With many state primaries behind us, the “re-emergence of more moderate candidates puts the Republicans in a strong position to gain a majority of the Senate in the fall election,” says Andy Friedman, in a just-released look at the upcoming midterm elections.
But regardless whether Republicans or Democrats win the Senate it is “unlikely to influence greatly” the legislation that emerges from the post-election Congress, Friedman, principal of The Washington Update, says in his Thursday commentary.
“Almost certainly neither party will gain the 67 seats in the Senate needed to overrule a presidential veto,” he continued. “In fact, neither party is likely to gain 60 Senate seats, the number needed to end a filibuster and move legislation through that body.”
With the House in Republican hands and a Democratic White House, he goes on to say, “the country is facing at least two more years of split government.”
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As a result: “Congress will act only when faced with more ‘forcing events,’ such as raising the debt ceiling again in 2015, responding to a domestic terrorist attack, or coming to the aid of a longtime U.S. ally.”
Friedman notes in his commentary that the “news is good” for Republicans seeking a Senate majority. “The candidates who have emerged in many states — Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado and New Hampshire, among others — are moderate Republicans who bested their Tea Party primary opponents,” Friedman writes in a commentary that he says is a follow up to his March forecast.
One exception is Mississippi, Friedman said, “where a Tea Party candidate has forced a long-term Republican incumbent into a run-off, but that state will remain in Republican hands regardless and so does not factor into any shift in the Senate majority.”