2014 is sure to be an exciting year for many reasons and the upcoming midterm elections ensure that this year will be filled with many fascinating twists and turns! This coming November, all 435 members of the United States House of Representatives will be up for re-election, as well as 33 United States Senators (plus three “special” Senate seats) and 38 Governors. Six years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats are hoping to maintain control of the United States Senate, despite the politically turbulent rollout of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Republicans hope that Obamacare will be an issue they can wield against the handful of Democrat incumbents up for re-election in red & purple states. As the 2014 midterm map currently stands, Republicans will need a net gain of 6 Senate seats in order to claim a majority in the upper house of Congress.
There are, however, two red states – in the South – in which Democrats are playing offense – Kentucky and our own state of Georgia. In Kentucky, Democrats hope that secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Ky, will unseat five-term senator and incumbent senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R, while in Georgia, Democrats hope to pick up the seat vacated by senator Saxby Chambliss, R, who is retiring in January 2015. Michelle Nunn, D, daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, D-Ga., is the clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary, while the GOP primary is currently a divided contest between eight candidates. In addition to the hotly contested Senate race, which has the potential to decide the balance of power in Washington, Georgia will also receive attention for the gubernatorial election. Incumbent governor Nathan Deal, R, is seeking re-election, and is opposed by state senator Jason Carter, D, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter. Governor Deal also faces opposition from within his own party, in the form of primary challenges from state schools superintendent John Barge, and from David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton. The Democrat side is much less competitive: currently, Jason Carter faces no opposition in the Democrat primary from within his own party. We’ll be keeping a close eye on both of these races.