A Look At The Senate Races
With a few days left until Election Day 2014, what is happening, and what can we make of the possible outcome as relates to control of the US Senate in 2015?
Which party gets out the vote?
The 2014 contest for control of the U. S. Senate will be decided by which party gets its targeted voters to the polls.
The mid-term elections are even more poorly supported by voters than in years when there is a presidential election on the ballots. The Republicans are expected to retain control of the House of Representatives, so attention is focused on whether or not dissatisfaction with President Obama's leadership is going to shift control of the Senate to the Republicans.
What will it take for that to happen?
The Democrats current control of the Senate is based on their having 53 senators and the consistent votes of 2 independent senators to the 45 Republican senators, meaning the Republicans must gain 6 more seats than they lose. In a 50/50 tie the Democrats' VP Joe Biden breaks any ties.
In 2014, 36 Senate seats are being contested with the remaining Senate seats having been decided in 2010 and 2012 elections, meaning the Republicans will need to win 21 of the contested seats in order to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.
By contrast to presidential election years in which a president is technically elected based on the number of electoral college votes he or she receives, control of the Senate will be decided simply by whether or not the Republican candidates for the Senate win those needed extra seats based on the popular vote in each contested Senate race.
Getting out the votes of voters likely to vote for their candidates is critical to each party's hopes of controling the U. S. Senate for the next two years.
The Republicans are counting on two things to motivate their voters, namely dissatisfaction with Senate and presidential blockage of legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and the general dissatisfaction with both houses of the Congress.
Republicans' ability to get their voters to actually vote will be hampered by voter apathy which is based on the feeling that says "even if I vote, nothing will change; the president will just veto legislation from the new Congress which he doesn't like, and the gridlock will continue."
Democrats' ability to get their voters to actually vote will be hampered by the fact that even many traditional Democrats are not happy with what they see as the president's poor leadership and the leadership style of Senate majority leader Senator Harry Reid.
Traditionally there are more states which vote Republican than there are states which vote Democrat. In a mid-term election, when what happens in the individual states is more important than what happens in just the more populous states, the Republicans should have a natural edge.
For the Democrats to continue control of the Senate they must get their voters to actually vote in greater numbers in those states traditionally dominated by Republicans, and that will be no easy chore given what clearly motivates Republican voters as compared to growing dissatisfaction among even some Democrats.
The states which are closest as we close in on Election Day are Kentucky, Georgia, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Alaska, and Colorado. Those could be split between the Democrats and the Republicans. Another state which might delay the final outcome is Louisiana where a runoff will be held, if the winner on Election Day hasn't received 50% or more of the total votes cast for that seat in the Senate.
Another major factor is at play in this vote, and it is money. The same motivations that drive Republican voters to get out and vote, are driving campaign donations which tend to favor Republican candidates for the Senate, and candidates who have more campaign funds should be able to do a better job of getting their names and positions before likely voters.
There is one other significant change in this election compared to previous elections. Political ads can better target individual voters because TV ads are no longer limited to the major TV networks. It is possible, using what each party knows about its own voters and independent voters, to target specific ads to specific voters using cable subscriber information.
Will any candidates find themselves "a day late, and a voter short?"
One thing is sure, for a mid-term election this election will see both parties more determined than ever to push our hot buttons in an effort to have a higher percentage of their targeted voters actually vote, especially you and me!
Will you be voting in the November 2014 Election?
What does the American flag mean to you?
Copyright 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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