Only a few months ago folks in Democratic party circles were openly worrying that this November might turn out to be another wave election for Republicans.   Certainly the GOP and their media outlets like Fox News and talk radio were promoting that idea.   The conditions seemed ripe for a repeat of the 2010 “shellacking” that Democrats took in those midterm elections.  Democrats are defending many more seats in red states than the GOP is in blue states.  There’s always a “6 year slump” for the party of a president in his second term..  The economy though improving was still sluggish.  And the utter dysfunction in Congress seemed poised to benefit Republicans even though they were the root cause of it.   The forecasted storm with it’s tidal surge of GOP victories looked bad for Democrats, really bad.  And yet with just over a month left before the election the storm just doesn’t seem to have materialized.  The 2014 second wave election seems poised to – not happen.

Contrary to the preferred GOP and Tea Party narratives over the past few months Democrats are actually becoming increasingly competitive and have boosted their chances of retaining control of the Senate. Karl Rove, the “brain” of the Bush Presidency, recently wrote an op-ed demanding that Republicans be worried and that this wasn’t a done deal. Charlie Cook, who runs the prestigious Cook Political Report said, “Certainly many of the better (more reliable) statistical models seem to suggest they are.”  Nate Silver the current guru of predicting elections also has downgraded GOP odds of winning control of the Senate.

We aren’t out of the woods and the current focus on the conflict in the Middle East could still be the Democrats undoing.  While generally a war abroad rallies people around the President and his party (as happened in 2002 when W in the early stages of the Iraq War and the War on Terror managed to help his party regain control of the US Senate after winning the presidency in a controversial US Supreme Court Decision with no mandate just a 2 years earlier)  Yet the winds seem more in favore of a narrow status quo election.

The wind may not be blowing totally in the Democrats direction but it’s no longer much of a headwind much less a hurricane force one. Here’s some more proof. The New York Times’ model, called the Upshot, lowered GOP’s chances of taking over the Senate from 67% on August 26th to 51% on September 16th. I’ll give y’all one more piece of data for information, and not just any piece of data but the authority of statistical models. Again, Nate Silver, and his FiveThirtyEight model, lowered his chance of a GOP majority from 64% in August to 54.7% in September.

The political winds are shifting in Democrats’ favor and we must make sure we are working on the ground for it to remain this way.   Given the uncertainty of the currrent US airstrikes against ISIL/ISIS we cannot rely on the news headlines and better job numbers to help us “whistle past the graveyard” of election defeats.   Democrats and others concerned about an what a Republican House AND Senate would mean to the governance of the US and to the makeup of the US Supreme Court as well as the fate of the ACA and other Obama legislation must make sure we are all energized and voting in November.

And here in Georgia our part in this effort is even more critical.  At this point the election for control of the Senate is a toss up; which means that our Senate election down in Georgia is more vital than ever. I am calling on everyone to get involved in the Michelle Nunn race because it is now crucial to a Democratic Senate majority. We need folks to phone bank, canvass and register voters until the deadline on Oct. 6th. It is also imperative that we turn out the African American and Hispanic vote in order to gain the edge we need.

We need to remind the undecided voters why Michelle Nunn is a much more qualified candidate who represents us in the Senate. Moreover, we cannot have a runoff election because any winner in Georgia must get 50% plus one vote to win.  The reality is that Democrats have not won a statewide runoff election since the 1980s and that was a very different era when Democrats controlled every lever of govenment in Georgia (albiet a very Blue Dog group of Democrats back then).

There is less than a week left to register to vote in Georgia for the November election.  We have to make sure every eligible voter is registered and we have to make sure that every Democratic and progressive leaning voter gets to the polls.  And as I often say when I use the word “We” – I don’t have a mouse in my pocket. We is you and me.

Let’s get to work!!!


Posted by Sen. Curt Thompson



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