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14 Factors to Watch in the 2014 Midterms

Everything you need to know to become an expert on the November elections.

by
Patrick Reddy

Bio

April 16, 2014 - 11:56 pm

3. Will Tea Party Candidates Keep Losing General Elections? 

While Tea Partiers may be winning Republican primaries, they’ve often lost general elections.  Republican analyst Tony Quinn estimates that in 2010 and 2012, Tea Party Republican Senate candidates (O’Donnell, Ken Buck in Colorado, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana) cost Republicans five winnable elections – and possibly control of the US Senate.   The question for 2014 is: are voters so fed that they’ll vote for even Tea Party Republicans to flip control of the Senate?

4. Will the Minority Vote Turn Out for Democrats? 

Presidential elections always draw the highest turnout and those “extra” voters almost always by definition support the winner’s party.  However, those “marginal” voters often fall off in mid-terms when the interest simply isn’t as high, thus hurting the incumbent president’s party.  For example in 2008, the black share of the electorate was 13% and that figure dropped off to 11% in 2010 – when the Republicans re-took the House.  However, the black vote jumped back up to 13% in 2012 and the Hispanic vote set a new record – a difference that helped re-elect President Obama narrowly.

If the historic pattern holds and the 2014 voters are more white and middle class than in 2012, Republicans will obviously be big beneficiaries.

5. Will Political Legacies Continue?

This year, a startling number of children who followed their parents into politics are running again, especially among Democratic Senators.  In Arkansas, Senator Mark Pryor (who holds the Senate seat of his father David), is seeking a third term in a very tough Red State battle.  In Louisiana, Senator Mary Landrieu (whose father and brother both served as Mayor of New Orleans) also faces a tough re-election in a conservative Southern state.  In Colorado, Senator Mark Udall, (son of popular Arizona Representative Mo) now faces tough sledding in his re-election fight, while his cousin Tom (son Interior Secretary Stuart Udall) in New Mexico is expected to win more easily.

Up in Alaska, first-term Senator Mark Begich (whose father once represented Alaska in the House) will also have an uphill fight in a very Red state.  In Kentucky, Allison Grimes, the daughter of a former Democratic State Chairman, is running even with GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in recent polls, while in Georgia, Michelle Nunn, (the daughter of Senate power Sam Nunn) is also running a close race for her father’s former seat.  In Georgia, Democrats are hoping for a “Return of the Jimmy” as President Carter’s grandson Jason runs for Governor.  And Republican “kids” are getting in on the act too: in West Virginia, Shelley Moore Caputo (daughter of three-time Governor Arch Moore) is a solid favor to win a Senate race, while in Texas, George P. Bush (son of Jeb) will be elected Texas Land Commissioner and presumably begin his national career.

6. Can women post major gains?

This year, women candidates will headline three of the most important races.  In Kentucky, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Grimes is running even or slightly ahead of Mitch McConnell.  In Georgia, Michelle Nunn, the daughter of legendary Senator Sam Nunn, has an even shot at an open US Senate seat according to early polls.  And in Texas, Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis, who gained national fame with a 2013 filibuster over abortion rights, starts out behind in that heavily Republican state, but hopes to attract female Republican and Independent “crossover” women votes to score the upset.

7. Can minorities post major gains? 

The Senate’s two African-Americans – New Jersey’s Corey Booker and South Carolina’s Tim Scott – are expected to win easily – as are the nation’s two Hispanic governors – Republicans Brian Sandoval in Nevada and Susana Martinez in New Mexico.  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (whose family roots are in India) will win handily.  In Maryland, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown (an Iraq war veteran) has an even shot at becoming that state’s first black governor.  In California, Governor Jerry Brown leads a Democratic ticket that could include a Taiwanese-American (John Chiang for Treasurer), a black/Indo-American (Attorney General Kamala Harris), a Hispanic (Alex Padilla for Secretary of State) and either a Chinese or gay for Controller (Betty Yee or John Perez).  In the Golden State at least, Jesse Jackson’s “Rainbow Coalition” lives on!

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The biggest "#15" factor is the level of election fraud. Keep in mind that in Colorado now at least 19 of our 62 counties now have more registered voters than they have men, women, children, and household pets according to the US Census. Several more have 95%+ registration rates. Which is far in excess of the normal 50% or so registration rate. Amazing what happens when you have a Democrat governor, and a Democrat legislature, and an Institutional Republican Party that will not stand and fight for anything.

If the election is not legitimate, the Democrats may make gains; but there will be a cost.

Subotai Bahadur
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But as of this writing, Republicans appear to hold most of the winning cards."

That's the good news. The bad news is that if Boehner remains speaker of the house and McConnell become senate majority leader, nothing much at all will change. 6 of one will go to 5.9 of the other.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest "#15" factor is the level of election fraud. Keep in mind that in Colorado now at least 19 of our 62 counties now have more registered voters than they have men, women, children, and household pets according to the US Census. Several more have 95%+ registration rates. Which is far in excess of the normal 50% or so registration rate. Amazing what happens when you have a Democrat governor, and a Democrat legislature, and an Institutional Republican Party that will not stand and fight for anything.

If the election is not legitimate, the Democrats may make gains; but there will be a cost.

Subotai Bahadur
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Them Dems are working hard on number 4 as we speak. The race hustling is all they got left and they even have white dems spewing nonsense so the minorities will get really pissed off and come out and vote.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is nothing the Democratic Party can do to hold the Senate.

However, the Republican Party can hand the Senate to the Democrats like they did in 2010 and 2012.

It will be hard for the GOP to blow it in 2012, but they do have a lot of experience.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There is nothing the Democratic Party can do to hold the Senate."

Sure there is; cheat, like they always do.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ironic you mistakenly wrote 2012. Republicans did everything they could to lose the 2012 election, starting with the nomination of the ONLY candidate in the field that COULD NOT POSSIBLY win.

Let's hope and pray the same mistakes are not made this year and in 201^, because if they are, I GUARANTEE that 2016 will represent the very last election this nation will see.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
As was done in NV in 2010 in the Angle/Reid race. As much as Harry Reid is reviled in NV, Ms. Angle had too much taint of crazy on her to win. Tarkanian or Lowden could have easily beaten Harry. I've been curious about how Angle managed to win the primary in the first place. . .
And, with recent events, many in NV are wishing ANYONE but Harry Reid was Senator.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wasn't Lowden the woman who said people should pay their doctors with chickens?

I thought that's how Sharon Angle got the nomination.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in NV & it appears to me that Dirty Harry just "owns" too much influence.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
16. Will Nate Silver only be half right about his prediction for the 2014 election and have to change his blog to 269?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
15. Will the left engage in an orgy of cheating and intimidation because they know they can?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo. I am probably of the conspiratorial school of modern American politics ,but I believe that the Dems have stolen a number of close elections. These would include the pinch faced a-hole Senate majority leader Reid and the Minnesota clown boy Franken. The party is controlled by corrupt, amoral thieves and gangsters. Law and ethics mean nothing to them.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But as of this writing, Republicans appear to hold most of the winning cards."

That's the good news. The bad news is that if Boehner remains speaker of the house and McConnell become senate majority leader, nothing much at all will change. 6 of one will go to 5.9 of the other.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest danger for Georgia Republicans is if their primary gets too nasty. This becomes even more of a danger in a run-off. If the Party can unify behind the winner, they should hold the seat. Michelle Nunn's viability is only her name, the early polls are reflecting that.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nasty primaries have been the problem? Yeah, right.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
It happens. See NV Senate race in 2010.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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