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News Analysis: Demographics seem to favor Republicans in 2014 elections

by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Despite all reasons to relax, there's one thing that could cause U.S. Democrats to stumble in the 2014 mid-term Congressional elections: demographics.

Indeed, blacks, Hispanics, youth and single women -- Democrats' base -- tend to be absent from Congressional elections, while older, more conservative voters -- Republicans' traditional supporters -- would in all likelihood go out for voting this November.

The trend bodes ill for Democrats, but the party has a few tricks up its sleeve, and is now making serious efforts to get single women out to vote them. That has worked in the past in states like Virginia, where unmarried women's support of Terry McAuliffe led to his victory in the governor elections, experts said.

Democrats are also going to try to boost the turnout of blacks, Hispanics and young voters in the midterms, Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

"They want to generate enthusiasm, make the midterms sexy for these voters," O'Connell said.

"Democrats will use the war on women as a focal point, as well as the minimum wage hike to rally voters," he said, referring to the party's push for an increased minimum wage.

At the same time, dozens of delays in the implementation of U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, or Obamacare, may help Democrats. That is because the law's full effects, which some experts believe will spark higher taxes for Republican voters, will not kick in until after the elections.

Moreover, 64 percent of Americans believe Obamacare does not personally impact them, according to a Gallup poll, and that could give Democrats some breathing space in the run up to November elections.

But experts said that Democrats and the White House may also have to contend with the so-called "six year itch", the tendency of presidents and their parties to fare poorly in their sixth-year terms.

The phenomenon goes back several decades, as U.S. Senate lost four seats in 1966 and 1974, six years into the Kennedy-Johnson and Nixon-Ford administrations, and six seats in the 2006 second midterms of George W. Bush's presidency, noted the National Journal.

Eight seats were lost in 1986, and 12 in the 1958 election. Going back further, there were a total of 72 seats lost in the House under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, the media noted.

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