Tag: 2014 Midterms

Incumbency More Important than the Senate Majority


imageUnless the polls are systematically biased, Republicans will hold the Senate with a healthy cushion once all the runoffs are through. For the first time in his career, Barack Obama will be forced to use his veto pen to protect his interests. Republicans can vote down his judicial nominees, forcing him into stealth candidates. I have hope that Republicans will force devastating votes and joyous capitulations with regularity over the next two years.

This is good news, but it is less important than people make it out to be. There is still the filibuster to contend with. Republicans will be an easier target for Obama to demonize. They run the risk of damaging the Republican brand before the vastly important 2016 election. But the most important part of this — and I argue any — election is the power of incumbency.

Incumbency — or, more specifically, the ability to gain it with a candidate who’s more than a flash in a pan — matters because it predicts one’s ability to outperform in future races. Nate Silver quantifies it as such:

Let Tuesday Come


shutterstock_114656170Mark Steyn, writing over at National Review last year, on the fall of Detroit:

To any American time-transported from the mid 20th century, the city’s implosion would be literally incredible: Were he to compare photographs of today’s Hiroshima with today’s Detroit, he would assume Japan won the Second World War after nuking Michigan….

Americans sigh and say, “Oh, well, Detroit’s an ‘outlier.'” It’s an outlier only in the sense that it happened here first. The same malign alliance between a corrupt political class, rapacious public-sector unions, and an ever more swollen army of welfare dependents has been adopted in the formally Golden State of California, and in large part by the Obama administration, whose priorities — “health” “care” “reform,” “immigration” “reform” — are determined by the same elite/union/dependency axis.

Announcing Ricochet’s 2014 Midterm Elections Pool!


ricochet_logo_tote_bag-r6ac46b350a784636bfaca42676325f60_v9w72_8byvr_324We’re a week away from Election Day and that means that it’s time to put yourself on the line with midterm predictions. For this year’s elections, we invite you to leave your comments predicting (A) how many seats Republicans will end up with in the Senate and (B) which specific states the GOP will win (and possibly lose, if you’re feeling bearish about the likes of Georgia, Kansas, or Kentucky). Whoever comes closest will be the recipient of a brand new Ricochet tote bag (or, if you’ve already received a tote bag as part of your Reagan membership, a gift of comparable value).

Feel free to leave House and gubernatorial predictions as well, but the Senate races will be the sole standard for winning the contest. And, Ricochet contributors, we want to hear from you too — but no swag for you. We’ve heard the stories about John Yoo selling Ricochet coffee mugs out a van in Oakland. Leave your predictions below.

Can a Catholic Support Deregulation of The Pill?


On this week’s flagship podcast, Rick Wilson predicted a win for the GOP in Colorado’s senate race this year. The polls and my gut tell me he’s right. Republicans have a great candidate in Rep. Cory Gardner, while Democrats are saddled with Sen. Mark Udall, who has hitched his wagon to President Obama’s agenda on every issue from gun rights to fracking. Udall has run his campaign on exactly one theme (I was one of the lucky ones to be push-polled on it): Gardner wants to take away women’s choice to abort, even in cases of rape and incest. Even the Denver Post called it “an insult” to the voters.

319px-Cory_Gardner,_Official_Portrait,_112th_CongressI’m thrilled to vote for Gardner next week. We’ve had a political dry spell here in Colorado when it comes to savvy Republican candidates. The up-the-leg tingle that made me an enthusiastic Gardner supporter was his counter-attack on Udall’s “anti-woman” message. Gardner proposed making the Pill over-the-counter. His proposal is sensible, timely, and tactically brilliant. He even managed to put Planned Parenthood in the awkward position of opposing greater access to cheap, safe, effective contraception for women. Imagine that.

Member Post


With the mid-term election upon us, I want to post something that will encourage the center-right to get out and vote.  There is a sentiment commonly expressed that we want to vote “for something” and not “against something.”  I submit that this is exactly the wrong way to think about voting, and politics in general. […]

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Perception vs. Reality


Here’s a headline you probably weren’t expecting: “Most Expect GOP Victory In November”. It goes with this week’s poll by Associated Press-GfK, which included the following stats:

  • 55% of likely voters are now assuming Republicans will take over the Senate, an 8-point gain from September.
  • 25% of Democrats think it’s going to happen, a 7-point gain in the past month.
  • 47% of likely voters favor a Republican-controlled Congress versus 39% who want Democrats in charge. A month ago, it was an even divide.
  • 44% of women prefer Republicans, versus 42% for Democrats. A month ago, women favored Democrats by a 47%-40% edge.

It’s a reverse from the 2012 campaign, when most voters expected President Obama to win a second term and Mitt Romney’s supporters were more pessimistic than those on the Democratic side.

2014 Triskaidekaphobia


Ok, so that’s a mighty big word staring at you in the headline.

Translated, it means “the fear of the number 13″ — an appropriate topic given that we’re 13 days away from the election, Republicans are feeling bullish about their chances, and the one looming question (well, aside from who bothers to vote on Nov. 4) would be what unlucky breaks could befall the GOP.

Senate Republican Candidates Badly Underperforming in Midterm Elections So Far


shutterstock_180961367Writing in the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone has a sunny take on the upcoming midterms, predicting big trouble for the Senate Democrats. The essence of the argument comes from an excellent analytical article by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. Cillizza compared the public approval of Democrat Senate candidates with President Obama’s approval in their state. In every case but one (South Dakota), the Democrat Senate candidates are outperforming the president, sometimes by a wide margin. For instance, the Democrat running for the Senate in Alaska and Arkansas is 14% more popular than Obama is in that state. And these candidates are running behind their Republican adversary. In West Virginia and Kentucky, Democratic senate candidates outperform Obama by 12%. Barone (and Cillizza) use these numbers to show how much of a gale-force headwind Democrats face in the upcoming mid-terms. In other words, 2014 is a Republican year.

While it is undoubtedly true that the GOP has been enjoying exceptionally favourable circumstances, I have a more pessimistic take: look at how poorly the Republican candidates themselves are doing. A perfect illustration is Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell. He was first elected in the Reagan wave of 1984. He is currently the Senate minority leader, the most powerful Republican in the Senate, and has held this post since 2007. In 2012, Mitt Romney won the state of Kentucky with 61% of the popular vote. Obama only got 38%. No Obama sweep there. In the two years since then, Obama’s popularity in Kentucky has plunged to 30%.

By these measures, Mitch McConnell should be cruising to victory, and his opponent, Allison Grimes, should be a non-entity. And yet, he is only barely leading her in the polls. The possibility that the GOP will retake the Senate and Mitch McConnell will lose is unlikely, but it is nevertheless real. All of these facts taken together say one thing: Mitch McConnell is performing extraordinarily badly. He is simply an awful, unappealing candidate.

News from the Franken Front


On October 1, US Senate candidate Mike McFadden appears on widely listened to Ricochet podcast The Hinderaker-Ward Experience. And now, breaking news from one week later:

A new SurveyUSA/KSTP poll finds that Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken had an 18 percentage point advantage over Republican Mike McFadden, a larger lead than any previous poll.

Are Republicans Going To Blow It Again?


More evidence that Republicans are flailing without a plan of action. Nate Silver* now has Democrats pulling close to even in the battle for the Senate:

Republicans’ odds have improved in several important races since the launch of our model. Democrats’ odds have improved in several others. But the two states with the largest shifts have been Colorado and North Carolina — in both cases, the movement has been in Democrats’ direction. That accounts for most of the difference in the forecast.

The Franken Forecast


2203049370_4842050840_zBy all rights, Al Franken should not be a United States Senator.  And I’m not just referring to the fact that after the votes were counted and certified on election night in 2008, Franken trailed his Republican opponent by 215 votes.  Based on qualifications and disposition, Al Franken makes no sense as a member of “the world’s greatest deliberative body”.

Technically, by the contemporary Constitutional requirements of age and citizenship, he is qualified.  But those we’re intended to be the means to an end.  An end the Founders of the United States envisioned to be a man exhibiting the highest levels of intelligence, judgment, patriotism and character, the meritocratic 1% of the American citizenry.  From James Madison in The Federalist No. 62:

…  the nature of the senatorial trust, which, requiring greater extent of information and stability of character, requires at the same time that the senator should have reached a period of life most likely to supply these advantages …

Fill Out Your Obama Lawless Amnesty Bracket!


Since it’ll be a while before Super Bowl grids or March Madness brackets are available, how about a pool for when Obama will decree his lawless amnesty? His deadline du jour is the end of the year, but that leaves a lot of room for maneuver.

My gut pick was November 26, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This is a version of the Friday News Dump, but on a four-day weekend, and one when people may be especially averse to talking politics so as not to inflame the already tense family get-togethers.

Realistic Scenario Speculation Thread: What Happens After November?


now whatRepublicans are salivating at the prospects of the upcoming election. The Senate seems to be within reach, and, true to form, we have entered “do nothing” mode in hopes of winning by inertia, just like what got us over the line in 2012… er… wait…

Anyway, Republicans are sliding towards a “victory” of sorts, and if all goes well, we’ll have Mitch McConnell to navigate the media and cultural landmines for the next two years while we wait with bated breath for Democrats to squeak out another Presidential win in 2016.

At least, that should be the assumption from which we work. If 2012 taught us anything, it is that hopeful thinking brings nothing but disappointment. And while I am more optimistic than most that the country can survive even long-term Democratic dominance, we shouldn’t allow it to happen by default.

Member Post


What will President Obama do after the midterms? Any new things? He needs to consolidate and try to make permanent his changes to this country. His first priority will be to extend the duration of his influence by helping the next Democratic presidential nominee. We all believe that a deal was made with the Clintons […]

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