As Americans head to the polls today to decide the makeup of the Senate, a question that’s sure to be on their minds is, “What if the GOP takes the Senate?” TAI asked two distinguished political analysts, Michael Barone and Kyle Kondik, what the main effects of the Republicans’ capturing the Senate would be.Michael Barone tells us, notwithstanding all of the heated criticism of the President’s policies in the Middle East and elsewhere, to expect only minor tremors in foreign policy:
[T]he Obama Administration already has officials in place in the most important posts—Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense—and, like all Administrations, has considerable leeway in the conduct of foreign policy and the deployment of military forces. Republican capture of the Senate could alter the balance of power and move the fulcrum point of negotiations on foreign policy to some extent. But it will not necessarily alter American foreign policy in a major way for the remaining two years of the Obama Administration, and it is even more unlikely to make a difference in crisis decision-making.
Kyle Kondik, meanwhile, thinks that gridlock won’t get any worse if the GOP takes the Senate but thinks there’s a real possibility for a major showdown over judicial confirmations:
Assuming Republicans could keep their caucus together—a big “if” that greatly depends on the size of a new majority—a Republican-led Senate could potentially reject any and all Obama nominees for Administration positions and judicial appointments. That includes anyone Obama would nominate for a hypothetical Supreme Court vacancy. Given the immense value to both parties of lifetime Supreme Court appointments, it’s worth considering the potential for a truly historic and divisive showdown between Obama and the Senate over a Supreme Court nomination.
Both are worth your time as you wait for the election results to roll in this evening.