Yanet Gonzalez ’17 Inside Politics
Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run for the presidency has the Democratic Party thrilled in hopes of maintaining their hold of the White House. The Republican Party, however, is feeling the pressure as they work hard to find a candidate capable of battling Clinton. Despite the fact that neither party has announced its official candidate and that the election is still two years away, people are anxiously anticipating this election, feeling that it would cause a major historical moment. Although it is difficult to avoid getting tangled up in the 2016 presidential election, the more pressing issue for both parties should be the primary elections which are scheduled to take place on November 4, 2014.
Currently, the Senate consists of 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and two Independents. However, according to Natalie Silver from The New York Times, it would be possible for the Republican party to seize control of the Senate while also maintaining control of the House after the primaries. Of the 35 seats that are up for election, 21 are held by democrats, while only 14 are held by Republicans. Though the Republican Party is currently the minority, this could be beneficial for the primaries because it means that they would have fewer seats to defend in states that are likely to remain Republican. Recent polls show that Democrats are likely to retain 15-16 of the 21 seats that they currently hold, although five of those seats are highly contested today. The Republican Party has the opportunity to obtain senate seats for West Virginia, Montana, North Carolina, Louisiana and South Dakota. If they are successful in doing so, the 114th United States Congress will favor Republicans.
Though they would need to win 6 additional seats in order to get a simple majority, Obama’s low approval rating of 41% is paving the way for Republicans to control both the House and the Senate. A recent poll showed that over half of the American people are unhappy with direction in which Obama is taking the United States. The slow economic recovery and unsuccessful implementation of the Affordable Care Act have not helped Obama during his second term, and are likely to affect voter outcome this fall.
Over the past few years Obama has had difficulty working with the House, which has significantly stalled legislation and has prohibited the Democratic Party from moving forward with their agenda. A Republican controlled Congress would mean that Obama’s last two years in office would be even more ineffective. History has shown us that the stage in which a particular party leaves the country in greatly influences how constituents vote for the following election. The lack of action from the Democratic Party over these next two years could hurt any Democratic candidate seeking office in 2016. Although the upcoming presidential election is important, in order to be successful, both parties ought to prioritize the primary elections first.