Capstone’s Steve Moffitt shares his thoughts on what to expect in the ten months leading up to the midterm elections. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Welcome to 2014. The political pundits already have been hard at work for some time trying to figure out how past elections, political trends, the political reality of today and the latest nuance will impact the Congressional elections that are just under 10 months away.
The current political realities that will impact the 2014 elections are Obamacare, consumer confidence and the performance of the economy. If the economy continues to improve, it will help President Obama and that in turn will help Congressional Democrats.
Let’s look at recent history. In the early fall with news of an improving economy and the public blaming Republicans for a government shutdown, Democrats were leading Republicans on a generic Congressional ballot poll by a margin of 50 percent to 42 percent. Democrats were ecstatic. Republicans were scrambling to end the shutdown and change the news of the day.
Once the shutdown was resolved and the news media focused on the roll-out of Obamacare those numbers turned in favor of the Republicans. The latest generic Congressional ballot poll shows Republicans leading Democrats by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent.
There are six Democrat Senate seats (AR, LA, MT, NC, SD, WV) that will be up in 2014 that are in states that were won by Mitt Romney less than two years ago. Three of those seats (MT, SD, WV) will be open seats in 2014, meaning the very real power of an incumbent to hold a seat will not be in play. These six seats will play a key role in who controls the Senate, and merit watching from now until the election. If recent polls hold steady, Democrats will have to work very hard to maintain control of the Senate in 2015. The Republicans have two Senate seats that merit close monitoring: Kentucky and Georgia (Tweet this).
Thanks to redistricting, all but about 20 House seats appear to be in real question with five being truly up for grabs (AZ 1, AZ 2, FL 13, FL 18, IL 13). One House seat, the fourth Congressional District of Utah, will flip from Democrat control to Republican control with the retirement of Representative Matheson. In other words, the House will likely stay in control of the Republicans barring a Republican meltdown (Tweet this).
The political reality is that Obamacare is here and if problems persist, then Congressional Democrats will pay a price in the 2014 Congressional elections. If implementation goes smoother than the rollout, then Democrats could escape without paying an electoral price.
Like all elections much can, and probably will, change between now and November 2014. For now, let’s enjoy watching these races shape up.
The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.