(CCU Student) With eight days to go until Election 2010, there are many expert predictions that assert the GOP will pick up anywhere from forty to sixty seats in the House and five to ten seats in the Senate. While this indeed would be a definitive feat, there is an astonishing facet that has been under wraps in this election cycle. Republicans are running competitively in Solid Democrat seats, some of which have been held by Democrats for the past ten to twenty years. In most election cycles, winning in districts such as MA-4, TN-6, and OH-10 would be deemed unfathomable; just the mere thought of a Republican staying within 20% points would be a tall order in itself. But the political mantra of the GOP this midterm election has been ‘to attain the impossible’, and this attitude, shown by countless Republican candidates throughout the country who are looking to make history, has reflected positively in the polls leading up to this 2010 election battle.
So, is it the Democrat’s mishaps or a ‘Republican Wave’ that is bringing these out-of-reach seats into play? Well, I personally believe that it is an incorporation of both facets. When Representative Barney Frank (MA-4) states that: “The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it," Independents, Republicans, and Democrats alike in MA-4 have warrant to become apprehensive about the ideals sustained by their elected representative. Regardless of partisanship, I do not believe that these views reflected by Rep. Frank embody the ideology or values that mainstream Americans hold to. In (OH-10), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) is in deep trouble against Republican Peter Corrigan through an unlikely series of events. But referring back to this idea of Democratic mishaps, maybe the event of this neck-and-neck polling stems from the reality that Rep. Kucinich has failed to pass a single piece of effective legislation in the past two years and instead has served as a rubber-stamp to President Obama’s extreme agenda entailing $2.5 trillion dollars of increased government spending. In addition, he has frolicked around in Washington, DC, introducing futile legislative proposals such as the establishment of a ‘Department of Peace’. Somehow, I have a hard time believing that these efforts resonate affirmatively in the minds of voters in an era in which we have seen the largest increase in the size of federal government.
The ‘Republican Wave’ has also served a large role in spearheading Republicans into these traditionally blue House and Senate seats. Voter angst has reached its culmination, and the general public is upset with their representatives’ reckless spending in Washington. According to a poll taken by Politico, only 28% of respondents felt that their representative should be re-elected in November 2010. And with Congress’ approval rating south of 20%, there should be a high liability for both party’s incumbents to severely spiral. However, as stated by Lydia Saad of Gallup Polling: “Simply put, the party in power seems to take the brunt of voters' wrath in these situations.” This was displayed in the 2006 midterm election, in which Democrats wiped out Republicans in a landslide effort. Running on the platform of government spending and the war, Democrats lambasted GOP leadership within a climate similar to that benefitting Republicans this time around. But what exactly is the difference between 2006 and 2010? The answers are nearly limitless. From grassroots campaigns to talk radio, this election has been based on opportunity. Whether it is the opportunity to get involved at the local level, or campaign on the national stage, grassroots conservatives have come alive and active in contrast to the barren efforts of the GOP in the 2008 election. In the past year, whether it is at auto-repair, the local barbershop, or a bakery down the street, the radio is tuned in to political talk show hosts discussing pressing issues such as the debt, national security, immigration, and the economy. People in all walks of life are desperate for their voice to be heard in virtually any venue of public broadcast, even if they reside in a heavily Democratic district. When we look back on November 2, we will not thank one politician or one campaign contribution or Democratic gaffe for Republican candidates stealing seemingly unobtainable seats in the House and Senate. Talk radio, online podcasts/webcasts, Tea Party assemblies, and other ground-up grassroots organizations will claim responsibility for Democrats and Independents alike crossing party lines to stand up for what is right for our country; stifling the ‘change’ that has delivered obscene spending, expansive government control, and the hastened downturn of the economy.
Is this to say that Kucinich, Frank, and other “Safe” Democrats will be unemployed on November 3? Unfortunately, the answer will likely be a ‘no’. However, there is an undeniable fascination by the general public with the idea of retiring each and every incumbent in November. So why is it, then, that political analysts are stating that there are nearly 100 house seats in play for Republicans, when only 39 pick-ups are needed for House Majority? The answer comes from college students such as myself, and teachers, and small-business owners, and everyday citizens who are astonished by the overreaching of the federal government in its power, spending, and infringement of individual liberties. Blend in the optimistic spirit of grassroots conservatives and a fired up GOP base, and we will be looking at the greatest swing of Congressional power in the House and Senate since 1994. After two long years, we are excitingly close to giving those who are committed to the concepts of the founding and who are conscious of the will of the people ‘back the keys’ to our country. With all efforts forward, Americans should use these last nine days to take a chance in supporting a GOP hopeful that has their Democratic opponent on their heels, in fear for their political survival. In these final days before the election, Americans should give thoughtful consideration to the GOP candidates within their districts; this is one year in which even the biggest of underdogs have a shot at triumph.