The Internet is all abuzz with the 2016 Presidential election. While the race is really important, the likelihood that a serious candidate who proposes limiting government will come out of the election with a win is slim to none. Especially with the idea that the two front runners of one party are a progressive and socialist and the front runner of other is a progressive hiding in the “small-government party.” But I digress.
2016 will likely be an election where a big government advocate takes the White House once again (hooray!). This means that, theoretically, the two other bodies of government can stop government from becoming really big, or even help it along. And I stress theoretically because it really hasn’t been able to stop the growth of government for many of the past 30+ years.
This is why the races for the Senate and House become really important, almost as important as the media-driven Presidential race. Essentially, should the democrats become the leading party in the Senate (which is the highest possibility), the House would likely be the only body left to stop a progressive/socialist agenda proposed by both leading Presidential candidates. Although I really won’t get into the House elections at all, there is ample opportunity for Democrats to pick up seats in 2016. That being said, election night is looking very good for democrats across the board.
In order for the Democrats to successfully pull off a win in the Senate, they would need to pick up 6 more seats or 5 plus the Vice President. Presently, it looks probable that 3 seats would be easily picked up for Democrats, including Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
As far as the other 3 seats, a number of things would have to happen to secure democrats the seats. The first being Senator John McCain is the Republican nominee in Arizona’s Senate race. Should that happen, the Democrat would win Arizona. Seat number 4. McCain would lose this seat regardless of who the top of the ticket is for President in either party; a general Republican nominee for Senate in Arizona, though, would likely win the seat with a Carson-Cruz-Paul Presidential ticket. In simple terms: McCain – 1 seat goes to Democrats; successful primary opponent win against McCain – seat stays Republican.
The other 2-3 seats, in my opinion, really depend on the Presidential race. So while I stress the importance of the Senate race and the outcome for each party in 2016, I guess it is fair the media is making a big deal of which candidate becomes the nominee for each party. Imagine the race is Trump-Clinton (so sorry America!). Clinton would win the election handily, which would likely be reflected down the ballot in multiple instances. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and likely even Ohio would probably flip over to the Democrats – seats 5, 6, 7.
Bernie Sanders as the Democrat nominee might swing the election a different way, only because of his self proclaimed love for socialism. Interestingly, his campaign has already started blanketing social media with the narrative that “democratic-socialism” is good. Should he win against Clinton, this position might help shift the narrative toward him, especially against “democrats” such as Trump and Bush.
Bernie Sanders at the top of the ticket would make an interesting race regardless. I would expect at least one state to go his party’s way and that state I would expect to be New Hampshire because of its track record of supporting Democratic nominees for President and the proximity of the state to Sanders’ home state. That would be the 5th state.
The likelihood that the Democrats take the Senate is very high, especially in these scenarios. Personally, it would be incredible to witness a scenario where Republicans pick up seats in 2016. The party is incredibly fractured and the idea that a single nominee other than a candidate rooted in principle would be able to unite the party better than Mitt Romney or John McCain is such a leap of faith. As such, these scenarios would likely be a reflection on the Republican Party down ballot.
That being said, there is a few options where the Republican Party might be able to squeak a win with a Presidency. These options include Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. Should these three people become the nominee, the Republicans might have a chance to come out of the race for Senate and House in 2016 with little to no changes.
Most of this logic stems from the idea that Carson-Cruz-Paul would promote the Republican Party in a positive light, rather than a negative light. Yes, I think we can all write a list of how Carson-Cruz-Paul support big government in this instance or that, but for the purposes of arguing that a bigger government-based Republican Party that much of the field advocates right now would be devastating down the ballot, rather than a smaller-government based Republican Party, these three would likely be the best advocates of that smaller-government based Republican Party and marketing that smaller-government based Republican Party to the American people, not just Republicans. This would be reflected down the ballot because of how the party and its ideas are marketed, compared to those of Democrats.
In simpler terms, 2016 will come down to big government versus big government with free stuff. If it’s a choice between how the two are marketed, and assuming it’s Clinton or Sanders versus Trump or Bush, Clinton and Sanders get the edge because of their “elegance” in marketing their ideas to the American people. More independents will be drawn to the big government with free stuff than the big government ideas advocated and harshly or unintelligibly marketed to them by Trump or Bush. This immediately would be reflected down the ballot because of how the Party itself is looked at.
If that’s the case, a small(er) government advocate who can market these ideas better and more eloquently than big government and free things would be able to benefit the party down the line. This also includes the concept that seemed to really benefit Ronald Reagan: American exceptionalism. If Bush and Trump “say” America is great with a continued ungenuine attitude that they do, while not actually convincing people that they believe what they are saying, the genuine aspects from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would put them far ahead of the game. In other words, despite Clinton’s email scandals, she comes off as really believing what she is saying – even though it is all wrong, and even though she likely lies about a ton of issues and problems arising within her campaign and past governmental record. Bernie Sanders is a completely genuine person – he strictly believes in what he is saying and says it in a way that entraps many people into believing it also. These effects are quite the opposite in people such as Trump or Bush who come off as just wanting to be President and saying whatever they can to make it there. It’s all in the marketing.
Reagan embraced the vision that America is great no matter what, all the time, because of you and I – not because of him. He eloquently advocated small government and genuinely believed in small government. This attitude comes off, even slightly, in people such as Carson-Cruz-Paul.
The attitude that helped win Reagan the White House is what will help Republicans win the White House in 2016, and more importantly, will help Republicans retain the Senate. Consequently, this attitude will also help Democrats win the White House in 2016, and will help them recapture the Senate.
So yes, while the 2016 Presidential election is really important, it is still unlikely that an advocate of small government will make it into the White House. But more importantly, it really does look like the real race of 2016 is the effects of marketability, genuineness and the size and scope of Government and how these inadvertently affect the outcome in the House and the Senate.