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PJ Media Symposium: How Big Will the GOP Wave Be in 2014?

Seven PJ Media political analysts examine GOP midterm prospects.

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PJ Editors

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June 10, 2014 - 9:36 am
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Republicans across the country are salivating at the prospect of making big gains in the November 2014 midterm elections. They certainly have cause for optimism. The playing field gives them a big advantage, with Democrats defending many more seats than Republicans and several Democratic senators running in states won by Mitt Romney in 2012, and the Obamacare issue favors the GOP. Couple that with a decided “enthusiasm gap” between the Republican and Democratic bases, and you have a recipe for a true wave election where it can be imagined that the Republicans regain control of the Senate and add to their majority in the House.

Much can happen between now and election day, however, and it remains to be seen if this tailwind will propel the GOP to a one-sided victory on November 4.

We’ve asked seven of PJ Media’s top political analysts to look into their crystal balls and answer the following question: How big will the GOP wave be in 2014?

* * * * * * * * * * *

A Cloudy Outlook for GOP in November

by Rich Baehr

Richard A. Baehr is the co-founder and chief political correspondent for the American Thinker. For his day job, he has been a health care consultant for many years, doing planning and financial analyses for providers.

Six months out from the 2014 midterms, the current political environment favors the Republicans to maintain control of the U.S. House, with a likely gain of a few seats. The current RealClearPolitics.com ratings places 197 seats, all currently held by Republicans, in the safe category. Another 18 seats are considered likely to be won by the Republican candidate — two of them pickups in North Carolina 7 and Utah 4,where Democratic incumbents are retiring. Another 15 seats now held by Republicans are considered to be leaning their way. In total, this gives the GOP 230 seats, four short of the number currently held by Republicans, but 12 more than the number needed to be the majority: 218. In addition, there are 17 seats considered tossups — four of them held by the GOP, 13 by Democrats. If all the seats considered likely or leaning towards the GOP went their way, and eight of the 17 tossups, they would wind up at 238, a gain of four. RCP considers only 162 Democratic held seats as safe, another 15 as likely, and 11 leaning their way, including two GOP-held seats in New York 11 and California 31.

If the real battleground are all the seats considered tossups or leaning to one party or another, the  GOP has 215 without winning any tossups or any of the 15 seats leaning their way, and the Democrats are at 177 considered the same way.

In other words, the Democrats have to win 41 of the 43 competitive seats to win a majority, and that seems extremely unlikely.

The Senate picture is far more clouded. The worst outcome for the GOP is likely to be a pickup of one  net seat — pickups in open seat races in South Dakota and West Virginia and a win in Montana, coupled with losses in Georgia and Kentucky. The Georgia and Kentucky seats are tossups leaning towards the GOP, while the GOP candidate has solid leads in the other three races. Seven other Democratic held seats are considered tossups — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado and two open seats in Iowa and Michigan. Another two Democratic-held seats in New Hampshire and Oregon are considered leaning to the Democrats. In a best case, Republicans would hold Georgia and Kentucky and win the seven Democratic-held tossup races plus the two lean Democratic seats for a gain of 12. This is highly unlikely. Democrats have done well in competitive Senate races in recent years, and they have the advantage of incumbency and or strong family names in five of the seven tossup races and both lean Democratic races.

Forced to give an early edge in every race, the GOP is slightly favored to hold Kentucky and Georgia and is even or ahead in North Carolina and Alaska. Arkansas, Iowa, and Louisiana seem to be pure tossups, with Iowa emerging as a state where the Democratic nominee for the open seat, trial lawyer Bruce Braley, seems gaffe prone and now trails in the most recent polls. Democrats have the edge currently in Michigan, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Oregon, though only Oregon is a solid lead for the Democrat at this point. If this were the result in November, the Republicans would have an excellent chance of controlling the Senate with a pickup in the range of five to eight net seats.

In the 2010 and 2012 cycles, Republican tossed away opportunities in Nevada, Delaware, Missouri, Indiana, and Colorado with sub-optimal candidates. That is a possibility now in Mississippi, where a bitter primary, with a runoff to follow, may leave the Republican weakened. That could also occur in the Georgia runoff.

But if the party has a very good night in November and wins most of the close races, it could win seven to nine seats without any shocking upsets.

* * * * * * * * *

 No Matter What the Dems Do, GOP Must Be United

by Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture, and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13-week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle.

I wrote a series of articles for PJM in 2012 about polling. All of them were based around the observation that no matter what, some of  the polling had to be wrong, because the turnout models, which were weighted heavily Democrat, conflicted with the enthusiasm polls, which were very heavily in Republicans’ favor.

As it turned out, the turnout models were right. Space prevents me from exploring the reasons in detail here, but there seem to have been three things we can point to for suggestions.

First, there was the preternaturally high turnout in some precincts, such as inner-city precincts in Cleveland and Philadelphia, which had total turnout in excess of 100 percent of registered voters, and in some cases in excess of 100 percent of the voting-age population of the precinct. These precincts also often reported vote totals that leaned Democrat to a degree that would make Saddam Hussein blush, with total Republican votes in the single digits.

Digits, mind you, not percentages.

Second was election reporting that was objectively indistinguishable from a campaign to suppress GOP voters. See, for example, Chris Matthews’ assertion that the only reason anyone would vote against Obama is racism.

Third, and most important I suspect, was an active, criminal conspiracy among people in the White House, the Congress, the Department of Justice, and the IRS to suppress and harass the insurgent groups that had been so effective getting out Republican votes in 2010.

As a result, clearly, the actual turnout was in line with the turnout models, and a lot of “enthusiastic” Romney voters didn’t show up.

So what does this mean for the 2014 election? The original question for today’s  symposium was to look at a scenario for the changes in Congress after the 2014 election. Obviously there are a lot of possibilities. Now, my inclination is that I think the Republicans will win pretty big and take over the Senate, but I think the 2012 election is an instructive warning. Since 2010, the Tea Party insurgents and conservatives in general have been on a RINO hunt, denouncing anyone who differed from them on any point as “not a real Republican.” Often, people then assert their intention to not vote at all if the Republican candidate in an election is insufficiently “real.”

That way lies madness. The quest for “real” Republicans, cutting off one for not being sufficiently against illegal immigration, or not cutting whatever spending one doesn’t like, or for any other position that doesn’t match in every detail what one person thinks is the “real” Republican position, if carried out, would result in a Republican Party that could hold a national convention in a freight elevator.

But if they want to fill it, they’d better have an open bar. Of course, the Democrats have been more than happy to encourage this. How many times have we found out that Democrats were covertly and sometimes not so covertly  supporting the weakest candidate in a primary because, after all, who wants to run against a strong candidate? It’s of a piece with the other voter suppression efforts: anything they can do that convinces anyone who might vote for a Republican to not vote at all, is a vote for the Democrat.

And that’s the bottom line: you might not like whoever your eventual Senate or House candidate is, but failing to vote for a RINO is a vote for the Democrats.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The Left cannot get what they want at the ballot box. That is why voter fraud is so rampant, and so essential to them. Their strenuous objections to groups like True the Vote tells you just how much they depend on fraud to win elections, and which party benefits. I love what Catharine Englebreckt said: So, if you are not for voter integrity, does that mean you are FOR fraud? Exactly right, fraud is required for them to get their agenda through. Fiscally conservative voters, do, however, outnumber the hard left, which comprises no more than 25% of the electorate. Just. Vote. Victory is a ratchet. Be strategic and do not give up a millimeter of ground gained.

I noticed in the photos of the recent conservative victories in Europe huge stacks of PAPER ballots. We can use electronic voting machines, but only if they generate a paper record. The task before us is to turn out the vote to overcome the endemic fraud.

16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conservatives, and Republicans, have no business asking these questions.

They should be spending such energy working for victory in their various districts and states, and enunciating, as clearly and as loudly as possible, why the Democrats and their programs and policies are ruinous.

If they do this, they can honestly say---however the results come out in November---that they did the best they could. They can say it, too, if they spend their time in wank-fest prediction sessions, but they will know in that case that they are lying to themselves.

Stop talking about the pipedream victory and how big it's going to maybe be. Go out and make the real one.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The 'stealth factor' in this election cycle is the MSM - as always. It has the ability to blame the GOP for the woes of the country and help sway elections unless we defeat them.

I remember listening to the radio in years past - during the last few years of the Bush admin CBS/NBC/ABC national radio 'news' would come up with some employment numbers or give the latest stock market numbers and proceed to tell you/me/LIV's why those numbers weren't as great as they seemed to be - hammering on how bad things really were - how so many of those 'employed' were really in part time jobs - or horror of horrors! People in jobs they really didn't like! I had to laugh at all that BS - knowing that once a democrat (any democrat) took up residence in the WH that those numbers - even if they were worse (and they are) would made to 'sound' better than they really were. I have not been disappointed - they are what they are - lying cheating SOB's all - the MSM is what it is - commies!

This is where the fight is - in the MSM. Defeat them and you can defeat the democrats but until you do they will just keep coming back - and bolder than ever. Obama is proof of that. The rest of the democrats have pretty much lowered the cloaking device that shielded them from what they really are - commies! Too bad the LIV's don't understand what they are looking at - commies! Their education didn't prepare them for adding 2+2 much less put the round pegs in the round holes.

So - what is going to happen after this election cycle is done? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out - all the ills of the country will be blamed on the GOP - and the flood of democrats being elected in 2016 will dove-tail with our new 2016 just elected Hillary Clinton - with a 'mandate' of course.

The GOP is being set up like bowling pins in 2014 and will be bowled over in 2016. The democrats are 'letting' this happen so they can carry the day in 2016 - can you see that? I can!

Lets face it - we have a bi-polar electorate!

16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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Bigger than in 2010.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cantor CRUSHED by 12% in Virginia.

And:

Reuters Poll: Obama’s Approval Rating Falls To Just 37.5%…
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure this is accurate but someone just posted an announcement that Cantor lost his primary to a "bagger" on one of the newsgroups I follow. The person making the post is a known Democratic Party fanatic so don't know if this report is true or she's just trying to get a rise out of people. Anyway, she seems delirious with joy, presumably because she thinks Cantor's seat will now be easy pickings for the Democrats since no sensible person would ever vote for a Tea Party-supported candidate.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
don't count your.......whatizzit.........before....etc etc etc..
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
This article is a painstaking, good faith effort. But it of necessity on this date must remain basically very sandy.

Remember that Dewey/Truman presidential election and that iconic photo of Truman holding up that newspaper with the headline, "Dewey Wins!"?

"Never count the chickens before......" etc etc...
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's hope the PJM stable does a better job predicting the mid-terms than they did predicting the presidency.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, as I said up there, we didn't know at the time that there was a criminal conspiracy to suppress the Republican vote.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
You forget that the American electorate voted for leftists and Obama twice. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP should be waging a campaign and plan to win big. Instead, it has no plan, and wants to pass amnesty. Obama is growing more boldly lawless day by day. I might just stay home, and that's a danger I think a lot of beltway RINO's are severely underestimating.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
And that means you're voting for the Democrats.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
If staying home for you means you won't be voting for Boehner, then by all means stay home.
Otherwise, it depends on where you are.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP should be waging a campaign and plan to win big. Instead, it has no plan, and wants to pass amnesty. Obama is growing more boldly lawless day by day. I might just stay home, and that's a danger I think a lot of beltway RINO's are severely underestimating.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The GOP should be waging a campaign and plan to win big. Instead, it has no plan, and wants to pass amnesty."


For the GOP Establishment winning big means losing any excuse for not accomplishing something.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amnesty will be passed before the midterms.Dems will hold the senate and make gains in the house.God save us.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is not an accident. If the Republicans take the Senate and hold the House, they have no excuse not to stand up to Obama. Or even an excuse not to have a real budget for the first time in, I believe, 7 years. Being a toothless "opposition" party is a pretty good gig; no responsibility, almost all the graft and corruption of being in charge, and no reason to fight for anything if it was not for those bloody TEA Party "patriots". [Patriot being a bad word to Institutional Republicans, who cannot understand the concept of principles.]

Subotai Bahadur
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any budget is tantamount to shutting down the government, because Obama won't sign it.

If Boehner has balls, they are full of tears, so he won't let a budget Obama won't sign happen.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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