Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Brief Post about Mid Term Elections

Even though the mid-term elections are still months and months away, the possible implications could be so far-reaching that they warrant some early looks and discussions…

And that’s why we’re here.

Take a look at the political landscape right now and you see quite a few incumbents who are running scared and are very, very nervous. Politicians such as:

  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) who has been running behind his challenger for months and seems destined to crash and burn in November.
  • Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) who is on the defensive and has been linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal, which is starting to signify a death-knell for anyone who is being proven to have link with.
  • Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) who is struggling to overcome a toxic environment of scandals that have tarnished the state Republican Party.

It’s been a while since the party with all the power (meaning they have the majority in the House and Senate AND the presidency) has faced such a daunting task in the mid-term elections as the GOP is facing this November… and the possibilities are very dispiriting to them as many factors are in play against them, factors such as President Bush’s incredibly low approval ratings and constant in-fighting with the Republican party, the constant bombarding the White House is getting from report after report criticizing their response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Katrina, the GOP’s scandal-plagued members, polling data that suggests many voters want a change in the country’s direction, and more polling data that indicate many voters think the Democrats are more competent to handle the country’s troubles.

The result is a midterm already headed toward what appears to be an inevitable conclusion: Democrats are poised to gain seats in the House and in the Senate for the first time since 2000.

The difference between ‘modest gains’ (a few seats in the Senate and fewer than 10 in the House) and ‘significant’ gains (half a dozen in the Senate and well more than a dozen in the House) is the battlefield where the fight to control Congress will be waged.

The contest begins with Republicans holding 231 House seats and Democrats holding 201 (with one Democrat-leaning independent) and 2 vacancies.

Democrats need to gain 15 seats to dethrone the GOP majority in the House.

In the Senate, Republicans hold 55 seats to the Democrats' 44, with one Democrat-leaning independent.

Democrats need six more seats to take power in the Senate.

As of now, the most daunting challenge that the Democrat’s face is the tapered size of the battlefield. In order to win control of the House or Senate, Democrats must either capture the overwhelming percentage of genuinely competitive contests or find a way to put more races “in play” than exist now.

Let’s get it in gear everyone

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