Republican John Kennedy’s victory in the U.S. Senate race gives the GOP a larger majority in the upper chamber, 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats. ULM political science professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says this is an important win for Republicans because it gives them a larger cushion to deal with issues as they arise in the Senate.
"They can lose a member or even two, remember Vice President-elect Mike Pence will now have a tie breaker."
Stockley expects efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform will be close votes because these issues divide both parties. He says Obamacare is the chief accomplishment of the Obama Administration, and Democrats won’t want to give it up.
"Sure the Republicans will have a majority in the Senate but let's not forget that the filibuster actually makes the number needed to pass anything is 60."
Stockley doesn’t expect every vote to be an uphill battle. He says both parties can agree on things like infrastructure and reducing the national deficit. But he says we’ve seen a growing divide between the parties over the past few years.
"I fully expect bi-partisanship to occur on some issues but at the same time, I don't see a decades long trend of polarization reversing itself."