Op-Ed: A midterm elections threat assessment — high and getting higher
The Democrats are a month away from taking control of Congress. But a close Senate race in Indiana is raising the specter of a midterm election where turnout could be low on the one-party front.
The threat to Indiana is not one that can be avoided. A runoff is more likely than not to give Democrat Evan Bayh a victory. And the Indiana GOP will be looking for an outlet for voters who might not show up in the usual way.
At the risk of sounding like a left-wing conspiracy theorist, I have a theory that goes like this: The election of President Donald Trump is going to be very good for the Democratic Party. It’s going to be their best year in many, many years. They have a president they’re passionate about and they have a vision for him and his party that the current occupant of the White House does not.
To be sure, Republicans are going to try and use all of these advantages to win seats in the Senate. And in that process, their best candidate, and probably their nominee, is running against a popular, experienced, and well-liked incumbent.
But the Democrats are also likely to be very motivated. Donald Trump is unpopular. To a good part of the Democratic base, his presidency represents either a betrayal of them or a betrayal of the promises they made to voters when they supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney.
And the Democrats need these voters to support the Democratic nominee. It would be a sad day if they don’t turn out to vote.
The other side of this coin is that as a result of the election, the Republicans are going to be looking to take advantage of a moment of weakness on the one-party front. That weakness could be manifested in a number of ways, including through voter suppression and voter anger.
One of the things I have observed in the Democratic Party is that it has an ideology of voting — or at least it tries to present itself as one and has an ideology of voting. It’s important to note that this ideology of voting is very much tied to the election that’s about to happen and