By Greg Campbell
It is no secret that the political world is cyclical. The Democratic Party was down for the eight-count after the 2000 election, but has been crawling back ever since. The Party enjoyed a huge boost in 2008 as America was swept into a feverish Obama-mania, and though the “Hope”-tee-shirt-wearing enthusiasm has largely died down, the president secured a re-election in November and the Democrats still hold the Senate.
However, while the media has aimed to portray the GOP as down-and-out, the issue of gun rights has spurred the right to action. This has manifested in rallies across the country and strategists are suggesting that Democrats tread carefully as the GOP is appears to have a slight edge for the midterm elections in 2014.
The Second Amendment rallies speak to grander narrative than what the mainstream media allows. Thousands of people all across the country waved flags, holstered weapons and marched to their capitols to speak up for their right to bear arms and, by extension, their right to protect their other rights. The momentum is building, and that is, undoubtedly, weighing on the minds of Democratic strategists.
Elizabeth Sheld of Breitbart News outlined how the 2014 midterms are shaping up:
“There are 32 senators up for reelection in 2014. Of those, 20 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans. With Senator Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va) retirement in 2014, an additional senate seat is in play. Democrat resources will be spread thinner than the GOP’s on account of this seven seat discrepancy; there will be a Republican advantage in the upcoming campaign season.
Digging deeper, 12 of those 20 Democrat seats come from a state that is red or swing: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, W. Virginia, and Virginia. Those seats are vulnerable should the party run strong candidates.
An additional advantage for the GOP is Obama’s latest attempt to encourage some kind of gun control legislation. Those senators in gun-friendly states will have to choose: either back the President’s gun control agenda or risk handing their GOP opponents an effective talking point.”
However, more than mere numbers, the real danger for Democrats is their messaging. As Obama is emboldened by the prospect of his final term and free from the constraints of a re-election prospect, Congressional leaders have no such luxury and must choose to fall in line with the Democratic messaging put forth by President Obama, or risk incurring the wrath of an American populace who, historically speaking, have been fiercely protective of their gun rights.
While Democrats must decide what their messaging should entail, the GOP has no such dilemmas. While the GOP has been factionalized in recent years with moderates and conservatives butting heads, the issue of gun rights is one of the few issues that nearly all Republicans can easily support.
2014 may seem like a long ways away, but for those who wish to be re-elected, it is coming soon and the policy decisions they make will be scrutinized shortly.