Mid-term elections will be upon us before we know it and there is lots to watch, especially in the Senate. If Congressional races continue along the way of pundit predictions, 2014 should be a year for Republican gains in both chambers. What remains to be seen is whether Republicans will gain enough seats in the Senate to achieve a majority, giving them control of both the Senate and the House. The outcome of these races and the resulting balance of power in Congress will have a major effect on the legislative agenda for the next two years, including such issues as the debt limit, safety net programs, environmental protections, and the appropriations process.
Republicans would need a net gain of six seats in Senate races for a majority, which, by current predictions, is a plausible possibility. Of particular interest are the “Romney States”: seven states with Democratic incumbents or Democrat-vacated seats that Mitt Romney won in 2012. These include Alaska (Mark Begich,) Arkansas (Mark Pryor,) Louisiana (Mary Landrieu,) Montana (open seat vacated by stepping down of John Walsh) North Carolina (Kay Hagan,) South Dakota (open seat vacated by retirement of Tim Johnson,) and West Virginia (open seat vacated by retirement of John Rockefeller). Further, the Senate races in Iowa, where Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring; and Colorado, where freshman Senator Tom Udall is struggling to maintain a lead in the polls; are also potential toss-ups.
Polls strongly predict (with concessions even by Senate Dems) that Republicans will take the open seats in West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota, effectively leaving three seats to determine the path of Congress for the next two years. It’s going to be an interesting ride! To follow the progress of these and races in your own state, check out this handy and very cool interactive tool on Washington Post’s Election Lab. View election predictions for both the House and Senate, in map or list form.
Washington Post Election Lab
Regardless of affiliation, remember that your vote makes a difference! As we get closer to November we will continue to provide updates. In the meantime please visit us at www.broaderminded.com for advocacy tools and resources, and as always, let us know how we can assist you!
Shannon Kelly, NAfME Director of Advocacy, Sep. 10, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)
Original Topic & Election Lab on: the Washington Post