The election and congress

29 Oct

With all the attention on the presidential race, we have been ignoring what will probably happen in Congress.

In a nutshell, not much different from now.

President Obama most likely will win reelection.

The Democrats will most likely hang on to the Senate.

The Republicans will also most likely keep control of the House.

The bickering will go on.

For a while there seemed to be a shot at a comeback for Democrats.

From the start, the 112th Congress was overrun by Tea Party supported freshmen who pushed Washington to the edge of several shutdowns and almost took the nation to its first default on the federal debt.

It remains the most unpopular Congress in the history of polling and, by some measures, the least productive.

You would think voters would be yelling for change.

Here’s why it probably won’t happen:

Redistricting that made some Republicans safe from any challenge and also made re-election difficult for about 10 Democrats.

Now, with a second straight election about to leave Democrats in the minority, the freshmen Republicans are now seasoned and more sure of their power.

The estimates are House Republicans start off with 190 districts that are safe, while Democrats begin with just 146 such districts.

That leaves just 99 districts viewed as regularly competitive, an all-time low.

Democrats will likely have to carry 72 of those 99 seats to reach the bare majority of 218.

More than 80 GOP freshmen are standing for reelection, but just two dozen are facing tough challenges and only 15 are in significant danger of losing.

End result – four more years of the same stuff.

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