Republicans Can Still Control the Senate
As of this writing, Democrats have 50 Senate seats, and Republicans have 49, with one remaining seat to be determined, that of Alaska. The interesting thing about Alaska is that both candidates in that tight race are Republicans, so no matter who wins in Alaska, it will add another republican seat in the Senate, creating, much like the last legislative session, a tie. The vice president of the United States, who by the Constitution is the President of the Senate, has the power to break ties, so Democrats have 50 seats and the vice president’s 51st tie-breaking vote and, in turn, control.
Sometime soon, Alaska will be decided, giving 50 seats to the Democrats and 50 seats to the Republicans, but we have a contested race in Georgia which caused a runoff election in December. If senator Warnock receives 50% + 1 of the votes, he becomes the senator for the state of Georgia, and the Democrats still have a tie with the vice president, making the tie-breaking vote.
If the Senate is 50/50 going into the runoff election in Georgia, depending upon the outcome, the Democrats could have 50 or 49. Currently, the Senate count is based on Warnock. If Warnock loses, a Democratic Senate seat comes off the board and goes to the Republicans, who will have 51 in the Senate and control the house. If this outcome were to happen, the vice president could still be called on to break ties.
There is an opportunity for the Republicans to change a Democrat into a republican; that candidate is Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia. He could switch his allegiance away from the Democratic Party and become either an Independent or a Republican. Why would he do this? The answer is quite simple, West Virginia’s people loved him in the springtime, but now they’re very dissatisfied with what he’s done.
In April of this year, a West Virginia poll by the Morning Consult showed Manchin having an approval rating of 57%, which was one of the top 10 highest approval ratings among all senators. That increased from only 40% in the first quarter of 2021.
However, in October of 2022, the Washington Examiner reported Sen. Joe Manchin’s approval rating dropped by double digits, which makes him one of the most unpopular senators, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. In six months, he went from one of the most popular to one of the least popular senators in the United States.
Only 42% of registered voters approve of Manchin, and 51% disapprove after the senator lost many supporters from Republicans and Independents. In a poll during the first quarter of 2022, his approval rating was close to 60%, and his disapproval rating was less than 40%. The change in his approval rating could be rooted in his recent support for President Joe Biden’s policy agendas. Manchin horse traded his support for the inflation legislation in exchange for a commitment to drill and build a pipeline in West Virginia. When Schumer finally introduced the drilling opportunity, it was soundly defeated in the Senate. President Biden said there would be no more drilling on government lands, including West Virginia, the weekend before the midterm elections. The word in Washington is that some of the Senators, including Democrats like Manchin, are very angry.
Manchin is up for reelection in 2024 and given his significant decline in popularity in his home state, he might not win the election. One must wonder how it is possible to go from best to worst in 6 months and not look at the decisions he made that took away all his power. If the gentleman from West Virginia wants some of that power back, he needs to switch parties. Imagine his power if he became independent and caucused with Republicans.
Dan Perkins is the author of 9 books and is a nationally syndicated talk show expert on energy. He is the founder of the Black and White radio and TV network promoting free speech. He is the host of two shown on the network Blacks and Whites and Dan After Dark. You can find more info about Dan and his works at danperkins.guru.