Republicans are more excited about the 2014 mid-term election than Democrats, according to a poll released earlier this week by Pew Research. In fact, they’re more excited than they were at this same point in 2010, the election year in which Republicans gained 63 seats and took control of the House of Representatives.
The poll found that 51% of Americans are looking forward to the 2014 congressional mid-term election, which, Pew Research explained, is around the same at this point in January 2010. But Republicans have an edge over Democrats in anticipation.
“Currently,” the polling firm noted, “63% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats say they are anticipating the midterm elections; a similar gap was evident four years ago (60% of Republicans vs. 48% of Democrats).”
That’s an ominous sign for Democrats. But there is still a lot of time between now and November, and anything can happen, as has been pointed out in this space before. Congressional Republicans could, for example, overplay their hand on big issues that may either hurt them with their base or needed independent voters, who aren’t looking forward to the mid-terms as everybody else.
Unless there is a game-changing event, like another government shutdown, Republicans will almost certainly hold the House. Control of the Senate, however, is entirely up for grabs. Republicans need a net-six seats to win the chamber, and most political analysts and prognosticators have practically given them three — Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
That means that they have to win three of the remaining four competitive seats — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina — currently held by Democrats to win the Senate. They’ll also have to keep two seats held by Republicans — Georgia and Kentucky — that are competitive.
Before Republicans begin to party like it’s 2010, it’s important that they develop a message that they can sell to voters, particularly those in the middle class. Some — like Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) — are already doing that. What’s more, they need to keep up the pressure on Obamacare, and not back down. That, too, requires coming up with an alternative on which they can run.