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Opinion Politics

Democrats could easily keep the Senate


Each Senate seat matters. On March 23, 2010, then-President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Getting there was a bit of a roller coaster, given the makeup of the Senate at the time. Although Democrats controlled the House by a wide margin in January 2009, the party was still one seat short of the 60-vote threshold necessary to avoid a filibuster. This includes the seat won by former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), whose victory became official in July 2009, and the two independents, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who caucused with the Democrats.

However, several months later, when Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) switched parties, Democrats got their 60th vote.

The death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in August 2009 complicated matters. In September, then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Paul Kirk, a Democrat, to serve as the state’s interim senator until a special election scheduled for the following January would determine a successor.

Democrats were confident they’d be able to hold on to their 60th vote with candidate Martha Coakley, then the Massachusetts attorney general, who was running to fill Kennedy’s seat. But her Republican opponent Scott Brown’s upset victory left Senate Democrats, once again, short that one critical vote and forced party leaders to modify the proposed ACA bill in the House to match a similar but more moderate ACA that had been drafted in the Senate.

U.S. political history is rife with instances in which one Senate vote meant the difference between a bill’s passage or its failure.

Had Republicans rallied behind then-Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s January 2021 runoff elections, we could have mitigated much of the damage caused by the Biden administration’s overreach.

Although it’s highly likely that Republicans will win back the House majority in November, control of the Senate is too close to call. While we’d be foolish to put too much stock into pre-Labor Day polls, most are currently predicting that Democrats will retain control of the upper chamber.

Democrats consider the Pennsylvania Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring, to be the easiest to flip. The Real Clear Politics average of polls in this race shows the state’s current lieutenant governor, the far-left John Fetterman, up by
8.7 points
against his Republican opponent, the Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz.

There is a major enthusiasm gap between the two candidates. Despite his three-month stroke-induced hiatus from the campaign trail and his support for reducing the prison population in the Keystone State by one-third, Fetterman is wildly popular. The former longtime mayor of Braddock has repeatedly attacked Oz as a carpetbagger from New Jersey, and those attacks are resonating.

One report
found that “by a 16-point margin, fewer Republicans stay loyal to Oz (73%) than Democrats to Fetterman (89%). Same story on favorable ratings, as many more Democrats view Fetterman positively (88%) than Republicans view Oz (67%). Just 35% of those backing Oz say they support him enthusiastically, while 45% have reservations. For Fetterman, 68% back him enthusiastically and only 18% hesitate.”

Much of Oz’s weakness can be blamed on Republicans, many of whom have been slow to warm up to him. Pointing to previous statements he’s made on guns, abortion, and fracking, they don’t consider him to be “conservative enough.”

But the bottom line is that Republicans can’t afford to snub Oz. Control of the Senate is at stake.

Life is full of choices between two suboptimal options. And right now, we are at DEFCON 1 (the highest level of defense readiness). The pistol is cocked.

Nineteen months of Democratic governance has brought America to its knees. Over 2 million migrants will enter the country illegally this fiscal year alone. Among this group are gang members and individuals on the terrorist watch list. Due to the steady stream of dangerous drugs flowing over our open border, fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death among adults ages 18-45.

This administration’s failure to enforce the law and its embrace of criminal justice have caused crime rates in our cities to skyrocket.

The DOJ and the FBI have morphed into branches of the Democratic Party.

Never mind our record inflation rate or that the United States is in a technical recession — our government thinks we can spend our way out of our current economic woes. And, rather than spending money to hire additional Border Patrol agents or to put more police officers on the streets, the best and the brightest see fit to add 87,000 new IRS agents and fund new green energy programs we don’t need.

On every front, this administration has failed Americans, which is why Republicans don’t have the luxury of challenging the purity of Oz’s conservatism. Any Republican is better than a Democrat, who will eventually cave to party leadership for the right price. Remember that even the controversial Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, while Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the so-called “moderate” Democrat, not only supported this legislation but introduced it.

Please vote for Dr. Oz and any other Republican you might consider to be a “squishy” conservative. Do it for America.

Elizabeth Stauffer is a contributor to

Washington Examiner

Western Journal
. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, the Federalist, and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on

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