Republicans will claim a U.S. Senate majority on Tuesday —
and just as surely lose it in two years if they don't use their leverage to push job creation, tax reform and other concrete economic proposals, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux tells Newsmax TV.
"The goal here is twofold: one, get some things passed; but two, set this up so they can have a Republican president," the Florida Republican, lawyer and head of the Lemieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Tuesday.
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With polls open nationwide, Lemieux gave his rundown of key Senate races that could tip the balance of Senate power, and in his home state predicted a razor-thin victory for Republican Gov. Rick Scott over challenger Charlie Crist —
by 25,000 to 50,000 votes out of the millions that will be cast.
He deemed another governor's race —
the Wisconsin showdown between recall-beating Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic rival Mary Burke —
"too close to call."
He likewise declined to name a winner in Colorado, where well-liked Republican Rep. Cory Gardner could unseat Sen. Mark Udall.
LeMieux was more confident of outcomes elsewhere:
In Iowa, conservative star Joni Ernst will vanquish Bruce Braley for the Senate seat vacated by long-serving liberal Democrat Tom Harkin.
Kansas and Georgia will probably keep Republicans in the two Senate seats being contested there, despite some rocky moments for both GOP candidates, incumbent Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts and Georgia businessman David Perdue.
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown will pull off another upset in New England, this time edging out Democratic Sen. Jeane Shaheen in New Hampshire, despite his relatively recent relocation to the Granite State, LeMieux said.
Democrats, meanwhile, are still caught between fleeing President Barack Obama and using his power as the party's standard bearer to get voters off the couch, he said.
"They're trying to finesse it, to get the benefit of the turnout model without estranging middle-of-the-road voters who see the president and say, 'That's not somebody I want to support,'" said LeMieux.
In Crist's case, he said, that has meant turning to first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for help.
Lemieux predicted the upshot will be Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress —
and with greater responsibility to hold fewer "messaging votes" and do more substantive work.
"They're not going to repeal Obamacare with Barack Obama sitting in the White House," said LeMieux. "They're not going to do some of the other things that conservatives would like to get done with the president at the White House.
"What they can do is show the American people they can govern, set someone up to win the presidency, and then have all three branches."
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