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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/22/14

Factors Favoring Democrats Holding the Senate

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Conclusion: as has been noted, many of the "mainstream" political analysts, given both current polls, and electoral history, suggest that the Republicans are likely to win the six seats needed to control the Senate. But they also hedge their bets a bit by suggesting that 2014 may well not be a "typical" election. Agreed, for number of reasons that have suggested that for the Republicans to win a variety of stars must line up perfectly for the combined gravity to move the Senate to the right. I have suggested a number of imponderables that question the extent to which the "received" wisdom is likely to play out. First and foremost is the extent to which the women's vote, typically more liberal will materialize given the fact that much of his vote consists of poor women less likely to vote in off year elections, but this time, given women's issues at stake, from job equity to the availability of insurance, not to speak of feminine healthcare issues I suggest that many women are more likely to vote that is otherwise the case. Meanwhile the dwindling popularity of right wing/tea party agendas suggests that while few may change their minds, their enthusiasm for voting is likely to wane. Similarly minorities are especially angry about Republican issues on immigration, the impunity of violence toward minorities, think Trevon Martin, or Martin Brown, Ferguson, and the often coded racist/xenophobic "bird whistles" of the conservative/right wing Republicans. Finally while the youth are much less likely to vote in off year elections, given their economic hardships, poor job prospects amplified by huge college debts, much like 2012, I will guess they are more likely to vote than is typically the case. And for a number who might not otherwise vote in an off year election, decriminalization of pot can not only be an incentive, but send smoke signals as to the future directions of the country.

Most of us who pay attention to these thing have noted how close the elections are likely to be, and in most cases, at least 6-9 Senate race are likely to see spreads of just a few percentage points. And what I am suggesting is that whatever the polls says, when they are close, the key element is turn out, and given the issues at stake, if we read the collective pulse rather than the polls, Democrats, with more motivated voters this time, will squeak by and keep the Senate by a seat or two. But that's all it takes. But what if I am wrong, its 2 more years of government stasis and stagnation-but hey, isn't that what we have now?



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Lauren Langman is a professor of sociology at Loyola University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago from the Committee on Human Development and had further training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He has long (more...)
 
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Factors Favoring Democrats Holding the Senate