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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Familiar face of gridlock may return to Capitol Hill

Senate House
Senate House (Photo credit: Peter Schauer)
Washington, Nov.7, swing trading .-  Meet the new Congress — same as the old Congress?
With less than 24 hours remaining until Election Day, there’s a very real possibility that Capitol Hill will look much the same after Tuesday as it does now. Several pundits say that the Senate will remain in Democratic control, and that Republicans will keep control of the House.
That doesn’t mean either party won’t pick up a seat here or there, or that committee chairmen won’t change down the road. But it does point to at least two years of a divided Congress for whomever is elected president. Right now, President Obama appears to have the edge in the Electoral College — a scenario that one analyst sees hurting the odds of a deficit deal.
“An Obama victory will simply reinforce the legislative victories of his first term,” wrote Neil Dutta of Renaissance Macro in a note on Monday. “But there is no reason to expect groundbreaking legislation in his second term, which makes a credible multi-year deficit reduction deal less plausible, in our view.”
In the Senate, Republicans need four seats for a majority if Obama is reelected and three if Romney wins. The Rothenberg Political Report calls Republican chances of recapturing the Senate “decidedly long,” and the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato sees no net change in the numbers, with Democrats retaining 53 seats and Republicans keeping 47.
The odds for a Democratic takeover in the House are even longer. They need a net gain of 25 seats for a majority. The Cook Political Report sees the most likely outcome being a Democratic net gain of between zero and five seats.
– Robert Schroeder
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