GOP Takeover of the Senate Looks More and More Likely
As the summer rolls onward, the midterm elections are about to get into full swing. However, according to The Washington Post, “Democrats have been hit by retirements in tough states…and Republicans haven’t nominated the sort of extreme candidates who lack broader appeal in a general election.” The chance that the Republicans will not only retain the House of Representatives but also take the Senate is “a better-than-50/50 proposition.”
The race with perhaps the most potential to make a GOP takeover of the Senate even more interesting, is that one of the races in which Democrats still have a fighting chance is in Kentucky, home of current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is running a very competent campaign, and Sen. McConnell’s popularity has been on the decline.
With Senate mavericks like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul – both arguably in a ramp-up for a 2016 bid for the Republican nomination for President – making all the waves on the Capitol, McConnell has come to symbolize the out-of-touch and quasi-impotent GOP establishment that Tea Party patriots seek to rout from the party.
So a Republican Senate with a new Majority Leader might be just enough of an institutional shake-up that Democrats and Republicans may actually start working together to pass laws. Once the midterms are over, it will be all about 2016 but in an effort for new names to make their electoral bones, one could actually expect a dearth of legislation to be passed from Presidential hopefuls on both the right and the left.
That is, of course, if a new Majority Leader is against the way the Senate has become a battleground for partisan politics, especially with the use of the filibuster. If he or she is in favor of that tactic or if Sen. McConnell escapes defeat and retains his position, the partisan gridlock will only worsen.