COMMENTARY | Ever since Nate Silver, a liberal political guru, predicted that there is a 60 percent chance that the Senate will flip to the Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats have been waxing wroth according to The Hill.
This is quite a change from 2012 when Silver successfully predicted that President Obama would win reelection. Then he was a god among Democrats and it was Republicans who were claiming that his prognostication system was flawed.
There is a legitimate reason to fear among Democrats. If the meme starts that a Republican takeover of the Senate is inevitable, then Democratic turnout will be depressed, fund raising will be more difficult, and some races that could still be won will be lost. It could prove to be the difference between a six seat pickup and a 12 seat pickup. This is of vital importance for GOP hopes of holding the Senate in 2016, when the math of seats that need defending will run against them.
Democrats have little choice but to try to tear down the guy whom they well regarded just two years ago. To be sure no election is decided until it actually happens. Events happening between now and November could skew the results one way or the other. But the trend lines do not look promising for Democrats keeping the Senate.
The consequences of total control of Congress by the Republican Party for the last two years of the Obama administration cannot be overstated. Whatever is left of the Obama agenda will be effectively dead. Also the Senate will join in investigations of Obama administration malfeasance, a target rich environment as it turns out. The president will be forced to conduct a veto strategy, trying to stop a resurgent GOP from advancing its own agenda. Of course he will open himself up to charges of obstructionism and promotion of gridlock. The argument will also be advanced by Republican presidential candidates that they, unlike the current president or any other Democrat, can work with Congress. That has implications for 2016.
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