Buckley’s Blog: Don’t forget about the Senate!

It’s all well and good focussing on whose going to be spending the next four years in the White House, but this really accounts for nothing unless  the President can get things passed through the Senate.

In this election cycle there are a number of attention worthy Senate races to look at and so here’s my pick of ones that I deem of most importance.

Mccaskill vs. Akin: 

The key word about the Senate race in Missouri is ‘rape’. Up until late August, Todd Akin (R) had a significant lead over his opponent Claire McCaskill and the seat was considered relatively safe. This all changed on August 19, when Akin decided to open his mouth and claim that there is such as thing as “legitimate rape”. Akin held the view that if a woman was legitimately raped, then her body had “ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” A moronic claim based neither in science or reality.

Outrage ensued and despite a somewhat feeble apology, after just 4 days, Akin went from being 5% ahead to being 4.5% behind. A 9% shift in less than a week is significant and McCaskill has managed to hold onto this lead going into the last week of campaigning What was looking like a solid Republican seat is now very unlikely to be so.

Brown vs. Warren: 

Massachusetts used to be one of the Republican strongholds in America. In recent years, the state has become more hotly contested and this year has been one of the closest races yet. Looking at the graph above, one can see that up until mid September Scott Brown held onto an extremely slender lead. Now though, it looks as if Elizabeth Warren is set to win the seat.

The reason why this seat is of particular interest is the nature of the two candidates. Brown is an ultra-conservative who opposes government handouts, abortions and defence cuts to name but a few. Warren is diametrically opposed to Brown in most cases of policy. She is hailed by the Democrats as one of the few true progressive politicians in America and is considered to have some of the harshest rhetoric when it comes to regulating Wall St.

Mourdoch vs. Donnelly: 

Again, this is another tight race in Indiana and again, it could all come down to one word. Rape. I don’t think it matters if you’re competing in the most liberal state or conservative state possible, if you say that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something that God intended”, then you’re going to upset a lot of people.

For months, there has been less than 1% separating the two men and with this gaffe (this being the nicest word I can think for it), it could shift the momentum in favour of Joe Donnelly (D) in this last week.

These are but just 3 of the Senate races going on along side the Presidential election and whilst being some of the closest, there does seem to be a trend in which Democrats a very slightly pulling away from their Republican opponents.

So in 7 days time when states start reporting whether they’re giving their electoral votes to either Obama or Romney, please don’t forget about the Senate as without a Senate majority, a President will have a tough first two years in office.


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