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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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To: Servant of the Cross

Good idea....but I”m the Obama White House celebrating the Zimmerman verdict? You know, a way to put Obama on the ballot in 2014 by way of Trayvon????

That could “f” things up.....

21 posted on 07/14/2013 7:03:34 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Republicans need to revisit their analysis. The immigration reform fiasco is having the same effect as the McCain nomination and the disastrous Romney scorched earth primary campaign - too many conservative voters are more than happy to sit out the election rather than tacitly supporting the lesser of two evils.

In the long run, that’s what the establishment wants. It allows them to retain control of the party. It’s the country that suffers as a result. Thank you Karl Rove.

22 posted on 07/14/2013 7:23:32 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Audentis Fortuna Iuvat)
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To: SeekAndFind

What would they even do with it if they had it?

23 posted on 07/14/2013 8:02:56 AM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Whatever. They will have idiots like Murkowski and McCain and Graham and Collins who vote with what use is it to have more Rs than Ds if so many of the Rs are just Ds in disguise?

24 posted on 07/14/2013 8:05:21 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SeekAndFind

They thought Romney would win.

25 posted on 07/14/2013 8:05:44 AM PDT by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: unixfox

Someone allowed these idiots to have sharpened pencils?

26 posted on 07/14/2013 8:07:41 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: SeekAndFind

Who cares. I hope the whole thing implodes! Better yet, let’s just get Jeb Bush’s advice on this, after all, that’s who they plan on seating as the next POTUS with or without the peoples vote. Haven’t we learned anything since 2012 election? Unless there is a revolution, it will never be resolved, and even a revolt won’t really solve it, it will just set up another situation for greedy power mongers to set themselves up to be the next set of idiots.

Sarcasm :-)

Look at my post dates, it’s been a long time, because it’s out of our control.

27 posted on 07/14/2013 8:09:25 AM PDT by klimeckg ("The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.")
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To: SeekAndFind

It all depends on how many get off their lazy a$$ and vote.
The last two elections prove that.

28 posted on 07/14/2013 8:40:22 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: SeekAndFind
I'm impressed with your list. Can we be as sure as possible that they won't support the invasion and the compromise (sellout) on the pathway to citizenship?

I'm a little more hopeful with Cruz gaining traction and the HOR 'pubs (fingers croseed) standing firm.

29 posted on 07/14/2013 8:47:36 AM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind

We also need to Prioritize those seats. Ie you get more bang for your buck is small inexpensive media markets. Also “upgrading” has its risk as well. Ask the folks in Indiana how that worked out for them..

So, using this criteria, Lets prioritize the Upgrades:

WY: inexpensive media, Good replacement check and check.

TN: Way more costly, Lamar! is a RINO, some good choices are available (Marsha Blackburn)

SC: Expensive, Don’t forget, Tim Scott also will be on the ballot. Anybody else see a problem with explaining that this republican good, that republican bad to a low information voter?

GA: Not red enough to assure winner in bloody primary takes general.

TX: Too expensive, money better utilized elsewhere.
“Take Backs”
Added Criteria: Open seats are easier to take.
How Republican is the electorate, margin in last 3 presidentals is a good rule of thumb.

SD: Inexpensive Media, Open Seat, Very Republican in Statewide races, poor candidate selection by dems.

MT: Open, inexpensive media, Most formidable dem chose not to run.
WV: Open, Reasonable media expense, Poor candidate selection on Dem. ( Is Capito just another RINO?)

AK: Begitch has baggage, Imagine the shear size of Alaska makes media expensive. Never voted for a budget in 6 yrs.

LA: Landrieu has always under performed. Her state lost 400k mostly dem voters after Katrina. Media is reasonalby priced. Please lets pick this up!! Very favorable Demographics.

AR: Pryor is vulnerable to the right candidate. Media is reasonable, more bang for the buck. Has not voted on a budget in 6yrs in majority. Favorable demographics.

NC: Hagan has not done anything for the state. Demographics and media are not as favorable as previous states; Has not voted for a budget in six years of the majority. Rubber Stamp for Harry Reid.

IA: Open, reasonable cost. Even Demographics.
MI: Open, expensive, fair demographics for right candidate.
CO: Udall is despicable, Media more than average cost, has not voted for a budget in 6 yrs of majority. Good place to undo OFA.

In Conclusion, My rankings in priority would be:
1: SD
2: MT
3: WV
4: LA
5: AK
6: AR
7: WY
8: IA
9: NC
10: TN
11: CO
12: MI
13: SC
14: MN I would really love to see Franken defeated.
15: GA

Thanks for Playing, CPT Clay

30 posted on 07/14/2013 8:55:11 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Follow me on Twitter @Clay N TX)
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To: SeekAndFind

Unless the majority is made up of Ted Cruz clones, it’s no improvement.

31 posted on 07/14/2013 12:44:31 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: CPT Clay
From your list, I would look at vote fraud and the SOS challenge that stole Colorado from the Pubbies in 2012.

MT, WV, LA, AR, TN, CO and MI need to be massive wins to overcome graveyard and college student voting.

I will ignore MN since even my relatives up there can't believe how positive the press is toward Franken, when they even mention him. Univ of MN and DFL carries him over the finish line.

32 posted on 07/14/2013 12:45:05 PM PDT by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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