Recently, it’s looked rather hopeful for the Democrats holding the Senate. I am sorry to report that things look much worse now. There are two reasons for this: one not surprising at all, but the other quite surprising. The first reason is that we are finally getting some good polling out of Alaska, and Mark Begich is doing very poorly. Up until now, I’ve been skeptical about his chances, regardless. I mean: it’s Alaska. They get far more from the federal government than they pay in taxes. So of course their people would be conservative and want to get rid of all that welfare that goes to them.
The surprise is in Colorado. Mark Udall is suddenly losing badly to Cory Gardner, who is a conservative freak. In Alaska, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But this is Colorado. Of course, you may remember the recall election in Colorado last year. Two state senators were removed, even though what they did was hugely popular. So how did they lose? The usual way: only the right wing nut jobs came out to vote.
The only real hope for the Democrats at this point is that the big get-out-the-vote effort will make a difference. And it could in Colorado. I’m not too hopeful in Alaska. So at this point, we’d have to say that the best case scenario for the Democrats is that they hold 49 seats in the Senate. And if the Republicans have the majority, I don’t know what that means for Kansas where Orman hasn’t said who he will caucus with.
As of today, here are what the models say with the most likely number of seats and the percent chance the Democrats have of keeping the Senate:
- 48 seats (33%) Daily Kos
- 48 seats (40%) FiveThirtyEight
- 48 seats (42%) Huffington Post
- 49 seats (30%) The Monkey Cage
- 49 seats (39%) Princeton
- 48 seats (33%) The Upshot
I’m not sure what is going on with the Princeton model. The numbers I listed were the daily snapshot. But the election day model still predicts a 70% chance of the Democrats holding the Senate. And the meta-margin is Republicans +0.4%. Regardless, looking at all these numbers, it is hard not to conclude that the Democrats will have 48 seats in the Senate starting next year.
Also worth noting, it assumes that even with Republicans getting the majority, Orman will still caucus with the Democrats. That may be the case. It is almost certain that the Democrats will take back the Senate in 2016 and I expect them to hold in 2018. So long term, being with the Democrats would give him more power. But caucusing with the Republicans might make his re-election in 2020 easier. And it is not clear he’s going to win. More recent polling makes that race closer than it had been.
A couple of week ago, I read about a poll that found that a majority of Americans trust the Republicans more than the Democrats on the economy. When I read that, alarm bells went off. I think the Democrats are terrible on the economy. But what could possibly make people think that the Republicans are better on the economy? They have done nothing but drag down the economy since Obama entered the White House. Let me summarize their economic thinking:
In other words: in the majority or the minority, they will destroy the economy, but they will be more able to do it with complete power. The fact that after decades of bad Republican economic policy, the people still think it is a good idea is a good example of why our country is dying. And I fear it is like a virus that will eventually destroy the world. We don’t need dictators in the United States, when politicians can so effectively manipulate the people into voting against their own interests. And the rest of the people have become so disillusioned that they don’t even vote.
Let me make a personal appeal. If you care about my health: vote. I’m not asking much. I’m not even telling you how to vote. Because I believe in democracy. I believe when everyone votes, we get good policy. When only the cranks who want to screw all “those” people, well, we get government by, for, and of the super rich. Just vote. Vote. Vote. It’s that simple: vote.
Image altered from one by Internet Weekly.