October 12, 2014

STOP THE UNICORN RIDE, THEY WANT TO GET OFF:

The Invisible Name on Midterm Ballots (Carl M. Cannon, October 12, 2014, RCP)

The meaning of the 2014 midterms can be summarized in single word, too. That word is "Obama."

Elections in a democracy with 300 million souls aren't ever about one thing. But dominant themes emerge and determine the outcome in any close campaign. And this one is close, at least for control of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-six states are holding Senate contests, 21 of them are currently held by Democrats. Three races--West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota--already seem likely to change from Democrat to Republican. That means Republicans need a net three-seat gain in the nine states rated as tossups in the RealClearPolitics polling averages.

Those nine are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina. In all of them, local issues, geographical differences, and the candidates' personalities will help determine the outcome, and with it control of Congress. And in them resides the fun--not to mention the poetry, art, and absurdity--of the campaign trail.

In Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor runs an ad accusing Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of voting against funding to fight Ebola. It's not true, but when Pryor is asked whether he supports the administration's handling of the crisis, he mumbles comically, and pronounces himself stumped.

For reasons known only to himself, Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley thought it prudent to deride popular Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley--whom he's not running against--as "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school."

In response, Braley's actual opponent ran an ad beginning, "I'm Jodi Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington I'll know how to cut pork."

Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes doesn't just cut an ad saying she disagrees with Obama on "guns, coal, and the EPA"--she does so while skeet shooting.

And so it goes in the tossup states.

Posted by at October 12, 2014 9:34 AM
  

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