US Midterm elections Discussion

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Post by RealGunner November 5th 2014, 21:10

Guardian wrote:President Obama’s party awoke to the political equivalent of a pounding hangover with defeats more numerous and deeper than many Democrats had feared, while Republicans rode a wave of victories that gave them significant momentum going into the 2016 presidential elections.

Republicans gained seven Senate seats from Democrats, cementing the GOP’s power base on Capitol Hill. They were poised to take an eighth, Alaska, and if they win a runoff in Louisiana, Republicans would command a 54-vote majority in the Senate.

On a night of few positives for Democrats, Republicans also outperformed them in most of the 36 governors’ races, clinching stunning victories in Democratic strongholds including Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois.

The defeat is a significant blow to the president, whose low approval ratings contributed heavily to his party’s electoral drubbing. Obama, an already isolated and unpopular leader, must now see out his remaining two years in the White House with his Republican opponents controlling both branches of Congress.

So the Republican are on the verge of securing their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1940s after the midterm results. Democrats defeat was apparently worse than anyone predicted. However since the turnout is very low during midterms, it could be that majority that votes were republican supporters?

What does this mean for the Democrats leading to the 2016 elections?
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Post by Shed November 5th 2014, 23:30

It was a remarkable evening. Also a pretty historic one in many cases, demographically speaking. Youngest woman ever elected to the House. First person elected to the Senate born after the Bicentennial. First woman ever to represent Iowa in either house of Congress. The lattermost 2 being the first 2 Iraq War combat veterans elected to the Senate. First Haitian-American elected to the House, who is also the first African-American woman to represent the Republican party in it. First black senator to be elected in the South since Reconstruction, and the first ever in South Carolina. First Latina Lieutenant Governor in the nation. First openly gay Republican to be elected to the House. Also worth noting that every person mentioned here is GOP.
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In other miscellaneous results, voters voted to raise the minimum wage in 5/5 places it was on the ballot: Illinois, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Alaska – the lattermost 4 surprisingly being red states, and recreational marijuana usage was legalised via popular vote in Alaska, Oregon and DC, though legalisation of medical use of it failed in Florida (needed 60% to pass and only got 58).


As for your question - it changes very little and even helps them, if anything. They were already favourites in my opinion and remain so for me; and this election, as you alluded to, favoured Republicans more than Democrats, just at the '10 midterms did, and you can see what happened in the general election immediately following it. The former are still well capable of triumphing in regional and state elections, but as a national party, they're going to struggle, barring a significant ideological overhaul in the next year or so. They're seen - and rightly so - as too fringe for mainstream America. Look at their leading candidates as things stand - Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Ben Carson, etc. All crackpot kooks who think Democrats are closet communists, Obama is a jihadist, that evolution is a hoax, and that the wall of separation between Church and State is a left-wing conspiracy. To put things into context, it's highly possible that the Republican nominee for President in 2 years will believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. Let me repeat that – it's a distinct possibility that 1 of the 2 candidates to become President of the United States of America and leader of the free world will believe the planet is 6,000 years old, and that the first human beings to walk on it did so in the Garden of Eden alongside a talking snake. That's truly horrifying, and it's what continues to make the perception of them (although those views are by no means *completely* homogeneous throughout the party) highly prohibitive to their being appealing nationwide, in elections these things matter more in, and where the turnout is much higher than in off-years like this one.


So yes, I think the Democrats are still well-positioned for 2016, especially as the Republicans now control 2 of the 3 parts of legislative government, and thus can no longer sit back and point the finger at the other side for the nation's ills and failures.
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Post by CBarca November 6th 2014, 00:07

A failure for Wisconsin as Scott Walker stays on board. Add that clown to your list of candidates for Republicans, Shed.
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Post by Shed November 6th 2014, 00:14

He'd probably be the party's best bet. Or one of them anyway. 3 victories in 4 years in a traditionally blue state. Pretty impressive track record.
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Post by RealGunner November 6th 2014, 01:12

Shed wrote:It was a remarkable evening. Also a pretty historic one in many cases, demographically speaking. Youngest woman ever elected to the House. First person elected to the Senate born after the Bicentennial. First woman ever to represent Iowa in either house of Congress. The lattermost 2 being the first 2 Iraq War combat veterans elected to the Senate. First Haitian-American elected to the House, who is also the first African-American woman to represent the Republican party in it. First black senator to be elected in the South since Reconstruction, and the first ever in South Carolina. First Latina Lieutenant Governor in the nation. First openly gay Republican to be elected to the House. Also worth noting that every person mentioned here is GOP.
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In other miscellaneous results, voters voted to raise the minimum wage in 5/5 places it was on the ballot: Illinois, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Alaska – the lattermost 4 surprisingly being red states, and recreational marijuana usage was legalised via popular vote in Alaska, Oregon and DC, though legalisation of medical use of it failed in Florida (needed 60% to pass and only got 58).


As for your question - it changes very little and even helps them, if anything. They were already favourites in my opinion and remain so for me; and this election, as you alluded to, favoured Republicans more than Democrats, just at the '10 midterms did, and you can see what happened in the general election immediately following it. The former are still well capable of triumphing in regional and state elections, but as a national party, they're going to struggle, barring a significant ideological overhaul in the next year or so. They're seen - and rightly so - as too fringe for mainstream America. Look at their leading candidates as things stand - Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Ben Carson, etc. All crackpot kooks who think Democrats are closet communists, Obama is a jihadist, that evolution is a hoax, and that the wall of separation between Church and State is a left-wing conspiracy. To put things into context, it's highly possible that the Republican nominee for President in 2 years will believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. Let me repeat that – it's a distinct possibility that 1 of the 2 candidates to become President of the United States of America and leader of the free world will believe the planet is 6,000 years old, and that the first human beings to walk on it did so in the Garden of Eden alongside a talking snake. That's truly horrifying, and it's what continues to make the perception of them (although those views are by no means *completely* homogeneous throughout the party) highly prohibitive to their being appealing nationwide, in elections these things matter more in, and where the turnout is much higher than in off-years like this one.


So yes, I think the Democrats are still well-positioned for 2016, especially as the Republicans now control 2 of the 3 parts of legislative government, and thus can no longer sit back and point the finger at the other side for the nation's ills and failures.


Thanks for the detailed response. Didn't know quite few things till reading the post. I guess this could also be taken as a warning sign by the democrats to perhaps try and win the 'unhappy' people? I don't know why Obama seems to be unpopular in the US if I take that correctly but like you said it shouldn't be a complete cause for concern and 2 years is still a long time and midterms don't always have the baring to the proper election.

This might be a stupid question but if Republicans now control most of the senate, wouldn't the final 2 years be more difficult for the democrats in terms of passing any new bills etc?

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Post by Shed November 6th 2014, 01:56

RealGunner wrote:This might be a stupid question but if Republicans now control most of the senate, wouldn't the final 2 years be more difficult for the democrats in terms of passing any new bills etc?


Very much so - which is why last night's results will help them going into the next election. As I said in my last paragraph, Republicans now control both houses of Congress, meaning any situation we as a country are in heading into 2016 will very much have their fingerprints on it. Given the track record over the last 6 years of collaboration and compromise between the two sides things are unlikely to get accomplished on a bipartisan basis, and since anything the Republicans get through on their own is likely to be vetoed by President Obama anyway, Democrats will be able to stand up in 2016 and say, "There, the GOP have controlled the Congress for 2 years. What have they done for you?". That, combined with the GOP's poor brand nationally and the slim pickings their likely candidates are looking to be comprised of, means I'd be very surprised if it were anything other than a very competitive race even despite last night's landslide.

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Post by McLewis November 11th 2014, 20:22

Clinton found himself in a similar situation back in the 90s where he had to work with a GOP-controlled congres so there are some parallels to what Obama is about to face over the next 2 years.

There's an opportunity for him to repair his tarnished reputation I think, but he must be smart about it. Supporting net neutrality and threatening to use Executive Action on Immigration is a mixed start to that. One is undoubtedly support by the American people, the other is far more divisive.
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Post by Shed November 12th 2014, 07:35

Historically a 2-term president loses a sizable chunk of Congressional seats belonging to his party in the 6th year of his presidency going back nearly a hundred years.
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So it's no great surprise, though that certainly doesn't make the absolute avalanche by the GOP any less impressive or significant.


As for the rest, I couldn't agree more. It's a real opportunity for both sides to work together to begin the fix the trainwreck the pair of them have turned this country into, and in doing so repair their own horrendous reputations with the American public going into an absolutely crucial election in 2016. Though as you said, setting the right tone for a collaborative, bipartisan, productive relationship between the two sides for these final 2 years will hardly be set with the President threatening to change Immigration policy not through the legislative process and compromise, but executive fiat. Though on the flipside, a no less rancorous message is sent out when a number of prominent Republicans on Election Night last week go on CNN and the sort and say the first thing they'll do once the new Congress is sworn in in January is to vote on yet another full repeal of the ACA. Each reeks of political posturing and showmanship, and neither will come close to helping along the process of forging the amicable relationship both sides claim they're hoping for. It's all gotten very boring, and it's the country that's paying the price for it.
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Post by sportsczy November 19th 2014, 18:25

Obama burned too many bridges with the Republicans over the past 6 years and his positions are far too extreme on a lot of domestic issues... there's a 0,00001% chance that he can get anywhere with Congress.

The only thing Congress is worried about is to make sure that the bills being passed make their party look good... it was the same under the democratic Congress. So unless the GOP comes up with the good ideas, it's never going to pass.

With the presidential elections coming up, it's all about politics now.
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Post by VivaStPauli November 19th 2014, 20:10

Shed wrote:So yes, I think the Democrats are still well-positioned for 2016, especially as the Republicans now control 2 of the 3 parts of legislative government, and thus can no longer sit back and point the finger at the other side for the nation's ills and failures.


This; also: the Republicans did win a lot of seats and races by adopting Liberal positions, moving away from the tea party in many instances. If they can't manage to appoint a very moderate candidate in 2016, the Democrats are very well positioned indeed for the presidential race.
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Post by FennecFox7 November 19th 2014, 22:43

The republicans RUINED this country for eight years. An honest man named al gore was robbed of his election. And yet we still appoint idiots into power. Maybe if the damn latinos and blacks would start voting we would actually win seats in congress.

PS stop watching fox news and their buddies like o'connor on there :facepalm: obama extreme Laughing the only extreme people are the terrorist tea party group who shut down the government not so recently Laughing
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Post by Shed November 20th 2014, 02:39

FennecFox7 wrote:The republicans RUINED this country for eight years. An honest man named al gore was robbed of his election. And yet we still appoint idiots into power. Maybe if the damn latinos and blacks would start voting we would actually win seats in congress.

PS stop watching fox news and their buddies like o'connor on there :facepalm: obama extreme Laughing the only extreme people are the terrorist tea party group who shut down the government not so recently Laughing


Democrats have essentially 95% of the black vote automatically in the tank every single election without even having to think about it. Latinos vote largely for Democrats too (67% for Obama '08 and 71% in 2012). So I don't know what you mean by that.


As for the rest, the President and his party controlled the White House, the House, and the Senate (which for a significant chunk of time was a filibuster-proof supermajority meaning Republicans could mathematically do nothing to stop any and all legislation the Dems wanted to vote on and send from the Capitol to the White House for BO's signature into law) for the first 2 years of this administration, and did precisely.....nothing with it. Apart from shoehorning through an unpopular national healthcare bill they had to beg, bribe, bully and threaten even their own members into voting for, that is. The Bush Administration was a trainwreck, no doubting that - but the current one isn't much better, and that's no one's fault but the man at the top.

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Post by Shed November 20th 2014, 02:40

VivaStPauli wrote:
Shed wrote:So yes, I think the Democrats are still well-positioned for 2016, especially as the Republicans now control 2 of the 3 parts of legislative government, and thus can no longer sit back and point the finger at the other side for the nation's ills and failures.


This; also: the Republicans did win a lot of seats and races by adopting Liberal positions, moving away from the tea party in many instances. If they can't manage to appoint a very moderate candidate in 2016, the Democrats are very well positioned indeed for the presidential race.


And they'd do well to take a lesson from that. In truth, for how unpopular the Democrats were in 2010 in the wake of ramming through the wildly unpopular ACA among other things, this takeover should have happened 4 years ago. But the party's voters in some states couldn't resist nominating far-right crackpot lunatics like Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell, et al in states whose pre-primary polls showed the more moderate Republican leading his/her Democrat opponent comfortably. They'd be wise to take the same approach to their Presidential primary in 2 years. An extremist nutjob the Tea crowd can get in bed with like Huckabee, Cruz, etc.? Or someone more mainstream who will appeal to sane Republicans and independents like Walker, Kasich, etc.?

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Post by sportsczy November 20th 2014, 17:01

I vote Democrat typically for Presidents recently and Republican for senators/governor.  Why?  I agree more with the social views of Democrats currently and that is important regarding our foreign policy (US President is our international leader, not our domestic one imo) and Republicans have a much better idea how to run an economy ideologically and pragmatically.  

Having the President and Congress be split as opposed to having a party with absolute control is healthier anyhow.
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Post by iftikhar November 21st 2014, 17:00

Having the President and Congress be split as opposed to having a party with absolute control is healthier anyhow.
But doesn't that create confrontation & stagnation on both global & local issues???
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Post by McAgger November 21st 2014, 17:38

iftikhar wrote:
Having the President and Congress be split as opposed to having a party with absolute control is healthier anyhow.
But doesn't that create confrontation & stagnation on both global & local issues???


Welcome to the US!
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Post by sportsczy November 21st 2014, 17:50

I'd rather let the the different States figure out laws that best fit them, which is what has always happened in the US, rather than Congress come up with dumb stuff...  the US is too big to have very many all-encompassing legislation.  Washington is stagnant.... but that's better for everyone since it's always been stagnant.  The debate that happens in Washington, however, influences the legislation that States decide to pass.  In the US, having the proper debate is the most important thing in Washington.

Congress' most effective work is with their oversight committees.
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Post by Forza November 22nd 2014, 04:32

sportsczy wrote:Obama burned too many bridges with the Republicans over the past 6 years and his positions are far too extreme on a lot of domestic issues... there's a 0,00001% chance that he can get anywhere with Congress.

Equally, many of the 'tea party' Republican positions on social reforms are untenable.
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Post by iftikhar November 22nd 2014, 14:32

Don't call me James wrote:
iftikhar wrote:
Having the President and Congress be split as opposed to having a party with absolute control is healthier anyhow.
But doesn't that create confrontation & stagnation on both global & local issues???


Welcome to the US!
A bit off-topic, but how does the French system works? Aside US this is the only other country with two power/executive centers that I can think of. In the parliamentary democracies The President is a figurehead while in Presidential systems the premier is basically handpicked by the President.
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Post by elitedam November 23rd 2014, 07:48

Republicans are better at running the economy? Seriously?

Care to elaborate?
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Post by RedOranje November 24th 2014, 21:48

sportsczy wrote:Obama burned too many bridges with the Republicans over the past 6 years and his positions are far too extreme on a lot of domestic issues... there's a 0,00001% chance that he can get anywhere with Congress.

The only thing Congress is worried about is to make sure that the bills being passed make their party look good... it was the same under the democratic Congress. So unless the GOP comes up with the good ideas, it's never going to pass.

With the presidential elections coming up, it's all about politics now.

Obama, who was elected on a moderate platform of reaching across the aisle and has faced consistent, vocal criticism from portions of his own party for being too conciliatory with the Republicans holds views too radical for the US?

And exactly what bridges existed to be burned with a party that, despite Obama's stated hope to work on compromise, built their own entire political platform and policy around obstructing and and all legislative attempts solely for the purpose of ruining his and his party's upcoming election chances? Nevermind the fact that key, vocal portions of the Republican Party waged deliberate campaigns of lies and slander against Obama himself on a personal rather than political level. Yea... totally Obama at fault for the current situation that's been developing and escalating since the 1960s.
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Post by Shed December 17th 2014, 20:04

So with the last House race having been decided today, here's the final electoral map based on November's results:


US Midterm elections Discussion Wsg8qSI

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Post by elitedam December 19th 2014, 23:34

Isn't gerrymandering great?
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Post by Art Morte December 19th 2014, 23:50

There was a brilliant line in a TV panel discussing the Finnish politics today that I think could be applied to many other countries as well:

"Whoever wins the next election, will lose the one after that".

Meaning that both the domestic and the world economy are facing such difficult times that it's going to be an impossible job for the next government, that they will be forced to make some tough decisions (that have been partially pushed back so far) that will cripple their support come the election after the next one.
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