Thursday, September 4, 2014

The M Word (the midterms)

Fontana, CA – In sixty-one days that other election is going to happen. No, it’s not 2016 yet, although you might think that if you watched the already beginning of jockeying for position in both of the major parties. It’s the election cycles that is, although not as exiting, definitely equal in importance to that of the race for president. After all, a president whose party controls neither house of congress is not likely to get much done, no matter how good his ideas are.

Of course, there is not one central candidate for everyone to get excited about. No massive debates watched by the entire nation as men and women attempt to gain their party’s nomination. Instead this is the year of smalls. 435 small elections, to be exact. (That is, compared to the race for president, house elections are small, huge amounts of money are still spent.) Not only is the entire House of Representatives being voted into the 114th congress, 38 governors and 33 senators will also be chosen.
Although the president is still secure in office, except for the distant and unlikely chance of impeachment, once the new congress is voted in in his sixth year he is considered a lame duck. The entire dynamic of the politics in Washington DC is changed. He cannot help them get reelected, and so the president loses some of his power.
During the last midterm elections there was a Republican net gain, due to the passing of the Affordable Care Act. (Obama Care) Now that it has come into action, the Dems have even more issues to worry about. Many pundits not only think that the Republicans will hold onto to the House, but they may flip at least six of the eleven seats where sitting or outgoing Democrats are either themselves or are leaving weak replacements to fight against rising Republican ire and momentum.
But of course, there is the little difficulty of the fact that these are the Midterms. There is always lower voter turnout in-between presidential years. (Turnout is much lower in those years anyway.) As the elections approach, the American people need to remember that this is still an important year. Even if the Republicans do win the presidency in 2016, if they lose the house, (which traditionally takes a long time to flip again) they could find themselves with a Republican president unable to get anything done due to Gridlock. In other words, if we neglect the M word we may soon be dealing with the G word.


Andrew C. Abbott

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