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For Republicans, election victory won’t end struggles

Los Angeles Times

Friday, October 31, 2014

In the battle for control of the Senate, Republicans have built their campaigns on a promise to block President Obama’s policies and ease Washington’s gridlock.

But accomplishing that may prove tougher than winning next week’s election.

A GOP Congress would almost certainly pick a quick fight with the White House over Obamacare, immigration and what Republicans see as the administration’s anti-coal policies.

Problem is, even if Republicans take the Senate, their majority would likely fall short of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, or the 67 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto…

If Republicans control both chambers, they’ll inherit a dismal record, and the next Republican presidential nominee is counting on them to turn it around.

“What every party does — it’s just human nature — when they come out of a big victory they take it as a mandate and they take it as a sign that everything they’ve done is right,” said Amy Walter, national editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, at a recent Bipartisan Policy Center forum. “That path is not one that is going to benefit Republicans in 2016. Looking like a party that can govern, looking like a party that has a message, that is the much bigger challenge for the Republican Party right now.”