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Obstacles to a GOP Senate Takeover in the November Elections

Posted by libhom Thursday, August 26, 2010

The corporate media is beating the drums about this being a bad year for the Democrats, yet they seldom seriously mention Republicans taking the Senate. There are a lot of reasons for this, many of which are worth discussing.

Current Senate Makeup:
57 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 2 Independents.

That's a lot of ground to make up in one election. The one thing that might help the GOP is that Joe Lieberbush is likely to switch from Independent to Republican if they can get to 51 seats. Ben Nelson is likely to switch from Democrat to Republican under those circumstances too. The problem for the rogue elephants is getting to 51 seats.

Let's look at some of the obstacles facing Republicans as they try to seize control of the Senate.

Open Seats: GOP 8 vs. Democrats 7
Now that Murkowski has lost her Alaska primary, the GOP will have a lot of open seats, one more than the Democrats. This spreads the GOP pretty thin financially.

The Teabaggers
What a problem for the GOP. First, they have gotten incredibly weak candidates nominated in Nevada, Florida, and Kentucky. The GOP just has lost its incumbent in Alaska. It's highly likely the Florida Senate seat will shift from GOP to independent because of this. The Republicans will have to spend a whole lot more money to win the other three seats, which should have been easy pickups/holds for them. The teabagger candidates also will put off moderate voters.

Probably even worse for the Republican Party is the effect that the teabaggers will have on Democratic voters. The Democratic politicians have done a lot to demoralize their voters this time, but the thought of teabaggers running the country is enough to get a lot of Democratic core constituencies off to the polls. GOP turnout would be high this time with or without the crazies, so there isn't any real benefit to them. Also, the teabaggers keep saying "vote against all incumbents" which doesn't exactly help GOP incumbents.

Fundraising Deficit
The GOP's Senate campaign committee his still way behind the Democratic one in cash on hand. The Republicans have been doing somewhat better than their opponents in recent months, but not enough to make up for the huge early money lead the Democrats have.

There may be some swing House seats where Bush is more popular than Obama, but that is the case in few, if any, Senate seats which currently are held by Democrats. Reminding voters of how the economy was in freefall under Bush will give Democrats an edge.

Two Loopy Multimillionaires
The GOP probably hoped that failed former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and former WWE CEO/Diva would help the party by self financing. However, both politicians have a tremendous amount of baggage, especially Ms. McMahon. Their primary victories also further the perception that the GOP is for sale.

Racist Hysteria
The racist hysteria in the GOP against Latinos is at a fever pitch. This will almost certainly shift many Latino voters to the Democratic Party and dramatically increase turnout among Latino Democrats. Racism is playing a role in the hysteria over a proposed mosque which would be a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. Before 911, Arab and Muslim voters trended Republican because the Democrats were perceived as being more pro Israel. The GOP is doing everything they can to push Muslim and Arab voters to vote for Democrats this time out.

Then, there's the rampant anti black hatred that permeates the GOP and their media enablers. This will give African American voters added incentive to vote this time, even though Obama's policies haven't been that much different than Bush's.

Partisan Affiliations of Current Officeholders: 18 GOP - 16 Democrats
Despite the fairly large majority of Democrats in the Senate now, a majority of seats open for election this time are held by the GOP. Having to defend a few more seats is a small disadvantage for the GOP.

Off Message Mosque Hysteria
Republican candidates should be running on the economy, in terms of standard electoral strategy. Yet, the GOP is obsessing on a Tribeca mosque a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. That mosque will have no impact on the lives of the people outside of Manhattan and has overwhelming support there.

Can They Do It?
It's possible. Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are governing so much like Republicans that they may just flush their Senate majority down the toilet. The economy is in a holding pattern at the moment, which isn't exactly helping the party in power, and the Democrats seem to have little interest in pushing through the jobs programs that would get people back to work or running ads attacking Republicans as being against jobs. Dithering, conservativism, and cowardice among the Democrats are the only hopes the GOP has of grabbing the Senate.


1 Responses to Obstacles to a GOP Senate Takeover in the November Elections

  1. Jolly Roger Says:
  2. 30,000 jobs vaporized is some pretty heavy baggage. Failurina should be fairly easy to put away in California, where she got rid of a lot of those jobs.



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