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Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe predicts GOP will take over Senate

Inhofe tells the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber that voters will sweep Republican senators into office after undergoing the "shock treatment" given the nation's economy through policies enacted by the president and fellow Democrats.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: August 27, 2010 at 5:42 am •  Published: August 27, 2010

Voters will respond to the "shock treatment" given by the president's national economic policies by sweeping in enough Republicans in November to take over the U.S. Senate, Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator said Thursday.

"Every institution that made America great happens to be under attack today," U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe told members of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber during a breakfast at the Oklahoma City Marriott. "Maybe America needed a shock treatment, and we got a shock treatment. ... I will predict the shock treatment will precipitate in a really great renaissance in the free enterprise system."

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said he expects Republicans could pick up as many as 13 seats in the Nov. 2 general elections to gain control. He listed off potential wins in Arkansas, Colorado, California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Connecticut and Oregon. Republicans need to pick up at least 10 seats to be in the majority; 34 seats are up for election. The Senate is made up of 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans and two independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Todd Goodman, asked later to comment, said Democrats should hold onto the majority in the Senate.

"The national trend of being anti-incumbent ... would tend to favor the party in the minority, but I think we'll maintain the majority," Goodman said. "So many of the Republicans are just battling for the fringe right. The tea party clearly is more identified with the Republican Party nationally, and I think that's going to be a very important factor."

Inhofe, elected in 1994 to the Senate to fill an unexpired term and re-elected three times since then, said Americans are starting to understand that policies by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats are attacking the oil, banking, insurance, health care and military industries.

"By attack, I'm talking about the government taking over," Inhofe said. "The public never believed that we would get to the point where our government would do what government is doing today."

The federal bailout programs that have added to the country's deficit are having an adverse effect on the economy, he said.

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