THE LACKLUSTER CONGRESSIONAL AND GUBERNATORIAL campaigns (for the most part) should end up in non-decisive, lackluster results as voters head to the polling booths to pull a lever for democracy and the continuation of a free society in these United States. That's going out on a limb we grant you, but that's the impression we get from political pros and seasoned journalists in The Journal of Commerce's New York newsroom.
Our prediction is that the Republican Party will retain its majority in the Senate. Now that's really going out on a limb because 22 Republican seats are up for election compared with only 12 Democratic seats. The Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate. We see that gap closing but still with the Republicans in charge of all the chairmanships of the committees come the 100th Congress in January.The Democrats will retain their majority in the House, which comes as no surprise to anyone. The Democrats currently have a 253-180 edge over the Grand Old Party. (For the mathematical ones among our readers, yes, that does not add up to 435 members - two seats have been vacant.) The political pros figure the Democrats should add anywhere from 10 to 25 seats to their majority. We have no reason to dispute that.
Generally, the American people vote for Democrats in the House because they, as a party philosophy, generally are more responsive to the parochial interests of their constituents, or at least that's what the constituents perceive.
Americans vote Republicans into the Senate for just the opposite reason. The Republicans often will sacrifice parochial interests to ideological leanings, like fiscal restraint, strong defense - again, that's what the voters perceive. Put another way, the Democrats tend to try to buy an election whereas the Republicans figure why buy what they already own.
A total of 36 states will vote on governorships today, 27 of which are held by the Democrats. The Republicans should add to their own number.
The key to the election, as we see it, is that President Reagan has eliminated the Democrats' basis for buying an election. By running up deficit upon deficit in government and not increasing taxes to bring in added
revenues, no one - not even the Democrats - can find any money to spend on programs that will give them a leg up on the election. President Reagan's fiscal irresponsibility has forced the Democrats to be fiscally responsible. And that's a game at which they are not very good. When Democrats call for fiscal responsibility, the voters heed the cry and vote Republican.