Election Prospects Put A Spring In Dems' Steps

Senate Democrats have emerged from the government shutdown more confident about holding control of the upper chamber in 2014 — with some polls fueling hopes the party could pick up a seat or two currently held by the GOP.

The sentiment marks a shift in attitude even from this summer, when partisans on both sides viewed control of the Senate as a toss-up.

The optimism is being tempered by concerns that a botched rollout of ObamaCare could cloud the electoral horizon and nullify shutdown gains made at the expense of the GOP.

“They certainly made the road to a Senate majority much more difficult,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell, referring to congressional Republicans who embraced the shutdown strategy.

O’Connell said the shutdown fundamentally undermined the GOP’s message for 2014.

“The argument the GOP is making is that you have to put us back in charge of governance,” he says. “And I’m sure as the dust settles, there are going to be independents scratching their heads on that one.”

Read more from Alexandra Jaffe at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy