(or is it “The Shoe Changes Feet” ?)
On Monday, Nate Silver, formerly the data guru at the NY Times and now master of his own fate at his new website FiveThirtyEight.com, posted the following:
Senate Forecast: GOP Is Slight Favorite in Race for Senate Control
Numerous news reports, inside and outside the Beltway prognosticators, various columnists, politicians, and even bloggers have been saying something similar for the last several months.
But when Nate Silver, the guy who in the last Presidential race called every state’s result exactly right ahead of the vote, suddenly attention was paid.
Not surprisingly, I suspect, Republicans, who had previously denounced Silver for not knowing what he was talking about (they believed Romney would win easily), began to tout him and his ‘research’. Democrats, on the other hand, having previously thought Silver was prescient, began to trash him. Liberal favorite Paul Krugman, for example, in a column he titled Tarnished Silver, agreed with those dismayed by Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight and wrote, “So far it looks like something between a disappointment and a disaster.”
I don’t know if Silver is right or wrong, and while I suspect that picking Senate races six months in advance is tricky at best, it does seem that the Democrats are in some danger of losing control of the Senate. There are more Democrat seats up for grabs this year than Republican ones (21 vs 15, including open seats). All the Republicans need is a gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.
If you take into account the Supreme Court decision about money and politics (Citizens United) and a second decision (The McCutcheon Case) that may come out any time now that would make the role of money in politics much worse than the Citizens United decision did, the Republicans ability to raise enormous sums of money will increase immensely.
If the Democrats lose the Senate, President Obama’s last two years in the White House will be miserable. Starting with the possibility of a vacancy on the Supreme Court and going through any number of scenarios on how a new Majority Leader, Sen. McConnell, and Rep. Boehner could play havoc with a totally Republican legislature, 2014-2016 would not be a happy time for Democrats.
Some of you, no doubt, would like that scenario. Others, myself included, shudder at the thought.
Time to pay attention.