominee Dan Sullivan has maintained a narrow but steady lead in the polls. In the end, this state will return to its Republican roots. Sullivan 52% Begich 48%. For a Republican pickup
  • ArkansasSenator Mark Pryor managed to stay competitive in the polls longer than many people expected he would, but he began to slip six weeks ago and has never recovered. Despite the attempt of Bill Clinton to turn things around, Pryor will lose this one to Congressman Tom Cotton. Cotton 52% Pryor 48% for a Republican pickup
  • Colorado —- For the better part of the year, Senator Mark Udall held on to a pretty sold lead over Congressman Cory Gardner here, but in the past month or so Gardner has surged to the point where the number of polls that show Udall leading, even narrowly, since the week after Labor Day can be counted on one hand. For this reason, my prediction here is Gardner 51% Udall 49%. This would be another Republican pickup.
  • Georgia —- Michelle Nunn has made up a lot of ground in the polls in this state against Republican David Perdue, but Libertarian Party nominee Amanda Swafford has kept both candidates below the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. I don’t believe either candidate will manage to get past that benchmark. Hence, we will see both of them face each other again in a Runoff Election on January 6, 2015.
  • Iowa The biggest news in this race in the closing hours is the fact that the highly regarded Des Moines Register poll shows Joni Ernst with a seven point lead over Congressman Bruce Braley. Statewide Iowa Democrats tend ot be very strong in Presidential years, but this is not a Presidential year and Ernst is joined on the statewide ballot by Governor Terry Branstad, who will easily win another term in office. Ernst 52% Braley 48% for a Republican pickup
  • Kentucky —- The polling on this race has been close all along, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has maintained a narrow but steady lead that is consistent with all but one of his past contests — 2002 when he won by a wide margin — and he’ll pull out a victory here. McConnell 52% Grimes 48% for a Republican Hold.
  • Kansas — When Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee for Senate, first dropped out of the race in early September, Independent candidate Greg Orman surged in the polls to the point where he was registering double digits lead over three-term Senator Pat Roberts, who had just come off of a divisive primary battle with a Tea Party backed candidate, and Roberts’ campaign seemed to be in disarray. Since then, national Republicans have stepped into the race, taken over the operation of the re-election campaign, and pumped money into the state. For the most part, the campaign has focused on painting Orman as an “Independent In Name Only,” and arguing that a vote for Orman would be a vote for Harry Reid to stay on as Majority Leader even though Orman has been mum about who he would caucus with if he won the election. To a large degree, this has succeeded in that Roberts has blunted Orman’s numbers, reduced his favorability ratings, and brought his own numbers up to the point where the polling now shows a statistical tie. Helping Orman, though, is the fact that the Kansas state GOP remains knocked back on its heels thanks to the problems faced by Governor Sam Brownback in his own re-election bid. That being said, Kansas voters have not sent anything other than a Republican to the Senate in any election in eighty years and I don’t think they are going to start now. I’ll put this one at Roberts 50.5% Orman 49.5%, with the proviso that it could easily go either way. Nonetheless, I’ll call this one a Republican hold, which could still happen regardless of the outcome if a victorious Orman decides to caucus with the GOP.
  • Louisiana —- Louisiana’s elections are unlike anywhere else in the country. Tuesday’s election is actually a massive open primary in which anyone who qualifies for the ballot can run regardless of party. Because of that, it’s not uncommon to see statewide races in this state go to a runoff, and that’s exactly what will happen here. Neither Senator Mary Landrieu nor her primary Republican opponent Congressman Bill Cassidy have polled anywhere near 50% in the polling for the November 4th primary and they aren’t going to get anywhere near that. Indeed, both campaigns have already booked TV time for commercials for the weeks after the election anticipating a runoff on December 6th.
  • Montana —-  The Republican candidate, Steve Daines, has already won statewide here when he was elected the states At-Large Congressman in 2012, and he’ll win easily here for a Republican pickup.
  • New Hampshire —- For most of the year, Senator Jeanne Shaheen has held on to a lead over former Senator Scott Brown that made it seem as though she’d coast to an easy re-election. Recently, though, Brown has seemed to gain significantly in the polling to the point where the race looks to be more competitive than it had appeared. To a large degree, Brown’s surge seems to be attributable largely to voter frustration with President Obama, whose negative numbers are playing a role in many races this year. That being said, Brown has led in only a handful of polls in the past two months. Because of that, and because of the continued carpetbagger argument against Brown, I expect Shaheen to win this race in the end. I’m going to go with Shaheen 51% Brown 49% for a Democratic hold.
  • North Carolina —- Much like Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire Senator Kay Hagan has largely maintained a lead in the polling in the Tarheel State this year. The difference between the two candidates, though, is that Hagan’s leads have generally all been within the margin of error and she has rarely broken the 50% barrier that most analysts believe an incumbent needs to break in polling. Helping the incumbent in this case, though, is the presence of a strong third-party candidate in Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh who has maintained a position in the mid-to-high single digits that has made it unnecessary for either Hagan or Republican nominee Thom Tillis get to 50% to win since North Carolina does not have runoffs in General Election races. Hagan has also brought in Hillary Clinton as a surrogate, which at least would arguably help rally Democrats. Tillis on the other hand has kept close to Hagan throughout the year, and has gotten help from a wide range of Republican politicians who have come into the state as surrogates. I’ve gone back and forth on this race, and could easily see it going either way as much as New Hampshire, but I think that national forces will prove to be stronger here than in the Granite state, so I’m going with Tillis 48% Hagan 47% Haugh 5% for a Republican pickup
  • South Dakota —-  Former Governor Mike Rounds, the Republican nominee will win here easily for a Republican pickup.
  • West Virginia —- The Republican candidate, Shelly Moore Capito has served as Congresswoman for the state’s 2nd Congressional District since 2001 and has been consistently polling with a double digit lead over Democratic nominee Natalie Tennant. That will continue through Tuesday for a Republican pickup

Total GOP Pickups from Election Day: 8

Senate makeup pre-Runoffs:

  • Republicans —- 52
  • Democrats (including Independents caucusing with the Democrats) — 46

Note that these results may not be clear immediately. It could take time to count the votes in Alaska, for example, and one or more of these states could end up close enough that it could take weeks for the final vote to be certified. Additionally, if I were to pick the GOP pickups that I would classify as “gut” calls that could go either way, they would be, in order of uncertainty, North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, and Iowa. I would not be surprised to see one, two, or even all three of those go the other way. And, again, Kansas is a race that will be hard to put in either parties column even if Orman wins because we don’t know who he will caucus with.

Nonetheless, if things play out  with the eight pickups listed above, then it doesn’t matter what happens in the two Runoff Elections. The worst the GOP can do is lose both of them, and that would mean a 51-49 Republican Senate. The best they could do is 54-46 by holding Georgia and winning Louisiana. That outcome would make things easier in other states since, theoretically, they could lose in North Carolina or Kansas, or both, and still end up with either 52-48 or 54-46. In this second scenario, though, Louisiana becomes crucial though, since a loss in any more of the states where the outcome is highlighted in red would mean a 50-50 Senate where Vice-President Biden would break the tie in the leadership vote to give Democrats a technical majority, albeit one that would make things very interesting when it comes to operation of the Senate. Additionally, as I’ve noted before, a larger GOP majority would help the GOP in 2016 when they will have a much less favorable playing field. If, however, the GOP goes to the runoffs with either a pickup number lower than seven than those Runoff Elections become more important. In that case, they would need to win both of them just get to the six seats needed for a 51-49 majority.

House of Representatives:

There will be no change in House control, of course, but it’s also unlikely that there will be any Democratic pickups. Instead, here’s how I see this House in the 114th Congress when the dust settles:

  • Republicans: 244  (7 net pickups)
  • Democrats: 191

Governors:

As a preliminary matter, there are several races at the Governor level that have been the focus of attention this year, but where the outcome now seems clear. Andrew Cuomo will win easily in New York and Jerry Brown will coast to another win in California. Similarly, Republican Greg Abbott in Texas and Susana Martinez in New Mexico will both win easily. Tom Corbett will lose by a wide margin in Pennsylvania, and the Republican majority in the legislature there is likely gone as well. Republican John Kaisch will win easily in his re-election bid in Ohio, which is likely to stir talk of Presidential ambitions in the coming months regarding the Governor and former Congressman. And, Terry Branstad will easily win another term in Iowa. Beyond those, there remain an number of close races:

  • Alaska — To the extent there is a surprise Governor’s race this year, it’s the race in Alaska, where incumbent Republican Sean Parnell finds himself facing a united ticket consisting of Independent Bill Walker and Lt. Governor candidate Byron Mallott, who had been the Democratic nominee for Governor. Parnell seemed well on the way to re-election until Mallot dropped out and unified with Walker. Now, Walker has generally shown a lead, although that lead has generally been within the margin of error. Walker even earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin, although that seems motivated more by her disagreement with Parnell over his cancellation of a tax credit for the oil industry that she had championed during her brief tenure as Governor. As seems to always be the case in close races, Alaska is tough to read but I’m going to go with Parnell 51% Walker 49% and a Republican hold.
  • Arkansas Notwithstanding the fact that Bill Clinton has come into the state several times to try to hold the state for Democrats, former Congressman and former DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson has maintained a sold lead in the polls. Let’s put this one at Hutchinson 52% Ross 48% for a Republican pickup.
  • Colorado — Much like the Senate race, this race has been much closer than anyone anticipated with Republican nominee Bob Beauperz effectively tied with Governor John Hickenlooper, who has put his foot in his mouth on several occasions during the course of this campaign. Thanks in no small part to Cory Gardner’s momentum in the Senate race I’m putting this one at Beauperz 51% Hickenlooper 49% for a Republican pickup.
  • ConnecticutThis race has been as surprisingly competitive as Alaska, with the only difference being that it has been that way for a much longer time. Incumbent Dannel Malloy has trailed in polling against Republican Tom Foley for some time in a state that a Democrat should be winning handily even in a Republican year. For that reason, I’m going with Foley 51% Malloy 49% for a Republican pickup
  • FloridaBoth because it’s Florida and because it includes an incumbent Governor running against the man he succeeded in office, a Republican who switched to Independent to run for the Senate and then switched again to become a Democrat before announcing his candidacy for his old job. As with all things Florida it has been odd and entertaining, and the polling has gone back and forth. There is also a Libertarian Party candidate named Andrew Wyllie in the mix who is consistently polling in the high single digits. However, since Florida does not have runoff elections, the main impact of Wyllie’s presence in the race is to reduce the need for either Charlie Crist or Rick Scott to get above 50% of the vote to win outright. Even with Wyllie in the mix, the polls also show an undecided vote in the high single digits, meaning that upwards of 16% of the electorate isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of a second term for either Crist or Scott. That being said, I think this will come down to which of the two major candidates the voters dislike the least. This one could go either way, but I’m going to go with Crist 48% Scott 46% Wyllie 6% for a Democratic pickup.
  • GeorgiaAs in the Senate race, there is a Libertarian nominee in this race, Andrew Hunt, who is keeping both Republican incumbent Nathan Deal and Democratic nominee State Senator Jason Carter, the Grandson of the former President, under 50%. Because of this, this race will head to a runoff on December 2nd.
  • IllinoisRepublican nominee Bruce Rauner has kept this race exceedingly close but Governor Pat Quinn, who won a close election battle in 2010, seems to be pulling ahead in the latest polling. Because of that and because this is Illinois, I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to the incumbent. Quinn 51% Rauner 49% for a Democratic hold.
  • KansasRepublican incumbent Sam Brownback has been in trouble in his re-election bid since long before Pat Roberts began to seem questionable in his Senate race, and things haven’t gotten much better. Which Brownback did jump up in the polls after Labor Day, all of those gains have largely disappeared and Democratic nominee Paul Davis seems headed to victory. That, indeed, is what will happen. Davis 52% Brownback 48% for a Democratic pickup
  • MaineAs I noted when I wrote about this last month, Republican nominee Paul LePage looked like he was heading to a win again based largely on the fact that Independent Eliot Cutler was polling strong enough to keep anti-LePage votes from going to Democratic nominee Mike Michaud. Late last week, though, Cutler announced that he was freeing his supporters to “vote their conscience,” which was seen as a clear signal that they should feel free to vote for Michaud in order to defeat LePage. Additionally, Independent Senator Angus King switched his endorsement from Cutler to Michaud. I believe this will be enough to throw the race to Michaud. Michaud 48% LePage 43% Cutler 8% for a Democratic pickup.
  • MassachusettsOnce again, Massachusetts Democrats nominated Attorney General Martha Coakley to head the ticket in the big statewide race, and, once again, she appears to be blowing it. Republican nominee Charlie Baker has been maintaining a consistent lead in this race for weeks and even won the endorsement of the Boston Globe, a rarity for a Republican in a statewide race. Baker 52% Coakley 48% for a Republican pickup.
  • Michigan Not very long ago Michigan Governor Rick Snyder looked like he’d be in the same boat with Tom Corbett, Paul LePage, and Rick Scott and face a tough re-election fight. However, the incumbent Republican has maintained a strong lead in the polls and seems well-set for re-election. Snyder 51.5% Schauer 48.5% for a Republican hold.
  • Wisconsin — This will be the third election for Governor in Wisconsin in four years, and while Scott Walker has looked to be on the verge of defeat each time he’s faced voters, he’s managed to pull out a win. Democratic nominee Mary Burke, meanwhile, has run a weak campaign that hasn’t differentiated much in his message from the two previous campaigns against Walker, both of which failed. Walker 51% Burke 49% for a Republican hold.

Net changes not including the Georgia runoff: +1 Republican (4 GOP pickups – 3 Democratic pickups) for 30 Republican Governors and 20 Democratic Governors

Anyway, those are my guesses, we’ll see how it goes.

Other Sites:

FiveThirtyEight: Senate Races and, Governor’s Races

The Upshot (New York Times): Senate Races

Election Lab (Washington Post): Senate Races

Princeton Election Consortium (Sam Wang): Senate Races

Stuart Rothenberg: Senate Races

Larry Sabato:  Final Senate, House, and Gubernatorial Projection

RealClearPolitics: Senate Races, and Governor’s Races

Daily Kos: Senate Races, and Governor’s Races

PJ Media: Predictions by various writers

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2014, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. stonetools says:

    Betting things will end up 51 R, 49 Dems and independents in the Senate. I think Udall will pull it out in Colorado and Hagen in NC with the Democratic GOTV machine and Orman in Kansas. I gave up on Iowa this morning.Ernst has the gods on her side.




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  2. C. Clavin says:

    All I can say is that Biden, as the deciding vote, is going to be busy for the next two years.
    Sam Wang has Alaska, Iowa, CO, KA, and GA all at 2% or closer. NH is at 2.5%.
    Just like David Bowie…this could go either way.




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  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ll make a bold prediction: Should the Republicans end up controlling both houses of Congress, President Obama will be nowhere near as gracious as President Bush was when the same thing happened in 2006. Or even how Bill Clinton was in 1994.




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  4. superdestroyer says:

    @stonetools:

    If the results end up 51-49 R, then I suspect that between now and the first of the year that one Republican will switch and become a Democrat (See Arlen Specter or Jim Jeffords for a good examples. If Orman wins in Kansas I think the Democrats will put together a package of incentives that will cause him to caucus with the Democrats. The Republicans really need 52 seats (not counting Orman) to be in the majority in January 2015.




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  5. Facebones says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I certainly hope not! I hope he comes out with a big ol’ veto stamp and double dares the senate to start repealing Obamacare.




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  6. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    That comment only shows you have a tenuous grasp of the reality of the last 6 years.
    Obama has already bent over backwards trying to accommodate Republicans…pissing off most Democrats in the process. Obama has been a Wall Street president, a drone president, a national security president.
    He passed Republican Health Care reform.
    He tried to negotiate a Grand Bargain that was to the right of Simpson-Bowles.
    The Stimulus was laden with Republican requested tax breaks.
    Financial reform was watered down to satisfy Republicans.
    Obama has been more conservative than Reagan. And that’s not enough for you?
    Republicans have been severely lacking in grace for 6 years. They are the ones that need to change in order to accomplish anything.




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  7. Anonne says:

    If it’s 50-49 without Orman, we could hope that Orman would caucus with the Democrats, but somehow I don’t think he’s that thoughtful. I’m pessimistic about it. At best he’d be another Manchin or Lieberman.




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  8. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Jon Chait describes the source of gridlock and the lack of grace in DC well:
    President Obama and Republicans can’t agree on whether he is a socialistic tyrant who poses a fundamental threat to American freedom and must be stopped at all costs, or not.




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  9. edmondo says:
  10. C. Clavin says:

    @edmondo:
    What good will that do?




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  11. Surreal American says:

    Per the media, GOP only needs 51 Senators to be the majority. 6 years ago, Dems had to have 60 votes to enact legislation.




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  12. Ben says:

    Orman has said he would caucus with the majority, period. The only possible ambiguity to that stance is if it is 50R/49D, in which case he could caucus with the Dems to create a “majority” which includes Biden breaking ties.




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  13. Eric Florack says:

    if you got the New Hampshire race wrong, and Scott Brown pulls it off, and we’ll know that one early, it’s the canary in the coal mine. that will be the signal that the Democrats are about to have their collectivist heads handed them on an epic scale




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  14. al-Ameda says:

    (1) I’m guessing a 52-48 Republican majority
    (2) Mitch McConnell will get bipartisan support and cooperation in direct proportion to the bipartisan support and cooperation he gave to Democrats over the past 5 years.




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  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    you got the New Hampshire race wrong, and Scott Brown pulls it off, and we’ll know that one early, it’s the canary in the coal mine.

    If that’s true, it will be more evidence that America has become a lot more dumbed down than we believed.




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  16. Surreal American says:

    @al-Ameda:

    No he won’t. Instead McConnell will actually get cooperation from Dems.




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  17. JohnMcC says:

    I’m going to have to add to the liquor cabinet tonight. No sales tomorrow and I sure don’t want to run low.




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  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:

    are about to have their collectivist heads handed them on an epic scale

    Remind me again about your Romney prediction?
    Even if Republicans win every state…your team sports fervor is vastly overestimating what this election is.




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  19. stonetools says:

    As I said elsewhere, I think Obama will be gracious but Harry Reid won’t be.
    Let’s face it, Obama is naturally a peacemaker and a statesman. He would be inclined to be gracious although God knows, he has a right to be vengeful to the man (McConnell) who deliberately wrecked his Presidency and sabotaged the economy with his obstructionism.
    Harry Reid, OTOH, is a warrior. If you cut him, he will cut you back. I expect him to give back to McConnell exactly what McConnell gave to him, without apology.He intends to make McConnell a two year Majority leader. And I think he’ll succeed.




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  20. Gustopher says:

    When all is said and done, 51R-49D, and McConnell takes up drinking as an all consuming hobby, attempting to keep the Tea Party onboard for critical legislation.

    Also, there will be talk of a Real Conservative challenge to that RINO McConnell for Majority Leader, but it will never amount to anything.




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  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ll make a bold prediction: Should the Republicans end up controlling both houses of Congress, President Obama will be nowhere near as gracious as President Bush was when the same thing happened in 2006. Or even how Bill Clinton was in 1994.

    Actually, President Obama has been very gracious to Republicans (and has exercised too much self-control) in the face of unrelenting Republican opposition to him. Obama is a centrist Democrat, imagine the Republican opposition if Obama had been a progressive Democrat?




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  22. edmondo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    imagine the Republican opposition if Obama had been a progressive Democrat?

    Yeah, but maybe, just maybe, there would have been a lot fewer Republicans in Congress if Obama had been a progressive Democrat. God knows, Obama has killed off majorities in both chambers of Congress in four short years.




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  23. Paul L. says:

    Democrats retake the House and gain a Filibuster senate.

    If this does not happen, it is due to voter suppression because 90% support background checks




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  24. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:

    Yeah, but maybe, just maybe, there would have been a lot fewer Republicans in Congress if Obama had been a progressive Democrat. God knows, Obama has killed off majorities in both chambers of Congress in four short years.

    This is yet another reminder that a centrist is road kill.
    We say we want centrists, but reality tells us otherwise.




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  25. just me says:

    Any reason the NH governor’s race was left off the list? I think polls show a likely democratic hold and I have no reason to doubt them unless fewer democrats or leans democrat independents vote than expected.

    As for the Senate I’ve doubted for a while the GOP would take over the majority but looks like they may pull it off.

    I think it will be close to 51 or 52 seats.




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  26. Neil says:

    Tillis in NC? All the other analysts say no but surprises happen. Here in CT Gov Malloy has had a small lead in most recent polls so I think he will win again. Larry Sabato just switched that race to leans Dem. Assuming Malloy wins with less than 50% he will be the first governor since the 1940s to be elected twice with less than a majority. Though in 1990 and 1994 Govs Weicker and Rowland both won with well under 50%.

    Interesting too that 0bama will most likely be the first president since Eisenhower to see his party lose seats in both houses of Congress in both midterms.




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  27. Guarneri says:

    Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel. – Republicans can go fuxxck themselves.

    Sounds like bending over backwards to me.

    Go win an election aka “I won.”

    Um, well…….




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  28. stonetools says:

    Sigh.

    Ernst has come out in support of a “personhood” amendment to the Constitution similar to a measure she supported in the Iowa Senate in 2013. Personhood measures such as this one would declare that a fertilized egg is a person and grant it the same rights and legal protections as a conscious, sentient fully-formed human being.

    The intent is to not only do away with abortion outright, but also many of the most effective forms of birth control, because Ernst and her extremist cohorts believe that life begins at conception. Since some forms of birth control work by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall they would become illegal, and opening the door for any woman using them to be potentially charged with manslaughter or murder.

    And this idiot looks set to become the next Senator from Iowa. Its going to be a long two years.




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  29. stonetools says:

    @edmondo:

    Obama has been tarred as the black Kenyan Muslim Marxist for introducing moderate legislation and you think that he should have pushed MORE progressive legislation? Son, what color is the sky in the paralell universe you are posting from?




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  30. edmondo says:

    @stonetools:

    Son, what color is the sky in the paralell universe you are posting from?

    After tomorrow, I guess it’s Republican red… thanks to you and the other Obama apologists.




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  31. edmondo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What good will that do?

    What good does it do to elect “Democrats” who pass Republican policies?




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  32. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Counter prediction (and BTW, yours wasn’t all that bold considering the source): 2 more years nearly identical to the 10 we’ve had so far. Your troops can’t fight and won’t be able to win anything. To quote Agent Coulson, “you won’t win, you know–you lack resolve.”

    What I hope for is two years of heightened kabuki theater, but that’s too much to hope for from the band of do nothings that represent the GOP.




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  33. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Critical legislation? Really? A GOP majority is going to do anything different than what they’ve done so far. THAT would be worth seeing–no matter WHAT the anything different turned out to be.




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  34. Pinky says:

    Colorado, I’ve got no guess as to who wins either race. They’re each going to increase the turnout for the other, but I don’t see people necessarily voting on straight party lines. I think that Tillis loses NC because there aren’t any other significant races though. I’m just not sure the Republican turnout will be so strong there.

    I never thought Brown would get as close as he is. It goes to show you that you need a candidate in every race, because sometimes your opponent sticks her head in the woodchipper.




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  35. Kylopod says:

    @edmondo:

    Yeah, but maybe, just maybe, there would have been a lot fewer Republicans in Congress if Obama had been a progressive Democrat.

    Please explain how being a “progressive” Democrat is the key to winning and maintaining seats in states like Georgia, Kentucky, or Louisiana.




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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @stonetools:

    It’s going to be an entertaining two years, and ultimately productive for Dems heading into a election cycle with no presidential incumbent, what looks almost certain to be a repeat of the 2012 Republican primary season clown car, and a Class 3 Senate slate (which heavily favors Dems to begin with).

    The obvious path here for Reid is to sit back, get onboard with any actually productive (read: popular) legislation that may arise (which is doubtful, but …) so that Dems can take credit for it on the 2016 campaign trail, and otherwise allow the internecine warfare that is rending the GOP apart to escalate once McConnell is sitting in the Majority Leader seat.

    There is no way that Cruz and Friends are going to adopt some conciliatory position after tomorrow. Not with Ted dreaming of the White House in 2016, so you can expect the same antics they have displayed over the last two years, only on steroids. McConnell’s, and by association the GOP’s, greatest burden after tomorrow isn’t the Dems. It’s the crazies in their own party, who will cheerfully (continue to) drag the party over the ledge.

    Letting them do so is the most productive strategy for Dems in 2016.




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  37. Modulo Myself says:

    I’d be surprised if the GOP does not win control of the Senate. (If they don’t, slot this blog in for 3,000 comments before Thanksgiving by Jenos about the vote fraud that went down.)

    I honestly can’t imagine what they’re going to do, though. As far as I can tell, no one can. McConnell’s Kentucky strategy re: Obamacare is probably a helpful guideline, a whole lot of gibberish without pulling the trigger on even a prelude on a statement to a statement.




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  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    McConnell has to be careful with Grimes chasing him with regard to putting too much focus on PPACA..

    Kentuckians have started to figure out that Kynect (which they largely love) and Obamacare (which they detest) are in fact the same thing. Grimes made it a point tell them.

    He can’t wade into the “repeal Obamacare” waters without explaining to a whole lot of satisfied Kentucky voters why they’ll have to give up their health coverage if he succeeds.




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  39. Guarneri says:

    You learn something new every day. For example, I didn’t know Debbie
    Wasserman Schultz went to Harvard Law.




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  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    She didn’t.




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  41. Roger says:

    Fellow citizen!

    I send you video, explaining your truth on election in our country. Situation is critical! We must protected USA from such officials!

    Please, spread this clip as much as possible and post it on your website!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnTZCvctwzM




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  42. Todd says:

    Doug’s prediction appears to be about as brave as any others … if the polling averages are correct, this prediction is correct. For the record, I think that between voter apathy, and petulant liberals like edmondo, the Republicans probably will take the Senate.

    Now for a prediction that is almost sure to come true … if Republicans do take the Senate, Conservatives will hate Mitch McConnell more than they do now, and probably even more than they hate Harry Reed. Because let’s face it, Americans in general, and Conservatives in particular have very little understanding of what can and can’t be accomplished in our system of government. When John Boehner and Mitch McConnell don’t manage to “force” President Obama into “compromising” and implementing a Conservative agenda, they will surely be viewed as “failures”, and possibly even “enemies”.




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  43. Ben Wolf says:

    @Todd: A Republican victory will simply show Democrats are more ideological than their opponents; so ideological they’re more than willing to lose control of Congress for it.




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  44. Todd says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    … will simply show Democrats are more ideological than their opponents

    I think that conclusion sounds like a logical fallacy.

    Even if there are some liberals out there who will allow their disappointment in the current administration to effectively “cut off their noses to spite their face” by staying home on election day and probably helping Republicans, objectively, Democrats are still much more likely to be in favor of compromises that they might not totally support. I don’t see any rational way to conclude that Democrats (as a whole) are anywhere near as ideologically rigid as the average Conservative Republican.




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  45. Eric Florack says:

    @Todd: I don’t know which is more frightening. It lets you offer this up, or that you actually believe it.

    in fairness, I should say that this thread has produced some of the most bizarre comments I’ve ever seen on this website.




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  46. Todd says:

    @Eric Florack: So you’re actually proposing that Republicans are less ideologically rigid than Democrats?

    From the campaign commercials I’ve seen, that seems to be a selling point in Republican primaries … “I promise to never change my mind about anything .. unlike my wishy-washy flip-flopping, liberal appeasing opponent.” 😀




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  47. Ben Wolf says:

    @Todd: To the contrary, Democrats compromise only if it ensures continued motion toward neoliberal policies. School privatization, sale of public assets, shifting greater financial burdens onto the poor, cutting Medicare and Social Security, protecting financial elites, expanding the revolving door in the legislative and executive branches: these are what Democrats have done or attempted to do, regardless of their rhetoric and it has lead to a likely electoral defeat. Had Democrats chosen to reverse themselves there is every chance they would be expanding control of Congress rather than sending out racketeer-like letters to coerce their own base into turning out.

    Hence Democrats would rather lose than change course.




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  48. stonetools says:

    SIGH!

    People like Wolf and Edmondo perfectly explain the 2000 Presidential election result. Apparently they’ve learned nothing.
    Note that ultra conservatives don’t stay home out of petulance: they vote for Republicans and work to move the party to the right through activism and primary challenges. That’s been their strategy since 1964 and boy, does it work.
    Ultra liberals OTOH pursue the losing strategy of flouncing off ,forming splinter parties,(vanity projects by another name) and splitting the left wing vote: hence the 2000 elections and the 2010 shellacking.
    As long as liberals are their own worst enemy, we’ll continue to get stomped.
    I find it truly amazing that edmondo and Ben Wolf don’t see this : but hey self-delusion isn’t for conservatives alone, I guess.




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  49. stonetools says:

    @Todd:

    It begins:

    Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Colorado Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner (R), Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R), Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue and Alaska GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, who promise to end gridlock in Washington and govern for “all of the people.” Cruz says they are all wrong. Cruz wants a political war against Democrats. Cruz is the real voice of what will happen if Republicans take control of the Senate.

    Cruz promises more confrontation in the Senate, more gridlock in Washington and more partisanship in Congress. In recent comments that were bannered on the front page of The Washington Post and reported in media throughout the nation, Cruz issued his call to confrontation from the right, promising that he will lead this fight for Senate Republicans to continue the very aggressive ideological partisanship that voters want ended.

    Why didn’t our so-called librul media mention this earlier or once ask the Republicans what were their post election plans? Guess we never learn.




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  50. humanoid.panda says:

    @Roger: I have two words in response to this video: FDR. STFU.




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  51. humanoid.panda says:

    @Todd: @stonetools: Look, I am second to none in the contempt I have for the Edmondos of this world, but with the exception of 2000, you are perpetuating a fallacy. The reason that Democrats suffer in midterm elections is not because liberals sit out elections (if that was true, why do the vote in Presidential years), but because the Democratic coalition depends on people less likely to vote in midterm elections: the young, who move around a lot, and the poor, who are disengaged from the poltiical process.




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  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    because the Democratic coalition depends on people less likely to vote in midterm elections

    Ding ding. Anybody still in the dark with regard to why NC wanted to force college students to vote in their home counties instead of on campus?




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  53. humanoid.panda says:

    @Ben Wolf: We have had a wonderful test of your proposition this year. The Democrats had passed a massive expansion of a safety net program, paid for by the rich an intended for the poor and not passed on through any filthy insurance companies: Medicaid. The Supreme Court sabotaged it, and the GOP used that opening to deny it to millions of voters. Their refusal to expand medicaid seems to have caused zero political damage to the GOP (even though polls even in the South favor expansion).
    This shows a) that your democrats are neoliberal sellouts etc etc is a half truth at best.
    b) You think that the electorate in the US is social democratic. I sure wish it was. However, it is not.

    Also, pray tell, what parts of Medicare and Social Security did the Democrats cut? The only cuts to Medicare, the ones that had been subject of some contention from the GOP, were to subsidies insurance companies receive, exactly the opposite of what a “neoliberal” party would do.




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  54. stonetools says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I did talk about 2000. Some liberals also talked about sitting out the 2010 election in order to “send a message.”

    I agree that the main reason Dems don’t do well in mid term elections is because their voters don’t turn out traditionally.
    I maintain that liberals’ habit of forming splinter parties is counterproductive.




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  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    this thread has produced some of the most bizarre comments I’ve ever seen on this website.

    I imagine that stepping outside of your echo chamber would be a bit disconcerting.




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  56. humanoid.panda says:

    @stonetools: The Libertarian party gets more votes than all left-wing splinter parties combined.




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  57. humanoid.panda says:

    @Eric Florack: If your theory of the missing conservative electorate is true, why is it conservatives are more likely to win low turnout elections, and lose in presidential years? Care to comment?




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  58. Todd says:

    @humanoid.panda: I agree with you that apathy is by far the greater problem. However, I don’t discount the idea that there are plenty of people like Edmondo and Ben out there. This is especially true when it comes to the few remaining southern Democrats. Don’t get me wrong, I think most of them run/ran horrible campaigns (trying to appeal to people who will NEVER vote for a Democrat anyway). But I do also think that some liberals simply choose to stay home to “punish” a Representative or Senator who doesn’t vote the way they’d like all the time … only to be replaced by a Republican who will represent their interests almost never. Makes total sense to me. Not.




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  59. Todd says:

    @humanoid.panda: “The Libertarian party gets more votes than all left-wing splinter parties combined.”

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume that Libertarians draw exclusively from the Republican side. When I take those little online test, lately I come out as relatively liberal. But I have to admit, if it wasn’t for their nutty economic theories, most Libertarian’s positions on social issues are fairly appealing to a guy like me.

    I’m not joking when I say that if by some chance the Republicans nominate Rand Paul, and he’s running against Hillary Clinton, I might seriously take a few minutes to think about it, before I hold my nose and vote for Hillary.




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  60. Eric Florack says:

    @edmondo:Were that were the case. It isn’t.

    the fact is, we can’t even get Republicans to back actual Republican policy.

    @Todd: it’s not apathy that you’re dealing with. Its anger, on both sides.

    the GOP rank and file, sees it’s members bending over backwards to accommodate democrats and forgetting what they were sent for.

    the democrat rank-and-file meanwhile, sees the failures of this administration and this Congress not recognizing that the problem isn’t the failures of its personnel but if its basic premises. That what happened is that liberal policy ran smack into reality.




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  61. Eric Florack says:

    @humanoid.panda: it’s an interesting question, & I suppose the answer is they have a somewhat more dedicated core.

    that said, I have a problem with your premise. You still seem to be under the misguided assumption that Republican equals conservative. I’ll look around what the GOP has been offering for the last several years in fact a couple of decades should. Make a lie of that immediately.for all the left has been trying to makes W out to be a Hitler, the fact is he was little more than a centrist.




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  62. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: hardly. It will mean rather, that America has finally learned to deal with the relationship of cause and effect.




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  63. Eric Florack says:

    @Eric Florack: obviously there was a problem with the editor on that one. Sorry about that




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  64. Ben Wolf says:

    @stonetools: What’s the delusion? Democrats don’t serve my interests and so I don’t vote for them.




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  65. Ben Wolf says:

    @humanoid.panda: There has been no massive expansion of welfare paid for by the rich. That’s a ludicrous statement. Mandating that citizens hand money over to a rentier insurance industry in exchange for health coverage (which is not even remotely the same thing as health care) means a massive expansion of corporate welfare paid for by the middle-class and poor.

    Also, I in my earlier comment I wrote about a series of things Democrats had done or attempted to do. Grand “Bargain” ring a bell?




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  66. Dave D says:

    @Eric Florack: If that were the case Primaries from the Right of the Establishment would never succeed. Yet they do and often tend to lose in a general election when more people actually vote.




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  67. Ben Wolf says:

    Oh, yes: Democrats also passed cuts to SNAP.




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  68. Dave D says:

    @Eric Florack: As opposed to the conservative paradise that is Kansas, where policies from the right are working so good Kansas is re-electing the man that instituted them. Policies proven to work.




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  69. humanoid.panda says:

    @Ben Wolf: I was writing about Medicaid expansion, which has nothing to with insurance companies, but thanks for confirming what I thought of you.




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  70. humanoid.panda says:

    @Ben Wolf: The Democrats also tried to raise the minimum wage, and pass additional stimulus measures. Both were ineffectual, and could not pass, and were a form of grandstanding, but so is the Grand Bargain. Why is the former posturing, and the latter an expression of the inner essence of the Democratic party?




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  71. Rob in CT says:

    I’m late to the party.

    Predicting seems pointless, especially given that we all have access to the various poll aggregators. Odds are we end up with a slim GOP majority in the Senate and a large one in the House. Then we do it all over again in 2016, with a different “map” and different voting demographics.

    I’ll be voting later this afternoon. The race for CT governor will be a squeaker (just like it was in 2010). I hear the CT Senate is potentially in play too.

    A friend at work had a irritating time this morning voting in Hartford. There was some sort of screwup that resulted in not getting the voter rolls to certain polling stations for hours after they opened. She had to cast a provisional ballot. Poor show by the City of Hartford there.




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  72. Rob in CT says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    There has been no massive expansion of welfare paid for by the rich. That’s a ludicrous statement.

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen you say here.

    Medicaid expansion (particularly as-written, before the Supreme Court made it optional) is a large expansion of services to poor people. Humanoid Panda is exactly right.

    That you hand-wave that away so easily makes me wonder whether you care about real-world results as opposed to your own posturing.

    I mean, hell, the New Deal was all sorts of compromised. There were lots of imperfections. Would you have been sitting around in, say, 1938, talking about how useless the Democrats were and how you weren’t going to vote for them?




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  73. wr says:

    @Todd: “But I have to admit, if it wasn’t for their nutty economic theories, most Libertarian’s positions on social issues are fairly appealing to a guy like me.”

    And if it wasn’t for the corrosive acid that would burn through your esophagus and then melt all your organs into soup, Drano is a fairly atractive mixer for vodka.




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  74. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    “But I have to admit, if it wasn’t for their nutty economic theories, most Libertarian’s positions on social issues are fairly appealing to a guy like me.”

    The problem with that line of reasoning is that the vast majority of Libertarians I have ever met are willing to let their positions on social issues (and even many of their economic positions) go hang in exchange for a reduction in the marginal tax rate.

    I think Doug’s predictions are largely correct, except that I think Hagan holds on in NC Senate and the D’s win Connecticut and Wisconsin governors races. I also predict that once the Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, they will get 2-3 more seats their way, including Angus King and Joe Manchin.




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  75. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I mean, hell, the New Deal was all sorts of compromised. There were lots of imperfections. Would you have been sitting around in, say, 1938, talking about how useless the Democrats were and how you weren’t going to vote for them?

    Of course he would. There is a certain type of liberal who prefer nothing to any form of incremental progress. Or rather, they see incremental progress as no progress at all.
    I’m sure the many beneficiarires of the ACA do apppreciate the benefits-even the morons who vote Republican anyway.




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  76. humanoid.panda says:

    @Rob in CT: Oh yes he would!




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  77. stonetools says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Oh, yes: Democrats also passed cuts to SNAP.

    Huh.

    The House approved legislation Thursday that would cut $39 billion in funds over the next decade for food stamp programs.

    Members approved H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, in a close 217-210 vote. No Democrats voted for the bill, and 15 Republicans voted against GOP leaders.

    So wrong again, Bob. Like I said, parallel universe.




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  78. humanoid.panda says:

    @stonetools: Well, the end result of the process was a cut, but a much smaller one than the one the GOP passed. For Ben, this is proof that this is exactly what the Democrats wanted anyway. Other people would point out that not passing a farm bill at all would have been a total disaster for SNAP recipients and the Dems what did what they could to minimize the harm caused by GOP control of the House. I know where I stand.




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  79. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: What I am trying to say that the SNAP cut is really a Rorschach test: it either tells you that the Dems are the same as GOP due to the end result, or that the difference between the parties could not be starker, based on the process.




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  80. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:
    How does this more dedicated core square with your myth of real ™ conservatives staying home in droves?
    I notice also that you yet again bolted when shown that your myth of the stay at home conservative majority was shown to be bogus. Do you ever tire of being so thoroughly proven so completely wrong so often? Or do you manage to block all of that information from memory so you can blithely continue on in your fantasy America?




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  81. Eric Florack says:

    you’re still operating under the misconception that Republican equals conservative, aren’t you?

    and in answer to the rest, my participation here is strictly a spare time thing. Unfortunately I have a little less spare time than something given what I do for a living these days.

    and finally, if I’m wrong, you have done absolutely nothing to prove it.




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  82. humanoid.panda says:

    @Eric Florack: I posted date from the frigging US census showing that popular participation was higher in 2008/12 than in 1980/84. That refutes your thesis.




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  83. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    you’re still operating under the misconception that Republican equals conservative, aren’t you?

    In our political system if you are what we call conservative and you are running for office with any chance of success, you are Republican. Your misconception seems to be that there is some sort of conservative majority that exists in the real world despite no one being able to measure them. Is Ted Cruz a conservative? How about Bachman? Gomert?

    and finally, if I’m wrong, you have done absolutely nothing to prove it.

    In several previous threads, including one this past week, you have asserted that voter participation has been dropping since the 80s due to this supposed conservative majority that stays home on election day. I pointed out to you there (with 2 seperate cites) that participation among voting aged population was higher in 2008 and 2012 than in 1980, 1984, and 1988. You keep asserting this conservative majority, despite evidence of higher turn out when Democrats won in 2008 and 2012 than when the conservative (Reagan) won in 1980 and 1984. You keep asserting this myth of a conservative majority despite the evidence that conservatives do better in lower turn out elections and Democrats do better in higher turn out elections. So, I and others, have proven your bogus assertion that the high water mark of voter participation was in the 80s and that this somehow gives credence to your mythical conservative majority.




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  84. Eric Florack says:

    there are few genuine conservatives out there, all of them tea party types. The majority of the Republican Party anymore is made up of John Q milquetoast centrists.that, I’m quite sure, suits you just fine, since the left and it’s a gentle never really takes any damage.of course despite their popularity, the Tea Party also takes it on the chin from the GOP leadership, & I think that to be not only a self-destructive act but an act of destruction on the country as a whole.

    as for the bet with voter participation dropping, is this argument reminds me very strongly of the unemployment argument…the official unemployment numbers are down, but the number of people who have given up looking for work is the reason why.

    perhaps you’ve missed it, but I’ve repeatedly suggested that you measure voter participation as a percentage of the overall population not of registered voters because you would find that my comment is right on the money.




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  85. Eric Florack says:

    @Todd: oh, absolutely. Bush, for example, and for this purpose either one will do, was at best a centrist not a conservative.

    where, I ask you, was the supposedly rigid ideology amongst the GOP, when they spent the entire election cycle trying to oust Ronald Reagan in the 1976 campaign? I was there. I saw it.

    in fact, if anything, if you want to talk about rigidity and ideology, the GOP has been rigidly centrist, and accommodating, not rigidly conservative.

    I’m sure you’re going to disagree with that statement, but would u like to explain the party’s reaction to Sarah Palin? Daryl Aissa? Michele Bachmann? Rand Paul?in fact, anyone who dares actually be conservative?




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  86. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    perhaps you’ve missed it, but I’ve repeatedly suggested that you measure voter participation as a percentage of the overall population not of registered voters because you would find that my comment is right on the money.

    Are you really as obtuse as you are acting here? The numbers we gave you are for participation of voting age population, not registered voters. Your preferred metric, total population, includes people under the age of 18. Why would any non idiot want to include the population below the voting age as a metric for voter participation?
    We’ve been around this at least three times that I know of, each time it has been pointed out to you that among the voting age population and eligible voters (not just registered voters) participation was lower in the 80s than in 2008 or 2012. Each time you try to argue that, for some reason known only to you, we should also count children when determining voter participation trends. You either have no capacity to store new memories that contradict your world view or you are a lying hack.
    I only bother with this in the vain hope that at some point you will be too ashamed to post this myth again on this site.




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  87. Eric Florack says:

    the first time I tried it I showed you that those numbers were not a percentage of the population but a percentage of registered voters.I recognize that that’s what your entire argument is based on but I’ve already shown that to be false.

    it strikes me is interesting that you refuse to acknowledge that voter participation is dropping off, and then out of the other side of your mouth you’re going to claim that the reason the Republicans won so big last night was lower voter participation. Which way are we going with this?




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  88. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    the first time I tried it I showed you that those numbers were not a percentage of the population but a percentage of registered voters.

    You are either being intentionally obtuse or your are irretrievably stupid. Once again those numbers are NOT for registered voters. They are for VAP, which stands for voting aged population, ie all of the people of age to vote. Your preferred metric includes children not yet of age to vote. I don’t know what you think 5 year olds not voting proves, but you are alone in thinking it significant.

    it strikes me is interesting that you refuse to acknowledge that voter participation is dropping off, and then out of the other side of your mouth you’re going to claim that the reason the Republicans won so big last night was lower voter participation.

    The data clearly show that voter participation has not shown a downward trend for presidential elections for the past 100 years or so, rather it varies by about +/-5% around 55%. In off year elections (ie not presidential years) participation is markedly lower. Are you really this dense or do you just think the other readers here are too stupid to see the utter weakness of the argument you are offering? Either way you should be ashamed.




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