An indicator of a possible Republican takeover is geography. In this election cycle, six out of the 11 competitive senate races have incumbent Democrats which happen to be in the southeast and the western part of the US. In the conservative southeast, states such as Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and West Virginia gave Mitt Romney a significant amount of votes in 2012. These states along with Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana happen to have low approval ratings for the President and his policies. South Dakota, a state that has an open Senate seat because of a retiring Democrat has a very high chance of a Republican gain. South Dakota is a conservative strong hold in the Midwest, but in the past have elected moderate Democrats for national elections. These Incumbent Democrat Senators (who are elected to six year terms) mostly won because Barack Obama was on top of the ticket. West Virginia, a state where coal is a major part of the economy is likely to send to a Republican to the Senate in protest to the current administration’s policies on coal.
Another piece of evidence that might reveal a Republican win, is that midterms are good for the opposite party of the President. In 1994, the midterm election that is commonly referred as the “Republican Revolution” delivered both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate into Republican hands. In the 2006 midterms, the Democrat Party made the election a referendum on Republican President George W. Bush. In 2010, Republicans took back the House of Representatives, but didn’t take back the Senate. The Senate has been a main prize for the Grand Old Party and could take it back over in 2014. Demographics also has a significant role in this election cycle. Older groups of people vote often in midterms than Presidential years. The older demographic mostly vote for Republicans while younger voters are more enthusiastic about the presidential vote and often cast their ballot for Democrats. According to the Cook Political Report, an election analytical group, in the 1994 midterms 55% of voters 45 and older voted while 45% of voters 18- 44 voted. The next presidential election in 1996, both half of each age group voted. The same phenomena happened in the last major Republican victory in 2010, but with a larger gap between the two. The 45 and older group had a 64% turnout while the 18 to 44 demographic had a 36% turnout. Look forward to 2012 and you see that 55% of the 45 and older demographic voted and 45% of the 18-44 demographic voted in the 2012 presidential election. In a recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll among the age groups of 18- 29, only one in four will “definitely vote” in this year’s election. Although, the Republican Party are trying to get a younger and diverse group, the odds of getting majority control are very much in the Republicans favor.
Having geography and history on the sides of the Republican Party, a Republican takeover of the senate is very likely scenario. My Senate prediction is 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats. No matter which way the American people may vote this November, new Republicans and the incumbents that stay will have to deal with the Washington machine of politics. In my own opinion I hope that they may get something done in the federal city.
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