This midterm election, Republicans will be voting with their asses. The GOP’s control of Congress depends on whether people get out and vote, or sit at home, with potato chips, watching Maury. Splendidly entertaining imagery aside, this election will be decided by the success or failure of the Republican “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) effort.
There are plenty of reasons for Republicans not to vote Republican. I don’t see them jumping out of their seats to vote Democrat (thus, I doubt there will be a Democratic wave akin to 1994), but I do see them perfectly content to sit in those seats and not provide support to the corrupt Republicans. The feature story, Time For Us To Go, of the Washington Monthly openly expresses a sentiment I’m sure is shared by many Republicans. In fact, one I’ve heard expressed by die-hard Republicans on campus. We’re tired about spending and illegal immigration (although my line has considerably softened on immigration). We don’t think we’re winning the war. Not all of us drink the party Kool-Aid.
They keep trying to scare us with “Speaker Pelosi.” Yet, there’s an inherent flaw with that strategy. The reason Bush didn’t lose the election was because Kerry and the Democrats weren’t able to articulate a positive alternative. Yes, the Republicans have a platform, but they’ve dissolved that platform via rampant hypocrisy. Some of us have had it. We’ve come to the conclusion that the Republicans really aren’t any better than the Democrats anymore. You’ve lost your ability to articulate a positive vision.
And so, I will sit home this election day, refusing to vote for you.
It’ll be hard for the Democrats to gain control, though. According to Rasmussen’s Senate Balance of Power, “Democrats have to win all five races leaning their way plus all three Toss-Ups to regain control of the Senate.” Meanwhile, only one seat is listed as “Lean Republican.” Slate’s Election Scorecard shows similar results. It’ll be only slightly less than surprising if the Democrats take control, as opposed to a few months ago, when I would’ve said that there’s no way in hell the Democrats will take the Senate. Still, it’s a tall order. I’ll be not surprised at all if Republicans retain control or if it goes 50/50 (in which case Republicans still retain control because Dick Cheney casts deciding votes). Yes, we’re ranking the election on “How Surprised Will Shawn Be.” It’s a very accurate, scientifically tested scale. In any case, there’s no doubts whatsoever that the Republicans will lose seats.
As for the House, I’m unsure. Again, Republicans will lose seats. It’s just a question of “How many?” And that “how many” has drastically increased since my last musings on these elections. Democrats could take control of the House. However, I think it’s more likely that Republicans will retain control by just a sliver.
Undoubtedly, momentum has shifted away from the Republicans, but we’ve still got a few weeks left yet. Does Rove have anything up his sleeve? There’s still time for momentum to shift back, as shown in this particular race from the Rasmussen article linked above: “In Tennessee, Harold Ford, Jr. (D) overcame a large summer deficit to pull into a five-point lead last month. Republican Bob Corker (R) then fired his campaign manager, brought in a new team, and has pulled to within a couple of points.”
In any case, don’t expect Republicans to massively switch over to the Democratic camp. Democrats still don’t represent their best interests. This election won’t be decided by donkeys, it’ll be decided by Republican asses.