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How Election 2014 could create a Charlie Brown Congress

The Christian Science Monitor

Friday, October 31, 2014

If Republicans win control of the Senate on Nov. 4 – and thus gain full control of Congress – it just might be that more gets done in Washington, rather than less, that dysfunction sputters into some semblance of function, and that Republicans and President Obama cooperate a bit more with each other.

At least, that’s what happened after the 1994 midterms, when President Clinton worked with a GOP Congress in the wake of the “Republican Revolution.”

Or maybe it would be more like the Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown, urging him to kick it. Everyone knows what happens next. We’ll let you guess who Mr. Obama is in this scenario…

It may appear that the tea party was vanquished in this year’s GOP primaries, but trend lines show these contests are becoming more competitive, not less, said Amy Walter of the independent Cook Political Report at a Bipartisan Policy Center event on Thursday. Incumbents will have to keep themselves ideologically pure, because that’s what their base wants. Which brings us to the next point.

KEYWORDS: SURVEYS AND POLLS, 2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS, WHIT AYRES, MARK MELLMAN, AMY WALTER