By Mackenzi Klemann | Echo
With 11 days to go until the 2014 midterm elections, the Republican Party plans to take over the Senate and control both houses of Congress.
Eight seats currently held by Democrats in the Senate will likely go to the GOP. While many political races in the country-including ones with GOP incumbents-are still too close to call, the consensus in Washington is that Republicans will fare well in the upcoming election. Historically, the GOP succeeds in midterm elections because registered Republican voters have a statistically higher turnout than Democrats.
Part of the Democrats' strategy to defeat Republican candidates focused the election on issues, such as raising the federal minimum wage. But this year, it's not enough. Registered Democrats lack motivation to head to the polls.
A recent AP-GfK poll found that those likely to vote expect and want a GOP Senate takeover, despite many of these same voters being unhappy with the Republican party. The poll also found that voters still value the economy most, with health care, terrorism, ISIL and Ebola close behind as important issues.
In an interview with Politico in August, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated that a Republican takeover will likely mean more government shutdowns.
For much of the year, McConnell's seat has looked vulnerable to Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, reported the Courier-Journal. Democratic donors poured money into her campaign all season. Both left-leaning and conservative, her platform appeals strategically to the Kentucky electorate. As an NRA supporter and a pro-choice advocate, She also stated her desire to push the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate back while still defending the underlying structure of the law.
Grimes has proved to be one of McConnell's toughest competitors in his three-decade-long career. Despite this, she trails McConnell by three points as of Thursday, according to election analysts at FiveThirtyEight.
While the current Congress stalls the Obama administration's legislative agenda, the president has increasingly taken to executive action to push his priorities. A GOP-led Senate will likely heighten partisan bickering, especially with Obama relying more heavily on executive action and Congress approving legislation to nullify his orders, Washington Times reported.
Obama has used executive action as a way around Congress more than 60 times this year alone. According to Washington Times, conservatives in Congress are angry about Obama's use of executive orders, but it doesn't appear they will do much to curb what they call executive overreach.