November Elections - Conclusion: The Next Election
The 2014 election is barely in the books, but attention already is focused on the next election in 2016, when the shoe will be on the other foot. Republicans swept in by the 2010 election will find it necessary to defend a larger number of Senate seats, some in blue (e.g.,Illinois) or purple states. Democratic presidential voting will increase the intensity of these races. Republican Senators remain primarily afraid of challenges from their right—the demise of Republican senators Bob Bennett in the Utah primary and Richard Lugar in the 2012 Indiana primary season did not reoccur in 2014, but only because Republican senators were far more aware of this potential threat, and fought back to win in Mississippi and elsewhere.
As senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX)— and, potentially, John Thune (R-SD) and Rob Portman (R-OH)—focus on the 2016 presidential election, there is a solid 2015 period for the Senate, House and president to find some area of common ground, which is what the American voter wants.
It is not going out on a limb to state the obvious: former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee (but then again, she looked that way in 2007), while the choice of Republican nominee is not nearly as clear (in fact, many GOP officeholders currently see themselves as potential presidents).