Top 10 Reasons Republicans Will Dominate This Next Election

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Elections are fluid things, and the same factors that can put one party into office can put the opposition party into office. Who would have thought at Obama’s inauguration in 2009 that just over a year and a half later, Democrats would lose 63 seats in an historic midterm shellacking?

Elections are not always the easiest things to predict, but attempt to predict we shall. We already covered why the Democrats could win, so let’s go in the other direction now, and explain why the Republican Party is lined up to take home the gold in 2014.

10. Constitutional Issues

constitution

There are really two big Constitutional issues at play for the 2014 election. The first, and least important, is probably the question over gay marriage. Several states have made efforts to make gay marriage legal, but the majority of states have laws and constitutional amendments in support of traditional marriage. There are some people who believe that this will be the linchpin issue of 2014, but if we’re honest, the issue probably won’t be that important. The Supreme Court will eventually take on the issue again after their hands-off decision this past summer, which means that the divisive issue will likely stay low on the radar for most Americans.

The bigger constitutional issue at play is the one that’s already been passed: the lame duck in the White House. The 22nd Amendment limits the President to two terms, which means that his focus on the tail end of his Presidency will be his legacy, which allows Republicans to focus their efforts on limiting the impact of his legacy in their hopes of paving a path to the White House for their 2016 nominee.

9. Money

money

Let’s be honest: politics is, more often than not, about who has the biggest bank account, and the Republican Party has big bank accounts. While Democrats are fueled by unions and left-leaning billionaires like George Soros, Republicans are fueled by businesses and right-leaning billionaires like the Koch Brothers. Each side hates the other and life goes on as normal.

In the last quarter, Democrats raised a little bit more money than the GOP thanks to the shutdown rhetoric, but the GOP is also in a position where it doesn’t really have to spend a lot of money right now because they are the party in control of the House, and most sitting House members won’t have to raise money to fight off any serious primary competition, unlike the Democrats who are going to have to raise cash just to figure out who’s going to challenge the GOP in 2014.

Meanwhile, as of October 23, 2013, when you look at the overall picture, out of the $405.5 million raised by parties and candidates for the 2014 election, $208.5 million has been raised by the GOP. In other words: they currently have the fundraising advantage, which means that hey have the electoral advantage as of now.

8. Limited Influence of the Tea Party

protest-fail

The Tea Party’s influence in American politics is, at best, limited to dividing their own party. Setting aside all the political bluster from their enemies, the Tea Party movement is about one thing and one thing only: limiting government. That’s it. No racism, no anti-intellectualism, no aliens. Just limiting the power, scope, reach, and spending of government. Basically, the Tea Party Republicans are the people who figured out that voting Libertarian didn’t actually help the Libertarian cause, and so they tried to take over the parts of the Republican platform they were most concerned about.

The problem is that when you talk about limiting government in a sort of general sense, people like it right up until you start digging into specifics. Those specifics often include limiting big-big-big-dollar items that those people find useful or downright necessary, like social security, education, and aid programs for American citizens like food stamps. These are things that both Democrats and Republicans (minus the TP) tend to support, which means that the Tea Party finds itself as a complete and total minority in the fight over these issues. As a result, even within the GOP, the influence of the Tea Party has been extremely limited, with many of their 2010 winners losing elections in 2012.

Their poor performance in primaries tends to allow more moderate Republicans to present better challenges against members of the sitting President’s party.

7. The Economy

Bad-Economy

When the economy crashed in 2008, massive efforts were made by both the Bush and Obama administrations to stem the tide of problems, with some limited successes. However, by his signature on the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama took full ownership of the economic recovery – a recovery whose evaluation ranges from weak to an utter failure, to the point where respected studies are now concluding that controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh had a better economic plan than Obama did. Unemployment was promised to be at 5%, but remains north of 7% and even that number is reached using numerical gymnastics that ignore the fact that job creation and wages have been stagnant.

If the economy was in full recovery, Americans would vote accordingly and probably give Obama a lot more credit, but since it’s not, they are more likely to blame the sitting President, especially one who got so deeply involved with the economic recovery early in his Presidency.

6. Sticker Shock

sticker-shock

Have you had to buy new health insurance? Has your insurance gone up? How much are you paying in taxes, both obvious and hidden? Have you been cut back from full time to part time so your employer doesn’t have to pay the mandate? Well, welcome to the Obama economy, where the middle class is now forced to pay more to the government, exactly as the opponents of Obamacare predicted back in 2010.

It’s one thing for the Democrats to talk about taxing the rich, but when the average American starts feeling the tax pinch, then they’re going to look for a boogeyman, and the GOP is more than happy to point the finger directly at the party that voted in all those tax increases. And if there’s one thing Americans don’t like, it’s paying higher taxes – a belief they will carry with them to the ballot box.

5. Obama

sad-obama

Recent Presidents have been extremely divisive along party lines and Obama is no exception. He is easily as divisive as George W. Bush, and Gallup indicates that his polling trend will leave him as the most polarizing President since their polling began.

What you should take away from these polls is this: the Republicans who run for Congress will use Obama in their campaigns, probably even more heavily than Democrats, and they will use his messianic image against his party in every possible way. Every failure of his administration will be brought to bear, and unpopular issues will be paraded on every TV around, especially issues like Obamacare and the stagnant economy. His administration’s behavior during the shutdown (barring veterans from the WWII Memorial in DC, for instance) will play out nightly for every voter to see.

4. Historic Trends

2014-midterm-surprise

If history has taught us anything, it’s that off-year elections tend to not favor the sitting President’s party. Since 1910, we’ve had nine Presidents whose second terms were given a referendum by the people in mid-term elections. Of those nine, only one – Bill Clinton – had his party gain seats in that election, and that was a direct result of dissatisfaction in a Republican Congress, giving the Democrats a minimal 5-seat gain in a still-GOP-controlled House.

Every single other President lost seats for his party, even when the sitting President was fairly popular. For Presidents with a lower-than-50% approval rating like Obama – the loss averages 36 seats. This means that historic trends favor the GOP in 2014.

3. Independents

independent-voter

Ah, independents. Those without a party affiliation, but who tend to decide national elections. They’re as unpredictable as ever, and Obama’s poll ratings are a great example. As of the most recent Zogby Poll, while Obama’s approval rating hovers around 45%, only 35% of independent voters approve of his performance.

Now, while they aren’t fond of Republicans, either, it’s actually worse for the Democrats. First, it’s a good indication that even well-established and powerful Democrats may have a very tough road ahead of them. Worse though, for the Democrats, Obama’s disapproval among independents also limits the ability of the sitting President to have a positive effect for his chosen candidates in the upcoming election.

Think about it: if you were running for Congress, would you want a President with that kind of approval rating shilling for your campaign?

2. State-Level Moves by Democrats

Moral-Mondays

While the newspapers have focused on the Republican controversies in Texas and North Carolina, there’s been a lot of moves by Democrats that aren’t smart either. Those same controversial issues in those 2 states have opposition that’s just as controversial and extreme. In North Carolina, that opposition has gelled in a group calling itself “Moral Mondays,” a sort of higher-class version of the Occupy Wall Street movement headed up by the state’s NAACP. The problem is: it’s headed up by the NAACP, an organization which is seen by most North Carolinians to be both extremist and racist.

In Texas, while there were efforts to work against abortion by the Texas legislature, it’s important to remember that for every yin, there is a yang, and the abortion supporters in Texas have not been well-behaved. Death threats and vandalism were used by abortion supporters while the debate raged, and none of that behavior plays well to your side.

1. Redistricting and Numbers

gerrymandering

One big effect of the Tea Party takeover in 2010 was that it put into place Republican control of the redistricting process following the 2010 census. This meant that in states where Republicans controlled the bodies that controlled the process, they were free to gerrymander districts to help ensure that Democrats would have a much more difficult time getting out of the minority. While statewide and national races may be more balanced, district-level races now favor Republicans in more states than ever.

To be sure, this has been a long time coming. Democrats had a stranglehold on district-level politics for seven decades. It wasn’t until the Democrats waning control in the 2000’s that the GOP had the opportunity that 2010 afforded them. And that’s why the polls are pointing towards … not much. Sure, the broad polls show dissatisfaction with House Republicans, but polls on individual politicians are much gentler, with voters basically saying “I hate Congress, but my Congressman’s doing a good job.” The result is that, as of October 23, there are a total of eight seats that are considered toss-ups by political prognosticator Larry Sabato – and five of those are held by Democrats.

Simply put: the numbers are not there for a Democratic takeover of the House in 2014. Republicans planned out their 2010 victory expertly and, barring any major events, will likely control the lower house of the US legislature for a long time.


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9 Comments

  1. Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it!

    BTW: On state-level moves by Democrats, I sadly forgot to mention the laws passed by Democrat majority legislatures against gun rights, such as those in Colorado that have already cost Democrats 2 seats in recall elections. My bad.

  2. Challenge accepted. Here we go:

    10 – The idea that the Supreme Court can put an issue to bed for good is nonsense. Roe v Wade is still a big deal 40 years later is precisely because citizens and states has the question taken from them by a legally ridiculous decision.

    9 – I’m not sure that’s necessarily accurate, nor will it remain true. Currently, there are efforts underway by conservatives to hobble the GOP leadership. Furthermore, the “Dems = labor and eccentric billionaires, GOP = business” meme simply isn’t true. Loads of businesses contribute to and collaborate with Dems as well, either because they’re true believers (Immelt of GM) or to buy themselves mercy later on.

    8 – The Tea Party is the only reason the GOP has the House right now. 2016 has the potential to be as big as 1980 and 1994 put together if only the GOP dump the McCains, Grahams, Romneys, and Bushes, and run candidates who talk principle first, last and only, and paint themselves in colors vastly different from the Democrats. Do I think they will wisely seize the initiative? No, because I think they’re happy enough to share in the spoils instead of restoring liberty and governing responsibly. They can start by winning elections on big questions, and then begin to teach later on.

    You’ve added a good point by mentioning the Democrats in Colorado. That was brilliant.

    In short, Zero parties and only a handful of individuals represent the interests of the citizens of the United States in Washington. Too many voters are either dependent upon Washington or too sorrily misinformed via their government and media education about the Constitution and economics to be able to vote responsibly. And those currently in opposition are not behaving like an opposition should.

    This could go very, very badly for this country.

    • 10 – Roe v. Wade is still mostly debated… but as of right now it is the law of the land (although I’ll happily make an argument that we do not live in the judocracy that the SCOTUS presumes). But my argument is over the issue of gay marriage being a constitutional issue.

      9 – I’m looking at more of a big picture thing, not a primary challenge by TPers.

      8 – I’ve heard that argument, but the problem is that the numbers really don’t add up. Tea Partiers have not had an easy time getting elected, and while the movement is part of the reason the GOP gained the House in 2010, the Democrats were, in my mind, far more responsible by pushing through unpopular legislation.

      If you really want to hold me down, here’s how I see things coming out:

      The House: The House will remain in the GOP’s hands, with maybe a 5-seat change. Outside of a major disaster, the numbers simply are not there for a takeover by the Democrats, and most of the seats actually at risk are in Democrat, not Republican hands.

      The Senate: I see the GOP potentially gaining a seat or two, but not a lot. Maybe not enough for a takeover.

      State-Level Stuff: the big thing I see here is a full-on test of the GOP’s gerrymandering skills, especially in states like my home state of North Carolina. After 2010, they’ve used their positions to push through some popular and not-so-popular changes, and the Democrats (who controlled the state’s legislature for over 120 years) are out for blood. The redrawn districts look very much like the Democrats have been limited to Democrat strongholds and have been drawn to guarantee a GOP majority for the next 20 years or so. We’ll see how it holds next year.

      The Tea Party: The Tea Party is going to eventually split. It’s lost a lot of clout since it started up in 2009, even among solid conservatives who see it as a barrier to accomplishing the larger goal of re-taking the White House and the Senate. While there are always a large number of disaffected conservatives who feel their voices are unheard by the GOP, the fact is that the GOP has only nominated 2 actual conservatives to the Presidency since Cal Coolidge, and only 1 of those got elected (Reagan) – and even he governed a lot more moderately than he ran. At the end of the day, tho, what are those TPers going to do? Voting 3rd party or voting with their feet is only going to open the door for consistent Democrat victories, and that’s eventually going to get real, real old for those conservatives.

      Personally, I think the best move the GOP could make would be to wait it all out. Eventually, the Democrat Party is going to collapse in on itself. The far-left socialists and moderate blue dogs and traditional liberals and Clintonistas who united under left-wing populist Obama’s banner are starting to lose their buddy-buddy status. Eventually, the Democrats are going crack, just like the GOP, and a new political cycle will begin again.

      • 10 – “Gay marriage” is a constitutional issue in the same way that abortion was – they aren’t. Nothing in the constitution empowers the federal government to speak on either of them, and neither involve disputes among the states. They were, and are, actions by cultural Marxists created and employed to stick thumbs in the eyes of Middle America.

        9 – I get that, but even big-picture, you’re talking in stereotypes rather than reality.

        8 – Actually, they do. Were it simply unhappiness over bad Democrat legislation, two things would be true: The GOP wouldn’t have picked up so many down-ballot seats (650-some, as I recall), and the backlash would have continued in 2012. Instead, the only influence, the Tea Party, was beginning to be co-oped and muted by the GOP. The reverse ought to be happening for any real progress to be made. I remind you: the Tea Party isn’t a party in any traditional sense. There is no national figurehead, no real party structure, no convention, etc.

        Last paragraph: The Democrats are beginning to crack, true, but they have a serious pattern of enforcing party discipline and unifying when the going gets tough. The GOP have no such pedigree. Waiting it out won’t be good enough for them, because the Democrats will keep themselves from falling over. They’re older than the GOP, remember. The GOP are the ones in danger – four generations of “me-too-ism” constantly threaten to render them permanently irrelevant. Even Barry Goldwater – whom you reference – only lost because JFK was shot!

        • 10 – It’s constitutional because the court has to address it in light of the constitution.

          9 – Stereotypes are exactly what the public sees.

          8 – They picked up seats in 2010 – and then lost a lot of them in 2012.

        • 10 – The fact that activist judges want to make their points of view into law does not make it constitutional. It is explicitly NOT constitutional because it’s a state matter.

          9 – I differentiate between stereotype and reality – although I will acknowledge that stereotypes have their roots in reality.

          8 – You’re sort of making my point. They stopped working, thinking they had achieved their ends, and then were betrayed at the convention, and sat on their hands in 2012.

  3. Other than districting/redistricting, your list if flawed, especially concerning Tea Party influence. The Tea Party is more concerned with primarying “RINOs” that feel are responsible for the shutdown defeat that they will accept defeat in many elections, as they did with Christine O’Donnell in 2010.

    The Democrats will maintain the Senate, possibly gain two seats, and the House will likely gain another 6 to 9 Republicans. That’s not major for either party. A sitting president with 2 1/2 years left will have no effect on the 2014 elections except to argue health care, about.

    The Republicans have no nationwide message and their social handicaps – the Tea Party is racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-science, and anti-women – will keep independents at home in the fall of 2014.

    Terrible column

    • The problem is that the Tea Party candidates who primary the RINOs typically perform worse in the general election than the RINOs would have, and thus give the seat to the Democrats. This is part of why a first-past-the-post election system eventually degrades into a 2-party system where the influence of third parties is to draw votes away from the parties they’re most closely aligned with, thus guaranteeing the victory of the party they’re least aligned with.

      The GOP isn’t as bad as you’re making them out and your comments about the Tea Party are provably false – but the public perception is right in line with them.

  4. If Ted Cruz is elected President as a Republican there will be a replay of the “not a natural born U.S, citizen’ contoversey as Obama faced but oe major difference- CRUZ had a Canadian citizenship

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