Skip to comments.2016 Senate field looks as fraught for GOP as 2014 did for Democrats, says Charlie Cook
Posted on 05/12/2015 3:10:41 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
It took Republicans three tries to win control of the US Senate and consolidate Congress under their leadership. In the end, the landscape left by the 2008 Democratic triumph left them uniquely vulnerable in the sixth-year midterm of an unpopular presidency. The tables will turn in 2016, warns National Journal’s Charlie Cook, as the gains of 2010 will make Republicans highly vulnerable to losing control of the Senate once again:
Today, The Cook Political Report puts two Republican-held seats in the “Toss Up” categorythe open seat in Florida and Kirk in Illinois. That toss-up column will certainly grow as the recruiting season progresses. If Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan challenges Ayotte in New Hampshire, former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan runs against Republican Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina, and former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold stages a rematch with Johnson in Wisconsin, all of those races would become toss-ups. Democrats are trying to recruit a stronger candidate in Pennsylvania to challenge Toomey. If they succeed, Toomey would also land in the toss-up column. Ohio, where Republican Sen. Rob Portman is seeking a second term, has the potential to end up in the toss-up column as well.
There remain a lot of “ifs” out there, but if Democrats get the candidates they want, as many as seven seats could end up in the Toss Up column, which is more than enough to net Democrats four or five seats.
Beyond this group of seven seats, though, it is harder for Democrats to expand the playing field further. They talk about waging competitive races against Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and Sen. John McCain in Arizona, but the chances that they will are pretty remote today.
If Republicans can’t hold onto their advantages in those races, they will have almost no opportunity to make up ground elsewhere:
On the Democratic side of the aisle, only the open seat in Nevada is in the Toss Up column today. The only other seat that is likely to be in play is in Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is seeking a second full term. Beyond that, it isn’t likely that Republicans can make any of the other eight Democratic-held seats competitive. This means that Republicans don’t have a lot of opportunities to offset their losses.
Cook notes that one potential wild card will be the presidential race. Republicans won in 2014 thanks to an early onset of fatigue with Barack Obama, and that may become more pronounced by the time 2016 arrives. Obama didn’t win the blue states with Republican Senators by as wide a margin as Mitt Romney won the red states in 2012 that flipped in the Senate in 2014. That means that the races may well depend on whether Democrats opt for more of the same old thing at the top of the ticket — and whether Republicans do, for that matter — or find a new direction that will energize voters on the ground.
This is yet another data point for why 2016 will be a generational inflection point in American politics. It’s not just the presidential election, although that is the greater part of it. It’s also a decision point for American voters after eight years of progressive incompetence on economics and foreign policy, both of which involve the Senate. At least a few of these states, namely North Carolina, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and even Pennsylvania, are in reach for a Republican presidential candidate who speaks to the future rather than the past and which excites and motivates a broad swath of middle-class voters tired of being left behind by the divisive politics of the Left.
That may be why Pat Toomey is doing unusually well in Pennsylvania. A Harper poll of likely voters last week showed Toomey far in front of his presumed challenger, former Rep. Joe Sestak, and well above the 50% mark that usually shows safety for incumbents:
Senator Pat Toomey is showing favorable gains with respect to voter perception of the first-term incumbent. More than half of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Toomey (54% favorable, 32% unfavorable). He is viewed favorably in every region of the state (Northern Tier: 45% favorable, Philadelphia/Southeast: 52%, Pittsburgh/Southwest: 55%, Scranton/Lehigh Valley: 53%, South Central: 60%) as well as among Republicans (72% favorable), self-identified Conservatives (73% favorable), Independents (54% favorable) and Moderates (49% favorable). The Republicans favorable standing with unconventional constituencies may affirm the Senators inclination to chart a more moderate course at times. …
Republican Senator Pat Toomey holds commanding early leads over three potential Democratic challengers in the race for Senate. Toomey leads declared candidates Joe Sestak (53-32%) and Ed Pawlowski (55-30%) by 21% and 25%, respectively. Josh Shapiro trails Toomey by the largest margin (55-27%). Toomey consistently receives stronger support from his own party than the Democrats do from theirs and he also earns 20% or more of the Democratic vote in all three match-ups. Toomey leads Pawlowski and Shapiro by significant margins in their home regions (Scranton/LV: Toomey 57%, Pawlowski: 31%; Philadelphia/Southeast: Toomey 51%, Shapiro: 37%).
Notably, Toomey even edges Sestak in the Philadelphia region, 47/44, the most liberal part of the state. He’s trouncing Sestak among younger voters, 50/35, although the age range is quite wide (18-39YOs). Sestak wins the African-American vote, but only by 56/33.
If Republicans want to compete in these states at the presidential level, they may want to learn how they’re staying so competitive at the state level.
Good, we can get some decent obstruction again in the minority...instead of utter compliance with the left.
I want as many of the Democrats in R jerseys, like Murkowski and McCain, to lose as is possible. I’d prefer they be primaried and conservative Republicans replace them, but if not, I’m good with real Democrats replacing them.
Cook may be right. I fully expect my ballot in November to be:
President: Hillary Clinton vs Jeb Bush
Senate: John McCain vs Mark Kelly (Mr Gabby Giffords)
34 Senators who’s terms expire in 2016 (10D and 24R)
Party - State - Incumbent
Democrat - CA - Barbara Boxer (not running)
Democrat - CO - Michael Bennet
Democrat - CT - Richard Blumenthal
Democrat - HI - Brian Schatz
Democrat - MD - Barbara Mikulski
Democrat - NV - Harry Reid (not running)
Democrat - NY - Chuck Schumer
Democrat - OR - Ron Wyden
Democrat - VT - Patrick Leahy
Democrat - WA - Patty Murray
- - - - - - - - - - -
Republican - AL - Richard Shelby
Republican - AK - Lisa Murkowski
Republican - AZ - John McCain
Republican - AR - John Boozman
Republican - FL - Marco Rubio
Republican - GA - Johnny Isakson
Republican - ID - Mike Crapo
Republican - IL - Mark Kirk
Republican - IN - Dan Coats (not running)
Republican - IA - Chuck Grassley
Republican - KS - Jerry Moran
Republican - KY - Rand Paul
Republican - LA - David Vitter
Republican - MS - Roy Blunt
Republican - NH - Kelly Ayotte
Republican - NC - Richard Burr
Republican - ND - John Hoeven
Republican - OH - Rob Portman
Republican - OK - James Lankford
Republican - PA - Pat Toomey
Republican - SC - Tim Scott
Republican - SD - John Thune
Republican - UT - Mike Lee
Republican - WI - Ron Johnson
I will be spending a couple of days with Charlie next week, so I will ask him for some details. His specialty is analysis of each precinct by precinct based on past performance, polls, and demographic trends. He is very, very good at that which is why all of the politicians to beat a path to his door and why lots of organizations to pay him very well for an evening of dinner and speech.
Is there any way we can help the Dems in AZ retire McCain?
2016 depends on freepers, TeaPartiers, Moral Majority/Christian Coalition types. 2016 depends on us.
In every election many people do not vote. Of those who do vote, many are not highly motivated to vote. None of the candidates excites them. They only vote because their neighbor asked them to register and vote; or their friend at church or work asked them to register to vote and work. Even among those who are motivated to vote, many have moved since last registered to vote and are no longer registered. ..and won’t be unless someone motivates them to get registered.
That’s where we come in. If we work the precincts, get people registered to vote and get them to the polls then we will win in 2016. We have to out-ground game the Dems in 2016 to win.
Yes it also helps to have candidates right on the issues, with charisma, and no foot-in-mouth disease. But above all else, GOTV will be most important in 2016.
Correction: Roy Blunt (R) is from Missouri (MO).
We already won. We won in 2014, and in exchange for voting for candidates who promised to toe a Conservative line, we were stabbed in the back. Tell your buddies at he Chamber of Commerce headquarters to go f** themselves. I'll vote for whomever is the most Conservative candidate. If that candidate happens to belong to some party other than Republican, then so beit.
Die GOPe. DIE!!!
Hahaha I don’t care who you are, that there is funny!
Go back 12 months, no 10 Months and quote PeeWee Priebus, McConnell and Bent Boner on what they were going to do IF they were given the chance as Majority in both Houses.
Now fast forward to today and to save time tell us all what did they say they would do that WASN’T a balded faced lie?
F$&# the RepubliRaTs. I am done being abused. They get nothing from me, no money, no vote...nothing. if they want to vote like
Rats then the rats can support them! Bunch of crooks bought and paid for by the Chamber of Commies! Whores-All of them.
Who? McCain, Cornyn, Ayotte, McConnell, Collins, Graham, Hatch, Jackass fossil from Arkansas to name a hand full of disgusting lieing P.O.S.!
See my tagline. I think we are on the same wavelength.
The more of these critters we lose, the better. The GOP Surrender Committee actually called me for $$$$$$$$ to help “fight” Obama.
I explained the definition of the word. I told ‘em if I ever saw any (out of them) I would give them a call.
No, it doesn’t.
President Cruz (or whoever you want) nominates a solid conservative for the Supreme Court, yay! Out but wait there's a rat Senate and they vote him down.
And you say, "good". How much are those Mensa membership fees?
Fueling the rumor machine about a possible Johnson vs Feingold rematch for 2016.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
The Senate will go to whomever wins the Presidency in 2016.
Ron Johnson wins with Scott Walker running for President.
Now the problem is that some Dems want Feingold to run against Walker in another Recall during the 2016 Presidential Election.
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.