In the “Oh, By the Way” department, we hear all too frequently about the turmoil, dysfunction and even potential collapse of the Republican Party, but as we approach the 2014 midterm elections, I don’t think any leaders in the Republican Party would trade places with their counterparts in the Democratic Party. With all the talk about damage to the Republican brand, angry filibusters, unappealing leaders, and a number of other maladies that the left always wants to see in Republicans, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Republicans seem to be on a path toward winning the midterm elections.
In politics, we only keep score (via elections) every two years. Everything else is just talk. And when you look at what will drive the elections — the natural cycles (in 2014, the 6-year itch), the economy, and the big issue of the day (in this case, health care) — there is nothing today that suggests anything other than a pretty good election environment for Republicans in 2014.
Republicans currently hold 46 seats in the Senate. Republicans should have a majority in the Senate today, and the 2014 midterms should be about beefing up that majority. Even Democrats know their majority in the Senate is undeserved. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, acknowledged as much to the Wall Street Journal when he said that “Republicans have not missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Bennet is right, but it looks as if our primaries will produce more electable candidates next year. The Senate is in play despite the GOP’s self-inflicted wounds in the last two cycles.
There are no serious discussions or predictions that the Republican House majority is in peril, or that Republicans could lose more than a few of their 30 governorships. I don’t want to suggest that Republicans don’t have any problems, but when it comes to what matters, the party isn’t in the dire straits that some would have us believe.