2014 Let's Take the Senate Back


#1

Well perhaps it is not too early to start thinking about our next electoral challenge…and a way out of the mess we’re in.
Right now, the Dems control the Senate 55-45 and as usual, 33 seats (+ any early retirements/interims) will be up for election.
TWENTY Dems will be up for re-election and only 13 Repubs.

Assuming we hold on to all our seats…looking at the Dems, one can say that 8 are SAFE and from states where they cannot be defeated.
This leaves 12 state races to concentrate on and we would need to pick up HALF of them to have a working majority (with Biden as VP).
More importantly perhaps…we need to go after every seat possible in order to give our next President a chance to really accomplish some things with a STRONG Senate majority after the 2016 elections. There will be very LITTLE opportunity for seat pickups in 2016.

Hopefully this thread can serve as a discussion place for the key races and the primary competitions.

Here’s my take on the vulnerable seats and senators:
*Alaska Begich…VERY vulnerable. Beat the under investigation Stevens last time out. Will face strong challenge in a RED state.
*Arkansas Pryor…vulnerable but popular…Arkansas is mostly RED…so that makes the race possible…but Pryor is well liked.
Colorado Udall…unlikely unless STRONG candidate emerges. Popular incumbent advantage in a purple state.
Delaware Coons… unlikely but no witches this time. Not well known or established. Blue state. Strong candidate needed.
*Iowa Harkin (retiring) …VERY vulnerable. Purple state…should be major opportunity as the race is wide open.
*Louisiana Landrieu…VERY vulnerable. Only “blue” left in the state. ANY decent candidate should beat her.
Massachusetts… Kerry leaving for SecState. Special election in June COULD be won by Brown?..decision by him needed? Otherwise a D lock.
Minnesota Franken…possible but blue state and he has kept a LOW, uncontroversial profile.
*North Carolina Hagen…VERY vulnerable. Should be gone. Unpopular.
Oregon Merkley…not likely but possible w. strong candidate.
*S.Dakota Johnson…VERY vulnerable. Should be gone.
*W. Virginia Rockefeller (retiring) …VERY vulnerable.Rep. Capito strong favorite in general…but Tea Party vulnerable. Careful here!!

  • indicates the ones I think we will take at this point. 7…with Mass. dependent on Brown’s decision entirely. Could be a good election for us if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot again with self destructing candidates.

#2

This doesn’t give me much hope. Are there any candidates picked out yet for the states that you hope we can win? I agree with your conclusions, but if we don’t have any candidates then it’s all pointless to assume right now.


#3

Look for Joe Miller in Alaska to run again.


#4

JJF…still pretty early…mostly just candidate rumours for the next 6-12 months but here’s some likely candidates:

*Alaska Begich…Joe Miller who lost last time OR Lt. Gov. Treadwell who has announced an “exploratory committee.”
*Arkansas Pryor…Current House Reps. Griffen, Womack & Cotton are considered most likely to challenge.
Colorado Udall…Cory Gardner (House of Reps) would be an excellent candidate with strong fiscal appeal to TParty types and a record to back it up.
Delaware Coons… No one has emerged except Wade, who would lose.
*Iowa Harkin (retiring) …Conservative Steve King will challenge…Rep. Tom Latham would be the better candidate if he runs.
*Louisiana Landrieu…Rep. Bill Cassidy also possible but unlikely is defeated TParty Rep Landry.
Massachusetts… Brown is the ONLY possibility…and he has NOT decided to run in the JUNE 2013 run-off yet.
Minnesota Franken…Norm Coleman running again…also several OTHER House Reps. possible like Michelle Bachman.
*North Carolina Hagen…State Speaker of House Tillis is the front runner…but SEVERAL will compete in the primary.
Oregon Merkley…??? no one obvious. It will take a pro to win here. Too bad Dudley is gone.
*S.Dakota Johnson…Former Gov. Mike Rounds will challenge. Possible also popular Rep. Kristi Noem.
*W. Virginia Rockefeller (retiring) …Rep. Capito strong favorite in general…challenge NOT expected but she is a moderate so danger from the right…but not much.


#5

NC Candidate announces: Dr. Greg Brannon Announces U.S. Senate Run to Replace Kay Hagan


#6

Scratch Massachusetts off the list. Scott Brown announced today he is not running. Now we need 6 out of 11 wins to have a majority.
Update:
"*Alaska Begich…Joe Miller who lost last time OR Lt. Gov. Treadwell who has announced an “exploratory committee.”
*Arkansas Pryor…Current House Reps. Griffen, Womack & Cotton are considered most likely to challenge. Lt. Gov Darr also.
Colorado Udall…Cory Gardner (House of Reps) would be an excellent candidate with strong fiscal appeal to TParty types and a record to back it up.
Delaware Coons… No one has emerged except Wade, who would lose.
*Iowa Harkin (retiring) …Conservative Steve King will challenge…Rep. Tom Latham would be the better candidate if he runs.
*Louisiana Landrieu…Rep. Bill Cassidy also possible but unlikely is defeated TParty Rep Landry.
Massachusetts… Brown is the ONLY possibility…and he has decided NOTto run GAME OVER
Minnesota Franken…Norm Coleman running again…also several OTHER House Reps. possible like Michelle Bachman. Also Paulson & Kline Reps.
*North Carolina Hagen…State Speaker of House Tillis is the front runner…but SEVERAL will compete in the primary. Brannon announced.
Oregon Merkley…??? no one obvious. It will take a pro to win here. Too bad Dudley is gone.
*S.Dakota Johnson…Former Gov. Mike Rounds will challenge. Possible also popular Rep. Kristi Noem.
*W. Virginia Rockefeller (retiring) …Rep. Capito strong favorite in general…challenge NOT expected but she is a moderate so danger from the right…but not much.
*NewJersey…have to put this in play with Geraldo entering the race to replace Lautenberg and his name recognition.


#7

Senator Ann Romney?

Have you guys heard this insane scenario for Mass? I don’t think this is going to happen, just wishful thinking on the GOP’s part.


#8

Graham draws potential primary challenger in South Carolina – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs


#9

I’d back him over Graham but would prefer less of a theocrat…though he seems fine on the fiscal side.


#10

What do you make of Montana? They consistently vote republican for president and have a democrat governor and 2 democrat senators.


#11

UNT…the libertarian candidate in Montana took 5% of the vote…insuring a narrow Tester win. Rehberg was a decent candidate but Tester ran more as an independent than a Dem…a DINO if you will…though he voted with Obama on lots of stuff. I think the combination of his middle of the road reputation, good campaigning and a 5% 3rd Party candidate was responsible for him getting a second chance. The first time was the 2006 “Throw the bums out” reaction to Bush election.
As to Baucus…he is simply an institution there after 34 years…moderate dem…strong 2nd amendment and lots of POWER. He got 78% of the vote in 2008 and there are ZERO strong challengers emerging there. Reberg has already said he will NOT run again so I don’t see this one as being up for grabs unless something dramatic happens with Baucus’ health or a scandal.


#12

From his record Tester looks pretty liberal, he holds all the democrat positions except he is pro guns and anti immigration. Montana just seems like the republicans should out number dems by a lot and that any serious GOP challenger would have a good chance to win no matter how moderate or popular a democrat is.


#13

Good news in Iowa this AM as former Dem. Guv. Vislak has said he will not run…he was popular with good name recognition so this is a blow to Dem hopes and a + for Reps. Latham continues to poll well…but no announcement.


#14

Report: Justin Amash mulling Senate run - The Hill’s Ballot Box

If Levin retires Amash may run. My favorite Congressman of course.

Liberty for All PAC has pledged 6-7 figures if he runs, and I noticed Senate Conservatives Fund promoting the speculation.

The downside would be that he would not be the favorite and would lose his House seat if he lost the Senate race, so I want to see some polls before I decide whether I would want him to run or not.


#15

This could be a big one:
** Actress Ashley Judd told influential Democrats in Louisville that she is leaning toward running for U.S. Senate against Mitch McConnell and plans to make her decision by Derby Day (May 6), **sources tell WHAS11 News.Judd dined Thursday night at the home of philanthropist Christy Brown, the widow of Brown-Forman Chairman & CEO Owsley Brown II…
Some strategists also believe that as Judd contemplates her decision, she freezes the field, essentially preventing other potential candidates from jumping in.
A source tell WHAS11′s Joe Arnold that Judd is “meeting with people all over the state” as she contemplates her decision.

McConnel is VULNERABLE…she has $$ and name recognition and is NO DUMMY…even though she is an uber-Lib. I thought this was a safe seat for us but if she jumps in…it is not. Better get some more Karl Rove PAC $$ in there and demonize her quickly.


#16

Nate Silver of the NYTimes 538 blog weighs in on the 2014 Senate race this AM.
Before you dismiss him as a Times drone…recognize that his approach is scientific/mathmatical rather than idealogical and he has the best record over the last half dozen years of picking winners/trends. Here are his conclusions but I suggest you read the entire article as each of the 33 races is analyzed. We CAN win a majority in 2014 but we need to be very smart about out candidates in certain venues. For example…Michelle Bachman (if she runs) would be a clear favorite among Conservatives in Minnesota…and have no chance of winning the statewide election there. In other states…a Michelle would be just fine…but we can’t afford nominating mistakes that make US feel good and lose the election. Here’s Silver’s conclusions:

"The Big Picture

Summing up the possibilities across all 35 Senate races yields a net gain of four to five seats for Republicans, just short of the six they would need to win back the majority.

However, the margin of error on the calculation is very high at this early stage. Keep in mind that in each of the last four cycles, one party (Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2012; Republicans in 2010) won the vast majority of the competitive races. If Republicans swept all the “lean” and “tossup” races, they would gain a net of eight seats from Democrats, giving them a 53-to-47 majority in the 114th Congress. If Democrats swept instead, they would lose just one seat and would hold a 54-to-46 majority. Considering the uncertainty in the landscape, estimates from betting markets that Democrats have about a 63 percent chance of holding their majority appear to be roughly reasonable.

One last factor to consider is that as difficult as the Democratic Senate map looks in 2014, Republicans could face an equally challenging one in 2016. In that year, seven Republican-held seats will be up in states won by Mr. Obama in 2012, while no Democrats will face re-election in states won by Mr. Romney.

Thus, as ridiculous as it might seem to look so far ahead, the most important reverberations from the 2014 Senate races might not be felt until 2016 and beyond. Republicans will need to make considerable gains next year to open up the possibility of a Republican-controlled Congress after 2016. If Democrats hold their ground, conversely, it would provide for the outside possibility of their holding a filibuster-proof majority after 2016.
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/can-republicans-win-the-senate-in-2014/?partner=rss&emc=rss


#17

Nate has only been slightly been better than an average of the polls. The only mistake conservative pundits made in 2012 was thinking that the massive democrat turnout would be down from 2008 but it turns out that Obama voters were just as happy and willing to vote themselves free stuff again in 2012.

2008 presidential
Nate Silver 49/50
RCP avg 48/50

2010 senate
Nate Silver 34/37
RCP avg 34/37

2012 presidential
Nate Silver 50/50
RCP avg 49/50

His “genius” is way overstated


#18

No argument…but RCP averages reflect a wide range of scores from individual polling groups. Compare Silver to Gallup or Rasmussen… my old favorites. Anyway…no matter…I was just trying to establish his credentials for those who may not be familiar with him and who (like most here…with good cause!) have an innate distrust of anything associated with the Grey Lady.
I am rather impressed with his record…even if I don’t like his predictions.
"November 2008 presidential election predictions — he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states.… He correctly predicted the winner of all 35 U.S. Senate races that year…in the 2012 United States presidential election he correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states** and the District of Columbia. That same year, Silver’s predictions of** U.S. Senate races were correct in 31 of 33 states**; he predicted Republican victory in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats won." (WIKI)"
**
There’s more to his skill than simply predicting Prez percentages.
This cycle, we’d do well to pay a bit more attention to his thoughts.


#19

Silver takes a wide range of average poll results also and makes tiny adjustments.

Anyway…no matter…I was just trying to establish his credentials for those who may not be familiar with him and who (like most here…with good cause!) have an innate distrust of anything associated with the Grey Lady.
I am rather impressed with his record…even if I don’t like his predictions.
"November 2008 presidential election predictions — he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states.… He correctly predicted the winner of all 35 U.S. Senate races that year…in the 2012 United States presidential election he correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states** and the District of Columbia. That same year, Silver’s predictions of** U.S. Senate races were correct in 31 of 33 states**; he predicted Republican victory in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats won." (WIKI)"
**
There’s more to his skill than simply predicting Prez percentages.
This cycle, we’d do well to pay a bit more attention to his thoughts.

Lets look at the RCP avg for the 2008 and 2012 senate races too

2008
Nate Silver 35/35
RCP avg 34/35

2012
Nate Silver 31/33
RCP avg 31/33

Nate Silver has no real “credentials” any idiot can just take the RCP avg and claim its their “prediction” and have a stellar track record that rivals the great Nate.


#20

Paul Broun

Paul Broun and Jack Kingston are running for Senate in Georgia.

Broun is a constitutionalist and a fiscal conservative, he would make a great Senator.