It’s been real you guys. [Sniff] Oh my God, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry, but here we are…
And so it begins. After countless political ads and over hundreds of millions spent, today we get to see what side swayed the American voter! Granted, this doesn’t have the allure of a presidential election year, but these midterms are important none the less. Here are some of the more interesting issues that you should be paying attention to.
Will Republicans Gain Control of the Senate?
Well, as of this morning, it sure looks like it. Based on FiveThirtyEight and NYT Upshot’s estimates, they give the Republicans over 70% chance of gaining enough seats to win the Senate tonight. The most competitive senate race tonight is in Kansas between Greg Orman and Pat Roberts. Whoever says they can predict this one is lying to you! But considering a Republican hasn’t lost in Kansas since 1932, history tends to favor the Republicans.
That looks to be the story in these elections. Even in close races, more often than not, the edge is going to Republican candidates. When it comes to the control of the Senate, it’s the Republicans to lose.
Because They Got High: The Marijuana Initiative
Today two states – Oregon and Alaska – as well as Washington D.C. are voting on ballot measures to legalize marijuana. Florida is also voting to legalize marijuana, but for medicinal use only. Initiatives like these are always tough sells during a primary election year. It’s well documented that young voters – ie people who would vote on initiatives legalizing marijuana – tend to stay home during primary elections.
However these marijuana initiatives have two big things going for it. One is the well-publicized success of tax revenue that Colorado has taken in with marijuana legalization, estimated to be at $184 million. The second is that both Alaska and Florida have key senate and governor races this year. This could mean a bigger turnout than expected. If these initiatives succeed, don’t be surprised to see a flood of them in 2016.
Texas Isn’t Turning Blue. (Yet?)
Tonight we see what’s really going on in Texas. But let’s get one thing perfectly clear, Texas is not turning blue. Though to be fair, Texas wasn’t always a Red State. There was a time when Texas would vote for a Democrat, but that was back when Democrat Lyndon Johnson beat Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. So it’s been a while.
The litmus test that many Democrats are focusing on is in the governor’s race between Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis. Even though Sen. Davis is expected to lose by a double digit margin to Abbott, what if she doesn’t lose THAT badly? What if it’s only like an eight or nine point loss?
Democrats who think they can flip Texas in the next presidential election are running a fool’s errand. It’s not happening. But, if someone like Sen. Davis – who became a rising star within the Democratic Party in the last couple of months – were only lose by single digits, than maybe Texas isn’t as conservative as we once thought? The play here isn’t the 2016 presidential election, it’s the 2020 or 2024 presidential elections. The Abbot/Davis could show if Texas is open to the mere thought of turning blue. That’s all.
BOLD PREDICTIONS!!!: Minimum Wage Initiatives and Democrats
There is a theory going around at The Post Turtle. In all five states that have an initiative to raise the minimum wage – Alaska ($9.75), Arkansas ($8.50), Illinois (non-binding referendum) ($10.00), Nebraska ($9), and South Dakota ($8.50) – there will be a strong Democratic turnout in those states. Now I’m not saying that the Democrats will win in those states, God knows Alaska has never been to kind to Democrat candidates, just that there will be an above than normal turnout for Democrats. With all five of the states expecting to pass their minimum wage initiatives and both parties differing on their stance on minimum wage, these initiatives could be the silver lining for Democrats in these midterms.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)