All That is Left Is to Vote

All That is Left Is to Vote

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

It seems that after months of agony and pain the election will come down to what it truly is supposed to be all about in the first place; the will of the people. The voters will decide the election and—hopefully—those who do not win will accept the public’s will. For some people in the Trump camp that may not be so easy at all should they lose.  At the end of the day it seems fairly clear that there are two unknowns in this election which may well determine the results and the future ability to govern; voter turnout and the composition of the Senate.

Hillary has had a major GOTV organization in place since she began her race. Her 2008 strategy, buttressed by the Obama success, and enormous teams on the ground will be tested but there is no reason to assume that they will fail to deliver. Only in the African-American community is the Clinton ground game likely not to be as impressive as was Obama’s; but the President the First Lady have been working that element very carefully for weeks. In addition, Hillary may well make up for any drop off among Black turnout with an expected spike in Latino voters. On the other side, there is no sign of a major Trump ground game and there never has been one. Whatever GOTV effort that they will have appears likely to come from the larger Republican Party effort and not directly from the Trump campaign organization.

The second unknown relates to governing. The composition of the new Senate remains unclear. The Democrats need a pick-up of at least four seats if Hillary wins or five if she loses in order to gain control of the Senate. While Democratic control of the House seems a very long stretch, the Senate remains definitely doable for the Dems unless there are too many last minute shifts at the top of the ticket which filter down the line.  The operational consequence for the country if the Democrats fail to take the Senate undoubtedly will be to insure four more years of legislative logjam. In the area of the Judiciary, moreover, there is a genuine likelihood that by 2020 there will only be six Justices still serving on the Supreme Court as well as the probability of a federal judiciary strewn with vacancies; assuming there are no confirmations forthcoming from a GOP controlled Senate.  This is indeed a possibility as a number of GOP Senators have pledged not to vote to confirm any judicial nominations put forward by a Democratic president; thus nullifying the ability of the third branch Government—like the executive and the legislative branches already–to be able function.  

It would seem that for most objective voters, this itself ought to be a deal breaker. Stay tuned.

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