THE BLOG

US Mid-Terms - What's At Stake

31/10/2014 16:18 GMT | Updated 30/12/2014 10:59 GMT

It is 4 days before the Mid-Term Elections when the control of the US Senate will be decided. The US House of Representatives is currently under Republican control and this is unlikely to change.

Right now there are 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and 2 Independents in the US Senate. Republicans need a 6 seat gain to take control.

The following are Toss-Up States for Control of the US Senate and standings:

Colorado

Cory Gardner (R) + 7 over Mark Udall (D) incumbent

New Hampshire

Jean Shaheen (D) incumbent tied with Scott Brown (R)

Arkansas

Tom Cotton (R) +13 over Mark Pryor (D) incumbent

Kentucky

Mitch McConnell (R) incumbent + 4 over Allison Grimes (D)

North Carolina

Kay Hagan (D) incumbent + 4 over Tom Tillis (R)

Georgia - open seat

Michele Nunn (D) tied with David Perdue (R)

Louisiana

Bill Cassidy (R) + 4.5 over Mary Landrieu (D) incumbent

Alaska

Dan Sullivan (R) +2.2 over Mark Begich (D) incumbent

Iowa - open seat

Joni Ernst (R) + 2.1 over Bruce Braley (D)

Kansas

Gregg Orman (I) +9 over Pat Roberts (R) incumbent

What is especially unique about this Mid-Term, even more than others, is that it truly feels like the voters are just not engaged and seem more tuned out than normal.

Perhaps its because they genuinely believe it does not matter who wins since gridlock will continue and nothing will get done.

Traditionally Mid-Terms are about sending a message. The message is either an affirmation of the policies of those in power or a rejection of those in power.

At the moment both the President - the Executive branch and Congress - the Legislative branch, have miserably low approval ratings and the voters are not happy with either institution or the way they are 'not' working together.

The Ebola Crisis and the government's response has been this election year's "October Surprise". The threat of this disease coming to the US has raised the issue of competence and whether this government is capable of doing its most basic job - keeping the American people safe.

Even this crisis has exposed the fact that the two parties can not come together to find a common solution.

The Democrats and the Republican have differing views on America's involvement in solving the world's problems - ISIL, Ebola, Global Warming, etc. - and how best to protect the America people from their effects.

Personal rights vs protecting the public; spending US tax dollars to prevent problems abroad vs spending them at home and of course...strengthening US borders - all legitimate issues that should be open to public debate. They simply Are Not.

Former House Speaker Tip O'Neil used to say that all politics is local. This is what the Democrats are hoping for in these Mid-Terms. They want voters to focus on the individual candidates as opposed to sending a message with their vote to Congress or the Administration.

The Republicans are hoping to nationalize the Mid-Terms, making it a referendum on the "failed" Obama Administration and its policies.

It is likely that the voters are so feed up with the inability of the government to address a crisis like Ebola with a unified, cogent and confident response that it may be an indication to them that their representatives can no longer work together on the problems that affect their daily life.

Now it seems, out of necessity, the state legislatures and governors are stepping up to fill the chasm left dangerously open by inaction on the Federal level.

The voters could in fact send the Obama Administration and Congress their own "November Surprise" - meaning an historically low turnout.

If our citizens lose total faith in their leaders and give up hope, it could ultimately lead to the downfall of this Republic.

On the other hand if the voters have become so disgusted with what is going in Washington they may turn hard against their leaders, 'storm the voting booths' en masse and vote all the incumbents out of office.

One thing is certain, whoever the voters choose will in essence be running the show for the next few years.

Another thing is also certain, its going to be a long night on Nov 4 and we may not know who wins it all for quite some time on Nov 5!