A year after offering predictions that turned out correct about 70 percent of the time (based on his own calculations), Karl Rove puts on his prognosticator’s hat again and shares the results with Wall Street Journal readers.
So what does my crystal ball say for 2014? Mr. Obama’s Gallup disapproval rating will end higher than this week’s 53%. Republicans will keep the House with a modest pickup of 4-6 seats. The GOP will most likely end up with 50 or 51 Senate seats (in the former case, keeping Vice President Joe Biden fully occupied for two years presiding over the chamber). Control of the Senate may not be decided until December’s Louisiana runoff. Propelled by union contributions, Democrats will outspend Republicans overall in House and Senate races.
Republicans will lose a net of one or two of their 30 governorships. They’ll add to their numbers in statewide offices and state legislatures and see more Latino, Asian-American, African-American and women Republicans elected up and down the ballot.
Every Republican senator and virtually every representative challenged in a primary as insufficiently conservative will win. In reaction to ObamaCare, GOP political divisions are giving way to unity. Tens of millions more Americans will lose their coverage and find that new ObamaCare plans have higher premiums, larger deductibles and fewer doctors. Enrollment numbers will be smaller than projected and budget outlays will be higher. The White House will blame insurers and Republicans for the law’s continuing failures.
At year’s end, Kathleen Sebelius will still be HHS Secretary. Support for ObamaCare will drop below 30%, causing congressional Democrats to clamber for major changes and delays. The administration will resist most such ideas, except lifting the individual mandate penalty for 2014.
It won’t be all sweetness and light for the GOP, however. Republicans will debate joining rebellious Democrats in gutting and delaying elements of ObamaCare or leaving it alone.