If this study by the University of Virginia doesn’t wake-up a few folks in the GOP, not sure what will. Wake Up!!!
Despite suggestions from some analysts that Republican control of the Senate is just around the corner, the experts at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics have gamed out the next three elections and determined that the Democrats will hang on by a thread.
And that could lead to an tumultuous era of political battles that will likely lead Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” to brush aside GOP filibusters, especially if the next president makes a provocative nomination, such as “President Elizabeth Warren” naming Barack Obama to the Supreme Court after he leaves the White House in 2017.
“Those Senate confirmation battles for the new president are going to fun, huh?” said UVa’s Kyle Kondik, the congressional analyst for Larry Sabato’s political team. “Especially when President Ted Cruz appoints Sen. Rand Paul as secretary of state, or President Elizabeth Warren names former President Obama to the Supreme Court.” He added: “Yes, we’re being intentionally provocative here.”
Senate 2014 and Beyond
Filibusters as far as the eye can see
Obviously, this hypothetical chain of events could be upended by any number of factors, the most important of which is probably the 2016 presidential election. And what if there’s a major war, or what if there’s a strong uptick (or collapse) in the economy? What if, as my fifth-grade teacher liked say in response to interminable “what if” questions, “the world hung by a string, and the string broke?” There are plenty of unknowable things here as one plots out the future course of the Senate.
However, there are three things we do know: The Democrats are overextended on the 2014 map, which probably means the Republicans should, at the very least, make a dent in the Democratic Senate majority next year. Two years later, the Republicans will be defending a map on which they are overextended, which could help the Democrats make up for some of their possible 2014 losses. And then the Democrats are overextended again in 2018.
All of which suggests that 60-vote Senate majorities are going to be elusive for either party, and future Senate majority leaders, be they Democrats or Republicans, are going to be continually tempted by some form of the “nuclear option” in limiting the filibuster. Given its rapidly increasing use, future Senate majorities — maybe even as soon as this one — might decide they have little choice but to reach for the button.
Read More: Sabato’s Crystal Ball