Will Obama Triumph in 2014?

August 25, 2013 5:12 pm 3 comments

President Obama during the debate. Photo: Screenshot.

President Barack Obama’s maneuverability, domestically and internationally, will depend on the outcome of the very critical November 2014 six-year-itch election campaign, which is already underway.

The outcome of Obama’s second midterm election — which clipped the wings of many second term presidents — will determine his capability to become a transformational president. It will either coalesce House and Senate Democrats around him, or will doom him to a lame duck presidency, transferring top Senate leadership positions and all committee and subcommittee chairmanships to the GOP.

Success in a six-year-itch election is critical at a time when the president and his own party’s legislators are naturally growing asunder. The president will never again have to face “We will remember in November,” while all the legislators will be on future ballots, facing the consequences of their actions and the wrath or gratitude of their constituents.

Obama’s challenge is to sustain the vulnerable Senate Democratic majority and defy the odds by regaining the House majority. To meet that challenge, the president will have to focus on critical domestic priorities such as a budget, unemployment, debt ceiling, immigration reforms, gun control, health care, Supreme Court appointments, energy and climate and environment. He will attempt to galvanize support for his priorities among constituents and their representatives, who have systematically demonstrated robust support of Israel.

Exerting pressure on Israel and facing a defiant Israeli prime minister would undermine, not galvanize, public and congressional support of Obama. In fact, unwavering support for the Jewish state across partisan and denominational lines has been one of the very few remaining common denominators between Democrats and Republicans on a highly polarized Capitol Hill.

Midterm elections in general, and six-year-itch elections in particular, are troublesome for second-term presidents, primarily in the Senate. The party of almost every second-term president in recent history sustained large losses during these elections.

According to Nate Silver, who precisely predicted the presidential winner in all 50 states and in 31 out of the 33 Senate races in 2012: “A race-by-race analysis of the Senate suggests that Republicans might now be close to winning control of the chamber. Our best guess, after assigning probabilities of the likelihood of a GOP pickup in each state, is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority.” In 2008, Silver accurately predicted all 35 Senate races (New York Times, July 15, 2013).

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball newsletter points out that “in 17 post-World-War-II midterm elections [from Truman in 1946 to Obama in 2010] the average loss [for the incumbent president's party] is about 27 House seats, four Senate seats and four governorships.”

Second-term presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford (who completed Nixon’s second term) suffered the worst losses: an average of seven Senate seats and 53 House seats.

Charlie Cook maintains that “in the second term, midterm election, the party holding the White House has lost a significant number of seats in the House, Senate, or both, to the tune of five of six times since World War II. In the House, the average loss has been 29 seats and in the Senate six seats. The lone exception was 1998, when Republicans suffered a backlash against their efforts to impeach and remove President Clinton from office, breaking the pattern with a five-seat GOP loss in the House and a wash in the Senate.”

Mathematically, the 2014 election bodes well for Republicans, featuring 21 Democratic and only 14 Republican Senate seats, with five Democratic and only two Republican senators retiring. The GOP hope for a net gain of six seats to regain a Senate majority is based on the open (currently Democratic) seats in the red states of Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, on vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Alaska (Obama lost all four in 2012), and the retirement of Democratic incumbents from the currently “purple” states of Michigan and Iowa.

Obama’s plunging approval rating — 41%, the lowest since December 2011 — bolsters Republican hopes. Historically, presidents with approval ratings in the 40s have suffered significant blows during midterm, and especially itch-year, elections. A persistent decline in Obama’s popularity could produce a macro (nationalized) rather than a micro (localized) election, highlighting Obama’s record rather than that of the legislators. Former President Bill Clinton boasted a 63% approval rating in October 1998, which paved the road to the Democratic House gain.

However, Democrats count on the recent blue trend among minorities, women and younger voters and Republican vulnerability in Georgia and Kentucky. Mostly, they count on a repeat of the 2010 and 2012 Republican failures to avoid primary victories by unelectable Senate candidates — such as Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, Nevada’s Sharron Angle, Indiana’s Richard Mourdock and Missouri’s Todd Akin — which snatched Republican defeat from the jaws of easy victory.

Will Obama join Harry Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon/Ford, Ronald Reagan and Gorge W. Bush, who all suffered setbacks in their six-year-itch elections? Or will Obama join Clinton, the only president since World War II whose party gained seats in the House and sustained its Senate seats?

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

3 Comments

  • I BELIEVE WITH PERFECT FAITH:
    That USA will suffer as long as it goes against ISRAEL.
    I BELIEVE WITH PERFECT FAITH:
    That all other religions/gods will slowly come apart and its followers with soon go to a JEW and say as RUTH SAID
    “YOUR G-D IS MY G-D,I will go where you go, I now know your G-D is the only G-D.”

    I BELIEVE WITH PERFECT FAITH: that americans PROSPERITY was great because it was a safe home for JEWS.It is no longer that.

    I believe that the xtian and arab arrogance will bring the final war and the above will happen SOON.

    AT MT SINAI HASHEM, THE ONE G-D OF EVERYTHING SAID:
    I AM ‘ONE’, I AM G-D, THESE ARE THE LAWS I GAVE TO MOSES,
    FOLLOW THEM AND BE BLESSED, THERE IS NONE OTHER THEN ‘ME’
    I AM ALONE AND MOSES IS YOUR TEACHER. THERE IS NONE OTHER”

    I BELIEVE WITH PERFECT FAITH THAT OBAMA IS MERELY A TOOL TO CARVE OUT THE PEOPLES PUNISHMENTS FOR GOING AGAINST
    ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.

    I BELEIEVE WITH PERFECT FAITH: that since jesux and mohamed, the world has been in chaos….
    only TORAH AS G-D TOLD TO MOSES
    WILL BRING US UP TO HOLINESS AGAIN.

    I BELIEVE IN PREFECT FAITH…
    THERE WAS,IS,AND WILL BE ‘ONE’ ALONE,
    not of flesh, in no other form
    as ”HE” SAID TO 3 MILLION WITNESSES.
    an unchanged written word…
    “I AM ‘ONE ALONE, THERE IS NONE OTHER THEN ‘ME’,
    I AM HOLY”

    THIS IS THE SEASON TO REPENT
    TO XTIANS ESPECIALY
    THIS IS THE TIME TO LEARN WHAT G-D WANTS FROM YOU
    AS A NON JEW…
    there is no such thing as any other testement
    but
    THE ONE TORAH.
    JEWS WAKE UP
    MOSES CAME DOWN WITH ONE SET OF LAWS TO ALL ISRAEL.
    there was no reformed deformed or conservative set of laws…
    DO NOT CHANGE NOT A WORD, NOT A LETTER

  • Otto Waldmann in Sydney

    Obama has already exhausted his spiritual executive acumen if not only because he never contained much intellectual substance to start with. He is the amazingly successful product of ingenious political strategists of the Rappaport quality. His aloofness, indeed cynicism regarding essential Jewish issues can be ontologically found at the ideological morphology of his groomers.
    Here one can be only satisfied that a bi-partisan Congress contains real politicians who rely on solid principles against a Presidential almost inevitable super hero status/cudos/ambitions/vanity/arrogant indifference etc. particularly secreted with aplomb upon an inescapable career sunset…………..

  • I believe the support from the eagle bearing God’s gift of good news to a weary President in bearing him up will arrive just in time! In the most famous Presidency on earth not only because of The Historical making process of it, but The jealousy incurred against The First Family for the down to earth nature and connect ability to The American Peoples and humility of gratitude In The Old Democracy has always been messy Banner..Standing For “And Justice For All” has to have this kind of knock down, drag down fight For Keeping Something being The Truth and Charity of Respect to each individual given, will keep the steam in the bong…If The Youth is our future they will look to where the beacon shines brightest, the shoes they place on their feet every morning wearing them to long complicated evenings seeking the dream of “THE AMERICAN DREAM”. The Youth of today are made of something that can go to the distance and possessing the very least of an opportunity in securing a good education( who do you think voted this President into Power)?? the babies in the crib got up to vote This President into this long awaited and some believe Appointed position which harnessed him in by VOTES, we can never become a nation that dislike the truth in hard punch form…We got to be able to take the blows from a Fair and Square Fight to accept this is only right. The fight to the bitter end have already twirled it’s baton for Democracy’s extension for fair weather to appear on the horizon in equal opportunity for a slice of the pie which studying and hard work DEMAND a good future be in their plan. This has nothing to do with favoring one political party over the other and the dangerous rift that have brought unwanted illigetimate politics of division, the everyday norm in The White House dorm,as it has to do with yearning hearts Waving The white flag of some Peace for it to cease! You can believe as the wicked witch melted cause FAITH would not move it’s place and the black cape was forced ruptured to all disadvantage of mismanagement…I already see in the crystal Tall ball of all probability seats melting for a fresh future Presence. People want again a Government which they can believe in since ORDER is established first from on High as well as Government authority, those things like laws legislated, the law being for the lawless this is WHY we have police, this is why we need Military people that are actually trained in the use of armaments properly, not some version out of a hollywood movie rated Double V, for Violence & Vulgarity yea let’s get the Mom’s back that use to be Tipper Gore or some dirty hint against our culture of ethics was left of it, or a controversial page out of a book titled hit man. Sure I know all about corruption but I know as well those appointed to positions of power by God will fight until the day “It Is Written” Whose Building Is Not Made By Hands–The DAY is later than we know and to Far spent time wise, unwisely!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.