One month out – U.S. Senate still up for grabs

By Jim Irvine

In June I wrote an article detailing the importance of control of the U.S. Senate, especially if President Obama is re-elected. With a month till the November elections it is time to take a look to see how some critical U.S. Senate races are shaping up.

The U.S. Senate is critical because this is the body that approves or rejects treaties and judicial appointments. While the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court is critical, with less than 1% of all cases making it there, it is the 13 Federal Appeals Courts that may be the most influential courts in the land. In his first term, the President is said to have changed the make-up of four of those courts. What would the judicial makeup look like with another term? Devastating if you are a gun owner.

Senate leader Harry Reid (D) Nevada is pro-gun, but as a Democrat, he has mostly put party above principle and appointed anti-gun Democrats to the most powerful Chairman positions. He also voted to confirm two radically anti-self-defense justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. More such appointments could void Second Amendment rights for all Americans.

Republicans currently hold 47 seats, and must have a net gain of four seats to take control of the Senate. Polls continue to fluctuate and predictions still very considerable from source to source.

Election Projection currently predicts no change in the power struggle, with Republicans still holding only 47 seats after the November election.

Real Clear Politics shows things a little more murky with Democrats leading 45-43, and 12 states in the toss up column. Republicans would need to win eight of those 12 races to take control of the Senate. That seems unlikely if Obama were to be re-elected.

In Indiana, Anti-gun incumbent Luger (R) lost his primary. This traditionally Republican stronghold is now being called a toss-up or leaning Democrat. With Republicans likely to lose Massachusetts, they need to hold Indiana.

Florida, Virginia, and Connecticut all looked to be likely Republican gains a few months ago, but now seem to be toss-ups or even leaning Democratic. Even such likely pick-ups like North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska are not sure bets for Republicans.

In Ohio, Josh Mandel (R) who had closed the gap with incumbent and gun ban loving Sherrod Brown (D) has now reportedly slipped back in the polls.

But how accurate are the polls? In 2008 Obama took 51.5% of the Ohio vote while McCain got 46.91%, a margin of 4.59 points. (The remainder went to 3rd party candidates, illustrating how important it is not to waste your vote this election.) Recent polling shows Obama up by 10 points over Romney in Ohio, more than double his 2008 margin.

Given the lack of support in young voters that was such a big story four years ago, and many more Republicans seem excited about a Romney and Ryan ticket that was clearly lacking for John McCain one wonders how Obama could be stronger. Add the disappointment that the "hope and change" candidate would run a "transparent" and "non-partisan" office has changed into frustration with one of the most partisan and non-transparent administrations in our history and it seems impossible that Obama's lead has doubled compared to four years ago. Bottom line, I don't believe the polls.

Early voting is now underway in many states. We are less than four weeks till the polls close on this election cycle. It appears that many races are still up for grabs. The candidates with the best ground games will likely win.

If you have not gotten involved yet, now is the time. It is no longer enough to vote for pro-gun candidates, you must do more. Some people have time they can donate, others have money. Campaigns need help walking districts, putting up yard signs and making phone calls. If you live in a state where there is no Senate contest or the where the winner of the Presidential race is not in any doubt, you can help out Romney or other candidates anywhere by making phone calls. There is something for everyone, and everyone should be doing something.

Every four years we hear the cliché about this being "the most critical election of our lifetimes." Maria Heil has correctly pointed out that "This is the most dangerous election of our lifetime." Dangerous in deed if we lose. I implore all guns owners to dig in a little deeper in the final month of the campaign season and help a pro-gun candidate win.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, and winner of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award."

Related Article:
Plan B – The U.S. Senate

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