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Thursday, October 27, 2016

August 11 (Bloomberg) – As hundreds of U.S. lawmakers fan out to their home districts this month, there is a genuine political conundrum.

Approval ratings for Congress are at an all-time low, rivaling those of junkyard dogs. Republicans are seen as the main villains; the party’s standing with the public keeps falling.

So what’s the outlook today for next year’s congressional elections? Republicans will hold the U.S. House, conceivably even adding to their 233-to-200 majority. They seem certain to pick up U.S. Senate seats, with an outside chance to gain the half-dozen needed for control.

There are many explanations: the voter profile of the off-year electorate, the way House districts are drawn, the fact that most of the competitive 2014 Senate races don’t favor Democrats, the deteriorating enthusiasm for President Barack Obama.

Events could change those prospects. Republicans may overplay their hand by shutting down the government in a budget dispute this autumn or by undermining the U.S.’s good faith and credit in refusing to raise the debt ceiling. They overreached in 1998 with the planned impeachment of President Bill Clinton and ending up losing seats.

Voter Alternatives

Republican pollster David Winston foresees a good Republican year but warns it is far from assured: “There is an opportunity, not an outcome,” he says. “Voters aren’t looking for an opposition party; they are looking for an alternative.”

To date, on issues such as Obama’s health care measure — which House Republicans have voted to repeal or defund 40 times — they are short on alternatives. Still, Winston and others agree with the assessment of Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman that the Republicans have a “built-in midterm turnout advantage.”

Compare, as Wasserman does, the compositions of the electorate in 2010, a banner year for Republicans, and in 2012, when Obama and Democrats did well. Last year, almost 1 in 5 voters were younger than 30; two years earlier, this age cohort made up only 12 percent of the electorate. The reverse is true of those older than 65: One in 6 presidential-year voters were senior citizens; in 2010, it was 21 percent.

That makes a huge difference because more than half of young voters vote Democratic these days, and, with a few exceptions, similar percentages of senior citizens prefer Republicans. Older voters, Wasserman notes, “are less transient, have grown deeper roots in their local communities and pay much more attention to nonpresidential years.”

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • tax payer

    It doesn’t matter who wins the Battle since we will still get the shaft. Both Parties are complete Duplicates of each other. They are there for no one, but themselves. Wait, the DemocRats are there for the Illegals right now.

  • Sand_Cat

    Is part of that GOP “built-in advantage” all the Democratic voters they’re planning on disenfranchising?

    • GreginPottsville

      Ha ha. Using that “disenfranchising” word. I won’t even get into why in the world you need an ID for everything except voting. The reason why Romney lost is because he didn’t reach the conservative base. 5 million stayed home. Romney won the coveted “independent” vote. It turned out to be meaningless. I know most liberals and a lot of moderate Republicans don’t want to hear that, but it is the truth. No offense, but I think after 5 years of Obama, and an overspending GW Bush, this country is yearning for a conservative government.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        BS…You don’t need an ID to vote. That’s just GOP BULL Male Dominator excuses to cut the number of voters and just why Boi Genius do you think this is happening ONLY in Big Rich Texas, That Whole Other Country (That lives off MY tax dollars to the tune of $39 billion in a 3-year span of time) NC and the rest of the too red states who are nothing more than porker states that soak the blue states dry paying double the taxes the porkers do?

        You fool no one boi genius….If the only states suddenly demanding voter IDs are red states, how is that not obvious to you why? Won’t do you slugs of the right any good. NJ is likely going to have yet another black senator who just might be a candidate after Hillary becomes president. Won’t you joi bois go nuts then? Stand by…Corey Booker is a new fresh face the racists in the Confederate states will hate. What a bunch of phonies…Voter IDs….When your local town has your property tax records, drivers license records and you need to pay for an ID just to vote? Who are you BSing?

        • GreginPottsville

          Well if it isn’t the lonely angry old racist Eleanore. Do you wake up angry every morning?

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            I’m certainly glad you were never on active duty in the military. Your attack strategies are pathetic. As a matter of fact, I wake up thrilled I don’t have a man like you around the house. Who needs to work her ass off and be bullied? Oh..right…your clinging vine, buttered palms McWifie…whose only identity is her MRS degree. Do you always wake up on the attack? I’d check that testosterone level. It’s likely pretty low.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Unlike yourself who was born stupid, or do you practice?

  • Dominick Vila

    The 2014 prospects don’t look good for Democrats, not because mainstream Americans prefer GOP policies, but because a set of circumstances are likely to be an insurmountable obstacle for us to overcome. There are many more Dems running for re-election than there are Republicans, and some of those Democrats are from red states or districts. The likelihood of the GOP keeping control of the House is almost guaranteed, and they have a good shot at getting control of the Senate or at least being within a couple of seats of seizing control.
    Interestingly, our only hope are the bizarre statements and the hyperbole coming from the GOP. It should be evident to the most casual observer that senior Republicans are toning down their rhetoric and trying to project a semblance of pragmatism and bipartisanship to achieve their political goals. Their efforts are being impaired by Tea Party members and the rank and file who continuous to repeat the same talking points that contributed to their defeat in 2010. The tables will turn by 2016, but there is no doubt in my mind that President Obama’s agenda will come to a halt immediately after the midterm election. One of the most interesting and worrisome parts of this circumstance is the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies during the next couple of years.

    • sigrid28

      You nailed it.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    All anyone has to do is look at the fear in the only states pushing for voter IDs…all red states. TX, NC….some of the most racist states in the country. Now, the Justice Department is starting to investigate these states as well they should.

  • FT66

    Anyone who knows politics very well, can’t come now with the judgement that republicans are in real good shape to hold two chambers. In politics, more than a year from now is like a century. A lot has to change and we might be talking a different story come January 2015.

  • Allan Richardson

    But if they suppress enough voters and gain enough power to amend the Constitution to repeal the First, Fourth (which they are ignoring anyway), and Fifth (which they are ignoring anyway), and outlaw opposing parties on the grounds that “God’s Laws” are enshrined in their new Constitution, then …

    they will not NEED to appeal to voters any longer! Heil Boehner!

  • ococoob

    I just like to know that in the past 6 yrs. what in hell has the Congress (Republicans) done for the American people?

    • Mark Forsyth

      You and several million others.



    • susiep44

      Amen, Esau. We just have to make sure we aren’t on the bus when they go over.

  • susiep44

    With so many various states in the control of the Tea Party fringe elements of the GOP, there may be a much stronger turn out for the mid-term elections than they are counting on. They have managed to alienate Democrats, Independents and even moderate Republicans. As one of the seniors who marched during many “Moral Monday” protests in North Carolina, I can assure you that we will do all in our power to get people registered and get them out to vote. We will NOT stand by while these people take our rights away! We will NOT be dragged back into the 1950s by these people with their head in the stand. If they think they will be the “moral compass” of America, they will find out sooner or later that we have something else for them to do with their compass!!!