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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FRSFreeStatePlus: The Weekly Standard: Fred Barnes: A Status Quo Election: Senate Republicans Missed a Golden Opportunity

A Status Quo Election

The question is not whether 2012 was a status quo election, meaning the same party that now control the White House. US House and US Senate today will control these institutions for the next two years and in President Obama's case the next four years. But the question is why is this a status quo election, how does a President with an approval rating somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-50%, probably around 50%. Probably around 50% because of his response to Hurricane Sandy, with a weal economy, high debt and deficit. And so fourth, a Congress with a 10% approval rating and yet voters sent the same people back in both the House and Senate. Except for a few retirements, the House and Senate we have today, is the House and Senate we'll have in the next Congress, so why is this. Well with the House even though Congress only has a 10% approval rating, thats House and Senate, voters tend to like whose currently. Representing them in the House and Senate, similar story in the Senate but there's more to that.

Going into 2012, it looked like House Republicans were going to hold onto majority but with a smaller majority. House Republicans did a good enough job raising money for their most vulnerable members, especially in the Tea Party and the Tea Party Representatives did a good enough job. Of at least responding to their constituents, it wasn't really a question of whether Speaker Boehner was going to hold his majority. But by what margin and how many seats would he lose, over the summer as President Obama's approval rating. Went up and Mitt Romney's went down, that changed to a certain degree and the Tea Party started becoming more unpopular. And Republican Representatives like Michelle Bachmann, Steve King, Joe Walsh and Allen West started looking very vulnerable. That never changed but House Democrats only picked up two of those seats but it looked like House Democrats probably wouldn't get the majority. But at least would come close, that changed after the first debate where Mitt Romney clearly won the debate.

The Senate is a different story because going into 2012,  23-33 Senate seats were held by Democrats, even. In great economic times, the party controlling the Senate would have a very difficult time retaining any majority. Especially in a Senate thats this tight, with Minority Party only having to pickup 3-4 seats depending on who wins the Presidential Election. To win back the majority, it was almost like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was already making plans to for the Senate Leaders Office. But politics is not just about party and in a lot of swing States, it has little to nothing to do with party. You still have to put up candidates that can win the office and not scare people you need to vote for you. Pre Olympia Snowe retiring from Maine, Dick Lugar losing a primary in Indiana and Todd Akin winning. The Republican Senate Nomination in Missouri, Senate Republicans chances of winning back the Senate. Was almost a done deal, they were favored to win back control.

You don't win in swing States where women are the majority of the voting block, by scaring women, which. Is exactly what Richard Mourdock did in Indiana and Todd Akin did in Missouri in Missouri, so offense to Alabama and Mississippi. But Missouri and Indiana aren't Alabama and Mississippi and rhetoric like that when it comes to rape, doesn't play well outside of the Bible Belt. Where women are considered to be equal of men and to be treated with the same amount of respect. Maine is a different story, where a safe Republican Senator Olympia Snowe is retiring and  very popular Independent. Who use to be Governor of Maine ran for that seat but why did Senator Snowe retire, because of how. Partisan Congress has become thanks to the Tea Party and she was probably looking at a primary challenge from the Far Right.