Mid-Terms 2014: A Republican Congress and the Repudiation of Obama’s Presidency

Although there are, at time of writing, two states which have yet to be called either way (and Louisiana, where there will be a December run-off) it’s now clear that the Republican Party managed to pull off an impressive victory in the mid-term elections. They held on in the two closest Senate races where they had been on the back foot – Georgia and Kansas – and with the exception of New Hampshire, picked up all of the key target seats which have been called. At the very least, they will have a two-seat majority in the Senate, retaking the upper chamber and breaking eight years of Democratic control. They also not only held onto their House majority, but increased it by over ten seats, giving them their largest post-WWII majority in the lower chamber. Tight gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin also went the GOP’s way, rounding off a solid night.

There was an anti-incumbent mood in the United States which, yesterday, propelled the GOP to victory. While they ran a number of excellent campaigns, they mustn’t lose sight of that fact. Voters chose them, in many cases, because of a deep-seated disappointment with Barack Obama’s Presidency – quite a turnaround considering that a mere six years ago last night, Obama was celebrating his election to the nation’s highest office. Several Senators elected on his coattails in 2008 lost their seats last night. In 2010, voters expressed extreme dissatisfaction with Obama’s as-yet unimplemented ideas. They took away his majority in the House, but the damage had already been done. In 2012, the Democrats’ ground game and motivated voters managed to defeat a divided and disenchanted Republican campaign, but it was not really an endorsement of the President or his policies, as they still returned a GOP-controlled House. Last night, however, after seeing first-hand Obama’s ideas in action, voters chose to send the President their strongest sign yet of disapproval. By stripping him of his last allies on Capitol Hill, the American people showed their support for a different, smaller, idea of government than that expounded by the President. Obamacare, his weak foreign policy, and the tepid economic recovery were among the top issues for voters, and on issue after issue, independent voters broke against the President. His policies were, in his own words, “on the ballot”, and voters chose to reject those policies. He has two years left to rebuild his tattered legacy – but he lacks the maturity and willingness to compromise to do so.

There will be a lot of work to do once the new Congress meets – GOP priorities could include approving the perpetually-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, and working on tax reform, both of which could be areas for compromise with the White House. Passing a repeal or defunding of Obamacare, tempting though it may be, would be a mistake. It would look petty, and for the next two years, Republicans at the Capitol will have to work with Obama where possible. If they want to present the image of a party ready to govern, they must avoid being too divisive. After all, their victories in races last night, if played correctly over the next couple of years, could be the perfect sales pitch to get a Republican President elected in 2016.

After the Democrats get over the shock of losing control of the Senate, they will begin to coalesce around their presumptive nominee, Mrs Clinton, and Obama will find himself increasingly isolated and unimportant as a lame duck President. The GOP must do the same – put aside the infighting and start planning for 2016. The actions of their newly-elected Senators and Congressmen will play a huge role in setting the stage for whoever wins that nomination. So what’s my message to the GOP today? It’s simply this: Congratulations! Now don’t mess it up!

Mid-Terms 2014: Official Prediction

Well, this is it. After a long time spent poring over polling data, and having followed many of these campaigns in detail, I’m as ready as can be to make my official prediction! As promised, I’m getting this in before the polls close. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to do a post-mortem, and compare my prediction to the final results.

So without further ado, let’s get on with the predicting! Up first, the House of Representatives.

Regular readers will note that I’ve barely touched on races in the House this time, and that’s because the result has been a foregone conclusion for weeks, if not months. Some individual seats may change hands, but there are unlikely to be any “big name” Congressmen unseated. John Boehner will retain the Speakership (unless there’s an unexpected GOP challenger), and the Republicans will make a net gain of anywhere between 10 and 15 seats. On the Democratic side, it will be interesting to see whether a third successive defeat will finally see Nancy Pelosi out of a job, but aside from perhaps one or two seats which may switch from red to blue, it doesn’t look as though it’ll be a great night for House Democrats. I predict a net gain of between 10 to 15 House seats for the GOP.

Next up, the governorships. While there are many state-level races, I don’t have time to get into all of the races for state senators and representatives, but there are going to be some truly exciting gubernatorial races. The Republicans are on the defence here, but one Democratic target that they’re certain to hold is Texas. Wendy Davis’ campaign to succeed Rick Perry failed to gain any real traction, and what had been a major target a few months ago will certainly remain in Republican hands. In Barack Obama’s adoptive home state of Illinois, incumbent governor Pat Quinn is in the race of his life. As happens so often in Illinois politics, the governor is facing allegations of corruption, and his comfortable victory in 2010 must seem like a lifetime ago. However, he’s still in the race, as the GOP failed to effectively capitalise on his unpopularity. It will be a very close run thing, but Quinn’s flagging campaign, depressed Democratic turnout, and the troubling corruption allegations look set to conspire to see him out of office. In neighbouring Wisconsin, the Democrats have put out all the stops to unseat Scott Walker, GOP 2016 hopeful, at the second time of asking. It’s another incredibly close race, but my gut says Walker will just about hang on. However, the closeness of this race may dampen his 2016 ambitions, though we’ll have to wait and see on that one. Florida has been incredibly close, but I suspect the few remaining undecided may break against incumbent GOP governor Rick Scott. Here’s my full list of gubernatorial predictions, listed alphabetically by State:

Alabama – Republican hold, Alaska – Republican hold, Arizona – Republican hold, Arkansas – Republican pick-up, California – Democratic hold, Colorado – Republican pick-up, Connecticut – Democratic hold, Florida – Democratic pick-up, Georgia – Republican hold, Hawaii – Democratic hold, Idaho – Republican hold, Illinois – Republican pick-up, Iowa – Republican hold, Kansas – Democratic pick-up, Maine – Democratic pick-up, Maryland – Democratic hold, Massachusetts – Republican pick-up, Michigan – Republican hold, Minnesota – Democratic hold, Nebraska – Republican hold, Nevada – Republican hold, New Hampshire – Democratic hold, New Mexico – Republican hold, New York – Democratic hold, Ohio – Republican hold, Oklahoma – Republican hold, Oregon – Democratic hold, Pennsylvania – Democratic pick-up, Rhode Island – Democratic hold, South Carolina – Republican hold, South Dakota – Republican hold, Tennessee – Republican hold, Texas – Republican hold, Vermont – Democratic hold, Wisconsin – Republican hold, Wyoming – Republican hold.

So the total is: four governorships switch from Democratic to Republican control, and four switch from Republican to Democratic control. The biggest races to watch are Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.

So now we come to arguably the most exciting races taking place today: those in the Senate. Only a few seats are truly competitive, but of those, several are incredibly tight and could go either way depending on any number of polling day factors – including the weather!

The closest races are in North Carolina, Virginia, and Iowa. Those three could definitely still go either way, but if I’m to go with my gut, I see Joni Ernst winning in Iowa, and Thillis winning in North Carolina. Virginia, to me, looks like it will remain in Democratic hands, in spite of a big GOP push. In other competitive races, I see Begich losing in Alaska, and other GOP pick-ups in Arkansas and Colorado, but Scott Brown’s bid for a second Senate seat looks set to flop in New Hampshire. Louisiana and Georgia look set to go to run-offs, which will take place in December and January respectively. But, if I’m right – and that is one very big “if” – those run-offs won’t matter quite so much. Because right now, I’m calling it. By tomorrow morning, the GOP will have a lead of 52 seats in the Senate, with the two run-offs to follow bringing their total to 53 assuming they hold Georgia and pick up Louisiana. There will be one independent elected in Kansas, and the Democrats will have 45 Senate seats in the new Congress next year, plus at least one independent who will continue to caucus with them.

Just to repeat: I predict that, as of tonight, the GOP will have 52 seats in the Senate, and will pick up another following the Lousiana run-off, giving them a total of 53 to the Democrats’ 45+1, with one independent who may caucus with either party.

My 2014 Senate elections map. You may have to click on it or zoom to get it at full resolution.

My 2014 Senate elections map. You may have to click on it or zoom to get it at full resolution.

My full Senate predictions are as follows, in alphabetical order by State:

Alabama – Republican hold, Alaska – Republican pick-up, Arkansas – Republican pick-up, Colorado – Republican pick-up, Delaware – Democratic hold, Georgia – run-off and eventual Republican hold, Hawaii – Democratic hold, Idaho – Republican hold, Illinois – Democratic hold, Iowa – Republican pick-up, Kansas – Independent pick-up, Kentucky – Republican hold, Louisiana – run-off and eventual Republican pick-up, Maine – Republican hold, Massachusetts – Democratic hold, Michigan – Democratic hold, Minnesota – Democratic hold, Mississippi – Republican hold, Montana – Republican pick-up, Nebraska – Republican hold, New Hampshire – Democratic hold, New Jersey – Democratic hold, New Mexico – Democratic hold, North Carolina – Republican pick-up, Oklahoma and Oklahoma special – both Republican holds, Oregon – Democratic hold, Rhode Island – Democratic hold, South Carolina and South Carolina special – both Republican holds, South Dakota – Republican pick-up, Tennessee – Republican hold, Texas – Republican hold, Virginia – Democratic hold, West Virginia – Republican pick-up, Wyoming – Republican hold.

So there you have it. I’ve called it. It won’t be long before we’ll see just how accurate my prediction was! Just to recap, I’m predicting that the GOP will see a net gain of 10-15 House seats, and a net pick-up tonight of seven Senate seats, with one more to follow after a run-off in Louisiana.

Predicting the Mid-Term Results is Difficult!

What I’m building up to today is my first ever official prediction, which I’ll be going public with some time between now and when the polls close on the East Coast. I’ve been working on this prediction for the past week or so, as I was doing my countdown to the mid-terms, but even now, at this very late stage, getting it right is an absolute minefield!

Some races are easy. The safe seats aren’t even worth much consideration, but as the polls tighten, calling some races is proving very difficult. There are all kinds of issues – have the polls over-estimated or under-estimated turnout? Will the Democrats’ race card draw more black voters to the polls, or will it backfire? Is the President really as unpopular as we’ve all been suggesting, and even if he is, might that actually boost liberal turnout as they try to preserve what’s left of his administration? These are all national questions, and there’s even more to consider when it comes to local races. For example, will Mary Landrieu’s silly comments about Southerners see her vote slip away sufficiently so that Bill Cassidy can avoid a run-off? How will the issue of fisheries in Alaska effect that race, and will it tip the balance one way or another? A million-and-one reasons why sensible people avoid making predictions!

I will freely admit that there are at least three Senate races and two governorships that, even after days of staring at polls and trying to follow every last little campaign development, could truly go either way. My prediction in those cases will be based on a gut feeling, and little more. And because the balance of power in the Senate will be so tight, it’s very difficult to say whether the GOP will have 49, 50, 51 seats or more. If there are run-offs to consider, we may not even know for sure until December or the New Year.

Perhaps I should’ve stuck to analysis and left the predictions to others, but truth be told, I enjoy this. I find the whole thing good fun, in spite of the very high stakes, and I’m looking forward to comparing my predictions to the actual results.

The Anti-Incumbent Mood in America

With voting now well underway in mid-term elections across the country, it’s worth considering just why it is that voters will be voting the way that the polls suggest. If you’ve been following my Mid-Term Countdown series over the past week, you’ll know that my take on the national mood is not that voters are pro-Republican, or even anti-Democrat, but anti-incumbent. Both parties have seen their approval ratings take a nose-dive over the past few years, and that many seats look set to change hands tonight has less to do with anything that the GOP has done and more to do with this prevailing anti-incumbent mood.

Put simply, the Democrats are in power, and in this particular election cycle, they’ve got more seats to defend, especially at the federal level. That’s why they’re looking set to suffer setbacks in multiple races tonight – it’s not that millions of Americans have suddenly woken up to the reality that fiscal conservatism is actually a smart philosophy, it’s that they’re fed up with politicians across the political spectrum, and they’re taking it out on the party in power. Granted, there have been some solid Republican candidates this year, and their victories tonight should not be devalued. The GOP looks set to make some really incredible gains, but they mustn’t lose sight of the underlying causes. One of the reasons Obama is so unpopular is because of his sheer arrogance in taking things for granted, especially in the early days of his administration. The GOP may win many races tonight, and will surely pick up seats in both the House and the Senate, but they cannot take those voters for granted, certainly not with 2016 looming.

If the GOP fails to live up to voters’ high expectations over the next couple of years, it will have a serious and potentially debilitating effect on their chances of retaking the White House. The Democrats have the advantage already, with Mrs Clinton’s candidacy looking to face only the smallest of primary challenges. With deep divisions between the establishment and Tea Party factions, and many different potential Presidential candidates, the GOP should be reminded, even on the verge of what should be a major series of victories tonight, that voters will not tolerate political in-fighting. Politicians have never been less popular in the public imagination, and backroom dealing, factional squabbling, and obstructionism will deal potentially fatal blows to the Republicans’ 2016 campaign even before the party convention.

The GOP needs only to look at several races at the state level to see absolute proof of this point. Many races for state governorships, of which the GOP currently hold a 29-21 majority, are looking very shaky. Wisconsin, where 2016 Presidential hopeful Scott Walker is facing his third election in four years, could genuinely go either way. But so could neighbouring Illinois, where Democrat Pat Quinn has been fighting for his political survival. What do these two races tell us? That neither Democrats nor Republicans can take anything for granted, and that the voting public are upset with incumbents from both parties.

In victory, Republicans need to be wary and keep a weather eye on the 2016 race, because you can bet that even in defeat, Democrats will take solace in the anti-incumbent rather than pro-Republican mood, and have set plans in motion to use it to their advantage to propel Mrs Clinton back into the White House. The only Democrat who will be left truly disappointed if the GOP wins big tonight will be Barack Obama, who will see a rejection of his administration, his policies, and his legacy. It will be a tough two years for him, if he has to do battle with a Republican-controlled Congress, but the GOP can’t afford to be so short-sighted. Victory tonight can be seen in only one way – a stepping-stone toward the ultimate goal of electing a Republican President in two years’ time.

What do the Mid-Terms Mean?

It was striking that the GOP chose Mitt Romney to deliver their election-eve message. The man who lost to Barack Obama in 2012 (and, in spite of what his wife might have to say, still hasn’t personally ruled out another Presidential run) is arguably the Republicans’ most unifying figure right now – a very strange thing to consider given how the 2012 primary campaign panned out. If Romney is planning a third White House bid, then he will be more interested than most in the outcome this evening. These elections, he rightly said, are the last chance most voters are going to get to pass judgement on President Obama, his agenda, his policies, and his legacy. Even Obama himself said that, although he may not be personally running, his policies are “on the ballot”.

Many Democratic candidates wish that weren’t the case. Some, like Kentucky Senate wannabe Alison Lundergan Grimes, won’t even admit to voting for Obama, such is the disappointment and even anger many voters feel toward him. Key issues for voters this time around are all about the administration’s record. The economy, and its tepid recovery from the recession, is, as is often the case, the number one issue, and Republicans have skilfully tied Obamacare – already horribly unpopular – to wider economic issues. This has had the effect not simply of energising their base of conservative voters who are naturally anti-Obamacare, but in swaying many independents. Generally speaking, for Democrats, Obama’s unpopularity looks to be the deciding factor. There are certain exceptions – notably in Minnesota, for example – but outside of the liberal heartlands, Obama’s personal unpopularity will play a big role.

So that’s one half of the question. The mid-terms are, to many voters, a referendum on the President and the Democrats who have held a majority in the Senate. But to those of us who enjoy following political developments, there’s a second answer, and it has to do with another election that’s going to take place in two years’ time. Today’s mid-terms are, for both parties, the launching-pad for their 2016 Presidential campaigns. Potential candidates will be watching closely, and some may be deterred from seeking the White House, while for others, the outcome tonight will only strengthen latent Presidential ambitions. If the Republicans take the Senate, they will have to prove to the voters who gave them that opportunity that they are capable of governing. Simply being opposed to what the President tries to do won’t cut it. If there’s a GOP majority in both Houses of Congress, then they’ve got less than two years to turn around their poor reputation nationally. There will be a lot of work to do to prepare for 2016, and it will have to start tomorrow morning. If the Democrats manage to hang on to the Senate, it will be by the slimmest of margins, and they too will need to be wary of being seen as the party responsible for blocking legislation passed by the increased Republican majority in the House. Both parties will need to quickly take stock of how the political landscape has changed, and fit their 2016 plans into that new landscape.

The Republicans probably have the more difficult task in preparing for 2016, regardless of the outcome today. The Democrats have all but anointed their nominee already, whereas the GOP is still split not only between two factions, but between supporters of at least a dozen serious potential candidates. They will need to move quickly to cut the field down, and patch up whatever rifts may remain within their ranks.

So to answer my original question, “what do the mid-terms mean?”, we can see that there are two answers. Firstly, they mean voters get to have their say on President Obama, his party, and his policies. It’s now up to the voters to decide whether to endorse Obama’s liberal, big-government, anti-Constitution agenda, or to rebel against it. Secondly, they mean that Obama’s time is drawing to a close. Whether he spends his final months in office as a “lame duck” or whether he’ll still have some allies left at the Capitol will matter little to either party soon, as plans for 2016 get kick-started. We can expect official announcementsacandidates to start popping up, and before long, Obama’s political agenda, whether voters endorse it today or reject it, will be overshadowed, and will seem meaningless and insignificant compared to the high-stakes political race to succeed him. The mid-terms today mean that this is the beginning of the end of the Obama era.

Mid-Terms and the Constitution

So it’s official, the polls have opened on the East Coast, and voting in the mid-term elections has begun. There have been 56 mid-term elections in United States history, going back to the first term of George Washington. He faced a series of elections in 1790-91 (elections in the early years were not held on the same day, or even the same month, in different states). So, as the polls open and voters cast their ballots for Republicans and Democrats, let’s think back to those first mid-term elections, when the ink was barely dry on the Constitution. How much have things changed since then? And what would George Washington and those Senators and Congressmen elected in the mid-terms of 1790-91 make of today’s elections?

One of my main criticisms of the current President has been his failure to abide by the Constitution. In spite of the oath he took, Obama has not preserved, protected, nor defended the Constitution. He has seized upon loopholes and legislation to essentially ignore the Constitution when he feels like it, but yet has the sheer nerve to attack his critics for their supposed “unconstitutional” behaviour. The Constitution was, to be blunt, written by far cleverer and, more importantly, wiser, men than Obama. They laid out a very specific separation of powers, having been inspired to do so by King George III’s abuses of power – the ultimate example of what can happen when too much power is concentrated in the hands of one individual. Yet Obama, in spite of his background in studying the Constitution, has been corrupted by that power since entering office, and has taken every opportunity to further extend the power of the Presidency, seemingly uninterested in the very dangerous precedent he’s setting. We’ve seen this most clearly in his multiple unconstitutional revisions to the monstrous Obamacare law. Now, we can all agree that this law is unworkable, and in itself represents a massive and horribly unconstitutional overreach of government power (despite what the Supreme Court may have said). But Obama’s use of executive orders to completely rewrite whole sections of the law mean that he’s essentially legislating from the Oval Office. Not content with the powers of the executive branch of government, he’s trying to assume the legislative functions explicitly delegated to Congress by the Constitution. If you think I’m over-stating my case, let me say this. The Founding Fathers of the United States felt that it was so important to stress Congress’ role as the sole legislative body of the new republic that they made that provision the very first one in the Constitution. Article I, Section I. And what’s even worse than ignoring the very first Article of the Constitution? Doing so for no better reason than party politics. You see, Obama delayed the implementation of provisions in his own law, that Congress passed and he signed, until after today’s election in order to try to give flagging Democrats a boost. It was a cheap trick, designed to keep his own party in power.

George Washington famously disapproved of the notion of political parties, and Obama has given us the clearest indication yet that America’s first President was absolutely right. But on the mid-terms specifically, what would the Congressmen and Senators being elected in 1790-91 have made of Obama’s Presidency? I think the word “impeachment” would probably have been forefront! This kind of executive overreach may seem tame to us today, because sadly, successive generations of Presidents have been slowly building the power of the executive branch at the expense of Congress and the judiciary, but it would represent the worst fears of George Washington’s compatriots. To those elected in the United States’ first ever mid-term, Obama’s Presidency could be summed up in a single word – tyranny. And we all know how they felt about that, and the lengths they were willing to go to to put a stop to it.

This is not a criticism which is exclusive to the Democratic Party, or to Democratic Presidents. Republicans are, in many ways, equally guilty of subverting the Constitution, though there is at least a faction in the GOP which advocates a return to a strict constitutional interpretation. What contemporary politicians from both parties have failed to understand is that in the United States, it is the Constitution, not the President, and not Congress, which has the final say. The Constitution is sovereign. That’s why the Supreme Court’s decisions are so important – they examine legislation and judge whether it naturally follows from the Constitution, whether it is compatible. Laws like Obamacare fail to meet that singularly important criterion, but even then, the anti-constitutional forces of the day manage to find bizarre loopholes – like classifying Obamacare’s fines for noncompliance as a “tax”, and thus finding the law itself to be constitutional on those grounds. It is a circular argument and a massive rationalisation, and once again, it is something which was done for political reasons. Even the Supreme Court is not immune to party politics – Washington and his contemporaries would be horrified. Article III established the Supreme Court and the judiciary as the third branch of government, and it was supposed to be an independent arbitrator.

On the subject of taxation, since that’s what Obamacare supposedly is these days, the Congressmen and Senators from America’s first mid-term would be further appalled. Their grievance with Britain which ultimately led to the Revolutionary War was initially about taxation – “no taxation without representation” became a rallying cry throughout the Thirteen Colonies. By contemporary standards, the taxation which caused Washington and others such angst was incredibly minor! That is not in any way meant to diminish the causes of the Revolution, but it should rather be taken as a huge criticism of the way that the United States is being run today. There are taxes on practically everything and everyone, and at massively high levels. The government has tried for generations to impose itself on more and more of American life and society, and so as its expenditure grew, more and more taxes were dreamed up to bring in the necessary revenue. Of course, tax income was far outpaced by spending, leading to the massive mountain of government debt – almost $18 trillion and still rising. The way that the government has become bloated and imposing would truly shock the Congressmen and Senators of 1790-91, and the incredible levels of taxation would be more than enough to prompt a second revolution.

Tonight may see a victory for the Republican Party, who have promised to cut government spending, curtail Obamacare and cut back on its namesake’s Presidential power grab. But even if the GOP wins big tonight, the United States will still be far, far removed from the Constitution to which all Congressmen and Senators elected today are supposed to pledge their allegiance. Politicians from both parties would do well to remember that. Maybe Obama should pick up a copy of the Constitution once in a while. Compared to the monstrosity that is Obamacare, it’s an easy read. Though apparently, to politicians on both sides of the aisle, it isn’t all that easy to follow nowadays.

Mid-Term Countdown: Louisiana and Georgia

Regular readers will remember a piece I wrote back at the start of October about Louisiana’s “jungle” primary system, and the likelihood of a December run-off in that crucial Senate seat, but the election in Georgia – one of a handful that the Republicans are defending – could also go to a run-off, and get this: that run-off wouldn’t be until January, after the new session of Congress has already started!

So Louisiana, where incumbent Democrat Mary Landreiu is taking heavy fire for her close ties with the President and her support for Obamacare, and Georgia, where GOP incumbent Saxby Chambliss opted not to seek re-election, make for an interesting comparison, and a fitting duology on which to end my countdown to tomorrow’s mid-term elections.

In both races, the premise is the same – if no candidate wins over 50% of the vote, then a run-off is triggered automatically. Lousiana’s jungle primary sees several GOP contenders trying to unseat Landreiu, and while in Georgia there are only two main-party candidates, the Libertarians and other third parties look set to sap just enough votes to keep Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn battling it out all the way into 2015.

Based on current polling trends, both seats look good for the GOP. Landrieu made two major gaffes in recent days, implying that many Southern voters are prejudiced against blacks and women, which hasn’t played at all well for her. Racial politics seldom does among informed voters, and while her comments were surely intended to boost black voter turnout tomorrow, it would seem that all she did was further energise an already excited Republican electorate. Having only been elected on Obama’s coattails in 2008, where high black turnout was a factor, holding a seat in the deep South was always going to be a tall order for the Democrats, but Obamacare and Landrieu’s steadfast support for the disastrous and unpopular legislation has seen her popularity sink like a stone in her home state. While she may live to fight on for another few weeks tomorrow night, barring any major GOP slips, the writing is already on the wall.

In Georgia, most political observers would surely agree that Michelle Nunn has only one real chance to win, and that’s by getting more than 50% tomorrow night. History clearly shows that in run-off elections in Georgia, the Republicans have a strong advantage, and you can bet that if the balance of power in the Senate is as close as I think it’s going to be, the GOP will throw everything they have at winning on what should be home turf in the Peach State. Chambliss’ announcement that he wasn’t going to seek re-election caught me a little off-guard last year, but he left the Republicans with ample time to find a good candidate, who they seem to have in Perdue. He’s currently sitting at around 47-48% in the polls, and his campaign must surely be hoping that either Democratic turnout is less than expected, or that there’s a bit more of a swing their way than the pollsters are predicting. Though winning Georgia shouldn’t be a big ask for Republicans, it would be a much sweeter victory if everything could be neatly wrapped up tomorrow night.

Whether Georgia goes to a run-off or not is difficult to predict, but Louisiana almost certainly will. With so many races well within the margin of error and control of the Senate up for grabs, it’s anyone’s guess right now if the Louisiana run-off will be massively important or little more than a political side-show after the issue of control has already been decided. One thing is certain, though – we’ll know for sure very soon!

I hope this countdown series has been entertaining and, more importantly, informative. If you missed my previous articles, including yesterday’s special on the gubernatorial elections also taking place tomorrow, you can read them by following the links at the end of this piece. Please stop by again tomorrow, because before the polls close I will be making my official prediction!

Mid-Term Countdown: New Hampshire, Kentucky, Alaska, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Gubernatorial Elections