The recent vote to raise the debt ceiling was controversial within the Republican Party. While some felt that any vote to increase the ceiling was a continuation of decades of reckless government spending and a sell out of the nations future, others believed that yes vote on the ceiling was necessary to avoid the loss of political favor caused by the October shut down and keep GOP eyes on the ultimate goal, a Senate takeover. Only by controlling both houses of congress, those who voted yes contend will the party have enough power to begin the reversal of the national spending binge.
A report in Tuesday's New York Times seems to agree with the Republicans who voted for the debt ceiling increase:
Democrats acknowledge that the Republican retreat on the debt issue was politically wise and represents yet another factor in the mounting concerns over their own Senate prospects. Democrats are counting on bursts of political extremism to wound Republican candidates. The move by Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, and Mr. Cornyn, of Texas, showed that at least some Republicans have learned from past defeats.
“They seem to want to be on their best behavior in an election year,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat.
With their party on offense in its push to capture the Senate, Republicans say they are determined to avoid the mistakes and stumbles that Democrats exploited in 2010 and 2012 to maintain control of the Senate.
And the strategy seems to be working according to Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball GOP Leads on 2014 Senate Map: Republicans 49, Democrats 48, 3 Tossups. And other polling data suggest that a switch in control may be in play.
The National Journal adds:
Republican gains and President Obama's weakness have Democrats on their heels, preparing to fight for Senate seats they never thought they would have to defend and hoping that 2016 will give them a chance to win back the Senate if they lose it next year. What's changed in the past month is that a handful of states once thought to be safely Democratic—such as Michigan, Oregon, and Virginia—could become highly competitive in a best-case GOP scenario. If President Obama's approval ratings don't improve and Republicans catch a few breaks, the GOP could ride a wave to a majority that could withstand a small 2016 setback.While most Republicans do not believe the debt ceiling should be continually raised, those who voted for the increase (while holding their noses) to keep their eyes the ultimate goal of a senate takeover and real power to confront the President, seem to be justified by the latest polls and the words of the Democratic Party leadership.