If there’s an extra bounce in their step, it’s because for now the political crystal ball seems to augur well for them in the midterm elections.
Republicans are feeling hopeful about winning enough Senate races in November to give them a majority in the chamber, The Hill reports.
That would mean control of Congress – they already are the majority in the House of Representatives.
It’s not just GOP wishful thinking, either.
Democrats are privately expressing doubt that they can hold onto their Senate majority, The Hill says. And then there are polls, such as an NBC/Wall Street Journal one showing the GOP leading by 10 points in the most competitive states for Senate races.
The New York Times projected Republicans have a 61 percent chance of taking over the Senate.
“I feel that we are going to take back control of the Senate and I’ve talked in confidence to a lot of my good Democrat friends, and there are a lot of Democrats who understand they’re going to lose control of the Senate,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), according to The Hill.
All this – despite the fact that President Obama made the highly controversial announcement that he was delaying taking executive action on immigration until after the elections so that any backlash linked to it would not give the GOP a midterm advantage.
Delaying taking matters into his own hands until after the election hardly has muted the issue of immigration as a midterm weapon for Republicans.
They are hammering the Obama administration for gaming the system, so to speak, by bluntly saying that he is going to put off something that is unpopular with the GOP – and even some Democrats – until voters can no longer do anything about it.
What is more, other issues, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a weak jobs report, are working against Obama – and Democrats, by extension – and have in many ways put immigration on the back burner.
The GOP needs to win at least six Senate races to clinch the majority; many experts believe they’ll do better than that.
Though they agonize privately over the way the political winds are blowing at the moment, publicly Democrats are displaying a smiley face.
“I’ve been saying for months that I thought we were going to hold a narrow majority, and because it’s narrow that means it’s going to be close,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, according to The Hill. “I can see paths to victory that are pretty reasonable and even likely in a lot of the races.”
GOP senators, meanwhile, are practically ready to order new business cards. Some who are expecting to be chairmen of committees that now are helmed by Democrats are planning what they’ll do as the new head.
“People realize Harry Reid’s in charge of the Senate, Barack Obama’s president of the United States,” Cornyn said, “so I think on balance this mess will result in greater gains for Republicans.”
Some Democrats are urging voters to take a deep breath and put the sources of their frustration in perspective.