With so much apparently riding on the line, you would have thought voters to come out in droves, instead they seemed to be battened down in their homes after a media blitzkrieg like none ever before in midterm elections. Campaign spending in 2014 dwarfed that in 2010, when the Republicans similarly swept the country in midterm elections, retaking the House of Representatives in unprecedented fashion, as well as key governor races.
Texas had an abysmal 28.5% voter turnout, in what had once been seen as a hotly contested governor's race between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott. Wendy failed to ignite the electorate even with The Daily Show making a special appearance in Austin in the run-up to the election. Unfortunately, for the woman in pink Mizunos it was a "Democalypse," as it was for many Democrats across the country.
Now, the surviving Democrats all appear to be tacking right in Red States, like Claire McCaskill in Missouri, who the Democrats spent big bucks on to keep her Senate seat in 2012. Apparently, she now has eyes on the governor's mansion in 2016. The Blue Dogs appear to be uniting around Keystone, a show of faith, if you will, to their electorate that they are willing to work with Republicans.
Of course, that has always been the case with Blue Dog Democrats. It is a term that dates back to 1995 when Texas Democrat Pete Geren felt he was being "choked blue" by Democrats on the Left, and threw his support behind Republican bills in Congress. He was eventually rewarded for his efforts by the Bush administration, which made him US Secretary of the Air Force.
By 2010, the Blue Dog Coalition had pretty much been replaced by Republicans in Congress, making you wonder how it held together. Obviously, it didn't pay to be a Democrat in red states even if you were willing to cast your lot behind conservative causes, and local Democrats viewed these "Blue Dogs" as little more than sellouts. Still the Democratic National Committee (DNC) tried to hold onto these seats by pouring money into their campaigns. There are still enough of them left to turn votes in the Senate, which is what Mary Landrieu is desperately trying to do on Keystone, but most likely she will be gone by January, replaced by a Republican.
Mercifully, this Republican majority may be short lived come 2016, as they have planted themselves on the wrong side of key issues and Presidential election years don't usually bode well for them in Congress. Plus, they have 24 Senate seats to defend, whereas the Democrats have only 10, not counting potential retirements. For once, an election favors the Democrats.
Unfortunately, Democrats have shown themselves time and time again to be their own worst enemies, as this incredibly low turnout shows. Had they presented a united front, building their campaigns on a resurgent economy, a successful health insurance exchange program, and meaningful immigration reform, I'm sure they could have turned out more voters. Instead, they played right into the Republicans' strategy of presenting the United States as a country in chaos by challenging their own President on everything from immigration reform to his policy in the Middle East.
Maybe "Fair Weather Democrats" would be a better name for these Blue Dogs, as they only seem to identify themselves as Democrats when it suits their interests.