Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Early voting started today here in Texas and will continue through November 2. WiIl YOU be a gladiator or just a spectator? Can you spare an hour of your time to be a CITIZEN? Do you care about the future of our Nation, your children, your grandchilldren and, just as important, YOURSELF? Elections have consequences that long outlast the results.
According to the reports, voter registration is significantly up throughout the land. More people than ever before have taken the time to put themselves in a position to VOTE. The questions are, (1) Will they go to the polls, and (2) For whom? Both political parties have organized extensive voter registration drives. However, by law, they must register anyone and everyone who wants to be and is qualified to vote. They can’t just register members of their tribe. So, the increase doesn’t give a clear picture of which tribe is benefited by the new registrants.A statistical analysis of race,gender, age, education,etc., can be performed that gives some idea of who benefits most, but it certainly is not dispositive.
The Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats out of the 435 at play to take control of that body. Historically, in the first midterm election of an president’s administration where his approval rating is under 50% the party not holding the White House loses an average of 36 seats. Furthermore, more than 40 Republican incumbents chose not to run again,creating open seats in those districts. Finally, in this “MeToo” environment, far more women Democrats are running for the House than Republican women. All of these factors,and more, point to the Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives for the next 2 years, allowing them to control the agenda.
The opposite is true in the Senate. There, because the seats are staggered to prevent a compete turn-over every cycle, the Democrats have 26 Senators up for re-election while the Republicans have only 9. And several of the incumbent Democrat senators are running in states where President Trump won in 2016 by double-digits. The Democrats need a net gain of 2 seats to take control of the Senate. It appears unlikely that that will happen.
Earlier, it appeared that the Democrats might enjoy a “tsunami” election where they win a huge number of House seats – 50 to 60 net -and capture the Senate as well. It now seems as if that tsunami wave peaked too early. The whole Kavanaugh sordid affair gave the Republicans a cause to rally around and generate more enthusiasm for this mid-term election. Also, the President is framing this election as all about him (no surprise) and I believe the true believers are taking this election as a validation of their support for Mr. Trump in 2016. In other words, they are defending their choice as valid and on-going.
What does the outcome depend on? Easy – TURN-OUT. Who stays home and who votes? Simple as that. Not quite. How do you get your supporters to vote in larger numbers that your opponent does? Don’t ask me. I ran county-wide three times – kind of a microcosm of the nation – and am still clueless as to how to get people to vote. Unless we take it as our civic duty and fundamental responsibility as citizens to vote, we stay home and watch football, or Oprah. And get politically what we deserve.
I am not much of a prognosticator. Just check my record from 2016. However, I feel compelled to stick my neck out once again. My prediction is that the Democrats will win 30-35 seats, far short of a tsunami, and take control of the House. In the Senate, the Republicans will have a net gain of 2 seats and have a slightly greater majority to work with. And we will have truly divided government, which may not be a bad thing.
Please, go vote. Show you care.