House Democrats Running for Cover

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With nearly every major newspaper in the country predicting a monumental shift in the U.S. Senate come election day, Democrats up for reelection in the House of Representatives are trying desperately not to let the tide turn against them as well. Retreat is the order of the day, and the party is now focused on a new strategy: minimize losses. A strong showing from the GOP in the House and Senate could lock Democrats out of congressional leadership for a very long time.

And it all comes back to Obama.

The nation has laughed and pointed at the shameful way Alison Grimes tried to detach herself from the president, refusing on multiple occasions to tell questioners whether or not she voted for Obama. Now the Senate candidate is facing rejection from liberals after running an ad against “illegal aliens” and accusing Mitch McConnell of being soft on immigration(!). It’s just one example of Democrat candidates being forced into desperate situations by a populace sick of this administration’s shenanigans.

The mood may even be worse when it comes to House incumbents. Spending from the top has been shelved in several districts where Democrats had once hoped to unseat House Republicans. The new strategy is to divert those funds to incumbents they thought were safe from challenge. Conservative PACs have stepped up their game in recent weeks, evening out the financial advantage Democrats have relied on to keep their poll numbers high.

Political experts estimate that Republicans will expand their majority in the House by six or eight seats, but the GOP has their sights set higher. The goals is to take at least eleven new seats. If accomplished, it would give Republicans their biggest majority since the days of Harry Truman. It would also make it much more difficult for Obama in the last two years of his presidency. Facing approval numbers that are sinking rapidly, he won’t have the political clout to face down a Republican-dominated Congress. For the first time since he took office, Obama may be forced to work across the aisle effectively.

People Want Change

Right now, the GOP’s loftiest House goals look unreachable. Experts are quick to point out that this election isn’t going to be a landslide for the party like 2010 was. Still, even with smaller victories, Republicans will have a lot of power in their hands when the new year rolls around. Not only will they (hopefully) have control of Congress, they will be facing a Democrat Party scrambling to shift gears going into 2016. A party that will no longer be able to support a fading president.

All that said, we’re a long way from a Republican mandate. A new poll from ABC and the Washington Post confirms that most Americans are fed up with both parties. Only 33 percent give the GOP a favorable rating and only 39 percent give it to the Dems. When Obama said this election is about his policies, he wasn’t wrong. Americans are tired of the current government, tired of the current state of the political system, and tired of the president. If Republicans manage to get their big victory, they’ll have a lot to prove in the next two years.

Here’s hoping they have a plan.