Can Democrats Win the House in 2014?


I keep exhorting Americans to vote for Democrats in
2014 but most of the data I am seeing on the internet is not optimistic about
attaining this goal. All 435 seats in the House empty out and refill in the
2014 election. This would seem like the perfect occasion for Democrats to win
control and make it possible for Obama to avoid being a “lame duck” President
and to accomplish some of his agenda. (Although commentary this past week suggests
that if he doesn’t win approval to crack the military whip in Syria he will
need one of those proverbial nine lives of a cat to avoid subsiding into total
political obscurity.) If he gets to tackle jobs and the economy we will see if
a bit more stimulus might nudge our very slow economy into a slightly higher

We have actually been pretty much led around by our
noses by the Republican Party whose insistence on cutting the deficit and on
relative austerity have not been effective at producing a healthy economic
environment. Since Obama has been unable to implement most of his economic
policies it seems wrong to blame our becalmed economy on President Obama. I
would like a chance to see if his ideas would work. Electing Democrats in 2014
would give us two years to see if stimulation would create at least a stiff
breeze in our economy.

Republicans did not get much of an opportunity to
gut our social safety net even though Obama has offered up Social Security (I’m
not sure why as it is the most acceptable of the safety net programs) at least
twice while the Republicans refused the bait and let the “grand bargain”
languish. Hopefully, with all the things Obama would have on his plate if the
House magically skewed Democratic in 2014, he would leave the safety net intact
for now. Most Americans seem to believe that the safety net is full of holes
that allow those “takers” to sucker the American government into supporting
them, although they are also “fakers” and should not actually qualify for
government assistance. Therefore, most Americans would like to see the safety
net programs made simpler and more carefully targeted to bolster the truly
needy, rather than enabling the truly greedy. I don’t mind if we tackle this; I
just say all in good time.

So what does the 2014 election for House seats look
like? There seems to be no definitive answer to this question but there is
speculation by experts in the field of predicting votes. However, I warn you,
this speculation, although full of numbers, is about as clear as mud.

The current breakdown in the House is:

201 Democrats              2
Vacant seats               232 Republicans

The author of the article I was reading, Jessica
Taylor, of MSNBC (see link below) gives us the following projected data:

v Only
21 seats are true toss-ups (less than 5%)

v 262
incumbents are in safe races and are unlikely to fluctuate

v Fair
Vote, a group making projections for elections, will not project a winner for
61 races, because of outside factors which make the races difficult to call

v The
Cook Political Report says 7 races are toss-ups, 22 lean Republican or

v The
Rothenberg Political Report says 5 races are pure toss-ups, 13 toss-ups that
tilt Republican or Democrat, 11 toss-ups that lean Republican or Democrat

But, this only talks about 29 of the 61
unpredictable votes and is not really very enlightening. Everyone does seem to
agree that 61 seats are not predictable at this time.

Competitive seats, Ms. Taylor tells us, dropped from
103 to 99 after redistricting (because of extreme gerrymandering-me, not Ms. Taylor) and after the
2012 elections competitive seats shrunk again to 90. The Fair Vote group
expects Republicans to pick up 48 more seats than Democrats so in order to
break the odds Democrats would have to win 55 of the 61 special factor races.
What a nightmare this is for me and my desire to try out Obama’s
jobs/economic agenda. However, there are still a few of those who are
optimistic (or living in a fantasy world) voices on the World Wide Web.  I asked Google, can Democrats retake the House
in 2014? All sources seem to agree that the Democrats need to take 17 seats without losing any to
win the House. Here are some of the links:

The sad part is that since one-third of the Senate
is also in play Democrats could lose their majority in the Senate and then the
Republicans would control both houses of Congress. I hate to see those pundits win
who predict that Obama will subside into the traditional lame duck status of
most second term Presidents before he even really gets a chance to be top duck . 

Hold onto your hats, everyone, government, if the
Republicans win both houses, could be headed to that little oven that shrinks
things. (Shrinky-Dinks?)

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