2012 Congressional elections
Outcome of the 2012 congressional elections
In order to understand the outcome of the August 2012 congressional elections in the United States, it is necessary to start by understanding the arrangement of the house, by taking a brief background look on its arrangement and operations, and at the same time, the components of the house. One essential thing to note before taking this brief look is the fact that a political balance must be maintained in the house, for effective management and governance to be achieved. With this understanding, the United States congress house is a bicameral legislature, which means that it is a mixed house of governance and that requires concurrent majority during debates, in order to pass legislation and declare it a law. At the same time, the congressional house of the United States is a federal government (Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2000). It consists of two houses, which are the House of Representatives and the Senate house. These are the lower and the upper houses, respectively. Both houses are elected through a direct public election, with 435 and 100 members for the House of Representatives and the house of senate, respectively (Bruce, 1992).
Considering the fact that the United States’ population elects the congressional house, this is one of the ways through which the American citizens get a chance to exercise their democratic rights. At the same time, they get a chance to elect leaders based on what they expect from the leaders, as well as leaders of their own choice and preference, in terms of political parties. Before looking into the 113th congress in details and the impacts the 2012 elections had on the congress’ activities and implementation of its roles, it should be necessary to note the fact that the chief role that the congress has (taking into account its two houses-the house of representatives and the Senate), is legislation, which is making of the laws of the land to be applied in the United States of America, as expected by the united States’ constitution (Quirk, 2013).
The 2012 Congressional elections
The 2012 Congressional elections led to the formation of the 113th United States’ Congress, since the establishment of a formal, centralized government in the United States of America. The elections were held on November 6th 2012, and a total of 468 seats were set out for elections. One of the most essential things to note concerning the elections is the fact that as the United States of America headed into the elections, the Republicans had a majority of representatives in the United States House of Representatives, while the Democrats had full control of the House of Senates, judging by the number of representatives in the house. At the same time there was much dominance on the chief seat (the presidential seat) during the elections, because both the Republicans and the Democrats had much dominance in terms of the elections’ returns, which the Democrats ended up winning, in favor of President Barrack Hussein Obama. As a result, the Democratic Party ended up increasing a majority in the house of Senates after the November 6th 2012 elections, and reduced the majority number in the House of Representatives. Below is a breakdown of the performance of different parties, before and after the 2012 congressional elections.
The House of Senates, 2012
In the November 6th 2012 elections, a total number of 33 seats from the House of Senates were up for elections, after which 23 seats were taken up by the Democratic Party, while 10 seats were taken up by the Republican Party. This means that the Democratic Party took control over the house of Senates. At the same time, it only needed to win 21 seats in order to retain the house’s majority, while their opponents only needed to win 14 seats in order to take control and retain their power and control in the chambers. Richard Lugar and Scott Brown from Indiana and Massachusetts respectively, both on the Republican ticket, ended up loosing their seats to the Democratic Party. This led to the Democrats’ acquisition of the Simple Majority in the house of Senates. In conclusion, as of before November 6th 2012, the House of Senates comprised of 51 representatives from the Democratic Party and 47 representatives from the Republican Party, while two representatives were elected from independent parties. After November 6th 2012, the Democratic Party garnered 53 seats, while their Republican counterparts garnered 45 seats, while the Independent parties garnered 2 seats. This led to the Democratic retention of the Senate house (Lawrence, 2013).
The House of Representatives, 2012
One of the most essential things to note concerning the United States House of Representatives in the year 2012 is the fact that there were 435 seats up for elections. At the same time, it is also necessary to note the fact that the Republican Party had previously dominated in the House of Representatives, with over 33 seats. Prior to the 2012 elections, the house had a composition of 201 seats from the Democratic Party and 234 seats for the Republican Party. This made it a total of 435 seats. However, after the November 2012 elections, the Democratic Party garnered 193 seats while the Republican Party garnered 242 seats, which made the Republican Party farther powerful in comparison to the Democratic Party, which dominated the house of Senates as well as the chief seat, the presidential seat. From an analysis of the outcome of the elections in the House of Representatives, however, it is clear that the same outcome as the previous elections was maintained. However, the only change in this case, was the fact that the Republican party ended up gaining more seats, which has major implications on the country’s governance, especially, in the passing of decisions, bills and legislations. This is because the Republican Party ends up being the stronger party, irrespective of the fact that the Presidential Position is held by the Democratic Party (John, 2000).
At the same time, however, it is necessary to note the fact that there was a notable, fair balance in the different representations, considering the fact that the seats were almost fairly distributed across the major states and cities (Warren & Merrill, 1996). For example, New York, California and Illinois which are major cities elected the Republican Party, as well as the Democratic Party. This is necessary, especially in decision making, as well as ensuring that there is effective balance in legislations and governance (Oleszek, 2010).
Effects of the Congress’ 2012 elections’ outcome on its functions and roles
It is necessary to note the fact that the outcome of the elections as per November 6th 2012 will highly affect the way the Congress works, and various fields will be affected, but to different levels. For example, it is necessary to note the fact that one of the areas that will be highly affected is in bills and legislations, which is the law making process (Sinclair, 2006). This is because different houses have different powers (judging from the number of representatives they have, from the number of seats they voted in). It is necessary to note the fact that the difference in the number of seats as voted in during the elections will differently determine the number of bills passed by the different parties. For example, considering the fact that the Republican Party has gained more seats in the House of representative as compared to the previous elections (from 234 to 242 seats), one of the major impacts that will come along with it is the fact that the Republicans will be able to pass their bills and legislations more easily in comparison to their Democratic counterparts. This, therefore, means that the democratic Party will always need then Republicans’ votes in order to pass a bill into a law or onto to the next level. This is what is expected of the United States’ constitution, in order to pass the bill into a law, as expected of the simple majority rule (Jan, 2010).
At the same time, it is necessary to note that the outcome of the elections, especially considering necessary aspects such as statistics, highly affect the outcome of the decision making in the Congress. Considering the fact that The Congress is concerned with legislations (law making), the population in terms of the number of seats in each of the houses hugely determines how effective each party will be, especially, in passing legislations or voting in of bills (Schikler & Lee, 2011). There are other factors that will highly determine the effectiveness of the congress in carrying out its activities, apart from the number of people or representatives, or the population in each of these two houses. For example, the number of votes cast in each of the states and counties will determine the representatives and the governors’ opinions towards the bills that will be developed and that will arise from these states.
For example, bearing in mind the population density, Wyoming had the least number of votes cast, which totaled up to 244,445, while California had the best and the greatest turnout of voters which reached 12,600,000 voters. At the same time, it is necessary to note the fact that Wyoming had the greatest differential margin in the number of votes between two candidates, whereby the republican John Barrasso beat the Democrat Tim Chesnut with an alarming 54.1% differential margin. There are various outcomes that might be related to this, and that might affect the governance of this country. At the same time, it might affect the congress’ opinion towards the state and the county, to be specific. For example, one of the essential factors to note concerning the county is the fact that it has the lowest voter turnout, which amounted to 244,445 people. This means that there is a higher possibility that the county’s opinion and preference was not represented and reflected on the number of votes cast, as well as the leader selected. This, therefore, might highly affect the passing of bills in the state and the county, and this might slow down the congress’ activities and roles, such as law making (Fiorina, 2009).
At the same time, the smallest margin, whereby Heidi Hietkamp defeated Rick Berg, a republican, with a margin of 0.9%, might highly affect the effectiveness of the law and implementation of various strategies in the state, considering the fact that the Democrats will be under the watchful eye of the public as well as their Republican counterparts (Quirk, 2013).
Re-election is a very essential factor to put into consideration when looking at the effects of the 2012 congressional elections in the United States. This is because it will show the strong hold that different parties had in different areas, regions and states across the United States, and this will, definitely, affect how effective the organization and implementation of the congressional activities is in the 113th United States’ Congress. Congressional re-election is yet another essential factor to consider when looking at the effectiveness of the congress, and the impacts that the 2012 congressional elections will have on the congress in carrying out of its roles (Mann & Norman, 2012). For example, the fact that various leaders did not run for re-elections and had their former parties re-elected into the congress shows the dominance of these specific parties in their counties and states. Five democrats, four republicans and one independent representative did not run for re-election. The Democrats were Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (Wisconsin), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Jim Webb (Virginia) and Kent Conrad (North Dakota). The Republicans, on the other hand, were John Kyl (Arizona), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Olympia Snowe (Maine). Lastly, John Lieberman, on a non-partisan ticket, did not re-run for the Connecticut ticket (Larry, 2012).
In conclusion, from an analysis of the outcome of the 2012 congressional elections in the United States, it is evident that minimal changes took place in the organizational of the congress, especially, in the two major parties’ stronghold. However, the fact that The Republican Party continued to dominate the House of Representatives while The Democratic Party maintained its stronghold in the House of Senate brings equity in the house, especially, in the making of decisions and development of bills into laws. Therefore, this balance will ensure that justice is maintained (Candice, 2012). At the same time, considering the fact that both houses have their respective areas of domain, this is the most effective way of checking and balancing power between the democratic and the republican parties. However, on the flipside, some of the negative impacts that might come into the 113th congress are the fact that the Democratic Party’s bills might take longer to be approved from the House of Representatives into the Senate, due to the difference in the number of representatives in the House of representatives, in favor of the Republican Party (Bruce, 2008).
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