If the 2012 elections can be viewed as a predictor for the complexion of the US House of Representative after the 2014 midterms, the losers reveal a trend that could continue after Americans vote once again in congressional races. Going into the election, Republicans controlled the House by 242-193. Though all 435 members faced voters on Nov. 6, control of the chamber rested on some 50 to 60 races that were considered competitive, some of them because of redistricting.
On Nov. 6, the Republicans lost eight seats, finishing with a total of 234 seats, while the Democrats won eight seats for a total of 201 seats. House Democrats won narrowly the plurality nationwide, but the Republicans retained a majority because they were advantaged by congressional redistricting as a result of the 2010 US Census. Population distribution also contributed to the Republicans keeping a majority, because Democratic votes centered in urban and minority districts, which could change in favor of Democrats in 2014.
The “demographic cliff” is described in an article in the Daily Kos: “This graph shows a demographic cliff. Younger voters are far more diverse than older voters. Not only that, but for any given birth year of the current electorate, the diversity is increasing over time.”
Predictions “spell doom” for House Republicans as they are replaced by young racially diverse representatives concerned with immigration. The growing Boomer population who authored the “hippy generation” is likewise concerned with retaining civil liberties and do not embrace the antiquated precepts of the old guard of the GOP.
Freshmen representatives who were Tea Party favorites backed by the Republicans two years ago lost their bid for re-election in this cycle. They include Reps.and Bobby Shilling of Illinois, Anne Marie Buerkle and Nan Hayworth of New York and Francisco Canseco of Texas.
Some moderates on both sides of the aisle, however, also lost: Democrat Rep. Larry Kissell of North Carolina as well as Reps., (R-N.H.) and Bob Dold Jr., (R-Ill.).
House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement after President Obama was re-elected without mentioning the economy or taxes, "If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt," he said.
The Tea Party is over
The Tea Party as a viable election factor is fading into history. House Republicans continued to use the same issues posited by Tea Party fundamentalists preaching less government, less spending and the deficit. The difference is there were no Tea Party campaign buttons or Tea Party flag-waving. Republicans will cease to cling to the core issues that prompted its creation because as this last election demonstrated—it’s a losing game as the changing voting demographic reflects diversity and choice, particularly within the Democratic Party. The exclusivity of the Republican Party cannot succeed in national elections moving forward.
Democrats in Washington blame the Tea Party for obstructionism, and labeled virtually every Republican incumbent and challenger as a Tea Party “favorite son.”
The "Tea Party Republican Congress has a 13 percent approval rating," House Democrats' campaign chief Rep.of New York told reporters last month. He said Democrats had a chance to regain the majority because "there is a deep sense of buyer's remorse spreading throughout this country."
Friends of the Obama administration in the House
“If Republicans refuse to move, if they refuse to cooperate, then you’ve got to be willing to engage the American public,” said Rep. New York Times., a Maryland Democrat and important Obama ally. The campaign machinery, he said, “will respond to the president calling upon it to get engaged,” reported in the
As the lawmakers return to work today with the fiscal deadline in sight, the president’s aides want to harness the grassroots supporters that mobilized in 2008 and again this year to return him to the Whitehouse. The intent is to pressure Republicans in Congress to accept tax increases on the wealthy and let go of their obstructionist strategies that resulted in losses in the last election and could be responsible for tipping the voting scales in favor of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in 2014.