A year ago, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, but the House of Representatives has not taken it up. Yesterday, to mark this anniversary, President Barack Obama sharply criticized the House for inaction—and then called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia to talk. The President’s staff says the call was to wish Leader Cantor a happy Passover, and immigration came up in conversation; the Leader’s staff says that immigration reform was the topic of the call, and the paschal greeting was only incidental to their exchange. At any rate, the call was not likely very productive. Leader Cantor, for example, said in a statement, “The President called me hours after he issued a partisan statement which attacked me and my fellow House Republicans and which indicated no sincere desire to work together. After five years, President Obama still has not learned how to effectively work with Congress to get things done. You do not attack the very people you hope to engage in a serious dialogue.”
The results of every election are parsed in terms of various demographic groups, and unmarried women are the group of interest du jour. According to analysts Stanley Greenberg and Erica Seifert, unmarried women respond most favorably to messages about the economy, since they perceive themselves as being subject to greater financial difficulties than others. “Unmarried women want leaders who understand their lives and address issues that matter for them”, they write. Undoubtedly, unmarried women do respond most favorably to politicians who address the issues concerning them most, particularly on the economy, but this should not be a big surprise, since they seem to share this with their married counterparts. The Congressional Institute has commissioned a couple studies on women voters in recent years. The latest, which studied women who are identified as base Republicans, lapsed Republicans and swing voters, found that the most important issue for them was the economy. Also, a stunning 82 percent thought “even if you work hard it seems almost impossible to get ahead.”
Could the Dems Pick Up Seats in the Senate?
Most people are saying that Republicans will pick up seats in the Senate, and might even win the whole shebang. However, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics is not certain that will happen. “Don’t get me wrong: For Democrats to gain seats this cycle would be the equivalent of drawing a straight flush”, he writes. (There is a 0.0015% chance of getting a straight flush in five-card poker.) To do so, a number of negatives—public perception of the economy, Obamacare, and President Obama himself—would have to change for the better. Then the Democrats would have to defend endangered incumbents in four Republican-friendly states and take one or two open seats. Then the Republicans would have to fall apart in a couple of races, to lose seats they currently have.
And for our latest post: Cracks in the Senatorial Saucer: Filling the Tree, Cloture, and Curtailing Senate Debate