Looking Backwards

Robert Kuttner

November 5, 2014

Jubilant Republicans took back the Senate in yesterday’s mid-term election, and appeared to have increased their majority in the House by about ten seats.

“Barack Obama is now the lamest of lame ducks,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, now the Majority Leader, who held on to his own Kentucky seat by about three percentage points, the Senate Republicans only close call of the evening.

“The Senate numbers this year were against the Democrats,” said pollster Stan Greenberg, “but what really killed us with the voters was the economy.”

Going into the election, 11 Democrat-held senate seats were considered at risk, while the only endangered Republican seat was McConnell’s. In a quirk of bad luck and timing, almost every red-state Democrat was up, and several veterans had opted to retire. Republicans gained Democrat-held seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, while Democrats managed to narrowly hold jeopardized seats in Colorado, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Minnesota, leaving Republicans with swing of seven seats and a 52-48 margin.

Al Franken, who hung on to his Minnesota seat by just two points, concurred with Greenberg. “Voters were really unhappy that unemployment remained above 7 percent, and that Democrats seemed to be the party of austerity and of Wall Street,” he said. “The Democrats’ support for cuts in Social Security only made it worse.”

Read the entire piece at The Huffington Post.

 

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