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How to Follow the U.S. Mid-Term Elections

October 26, 2014
Plain English Version

Election 2014

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election in even-numbered years. The number of seats in each state depends on the population of the state. House terms are for two years.

About one-third of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election in even-numbered years. Every state has two senators. Senate terms are for six years.

The Republican Party currently has the majority of seats in the House of Representatives. They are expected to keep control after the November 4th, 2014 elections.

Things are different in the Senate. There are 36 Senate seats to be decided. Democrats have the majority of seats. Democrats hold 21 and Republicans hold 15 of these. Yet experts are saying the Republicans may take control after the election.

The reason is that more races are taking place in “red” states. Red states favor Republicans. Blue states favor Democrats.

If the Republicans hold their existing seats, and win six more, they will become the majority in the Senate.

Not everyone senator or candidate is a Republican or Democrat. As many as four say they will pick the party to sit with after the election. If all are in office, the four may choose to be their own group. This decision may be the most important thing to happen in the election.

These are the key states to watch on election night:

  •  Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • South Dakota

What does it all mean? If the Senate and House have Republican majorities, President Obama will face opposition from both bodies. However, if they pass legislation the president does not like, he can use his power to veto the bills. The bills then cannot become law unless two-thirds of the members of both houses pass them again. This is unlikely to happen.

What are some of the likely outcomes if the House and Senate have Republican majorities? Major changes in immigration law will not take place. The Affordable Care Act will be under attack. Changes in Medicare and Social Security will be discussed.

In 2016, there will be a campaign for the next president. And more Democrats in blue states will be running for the Senate

Democrats are hoping the Republicans will stay the party of “No.” They will not offer ideas popular with voters. Democrats think that by 2016, the country will turn against Republicans.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor October 25, 2014





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