This is a year in which the next president, along with all members of the House of Representatives and half of the U.S. Senate, will be elected. Should you care? You'd better.
Early predictions indicate the possibility that one party, the Democrats, will take the White House and increase their numbers in the House and Senate. If this happens, there could be significant changes in the political landscape including how the government deals with health care.
This is not the time to be on the sidelines. Let's look at the facts as we know them today, with the caveat that things can change overnight in politics. Everyone in the political world is looking at the presidential election, and the major interest groups in the country will be actively involved. However, that doesn't mean the profession should expend its minimal resources on this race. We are not suggesting the profession ignore the presidential race, but that individual doctors, rather than the national organizations, become actively involved in the campaigns of both candidates.
The congressional races are a different story. With our effective grassroots organization and some targeted contributions, these races provide the profession with the opportunity to be noticed and to make a difference in both the U.S. Senate and House. Many independent political analyses are predicting the Democrats will gain 10 to 20 seats in the House and four to seven in the Senate. If this election is a blowout for the Democrats, these numbers could get higher.
A Wall Street Journal article put a significant victory for Democrats in prospective, which should make us all stand up and take notice: "A wider margin of control in both chambers would give the (Democratic) party a more workable majority, a change that would let it push more ambitious agendas on health care, energy policy and tax issues. While Democrats are already able to pass much of their agenda through the House, many of those bills currently get stuck in the Senate where the threat of a filibuster stops the measure. This would change."
Here are some races to watch as chiropractic friends run for election. This list is divided into two sections: The first list includes candidates considered vulnerable; the other includes incumbents not considered vulnerable.
Chiropractic Friends in Target (Close) Races
Indiana - Rep. Steve Buyer (R)
Maine - Sen. Susan Collins (R)
Minnesota -Sen. Norm Coleman (R)
Pennsylvania - Rep. Phil English (R)
South Dakota -Sen. Tim Johnson (D)
Chiropractic Friends Up for Re-election:
California - Rep. Xavier Becerra (D)
California - Rep. Bob Filner (D)
Georgia - Sen. Saxbe Chambliss (R)
Georgia - Rep. John Lewis (D)
Hawaii - Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D)
Iowa - Sen. Tom Harkin (D)
Iowa - Rep. David Loebsack (D)
Kansas - Rep. Jerry Moran (R)
Maine - Rep. Mike Michaud (D)
Montana - Sen. Max Baucus (D)
Nebraska - Rep. Lee Terry (R)
New York - Rep. John McHugh (R)
Rhode Island - Sen. Jack Reid (D)
Texas - Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D)
Texas - Rep. Gene Green (D)
Virginia - Rep. Thelma Drake (R)
Be watching for tactical opportunities in these and other races as we come down to the final month of the elections.