American Midterms – Senate Predictions


Patrick Hynes, an experienced Republican political campaigner, blogs on his picks for the Senate.

I think he’s pretty good, with just one hole. I don’t believe for a second that Liberman will go with the Republicans – he’s said clearly he won’t.

While I’m at it, I’d like to explain a little about how the American Government is elected.

The body known as “Congress” has two parts, the House (Members are referred to as “Congressmen”) and the Senate.

The house is made up (like ours) of representatives according to population. California has 53, California has 1. (Wikipedia article here) These guys are elected every 2 years, and there’s 453 of them.

The Senate is very different. There are 2 senators per state, no more, no less.  They are elected every 6 years. But there’s a rub there –  only 1/3 are ever up for election. This means that the Senate changes slowly and usually gradually.

The idea of this is to measure the american people 2 different ways, so that any bill that gets past is ok by everyone.  When America was founded, the small states were worried about being buldozed by the large ones, so they came up with the senate idea to get around this. (In terms of NZ, the Senate would do away with the need for the “South Island” quota.) But the house is supposed to bring in fresh ideas and be a representation of the different sectors of the population.

Of course it doesn’t work like that. Recognised faces can get re-elected year after year. Senators are especially hard to displace, and require massive budgets in each election fight for both sides.

Just a note on the House fight, (having already covered the senate) – it’ s FPP election. That means that the national polls can show what they want, it’s the sum of the local races that count.

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