McNinch: the months ahead - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

McNinch: the months ahead

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September and October

In the next two months, things will settle down and the real work of choice development will occur. The primary and general elections are two separate universes and it is a new game from now on.

The republicans have the goal to obtain a majority. The most deliberate way to do this would be to retain the current five incumbent senators and add three new ones. The top three in this group are Morrison, Limtiaco and McCreadie. It is a delicate process to keep all current senators and add three new ones, but the republicans have a slight advantage in a number of ways. They have the ability to claim that they can work better with the governor, promote mutual change and share new ideas to promote change. If the republicans took the majority, it would also mean a republican speaker.

The democrats on the other hand have an entirely different sort of dynamics. There are virtually ten incumbents including Aguon running in this race. The democrats already have the majority and they can claim that continuity would be best. The critical point the democrats have to argue is that the public should be satisfied with their efforts.

Since 1996 there have been eight elections and the majority has changed four times. These critical elections have become more frequent since the legislature was reduced from 21 to 15 members starting with the 1998 elections. In many respects, having more senators would better stabilize the legislature and provide for more of a buffer for vetoes.

The most important thing to remember in the next two months is that anything can happen in a 15 member format. Things can shift very fast and unexpectedly. Whether change will happen or not depends on a number of factors. The most important for many candidates will be advertising.

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