Mitch Perry Report 11.4.14: Election Day is here

There's little more to be said about the races and issues before Floridians on this Election Day. The polls are open throughout the state and will be until 7 p.m. tonight, but the first statewide vote tallies won't be coming in until shortly after 8 p.m., since the Panhandle is on Central Daylight Time.

So let's segue over to the national scene, where the only story seems to be how good a night it will be for the Republican Party. The focus is on whether the GOP will take over the Senate, which has been controlled by the Democrats since 2006. 

There are lots of problems going on in the U.S., and the default during a midterm is to punish the party in power, which is why you're hearing lots about how Barack Obama and his policies are on the ballot, and a drag on some Senators in states where the president is in particularly rough shape. 

And that's true in terms of his personal approval ratings, which are at 44 percent. So if the Republicans do well, it's not like the public is embracing their policies (whatever they happen to be), it's just a chance to vote against the president.

The New York Post's John Podoretz wrote on Sunday that a "Republican wave won’t guarantee a Republican victory in 2016 by any means, but it will give Republicans a huge opening to advance their arguments about the best approach to America’s future."

That would mean solid plans to address the woes of the middle class and beginning to come up with plans to address America's crumbling infrastructure — and not voting again to repeal ObamaCare.  

In Ybor City yesterday, Jeb Bush used some of the rhetoric he and other Republicans have been making across the country against the Democrats: "In Washington, they haven’t balanced a budget in six years. in the last two years there’s been 360 bills passed the House of Representatives, many with bipartisan support, that are sitting on Harry Reid’s desk. The Republicans aren’t the party of no. Harry Reid is just following the orders of Barack Obama, who would prefer to use executive authority that he or may not have." 

But can the party of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner rise above their own civil war within the party to get things done? 

Let's be honest: The biggest reason the Republicans are going to do well in the Senate is that most (but not all) of the competitive Senate races are in red states (New Hampshire and Colorado notwithstanding). In 2016 the Senate seats up for re-election will be on more favorable Democratic Party turf, as well as the fact that more of their electorate will turn out. 

In other news...

Pam Bondi and Jeb Bush came to Ybor City yesterday afternoon to fire up the masses, most of whom admitted that they'd already voted before today's election.

Every seat in the 435-member House of Representatives is up for election tonight. Despite Congress' anemic approval ratings, most every one of the incumbent members will be re-elected. Tampa Democrat Kathy Castor says she understands the public's enmity. 

And HART's board voted yesterday to make interim CEO Katharine Eagan its permanent leader.

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