Right now, the Democrats has numbers. The Obama campaign and their ground game really helped during the last 8 years even though the GOP did manage to take back the house in 2010 and undermined the filibuster proof that the Democrats had during the first two years of the first Obama term. Right now, the Democrats are looking better, not great, going into the 2014 mid-terms. You can bet the ground game is going to be very important. And it will look like the Democrats will hold serve in the Senate and has an outside chance of taking the House.
The thing is the GOP put themselves in this position. I respect the Tea Party movement. I do except for the parts where there are hints of racism to outright extremism. And that right-wing intolerance is something the GOP has to get rid of. And if it does, it should do it quickly.
This is something that I've been thinking about for a long time now. The GOP can still be conservative but also moderate at the same time, something that isn't possibly with the Tea Party rebels within its own ranks. Consider this poll in Virginia where Clinton loyalist, Terry McAuliffe, leads the GOP candidate by a margin of 51 to 39. Pretty bad for the GOP.
However, it might have been closer if not for the libertarian candidate who has 8% of the votes.
Even without a third party spoiler, the Republican candidate, Ken Cuccinelli II, probably won't win next week on November 4th when Virginians go to the polls because of the wave of discontent towards the GOP lead government shutdown.
But consider this. Let the Tea Party break off and form their own party. They'll probably take anywhere to the 8% to 10% of the electorate. Maybe, oh, 5% of House seats if that. While that might seem like a big loss to the Republicans, if the party moves towards the center, right of center, and is more sensible regarding working with the Democrats, they could potentially capture more of the middle and have a better time at attracting the independent votes.
The Republicans can still be for small and efficient government that is fiscally responsible but without the constant threats of trying to shut down the government and always pushing the US government closer and closer to a default on its debt obligations.
Of course, that's just a pipeline dream scenario. It's unlikely that such a model political party will emerge even if the Republicans excise itself of the Tea Party elements. It'll always be about money and power and party politics.
Also consider this. For this governor race in Virginia, the polling data showed support for the respective candidates are not so much as voting to support him but rather seen as casting a vote against the other guy. The GOP brand is so damaged now, it's not likely to recover in the near-term to win a national office.