Skip to comments.Flipping the Senate: With Democrats on the defensive, the GOP has a chance to recapture the Senate
Posted on 07/09/2013 7:07:28 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Whats the outlook for the 2014 Senate elections? As in 2010 and 2012, the Republicans once again have a chance to overturn the Democrats majority.
Much attention has been focused on whether Republicans this time will nominate candidates capable of winning key races, which they failed to do in the two previous election cycles. But another interesting question is how Democrats will try to hold onto seats in Republican-leaning states even as Barack Obama maintains his strong tilt to the political left.
The lineup is certainly favorable to Republicans. Assuming the New Jersey seat now held by Republican appointee Jeff Chiesa goes Democratic in the October special election, only 14 Republican seats will be up in 2014, but 21 Democratic seats. Only one of those Republican seats is in a state carried by Barack Obama, Maine (56 percent Obama), and three-term incumbent Susan Collins looks unbeatable. In contrast, Democrats have to defend seats in seven states carried by Mitt Romney and in four states that were target states in the 2012 presidential election.
Republicans seem sure to win open seats in South Dakota (58 percent Romney) and West Virginia (62 percent Romney). Well-known Democrats are avoiding both races, and they look like certain Republican pickups. The scene is a bit different in Montana (55 percent Romney), where Senate Finance chairman Max Baucus is retiring after 36 years. The strongest possible Democrat is folksy former governor Brian Schweitzer, who takes populist stands on economics and has backed the Keystone pipeline, which Barack Obama has so far refused to approve.
Two seats in the Deep South held by Democrats with locally famous names are in peril, and the two incumbents seem to have different strategies.
In Louisiana (58 percent Romney), Mary Landrieu, daughter and sister of New Orleans mayors, seems to be running as a proud Obama Democrat. Her state has the second-largest black percentage in the union, and evidently shes hoping for high black turnout and just enough white votes to give her a fourth narrow majority.
In Arkansas (61 percent Romney), Mark Pryor son of David Pryor, the representative, governor, and senator whose election wins date back to 1966 seems to be running as a moderate in tune with local values. He was reelected unopposed in 2008, but Republicans have since captured all the states U.S. House seats and majorities in the state legislature. And Arkansas has a much lower black percentage than Louisiana.
Both Landrieu and Pryor have run under 50 percent in recent polls against Representatives John Fleming and Tom Cotton, with Pryor a statistically insignificant 1 percent ahead of the Republican.
In North Carolina (50 percent Romney), Democrat Kay Hagan faces a different battleground. The Obama campaign vastly increased turnout in 2008 and won the state with high black turnout and support from high-education whites. But that coalition failed to prevail in 2012, when Romney narrowly carried the state, and Republicans captured the governorship and won large majorities in the state legislature. Incumbent Hagan won the seat in 2008 largely because of slip-ups by Republican Elizabeth Dole. She has come out for same-sex marriage and isnt denouncing Obamacare. Evidently shes hoping to reassemble the 2008 Obama majority.
Another Democratic surprise winner in 2008 was Mark Begich of Alaska (55 percent Romney). He won by 1 percent after incumbent Ted Stevens was convicted on federal charges in October. That conviction was reversed in 2009, but Begich was positioned to cast what can legitimately be called the deciding vote for Obamacare that year.
If Democrats lose all seven of these seats in Romney states, and if Republicans avoid nominating candidates who manage to lose seats that currently seem unlosable, Republicans will have at least a 52-48 Senate majority.
And they have at least an outside chance of winning seats in 2012 target states Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire, plus Michigan.
Well, you might ask, isnt it unusual for one party to sweep all the close races? Actually, sometimes it does. Republicans did in 1980 and Democrats did in 1986 and those were the same seats.
Republicans won the bulk of close races in 2002, and Democrats won the bulk of close races in 2008 the same seats again and the ones up next year.
A sweep is by no means certain this time. But if the Obamacare rollout is a train wreck, as Baucus feared, the odds get better.
Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor, and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
Since the establishment blames the tea party for causing them to miss out regaining the Senate in 2010 and 2012 I’m sure we’ll get safe RINO candidates.
Which is why the dim-bulb-crats so dearly want to pass the illegal alien future democrat voters and perpetual welfare act.
And some of our RINO-scum are willing to help.
A GOP run Senate would be far better than what we have now, but those RINO Senators are no great prize.
It would be nice to have a GOP Senate that would stop some of Obama’s extremism in its tracks and dethrone Harry Reid but most of the Republicans in the Senate probably won’t have the nads to stand up to Obama and the Democrats anyway. Where are they on immigration, on domestic spying, on controlling spending, on increasing jobs? Some of the GOP are as bad as the Democrats.
I don’t need a Senate run by John McCain. A Senate run by Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, however, would be a breathtaking site to see.
To do any effective good, the R’s would need nearly 60 seats, to compensate for the liberal R’s who would vote with the President.
Decoded: Barone gives advice to Dems on seats they have to infiltrate or attack.
I have great confidence that once again the Stupid Party will run the usual losers to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
Meh. They might. I do have “faith” that they’ll screw it up though.
But the scary thing is 2016. The Rats could flip up to 10 seats in that one.
Go Tea Party! Beat RINOs!
Imagine what a catastrophe a McCain presidency would be with a Mitch McConnel Senate, and a John Boehner House.
Any Leftist thing McCain sent over would get a rubber stamp.
Congressional majorities can be great, but without a solid Conservative president, they would unquestionably spell doom.
Think Medicare Part D to the X.
With a McCain, you’d have to pray there would be at least one body of Congress owned by the Democrats. That way you could at least hope for a political stalemate if something terrible was proposed.
Never underestimate the ability of the GOP to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
However, I do like the idea of Ted Cruz being a member of the majority and hassling our RINOs into embarrassed submission...........
Really, Mike? We can appreciate West Virginia's propensity to vote R for President, but when was the last time it elected a GOPer for Senator?
Dole changed her mind and decided at the last minute that she really didn't want to run, so she threw the election.
That, and anyone with a (D) next to their name got elected in 2008.
Hagan is going to have a tough time in 2014.
I wasn’t trying to pick you apart there, because we have wanted the trifecta for decades. I spent nearly my whole life looking forward to a time when we could right wrongs if only we had the presidency, the Senate, and the House.
And then we got George Bush, and I realized we would not only not fix things, we would spend ourselves into oblivion by passing things like Medicare Part D and set the nation up for another depression.
Just sayin’... that’s all.
Right now I'm focused on the killing of the bill. Little else matters at this point.....
The attacks lines used against tea party senate candidates proved pretty effective last go around. They go like this: If the candidate is a man he hates women and is a-okay with rape. If the candidate is a woman she is nuts.
Tea party doesn't field career politicians in general and they are not smooth at deflecting loaded questions. They ended up harming themselves by playing into this stuff by trying to split hairs and wax philosophically on things like if there was ever a silver lining to bad things like rape. I don't want career politicians or smooth talkers (I'm talking to you, Rubio) but at least some saavy is needed.
He can have all the theories and calculations he likes. A Republican Senate is worthless unless it is a conservative Republican Senate. That isn’t going to happen Period. Not a chance.
The traitorous pubbies could hold 70 seats and we still couldn’t override a veto. Probably couldn’t even get a consistent simple majority vote.
Face it, most of the Republican party at that level is closet, big government liberals. Vichy-like collaborators.
Good luck with that. Here’s my take on it.
When Kennedy/McCain tried it, they could have passed it. McCain wanted to run for president, so he let the thing die.
We had a majority of Democrats at the time. Tell me they couldn’t have passed that sucker.
They will do what they want when they want, and there isn’t a darned thing we can do about it.
When NAFTA was being considered, there were so many phone calls and faxes, they actually turned off phones. Did NAFTA pass?
I know folks mean well, and more power to them. If the powers that be think this is the time, you could have 316 million against, and 1 person phone in to support, and it would still pass.
That’s my take on it.
You may be right, but I've not given up. When Ted Cruz says the pressure works, I perk up and listen. If we all give up and watch the Zimmerman trial as a substitute for actively trying to sway our government, it's not a good thing.
The House is not the Senate. Yet.
I don't want any more RINOs!
McLame, Lindsey, Chambliss, Isaksonofabitch, Rubio all call themselves Republican, but they are mere dims taking GOP campaign money. When was the LAST time they stood for ANY Conservative ideals?
You are about to get angry posts from ideologues who believe that the sole qualification for a good GOP/conservative candidate is that he/she claim that they are the ‘most conservative” candidate in the primary, regardless of whatever nonsense they spout about rape or other issues.
They will defend those bad candidates beyond all logic, including the fact that the candidates lost in otherwise Red States because of those peculiar views.
All they want to do is shout ‘RINO” at anyone, candidate or not, who might argue that rape is not pre-ordained by the God of their particular religious vision or other peculiar and minority beliefs.
“I dont need a Senate run by John McCain. A Senate run by Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, however, would be a breathtaking site to see.”
You raise the 64,000 dollar question. Who would run a Republican Senate? Mr. No Chin Mc Connell? It’s no different than “the Boner Leadership” in the House.
For those phone lines to have made a difference, you would have to believe that enough Democrats were convinced to change their mind, that the majority party couldn’t pass the bill on their own.
Can’t convince me of that. Something else was in play, and I believe it was stealth Democrat McCain and what it would mean to Democrats if he was elected with Ddmocrat majorities in Congress.
Then they’d get immigration and much more.
If Lamar! wins the nomination in TN, I think I will vote for the democrat with the D after his name instead of the democrat with the R after it. It would be worth it to get rid of one of the piece of crap senators we currently have.
I would tend to disagree. I'm somewhat familiar with Barone through his "Almanac of American Politics" and an occasional TV or radio interview. Unlike other political analysts, he seems to be a straight shooter.
Of course, I'd say it's a little too early to project Senate races for next November. And it's too early to tell how much cheating and fraud the 'Rats will be able to get away with..
Remember that some pundits were predicting a swing of anywhere from five to ten Senate seats to the GOP only weeks before last years elections. Turned out, IIRC, the 'Rats actually had a net gain of three or so, according to the reported numbers, which is one more reason to suspect that the 'Rat fraud machine was a key factor in the competitive Senate races as well as in the presidential vote. That makes sense because just about all of the unprecedented amount of illegal votes would have been straight 'Rat from top to bottom.
I’m calling in to these whores, because it is all I can do. We need a 2 or 3 million man march on D.C. Maybe it will happen, if people get mad enough. If they do, I’m going to D.C.
Better than sitting here reading this life-long useless idiot Barone, who worries about 2014, when our country is at stake RIGHT NOW.
GOP Dog: Chases car. Catches it. Doesn’t know what to do with it after that! *SMIRK*
I couldn’t go right now, but I think it’s were tens of millions of us should be.
This government needs to be put on notice.
I know that you would if you could.
Not if they jam "comprehensive immigration reform" down our throats.
I feel good about our chances in West Virginia and South Dakota. I’m cautiously hopeful about Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. It’s too soon to comment on Montana. Kentucky is kind of iffy, but Obama is toxically unpopular there.
Alaska as well.
Michigan open seat, we have a blue chip candidate in Terry Lynn Land. Not so much in Iowa where we lack that candidate.
Hagan looks quite weak, tied with the State House Speaker and some Tea Party doctor.
Need candidates in Colorado and NH. I’m not optimistic. Doesn’t seem like McDonnell is gonna run in VA.
I’m not concerned about losing Kentucky, Kentucky Senate races are always fairly close though so our “leader” needs to stay on his toes. Not really worried about any GOP seat except our “rental” in NJ or Maine if RINO Sue Collins follows her sister into surprise retirement.
Barone is a Republican I think and a very good analyst.
Now that guy Sabato is an a-hole.
Yeah, Sabato is a dirtbag. He wanted us to lose in 2012.
It’s a done deal in SD and WV. They’re in the bag. I’d be more than cautiously hopeful on Arkansas. Louisiana is going to depend a lot upon how many dead people Mary can drag to the polls.
He also wrote a book outlining a bunch of largely queer changes to the constitution he wants including depriving the states of equal suffrage in the Senate by giving large states extra Senators, instituting Obama’s forced “national service” aka slavery and some unworkable scheme to change to Presidency to a 6 year term with an “optional” extra 2 years.
The NJ seat was gone whatever happened. Unless maybe Whorealdo runs (NJ is weird like that), but I don’t want his ass in the senate anyway,
Collins will stay seated I think.
McConnell will retain his seat, because his opponent is a joke. She was so dysfunctional, when she made her announcement to run, they had to use old banners from when she was running for treasurer!
Virginia is going to vote for Warner. The state’s a basket case.
Meanwhile, I think Hagan could be taken out easily. Not with Tillis, who is a corrupt big government RINO. Greg Brannon, the doctor, is a very strong orator, and my vote would be for him.
I thought we had a candidate in Colorado. Some guy with a big mustache?
New Hampshire? No chance. Sununu could try again, but the state is full of Massholes, most of whom just ended up stuck there after various road accidents.
We desperately need a candidate in Iowa. Great opportunity for a backup gain. Don’t know much about Land in Michigan, originally I was hoping Ben Carson would run for it. That would be interesting.
To run our royal flush on the senate would be this way
North Dakota - Mike Rounds (pretty moderate, but nobody would defeat him in a primary. He’s a Dan Coats type)
West Virginia - Pat McGeehan (I think this state is safe enough to take a gamble. Capito is too much of a Rove-operative)
Arkansas - Tom Cotton (no doubts here)
Louisiana - Bill Cassidy (would be willing to go with someone else, but he’s the only one I know of right now)
Alaska - Mead Treadwell, Palin if she runs (I think Miller’s time has passed)
North Carolina - Greg Brannon (potentially the next Mike Lee)
This way, we have Iowa and Michigan as potential backups, with Colorado as a long shot
I won’t even touch Montana. Too much of a wild card, especially since they re-elected Buzz Lightyear last time round. Former rat governor Schweitzer would likely win this race in a walk, but Racicot would be our best hope.
I also can’t stress enough, replacing RINOS is just as crucial. Great opportunities in SC, GA, WY, MS, TN and NE to nominate solid conservatives.
And they never will admit that at least two of them, Angle in NV in 2010 and Akin in MO in 2012, were hand picked by Harry Reid. The Democrats spent money in the Republican Primary to nominate the weakest Republican candidate.
Until we sole that problem, and admitting it exists is the first step, we are going to continue to give away seats in the Senate.
In Iowa there’s a former Grassley Chief of Staff and a former US Attorney running. Decent 2nd tier guys but hardly inspiring.
People used to rant about the political bosses of both parties who met in backrooms and decided who ran for elections and therefore the fate of their party.
They often selected politicians who then owed them favors when they were elected.
The conclusion of political reformers was that these backroom pols were a bad thing for parties and the Republic.
But what reformers always overlooked was that these guys were pragmatic pros. They were all about winning elections, not being right on principles. They knew politics and more importantly,they knew the people who wanted to run, their follies and their hidden flaws that might be exposed and prevent them from winning. They weren’t about to support some crazy that might say something that would lose the election.
The extremes of both parties have never developed any political pros, although you could argue that the left now has some political operatives who have actually elected a Kenyan Muslim Socialist to the Presidency. :-)
>> Dole changed her mind and decided at the last minute that she really didn't want to run, so she threw the election. That, and anyone with a (D) next to their name got elected in 2008. <<
I would argue the race was Dole's to lose and she lost it. She was a well-known, powerful incumbent holding office in a state that is very GOP friendly on the federal level (North Carolina). Numerous other GOP incumbents in Bush states held onto to seats in 2008... Pat Roberts, Mitch McConnell, Thad Cochran, Saxby Chambliss, Lamar! Alexander, Mike Enzi, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Jim Inhofe. (plus RINO Susan Collins easily won re-election as Obama carried her home state comfortably) We also won open Senate races with Jim Risch, Roger Wicker, Mike Johanns, and John Barrasso.
The GOP establishment loves to demonize conservative insurgents for shooting themselves in the foot and losing races that they should have won (Mourdock, Akin, etc.), but they will NEVER accept blame when one of their own steps in it.
I think the final nail in the coffin was when Dole ran the "Godless" ad against then-unknown Kay Hagan and it backfired. The media had a field day criticizing Dole for using a Hagan sound-alike to say "There is no God!" in the ad, and her approval ratings plunged. Losing an obscure RAT state legislator in North Carolina was really pathetic.
For most of his life, Barone was a Democrat, and he may still consider himself one, but he certainly is conservative nowadays. But, more to the point, he’s a straight shooter and knows more about U.S. politics than anyone alive (even though he was wrong about his 2012 election predictions, as were a lot of us).
Liddy Dole’s “godless ad” came very late in the race, Hagen was already leading in the polls. It certainly didn’t help though.
Horrible campaign by Dole.
It’s wouldn’t make much sense for him to still consider himself a democrat, remaining conservative democrats are mostly of the politically illiterate, dim bulb variety.