The republicans are really pushing in trying to maintain control in the house in the 2014 mid-term elections and yet while they have a natural lock, they also have big problems, according to Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant and President of Bannon Communications Research in Washington, D.C.
In the 2012 elections for the house, more voters supported democratic congressional candidates than republican candidates. However, republicans used the control of the state legislature they gained in 2010 to change the system to maximize the number of seats, says Bannon. Citing the example of Michigan, Bannon says the majority voted for democrats but despite that, democrats only hold 5 out of the 14 congressional seats in Michigan, which is the result of having a republican governor and state legislature. In 2010, Michigan redistricted to the republican's advantage.
Bannon says the GOP lock isn't full-proof, especially when you have a congressman like Steven King of Iowa or Don Young of Alaska. Recently, King insulted Latinos by comparing them to drug mules and Young described Hispanics as wetbacks.
The toughest thing to do in a mid-term election is to get people out to vote, Bannon says, and the republicans are doing everything they can with their derogatory comments and trying to stop immigration reform to make sure Latinos turn out in large numbers in 2014 and vote for democrats.
According to recent polls, the number one concern of voters is the economy. The republicans are focused on the budget deficit and healthcare, which is one of the reasons the president has been giving speeches recently on economic proposals, Bannon says.
The republicans are threatening to shut down the government because of red ink and the president's healthcare reform bill. Bannon says the reality is "the republicans are spending too much time on healthcare and the budget deficit and they're ignoring the issue which voters are most concerned about, which is the economy."
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. To read Bannon's op-ed piece on this topic, click here. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.