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Why Republicans Think They've Got the Math for a Senate Majority
National Journal ^ | 07/14/2013 | By Alex Roarty

Posted on 07/14/2013 6:22:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

For the first time this year, Republican strategists believe they're within striking distance of taking back control of the Senate, thanks to untimely Democratic Senate retirements and red-state Democratic recruits deciding not to run for Congress. The latest blow to Democrats: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's surprising decision Saturday to pass up a campaign.

Republican recognize that they only need to win three Senate seats in the most of conservative of states -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska -- and Mitch McConnell could be a Majority Leader in 2015. (That is, if McConnell can hold onto his own Kentucky seat.) The latest developments underline how punishing the map is for Democrats for 2014, and little margin for error they have.

Democrats can afford to lose up to five Senate seats and still maintain their majority, but they already risk conceding over half that number before campaigning even gets underway.

Schweitzer was the type of grade-A recruit who could nearly guarantee victory despite Montana's Republican leanings. His near-universal name recognition, blunt outspokenness, and statewide organization made him a heavy favorite, especially when Republicans had yet to field a first-tier challenger. Big Sky Country was beginning to look like a long-shot for the GOP.

But somewhere along the way, Schweitzer got cold feet. Montana Democratic officials were expecting Schweitzer to announce his campaign earlier this week, and were caught by surprise when they didn't hear from the former governor. Democrats are claiming -- after the fact -- that they were concerned about vulnerabilities in his background, but Republicans claim that the difficult political environment for Democrats in Montana also played a role.

"We did our homework and there was a lot of rust under Schweitzer's hood – a LOT of rust," said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Just as important though is that Schweitzer looked at the race and realized he couldn't win in light of how unpopular the Democrat agenda of higher taxes, bankrupting spending, and the ObamaCare train wreck is in Montana these days."

Indeed, Schweitzer's backing out is illustrative to a mounting recruiting problem for Senate Democrats in conservative states, which make up a disproportionate share of the battleground matchups in 2014. The party has failed to persuade any of its top choices in West Virginia, where Rep. Nick Rahall and attorney Nick Preservati passed on bids. In South Dakota, the party missed out on former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and the son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson. In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow decided not to run, but the party rallied behind Michelle Nunn, daughter of former senator Sam Nunn. The party's biggest red-state recruit is Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose campaign against McConnell has gotten off to a rocky start.

Possible Democratic candidates for the Montana Senate seat include Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, Denise Juneau, state superintendent of public instruction, Monica Lindeen, the state's auditor, Brian Morris, a state Supreme Court justice, and state Sen. Kendall Van Dyke.

On the Republican side, all eyes are on freshman Rep. Steve Daines, who comfortably won the state's at-large House seat last year.

"We remain confident that Democrats can hold the Montana seat and the overall math still favors Democrats next year," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil. "Only three Democratic incumbents have lost reelection in the last decade. Our incumbents are positioned to win, we've already recruited a strong challenger to Mitch McConnell and Republicans have failed to expand the senate map into blue and purple states."

That's been the Democratic saving grace this election year -- that Republicans have struggled to recruit top candidates in the traditional battlegrounds -- against Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado and for open seats in Iowa and Michigan.

But if Democrats struggle to put Montana in play without Schweitzer, that means the path to a majority will run through Louisiana and Alaska, not the more Obama-friendly confines of the Midwest and Northeast. That's an unnerving proposition for Democrats, given how badly the party has struggled outside their comfort zone lately.


TOPICS: Campaign News; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: gop; republican; senate
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1 posted on 07/14/2013 6:22:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

They better sharpen their pencils if they even THINK they have a chance.


2 posted on 07/14/2013 6:26:11 AM PDT by unixfox
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To: SeekAndFind

Gee! And yeah, they did so well in the 2012 elections!


3 posted on 07/14/2013 6:26:43 AM PDT by MrChips (MrChips)
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To: SeekAndFind

Gonna need more than math.

They’re going to need a positive message and actual plan for American restoration.


4 posted on 07/14/2013 6:28:49 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

stupid party wishful thinking is not mathmatics.

has the gop had any math problem correct?

Dole, Mccain, Romney?


5 posted on 07/14/2013 6:28:52 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: SeekAndFind

Republican majority or not. The GOPe Senate largely suffers from a fatal case of appeasing, backstabbing, lying, sniveling, deranged, snakebelly betrayal to conservative Americans. Without a strong Conservative leader, either in the Senate, or in the White House, these country club Senators will continue to sell us down the river for a dinner party invitation with media a$$holes, meetings with the opposition, and the power they still have to feather their own corrupt nests.


6 posted on 07/14/2013 6:29:31 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind
Six states to flip that even Romney carried + LA should be slam dunk pick ups.
7 posted on 07/14/2013 6:31:15 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yeah, that’s what they said the last time. And every one of the establishment nominees went down in flames.

Although, this class of seats is a good one. This is the same class where the republicans held their ground in the Clinton reelection, and took back the senate from the democrats in 2002 after Jim Jeffords betrayal. The 2008 tide was a well-funded fluke. Most of the seats either have freshmen or retirements.

The keys to a senate majority will be good candidates defeating moderate establishent nominees. Oh, and for an actual majority, we need to defeat Lindsey Graham. And getting rid of Collins, McConnell, Corny, Enzi and Alexander in primaries would be nice too!


8 posted on 07/14/2013 6:31:53 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: SeekAndFind

—don’t count your chickens before they hatch-—


9 posted on 07/14/2013 6:32:58 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: SeekAndFind

A Republican Senate majority. So What! The Republicans don’t know how to use a majority. And if they should gain the majority they would be embarrassed and apologetic about it and trip over themselves trying to please Obama and his Democrats — not to mention the Democrat News Media in America. And then there are RINOS — Democrat Party collaborators among them. Nothing much would get done.


10 posted on 07/14/2013 6:33:41 AM PDT by StormEye
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To: SeekAndFind
There are 45 Republicans, 53 Democrats and 2 Independents who vote with the Dems in the Senate going into the 2014 election. For me that means the GOP needs a net pickup of SIX SEATS in the 2014 election to control the Senate.

A five vote pickup would lead to a 50/50 tie that would be broken with a Biden vote for the Dems. Based on past performance (2012) this looks like a tall hill to climb. But, as always, fingers crossed.

11 posted on 07/14/2013 6:36:55 AM PDT by InterceptPoint (If I had a tag line this is where you would find it)
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To: SeekAndFind
SO WHAT.....McCain, Graham, Rubio, Flake, Ayotte, Murkowski,....the 'pubs would have to compensate for the traitors before we had a majority. Besides that, with the CheapLabor globalist puppet masters will have too much control over the nomination process.

Keep in mind GWB was president and had majorities in both the HOR and US Senate. He started a lot of the initiatives that Obama followed through on during that time.

We really are dependent on a conservative HOR inspiring Senate conservatives.

12 posted on 07/14/2013 6:41:30 AM PDT by grania
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To: grania

Here’s their math (remember, this is NOT a Presidential election, it is state by state ):

There are states to concentrate on and they fall into two groups .... “Take Back” states and “Upgrade” states as follows:

Take Back (from Dem incumbent)

Alaska – Begich
Arkansas – Pryor
Colorado – Udall
Louisiana – Landrieu
Montana – Baucus
North Carolina – Hagan
South Dakota - Johnson
West Virginia - Rockefeller

Upgrade (from lesser conservative)

Georgia – Chambliss
South Carolina – Graham
Tennessee – Alexander
Texas – Cornyn
Wyoming - Enzi

With the exception of Colorado (should be GOP), every state went Romney in 2012.


13 posted on 07/14/2013 6:43:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes, well put. Those who are comparing this to 2012 don’t know what they’re talking about. The more proper analogy would be 2010. And Obama Care / IRS will work against the Dems bigtime in ‘14.


14 posted on 07/14/2013 6:45:41 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: unixfox

Republicans wouldn’t know what to do with a majority if they had one. Too many weak RINOs and a propensity to maintain the status quo of expansive government. They have a majority in the House and have largely squandered many opportunities to constrain the Obama regime.


15 posted on 07/14/2013 6:45:58 AM PDT by Starboard
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To: cripplecreek

They’re going to need a positive message and actual plan for American restoration.
*******
Even if they have a message and a plan, they will still fail on execution. Unlike the Democrats, Republicans simply don’t play to win. There’s no real leadership.


16 posted on 07/14/2013 6:48:04 AM PDT by Starboard
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To: cotton1706
... this class of seats is a good one. This is the same class where the republicans held their ground in the Clinton reelection, and took back the senate from the democrats in 2002 after Jim Jeffords betrayal. The 2008 tide was a well-funded fluke. Most of the seats either have freshmen or retirements.

And 2008 is the 'fluke' of the first Black president 0bama coronation wave.

There are at least 13 states that can elect a candidate to the Senate that is more like Ted Cruz than Juan McQueeg.

17 posted on 07/14/2013 6:53:28 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: longtermmemmory

stupid party wishful thinking is not mathmatics.
*******
Stupid and WEAK party. Too many appeasers and people content to compromise with Dems. It is amusing to watch the Dems manipulate Republicans year after year using the same old Democrat playbook and very predictable tactics. And the Republicans are outmaneuvered every time.


18 posted on 07/14/2013 6:55:32 AM PDT by Starboard
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To: C. Edmund Wright
The more proper analogy would be 2010. And Obama Care / IRS will work against the Dems bigtime in ‘14.

Exactly. All we need to do is educate the candidates 'media-wise' (Newt Camp) and prohibit them from ever uttering the word 'rape'.

19 posted on 07/14/2013 6:57:23 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind
There have been some rumblings here in Louisiana about Elbert Guillory taking a run against Landrieu.

It would make for an interesting race...

20 posted on 07/14/2013 6:57:42 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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