Skip to comments.Obama Looms Large Over Democrats' 2014 Fight to Retain the Senate
Posted on 02/05/2013 9:23:06 PM PST by neverdem
The odds are against Senate Democrats this cycle. But, of course, they were against the party two years ago at this time, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil didnt merely beat the odds he slaughtered them.
This time, Democrats face better prospects of holding onto their Senate majority next November than they did two years ago (after all, they begin with 55 seats instead of 53), but a net loss looks inevitable and a big loss is quite possible. Cecil, who is back for a return engagement this cycle, has his work cut out for him.
The biggest factor in how the cycle turns out probably isnt candidate recruiting, fundraising or the number of open seats, though each will affect the fight for the Senate next year. It is almost certainly going to be President Barack Obamas popularity and the electorates sense of how he is doing.
Democrats went into the 2012 cycle defending 23 Senate seats to the GOPs 10 seats, and the landscape of that Senate class races in Massachusetts and Maine, but also in North Dakota, Missouri, Virginia, Florida and Montana certainly favored Republicans.
This cycle, the numbers arent quite as asymmetric, but with 21 Democratic seats and only 14 Republican seats up for election, the GOP once again begins with an advantage.
Unlike 2012, when Democrats started with at least two serious takeover opportunities, in Massachusetts and Nevada , this cycle the party lacks any good takeover opportunities (before retirements). That reality, combined with a landscape that includes a number of Democratic seats in very conservative states (West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota), makes for an ever greater initial Democratic headache than at the start of last cycle.
With Senate contests next year in four strongly anti-Obama states, Democrats cant afford a second Obama midterm election with a national electorate that wants to send a message of dissatisfaction with the president.
Obama carried just 35.5 percent of the vote in West Virginia, 36.9 percent in Arkansas, 39.9 percent in South Dakota, 40.6 percent in Louisiana, 40.8 percent in Alaska and 41.7 percent in Montana last year. While voters were able to split their tickets in 2012 and vote against Obama but for Democratic Senate nominees such as Joe Manchin III in West Virginia or Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, voters wont be able to do the same thing in 2014.
The president isnt on the ballot next year, so the only way for anti-Obama voters to express their opinion of the president is to vote against his partys Senate nominees. And that makes Senate seats in anti-Obama states in 2014 much more difficult to hold than Senate seats in anti-Obama states were in 2012.
An overly ambitious and overly liberal agenda coming from the White House, which looks like a distinct possibility, could undermine the Democrats chances of holding onto Senate seats in states where Obama performed poorly in both 2008 and 2012.
Still, last years elections certainly proved that candidates and campaigns matter, and if all else fails for Democrats, the party can probably figure on Republican primary voters screwing up in at least a couple of states and producing nominees so weak that Democrats can steal a seat or two, as they have done during the past two elections.
You can almost see the writing on the wall in the newly open Iowa Senate race, where GOP primary voters easily could select a doctrinaire conservative over a mainstream conservative, lessening their partys chances of picking up an already difficult opportunity.
Anyway, the cycle starts off with eight vulnerable Democratic Senate seats and not a single vulnerable GOP one. Republicans need to net six Senate seats to have a majority in the next Congress. Though not impossible, that is a very difficult task, especially given the current standing of the two parties.
At the Rothenberg Political Report, we start off by giving Republicans a slight edge in West Virginias open seat. South Dakota looks like a problem for Democrats with or without Sen. Tim Johnsons retirement, while the politically conservative, anti-Obama natures of Louisiana and Arkansas put them at great risk for incumbent Sens. Mary L. Landrieu and Mark Pryor.
The cycle could deteriorate dramatically for Democrats if most or all of the next group of potentially competitive contests Alaska, Iowas open seat, Montana, North Carolina and even New Hampshire become really serious Republican opportunities. Of those five, Obama carried only two, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Obviously, this years special election in Massachusetts and additional retirements on both sides of the aisle could have a big effect on the final results next November.
No two cycles are exactly alike. The GOPs failure to net three or four seats last time, as many initially expected, doesnt mean the same will happen in 2014. Personally I dont believe in jinxes, whether in second-term midterms or because the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. But voter fatigue with a president after six years is a very real danger for Obama, and that, more than anything else, may make 2014 more challenging than last cycle for Guy Cecil.
This IS were the fight is at people.
We Need that Senate.
What is this “dissatisfaction with the president” thing? Is that supposed to matter? If the DNC et al sense “dissatisfaction” they will simply turn their attention to the GOP and turn on the hate-laser, again, effectively. And the low-info people will understandably vote for “dissatisfied” over “hate” when he promises to increase their rice portions.
We’ll see if RINOs and conservatives who say the damndest things ruin our chances again
I helped send Ted Cruz there.
Battle on, but let’s not kid ourselves, Obama and Biden have allies in the Senate.
Also the Senate is crucial in our battle for the Scotus.
I’m surprised Rothenberg never mentions the fact that the GOP hasn’t defeated more than 2 Senate Democrat incumbents in an election since 1980. It’s become a real and serious curse.
I’m confident. Democrats will be spread thin in hostile territory. Let’s sweep them out.
too bad the Vichy GOPe won’t fight for the Senate
and you really think that is why the GOP lost in 2012?
Have the good citizens of SC found a viable replacement for grahamnesty or are we going to be cowed by the claim we need to hold on to every senate seat we can?
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Hope there are no Akin or Mourdock types running in 2014.
Do you really think McConnell, Alexander, et al. will deny Obamugabe’s SCOTUS nominations?
They could have blocked Kagin and and that other Commie doofette if they had wanted to do so.
That's funny - you even got The Doctor and Rose laughing on that one...
Obama and the Senate Democrats don’t care.
They’ll press ahead with their agenda knowing the GOP is badly divided and demoralized with the Rovians aiming to push the party to the Left.
Giving where the country is they feel confident they have the Tea Party on the ropes.
That’s unfair to sticks and cognac.
With the entire nation apparently drinking Obama’s Kool Aid, all bets are off.
America, once the land of the free and the home of the brave is now merely the land of Marxists sucking the tail pipe of outdated communist doctrine and calling out, “Yes, Premier Obama, give me more of the same!”
It certainly didn’t help.
Republicans have got to get used to the idea that the media is not their friend and the media is actively looking for the most innocuous statement to blow out of proportion, all across the country.
Not learning to stay on message is preventing conservatives from winning seats in close election areas. It’s fine where conservatives are guarenteed seats for candidates to say whatever they want, but when those same words are heard in blue counties and states, it’s costing votes.
Canada went through the same thing. We had candidates, in backwater towns that nobody has heard of, saying the reasonable things, from a conservative point of view, but those same words somehow made it on the front page of the Toronto or Montreal papers and the conservative candidates in liberal areas suddenly had to defend themselves for those words, that they did not say.
Yes, it did cost the conservative party seats during those years. It was only when conservative candidates refused to be baited by hostile reporters did we finally make headway.
Who? Sasser was one.
“We Need that Senate.”
Well, I’m sure Rince Priebus and Karl Rove will get the job done—just look at last Nov. (snort, snort)
Democrats, esp. those in conservative leaning states, seem to have an easy time convincing voters that they are conservative and will be independent voices in D.C.. Manchin, Heitcamp, Landrieu, e.g.
But when they get to D.C., they play faithfully on the Democrat team. And voters rarely hold them accountable for that.
Some losses you can chalk up to just plain weak candidates and the power of incumbency.
But there’s absolutely no excuse for a Republican to lose an OPEN U.S. Senate seat in a conservative leaning state. None, whatsoever.
the Dems will just paint the Republicans as the party of ‘no’ and say look how they fight Obama on all the good he wants to do. And all the mushy moderates will again be swayed and want to ‘punish’ those that don’t get along in the Senate playgroup. They will say we really can’t judge Obama until he is given full reign to do whatever he wants (as if he doesn’t already). I have little hope that this will will be any different than Nov. 6.
It was pushed through by the arch-Socialist Wilson as the first step in dismantling the Republic.
As for West Virginia, a GOP pickup is a pipe dream.
Well in GA we will be replacing one of our POS RINO’s for a conservative and then in 2016 we will get rid of the other one.
Here is the way to handle that. Have someone stand behind our candidates where they are within arm’s reach, and carry a big roll of duct tape. When the candidate is questioned by the ‘Rats and/or the media (and you know they will be) about abortion and rape, have the person with the tape slap a big strip of it over the mouth of the candidate. Keep doing that until they learn not to fall into that ‘Rat trap.
In case that was misread, I didn’t mean that we’ve only defeated 2 Senate Dem incumbents since after 1980. I said that we’ve never beaten MORE than 2 in each election since. In 1994, we won the Senate solely because of a rash of Dem retirements. We still only defeated 2 incumbents, Sasser in TN being one (by Bill Frist), and the weak Harris Wofford in PA (who was serving out the 3-year remainder of John Heinz’s term), whom was beaten by Rick Santorum.
I look at Landrieu as especially galling. In pre-Katrina Louisiana in 1996, she won by massive voter fraud in New Orleans (coordinated by then-Mayor Marc Morial’s LIFE political machine). The Republicans were too scared to challenge her (and Loretta Sanchez’s in the House) “win.”
We end up running these retreads and weak candidates, and we shouldn’t be surprised at the outcomes. Perhaps it’s time to set up some sort of Conservative candidate school to prepare our girls and boys for the hard-knocks and having to fight against three sides (first, the party establishment that hates small-government Republicans; two, the media/culture that will try to trip them up, especially on gotcha questions on rape; three, their Democrat opponent, who hopes that the prior two will have softened them up to the point that they can deliver the death blow).
It’s time to raise and train an army of teflon candidates who can go out there and get the job done.
That may be the ONLY way to keep those politically unskilled to keep their mouth shut. The problem is they are too honest about their beliefs. Which is just fine, but please do not run for a statewide office. The statements by Akin & Mourdock was the fodder demorats used to portray republicans as at war with women. It was very effective based on the exit polls for women’s vote.
Does that say more about Akin and Mourdock...or about the women who cast those votes?
Democrats AND RINO VICHY GOPe TYPES used....
No, there won't be a GOP Senate in our lifetime, because...well, you know. They pee on their base.
This has been my talking point. We will HAVE to overcome that to get majority in '14 unless there are more retirements and we sweep the open seats.
Meanwhile GOP incumbents have dropped like flies.
Those two must not understand if they are laughing at that accurate comment.
Hey Obama keep pushing that gun thing.
I don't know about teflon, but I do think the tea party (notice small "t") mindset has influenced elections at the local and state levels a lot. How many local and state legislators have switched parties in the last few years? Quite a lot.
State legislatures are being flooded with folks with tea party principles.
It will take a while for the cream to rise to the top, but it will. Conservatism will be reignited at the local and state levels out of necessity. Hopefully, the success of states and cities where conservatism has been applied contrasted with those where liberalism reigns will serve as a wake up call.
I’d say both. But we won’t be successful if we run candidates who are right on the issues but say things in a stupid way that allows them to be caricatured beyond all recognition by the media and the ‘Rats. In the political realm, there is a right way and a wrong way to say things, and there are times when you have to be smart enough not to be drawn into the no-win trap the media ‘Rats set.
I’m not convinced voting isn’t tampered with. No one could have been that stupid to re-elect Obama.
No arguments there.
But the women who fell for the whole "War On Women" canard deserve their share of the blame, too. "The low information voter" personified...
You may well be correct, but fraud only works on the margins. The sad reality is that there were an astounding number of people voting for Baraq despite the horrible economy. The entitlement society has come to America.
Does it really matter about Akin & Mourdock? It is only the votes that matter. If one loses an election, one becomes totally powerless and irrelevant to effect any positive change.
Akin was especially moronic in saying pregnancy will be deterred by woman’s body in case of a rape. Explain that to millions of pregnancies caused by conquering armies throughout history. Alexander the Great’s soldiers left behind a whole bunch of pregnant women from Persia to Hindustan. Ditto with Mughal invader Tamarlane in Hindustan.
But why should we expect Akin to know history?
Well... Hillary... it certainly DOES matter when the entire Vichy GOPe establishment turns against its own candidates to placate the radical left and the MSM.
Which proves we are no better than the Greeks, Spaniards, Russians or Chinese people who all fell for the socialist/communist propaganda at one time or another.
What sounds better to a "have not" than "soak the rich and distribute that wealth to all the poor" or "give every one a fair shot"? Nothing! It is very seductive prose.
Eventually they run out of other people's money and then they march back to capitalism. China now has 150 new Billionaires and One million new millionaires! China had almost none during Mao's regime.
Moral of the story is....do not nominate politically stupid candidates, no matter how pure. After they lose the election, their noble and pure philosophy is impotent, powerless to further any conservative agenda and they become totally irrelevant. Just Todd Akin.
politically stupid candidates like Romney?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.