Sabato: Republicans could really win it all in 2014, if

posted at 12:01 pm on January 7, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This should be a huge midterm election for Republicans, especially for the Senate, where they need six seats to seize control of the upper chamber and send Harry Reid back to the business end of his filibuster reform.  After all, it just took a little overreach and arrogance for Barack Obama and the Democrats to end up in the 2010 shredder, losing the House in the first midterms for Obama. After lying for five years with the “you can keep your plan” promise and the skyrocketing costs for health insurance set to hammer the middle class, 2014 should make 2010 look like a picnic … right? Larry Sabato thinks so, assuming Republicans don’t blow the opportunity:

I’d argue that three factors are paramount: the president, the economy and the election playing field. And, at least preliminarily, those three factors seem to be pointing toward Republican gains in both houses in the 2014 midterms.

Why?

1. The president. His job approval numbers are perhaps the best indicator of the public’s overall political orientation at any given time, a kind of summary statistic that takes everything at the national level into account. In a large majority of cases, the president’s party does poorly in midterms, especially the second midterm of a two-term administration. …

As 2014 begins, the environment for the Democrats in this election year is not good. The botched, chaotic rollout of the Affordable Care Act is the obvious cause, but it is broader than that: the typical sixth-year unease that produces a “send-them-a-message” election. Fortunately for Democrats, the GOP-initiated shutdown of the federal government in October has tempered the public’s desire for a shift to the Republican side, too. “None of the above” might win a few races in November if voters had the choice.

As long as Republicans keep the focus on ObamaCare, the incompetence of its administration, and the falsehoods used to sell it, they should do well against Democrats forced to defend it. Sabato notes that “this year’s Senate slate strongly favors the Republicans,” and that will remain true as long as Republicans keep aiming at Democrats.

Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of effort at aiming at Republicans, especially in what would be otherwise safe Senate seats. In my column today for The Week, I point out the stakes involved in this midterm election and agree with Gov. Scott Walker that we risk disaster by redirecting our aim internally rather than externally:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sees the same danger. In an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley, the potential presidential contender warned activists that, while their energy and frustration are appreciated, their target selection is way off. Those unhappy with budget compromises need to aim at Senate Democrats rather than sitting Republicans, Walker explained, so that Republicans gain rather than lose leverage. “[G]o to Louisiana or go to Arkansas or go to North Carolina or Alaska, where there are senators facing real elections as Democrats,” Walker advised, “and go and help in those elections and elect new Republicans to come because a year from now, things will be much different if Republicans hold the United States Senate.”

That’s good advice. Thanks to Harry Reid’s dismantling of the filibuster, just standing pat in the Senate for the final two years of Obama’s presidency won’t be enough for Republicans. The GOP needs the majority to force Obama into compromises on appointments as well as to control the floor agenda on legislation. That will still put Republicans in opposition to Obama, but they can set the table themselves in Congress and force Obama to deal with them directly, rather than have Reid running interference. The GOP will also need to take as many Senate seats in 2014, because the 2016 class of the Senate will be tougher on Republicans.

This isn’t to say that the grassroots activists have no legitimate reasons for their anger with Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, or to suggest that primary challenges are a bad practice. In 2014, though, the opportunity to finally sideline Reid and take command of Capitol Hill is too good to pass up. This last chance to use both chambers of Congress to slow down the Obama administration should have the Tea Party pointing their rhetorical and activist guns outward rather than inward.

In this case, we’re better off getting Republicans elected rather than spending this election in a purification effort. Right now, the majority has got to be the priority.


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I’ve read that four million Conservative Republicans stayed home on election night 2012, a complete reversal of the wonderful 2010 elections.

I figured that I’d be number four million and one on election night 2014, it appears that I’ll have a good bit of company.

RJL on January 8, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Just heard that Lugar is contributing to Democratic candidate for the Georgia Senate seat. The Establishment’s love, Charlie Crist, is now a Dem and running for Fl Governor. But don’t worry. Vote for Estab Repubs and conservatives will get what they want. Come on, let’s all vote and get fooled again.

theo22 on January 8, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Socons will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as they often do.

Moesart on January 9, 2014 at 12:52 AM

I’ve read that four million Conservative Republicans stayed home on election night 2012

If that were true (it isn’t) that’s four million people that can STFU.

No vote, shut your yap. You didn’t make your opinion known when it counted the most, so no one should have to hear from you the rest of the time.

Moesart on January 9, 2014 at 12:54 AM

That is why I was a little disappointed that Mark Levin’s book, “The Liberty Amendments” did not include an amendment which I feel may actually be supported by voters of both parties: instant runoff voting. This process is known by several names, but basically it allows you to rank your vote, which would be tallied for your favorite candidate on the first count, however that vote would be then added to your second favorite candidate if your first choice was not one of the finalists. It sounds more complicated than it would be in practice, and it would allow you to vote your conscience first, yet still ensure that your vote would go to the next candidate who most closely represented your views, even if you would have held your nose to vote for that person in the first place. A conservative might choose to vote for a hard-line tea party candidate as their first choice, but still allow that vote to go to the GOPe candidate as his second choice, in hopes that he could be persuaded to vote more conservatively once in office. Of course, similar reasoning could be applied on the liberal spectrum of voters as well for their candidates. This would allow for more clear-cut choices in our national elections and would force both parties to become more responsive to their more radical elements. There would be far fewer “lesser of two evils” votes in my opinion.
Sorry for such a long post.

tickrdr

tickrdr on January 7, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Exactly the way to go.

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 2:27 PM

When did doing nothing in the face of an existential threat to the country become something to brag about? Don’t you have any patriotism or even pride in yourself?

V7_Sport on January 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Sometimes the more “patriotic” thing to do is to not join both parties in rushing off the cliff. Both are going – both have show their trajectory for the times they held majority within the last 15 years. Yet a patriot should ignore that and continue to be a loyal lemming because, pride?

I think not. If you must go off the cliff, then do so without my vote of consent – too easy.

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I figured that I’d be number four million and one on election night 2014, it appears that I’ll have a good bit of company.

RJL on January 8, 2014 at 9:55 PM

That’s nothing to be proud of.

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Sometimes the more “patriotic” thing to do is to not join both parties in rushing off the cliff.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing patriotic about staying home in the face of an Obama presidency. And no, if you think the GOP is “going off a cliff” you get your ass in the game and work to see that it doesn’t.

Yet a patriot should ignore that and continue to be a loyal lemming because, pride?

Again, that I have to explain it is pretty sad, however a patriot will at the very least work to do no harm to the country, not vote for or enable the worst hoping that it teaches people a lesson.

If you must go off the cliff, then do so without my vote of consent – too easy.

I will go fighting, you will go as well as it’s the country that’s at the precipice. At least I can say I went down swinging, you can only say you helped those who were doing their best to destroy the republic. If you have any sense you would be ashamed about what you have advocated and the effect that you and those with your mindset have had on this great country.

V7_Sport on January 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM

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