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Senate Landscape

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:02:43 PM EST


As we all know, a senate seat's competitiveness can't always be fully correlated with the PVI, but that's often a good indicator of how competitive it can be.

Below are the 2012 PVIs for each senate class, broken down by who holds the seat.  

Left Coast Libertarian :: Senate Landscape
 photo TheSenate_zps454a3143.png

I should note that the chart adds up to 102 senate seats. No, I didn't throw in two extra for some imaginary state. There are seats in Hawaii and South Carolina that'll be up in both 2014 and 2016.

Any Republican should take it as an enormous positive that there are 46 seats that are R+6 or better. Granted, the GOP only holds 35 of these. On the other hand, there are only 22 D+6 or better seats, with the Democrats holding 21 of them.

2012 - We can see how bad this cycle really was. The Republican party really only won 7 of 12 seats where Mitt Romney won decisively. Eventually this should even out if the GOP stops shooting itself in the foot.

2014 - This shows how good the landscape is. Republicans have only one seat in a state that's worse than R+6 and that seat, Maine, is safe unless Susan Collins retires. The four other seats which could be vulnerable are all in the south, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Carolina. Democrats haven't won as a non-incumbent in any since 1996.

On the other hand, there are six states, South Dakota, Alaska, West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Montana which should be easy for Republicans. Of course, they likely won't be and the GOP is good at shooting itself in the foot.

There are also six other seats in the toss-up range that the GOP took last mid-term.

2016 - Where the 2012 class should've been good for the GOP and the 2014 class should be, this one is regarded as troubling.  Yes, Republicans hold more vulnerable seats, but only one is in a state that should definitely be a Republican loss. It'll be an interesting challenge.

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Senate Landscape | 153 comments
Who's the '16 R that "can't win"?
And how'd they get there in the first place?  

Kirk is hosed I think
Johnson has a reasonable shot, and Toomey a solid one. Even Santorum was re-elected in PA.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Santorum
Was re-elected 16 years ago at that point, not really relevant imo.  That being said Toomey certainly does have a shot.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
How is that not relevant?
PA hasn't changed that much in 16 years. If we were talking about VA or NC, I would agree with you.

[ Parent ]
Hmm
He could mean either Kirk, Johnson, or Toomey. I'm guessing he means Johnson.

[ Parent ]
Upon further review...
He probably means Kirk. I think Kirk's in better standing than Johnson is, though. We'll see how both of them poll come 2015, though.

[ Parent ]
Kirk
I wrote it "should definitely be a Republican loss."

What I'm looking at here is an objective analysis purely on PVI. Democrats hold 31 of 33 senate seats that are D+2 or worse. Objectively, these are seats Republicans lose. As we know, candidate and environment play big into any election. Republicans should never win in Maine, but they do because of strong candidates. Maybe Kirk will be just like Collins, but Republican performance shows that as unlikely.

Johnson is in a D+1.5 state. That would favor the Democrats but it is a PVI Republicans can hold.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
It is embarrassing
that the GOP doesn't control the senate. It is stacked so far in their favor.  

Bad candidates do that (nt)


Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
It's not just bad candidates
There are certainly more factors in there, not the least of which are good Democratic candidates who fit their state. Democrats clearly know how to win red states far better than Republicans know how to win blue states.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
We need more Kirks & Toomeys
And fewer Akins & Angles  

[ Parent ]
Deeper than that
It's easy to celebrate Toomey because he won and be negative on Berg because he lost, but the 2012 losses were too widespread to blame on a few bad apples. In 2010, the landscape was tilted heavily toward the GOP, but that doesn't explain how people like Dorgan, Landrieu, and Baucus win election after election even after their states move to the right.

Even in wave elections we end up coming up short. Democrats did way better in 2006 and 2008 than the GOP did in 2010. Of course there were individual circumstances with each race, but it's so widespread that it speaks to the Democrats being smarter and better campaigners than the GOP.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
The Surprisingly Moderate Pat Toomey
http://www.phillymag.com/artic...

Whether he is actually moderate or not is of course another story. But he is laying the groundwork a bit.

27, R, PA-07.


[ Parent ]
The lesson of Toomey
The mouth. The mouth. The mouth. When you don't sound like an idiot when you talk, good things can happen.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
I think it depends on the candidates
Toomey was interesting because he had both establishment and tea party support.
I think if Castle, Norton, and Lowden won their nomination they could have potentially picked up 3 more seats for a 50-50 senate.

And had Lugar and Brunning won their nomination the senate races would have likely been a wash with no side gaining seat, thus leaving the senate tied and giving the GOP and all but assurred  chance of winning the senate in 2014.


[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced Lowden
would have beaten Reid.  Reid would have nuked Lowden with other issues than he did Angle.

And Bruning was from Nebraska, so the GOP won that seat anyway.

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
whoops I meant Brunner from MO


[ Parent ]
Lowden said...
the solution to our health care system was to barter for chickens...people seem to forget this. The Tea Party embraced Angle because Lowden made an idiotic comment.

[ Parent ]
Right now, my hunch is...
2014 -
D to R flips: Louisiana, South Dakota, West Virginia
R to D flips: None

(52D-48R)

2016 -
D to R flips: None
R to D flips: Illinois, Wisconsin

(54D-46R)

Thankfully, the GOP will retain control over the House for the entire decade.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast


Wisconsin is quirky
They like somewhat unconventional Senators. Johnson is the conservative doppelgänger to Feingold, who also didn't tread the usual political path.

That said if we lose WI again by 6% Johnson will need a lot of quirky charm

Kirk's best hope is another opponent who looks on the way to the Big House. Being IL this can't be ruled out :(  


[ Parent ]
I don't see much that's "unconventional" about Johnson
He's a down-the-line tea partier.

[ Parent ]
He's not a typical R politician
Feingold was a down the line liberal but didn't look too partisan  

[ Parent ]
Wasn't Feingold pro-gun?
He also opposed the Patriot Act, so he was a little libertarian leaning.  Plus opposing earmarks, and teaming up with McCain on bipartisan campaign finance stuff.  Johnson has none of that.  No bipartisan cred, no deviations from the national GOP.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
If anything his devations are to the right
I have very little confidence in Johnson's ability to win a second term as long as he's facing anyone but Pocan or Gwen Moore. He's unfortunately just in the wrong state to be a Ted Cruz type.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
To be fair
he supports civil unions.  Most GOP senators don't.  But I don't think that will be enough to help him.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Should be playing that up more
Contrasting him and Toomey is an interesting exercise as they're pretty close issue-wise and in very similar states. Toomey is just a lot less vocal on controversial stuff and consequently probably in significantly better shape for '16.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Toomey also was in the House prior
First-time candidates are more likely to be Johnsons in the Senate than Toomeys.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Wisconsin's weak D bench might save him
The 2010 Republican landslide and the redistricting battles that followed dealt the Democrats two crushing blows.

Doug LaFollette is the only remaining Democratic statewide elected official in Wisconsin. Although he has a famous lastname, he's a septaugenarian who won a mere three percent of the vote in the Dem's gubernatorial recall primary last summer.

In the state legislature, the Democratic power players are mainly old guys: Peter Baca, Robert Jauch, Mark Miller, and Bob Wirch. None of them would run, and none of them should.

Lena Taylor is a charismatic African American state senator from Milwaukee who's a frequent speaker at Democratic fundraisers in the Midwest. Although the grassroots would go to bat for her, she's likely too liberal for a statewide position (though Wisconsin does have a tradition of electing strident liberals. e.g Baldwin and Feingold).

Democrats would love if Russ Feingold ran, but I suspect that his days in public office are over. So Feingold notwithstanding, the Democrats' best candidate would probably be Ron Kind. He could beat Johnson. State Senators Jon Erpenbauch and Kathleen Vinehout would also be formidable, but they'd likely start the race as slight underdogs

Ryan/Kasich 2016


[ Parent ]
Kind
At this point I'd be surprised if he wasn't the candidate.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Might keep his powder dry
For Governor 2018  

[ Parent ]
Walker not termed out
I could see him seeking and getting a third term.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Walker probably will be pressed to take on Baldwin in 18
If he has national aspirations Madison isn't the best place to advance  

[ Parent ]
hard to get more of an ideological contrast
in a contested Senate race than Walker vs. Baldwin.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Kind would probably be the candidate
But Madison/Milwaukee liberals don't particularly like him, so he'll probably get a primary challenge.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
They'll stop him
Now that Blue Dogs are an extinct species, the New Democrat Coalition represents the conservative wing of the party. Madison liberals won't let their party nominate the head of it without putting up a fight. They hold a lot of sway in a primary. They almost denied Kathleen Falk the Democratic nomination for AG back in 2006; close to two thirds of them supported her opponent, incumbent Peg Lautenschlager. Additionally, Madison is a breeding ground for Democratic statewide candidates. Feingold, Baldwin, and Doyle all come Dane County home. LaCrosse doesn't have nearly as good of a record.

Grassroots liberals will recruit a challenger. My bet is that Lena Taylor will run if Gwen Moore is still in Congress. After serving in the state legislature for 10 years, she's itching for a promotion

Ryan/Kasich 2016


[ Parent ]
Democrats do not have as strong of an ideological purity streak recently
There have been a number of moderate Democrats that win primaries to senate races across the country the last few cycles. The pro-life Harry Reid didn't face a challenge in Nevada, centrist Democrat Joe Manchin had no difficulty in West Virginia, center-left Democrat Heidi Heitkamp had a cleared field in North Dakota. Mark Warner wasn't exactly a firebreathing liberal in Virginia. Jim Webb was a former Republican, and worked in the Reagan administration, and he was given a free pass in his primary.  

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Blanche Lincoln will disagree with you
Both sides have people who want ideological purity. They need the right candidate to mount a credible challenge. If they could've found a "good progressive" to challenge Heidi Heitkamp, they would have.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Which candidate in the last ten years has successfully
defeated an "establishment" Democrat? Have any of the candidates come close? Were any of the candidates actually "progressive?"

Once again, the idea that Bill Halter is some kind of progressive Democrat is simply not true. He was the right guy present at the right time to capitalize on a lot of "Blanche Lincoln has gone to Washington and never come back" arguments. Markos backed him because he wasn't "dead-set" against the public option or single payer healthcare like Lincoln was at the time.


[ Parent ]
establishment primary losers
One could argue that that Colorado Senate primary in 2010 was sort of like that. Even though it didn't really play out that way, and Bennett was the incumbent senator, he certainly wasn't the establishment pick for the appointment even. But that was a bizarre race, and Bennett ended up getting the establishment support.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Ned Lamont in 2006?
nt

[ Parent ]
ideological purity streak
Whether a candidate is successful or not isn't a sign that the progressive base doesn't have an "ideological purity streak." Halter wasn't a progressive Democrat,  although he certainly fell in line with the unions and progressives who were spending a lot of money on him on many issues.

That he wasn't that progressive is actually very telling. It's not that progressives don't demand ideological purity. It's that in most of the country, a "good progressive" can't win a Democratic primary. Democratic voters contain a good number of moderates. Those demanding ideological purity on dailykos have a loud voice but are out of the mainstream even in the Democratic party.

There are a lot more conservatives in the country than progressives and that's why conservatives win Republican primaries. Hence we can nominate someone too far to the right, but Democrats rarely nominate someone too far to the left.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Primary electorate can be quite different
from the electorate at large, hence why parties can nominate strange and sometimes extreme candidates who have no chance of winning.

I think there just maybe more moderate pragmatic voters in the D primaries thus we don't have to many recent cases of an incumbent establishment,conservative leaning Dem lose. The most recent cases that come to mind were Ned Lamont and Donna Edwards.

I think the key atleast for both parties is a pragmatic viewpoint to vote for most conservative/liberal candidate than can still win


[ Parent ]
An inconvenient truth
Blanche Lincoln won that primary.

[ Parent ]
Well, won the runoff
It was an exception to the usual rule of thumb that an incumbent who is forced into a runoff always loses.

[ Parent ]
Webb
was the underdog at first, but the guy he was running against (Harris Miller) turned out to be an epically bad candidate. Sort of a Raul Labrador/Vaughn Ward situation.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Wisconsin in presidential vs midterm years
The MJS did a tally on this since 1986.

The GOP is 0-12 in Presidential years and 8-5 in midterm years in major statewide contests.

27, R, PA-07.


[ Parent ]
doesn't mean much
Governor/AG/other statewides are easier for the minority party in the state to win than Senate.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
While records are meant to be broken
It is likely that Ron Johnson would lose in 2016, even to a Madison/Milwaukee liberal.  OTOH, Tammy Baldwin's victory may fool Madison liberals into thinking that they can do better than Ron Kind, and push a left-wing candidate who would lose.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Wisconsin in the 2010's is like Minnesota in the 90's
One of the most conservative Senators serving alongside one of the most liberal, and a governor with national name recognition.

[ Parent ]
Speaking as a liberal Democrat
The one thing I never got about Daily Kos is the fawning, worshipful treatment of Feingold there. To me, he isn't a progressive; he's just a loose cannon.

[ Parent ]
My thoughts right now
'14 D->R SD, WV, LA, AK
'16 D->R NV (Reid retires, Sandoval runs)
'16 R->D IL, WI, MO (Nixon), IA (Vilsack)

Ending up at the same place.


R - MD-7


[ Parent ]
MO
Nixon's problem is incumbents nearly always run ahead of the top of the ticket in a presidential year.  I'm not sure how many times that hasn't occurred, but it's very few.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Nixon in MO=Lingle in HI
Ok extreme; but MO in a Presidential race isn't ousting a workmanlike R incumbent  

[ Parent ]
From what I've heard Reid seems interested in another term


[ Parent ]
mine
2014:
D-->R: SD, WV, one of AR/LA but leaning toward AR

2016:
R-->D: IL, WI, IA (Grassley retires), FL if Rubio is on ticket (so 50%)
D-->R: NV

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
I can't see FL thhere
If Rubio is on the ticket the Republicans are probably winning Florida, and the GOP has so many more statewide candidate possibilities.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Rubio as VP doesn't lock up Florida by any means
The minority population is growing and Cubans are getting less Republican. Its PVI shouldn't be any redder than R+1, and Joe Garcia or Patrick Murphy would be good candidates if they survive 2014.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
My picks for 2014
D to R flips:
SD, WV, IA (King holds off until 2016), LA
Narrow D holds (could flip with even a minor wave):
AK, AR, NC


Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Just like the author said: don't forget PVI
All seven Democratic senators in Romney states are vulnerable. Some have cultivated good profiles that fit their states (Pryor); some benefit from the family name (Landrieu); others are just so damn likeable (Begich). Nevertheless, they are going into 2014 with targets on their backs because they are anomalies in their states. How can Pryor win reelection four years after Lincoln failed to garner 40 percent? How can Landrieu beat Cassidy when she barely beat Kennedy in '08? How can the two most popular politicans in WV and SD -- Capito and Rounds, respectively -- lose to third-tier Democrats? Look Republicans screw up. But they'd need to screw up more than they did in '12 (that's saying a lot) not to make a big gain. Remember that Missouri, Indiana, and Montana are Republican -- but not as Republican as Arkansas, Louisiana, and SD

Oh and in Nevada, Catherine Cortez Mastro is the frontrunner. The Silver State's politics have changed considerably over the past few yrs. It will soon be in the same category as NM; both are blue states that are just a few pts too Democratic to be considered purple. There's little reason to believe than Sandoval can snag a Senate seat while Nixon can't. They both face the same (insuperable) obstacles

Ryan/Kasich 2016


[ Parent ]
FWIW
I'm quite confident that both Sandoval and Nixon can win open seats.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Nixon's best ally is the MOGOP
Given the demographic trends in MO a mediocre boss run party would hold all major offices for the GOP. But when idiots win primaries (Akin) or waste time running for Governor (Kinder); well, there's the Democratic opening  

[ Parent ]
Idiots don't always win primaries on their own
Todd Akin won because McCaskill interfered in the primary to get him nominated.  Before McCaskill played her game Akin was in third.
Same thing with Angle in Nevada in 2010.  

It is easy to say don't nominate idiots.  But it is harder in practice when you have Dem politicians who help prop up these types for their own political gain.


Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
Weak candidates allows for such shenanigans
Had Jim Talent gotten in, there would have never been the national joke that was Todd Akin. Same with Sandoval or Heller in 2010, in NV.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Well we've seen senators of both parties
hold seats in hostile territory.  Susan Collins beat a sitting Congressman by 22% in what was the worst GOP year in two generations.  And Joe Manchin won almost every county in WV while Obama was losing by almost 30%.  Had Scott Brown made it past 2012, I suspect that he'd have held on to that seat for a while.

I think toppling senators like Pryor, Landrieu, and Baucus will be tough.  
Capito would have had her hands full against Rockefeller; seniority is very important in a state like West Virginia, but now unless Capito loses the primary, she's a very strong favorite to win the seat.  And I don't see any way that Rounds loses, short of a massive scandal, and maybe not even then.  Rounds could imitate Todd Akin and still win.


Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
Massachusetts, at least federally, is more inverse Louisiana than Maine
The fundamental problem Brown had in the long-run, as opposed to the short-run, is that his coalition is shrinking rapidly within the state. So while his loss in 2012 had to do with his failure to hold it together, the Democratic need to break it up, or to do as much to break it up, was going to be far less as time went on.

The thing that I think confuses people about Massachusetts is that it has two separate trends going on. On one hand it is seeing a Republican trend, smaller and more unsteady than people assume, but nevertheless real, among traditional conservadems. This trend however, is more than matched at the state level by a large increase in the minority population, with a lot of that increase involving Asian Americans who are attracted by the educational sector and therefore tend to vote more reliably. There is furthermore a steady influx of liberal whites for the same reason as well as for a tech boom, and if the latter are less locked into the Democratic coalition in the long-run(see Zuckerberg's flirtation with Christie) they are right now and aren't really part of Brown's personal coalition in any real respect.

I think that making long-term predictions about incumbents based on extremely static states is quite dangerous. 20% of the 2018 electorate may never have cast ballots on Brown before. Thats  not something Susan Collins has to worry about.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
What you say is true
but Brown is a good politician.  He would have adapted his coalition to include socially liberal whites and Asians, and he had six years to reach out to enough of them with both his rhetoric and record.
If not for the massive anti-Romney tide that swept out Brown, I suspect he would have held the seat for a long time.  Part of the problem in 2012 (and would have been in 2014 if he won the special in 2013) is that he just didn't have enough time to get himself entrenched with the state and reach out to groups that usually vote Dem.  

This is also why Pryor (and to a lesser extent Landrieu) is going to be a tough out except in a wave election.

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
He was hurt by events in New Hampshire and Maine
As well as by Romney. He had largely neutralized the major Union power centers in the state by early 2011, winning over the teachers, police and firefighters. But efforts to pass Right to Work in both neighboring states helped make blue collar voters jittery, and led them to see Elizabeth Warren very differently in 2012 than they did the prospect of her a year earlier.

Brown was a bit slow to realize how fast his structure was deteriorating, given that it had less to do with his own actions than with those of others. I definitely began to notice that something was happening last Spring.

In the long-run that sort of thing will be a problem with a purely blue-collar strategy in Massachusetts. It will be inordinately dependent on Union workers and at least neutralizing them, and it cannot be pursued in isolation to what is going on nationally. Walker's actions probably could have been, but those across the border in New Hampshire and Maine, some of them by people he campaigned with, were a different matter.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Wha?
The efforts to pass RTW only moderately resonated in New Hampshire and Maine and barely cracked the local news in Massachusetts. There were about 10,000 factors in that race for federal office more important than what was going on in the state legislatures of two states most Massachusetts voters consider to be halfway to the North Pole to begin with.

I agree that Brown's blue-collar base began cracking in early 2012. But the price of tea in China had about as much to do with his re-election as whatever bills were introduced in the Maine House of Representatives.


[ Parent ]
I think the national tone on fiscal issues shifted
And the Labor battles of 2011-2012 were a big part of that. Blue Collar union voters in Massachusetts saw themselves as outsiders to the Liberal establishment post 2006. They had been left behind by the Gay Marriage battle, had not backed Patrick, then had won the 2008 primary for Hillary only to get rolled in the end. Backing Scott Brown, or at least being neutral was a way of proving relevance and showing they could not be walked over.

Initially someone like Warren appeared in 2011 like another version of the same sort of contempt. She was an academic liberal whose fiscal liberalism didn't seem to resonate and whose social values were foreign. But the way Labor battles developed nationally, and more importantly the way that polarized views of Labor in both parties, tended to mean that unions viewed someone like Warren very differently in 2012 than they did in 2011.

I don't think any Republican, in Massachusetts in 2012, with Romney on the ticket and what was happening out of state, was ever going to hold the Blue Collar vote enough to win.  

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Quick question
Was Brown the only Republican to win over blue-collar whites in MA?  It was very different than the Weld/Cellucci coalition, but which swing voters voted for Romney in 2002?  Was it the Weld coalition or the Brown coalition or a bit of both.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Cellucci
It was a slightly different coalition (he won the Berkshires, for example, the last Republican to do so), but it laid the groundwork for Brown. The Weld coalition relied almost entirely on white-collar professionals, while the Romney 2002 coalition was sort of a hybrid.

[ Parent ]
My impression was
that Brown was ahead until late summer/early fall of 2012.  The DNC plus the endorsement by Mayor Menino turned the tide in favor of Warren.


Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
It was tight until then
Warren started out ahead, then Brown took the lead back after her series of missteps, then it was tied for most of the summer.

[ Parent ]
What do people consider a small victory?
Landrieu beat Kennedy by 6.4 points in 2008. Is that considered "barely winning?"

I do agree with you that Landrieu's 2008 win has no bearing on how she does this time.


[ Parent ]
To answer your questions
"How can Pryor win reelection four years after Lincoln failed to garner 40 percent?"

Well Pryor could tap into the Beebe Coalition. While Lincon got a measly 40% Beebe was ropping with 64%. It can be down Pryor has to craft himself as an independent leaning Dem in a similar vein of Beebe. Time will tell but I seem to feel he has a slightly better odds of surviving than Landrieu.

"How can Landrieu beat Cassidy when she barely beat Kennedy in '08?"
Well she won't have to deal with convincing voters to ticket split this time around as there won't be a presidential election. But yes she still have an uphill battle running here, time will tell on how this race goes.

"How can the two most popular politicans in WV and SD -- Capito and Rounds, respectively -- lose to third-tier Democrats?"
Assuming Capito wins the R nomination I'd give her decent shot. As for Rounds I'm assuming you believe that Johnson would retire and thus would be favored. Otherwise if Johnson is third tier candidate that have to make Larry Pressler a 4th tier candidate seeing as he lost as Dole won his state in 1996.

I still think Sandoval has decent favorable to make run for senate sometime in the near future. Who knows perhaps he and Nixon will make the jump.


[ Parent ]
My thoughts
'14:
D->R: SD, WV
R->D: None

'16:
D->R: None
R->D: WI, IL, IA (Grassley retires,) NC (Burr retires)

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what to make of Louisiana just yet
Landrieu has had a target on her back ever since her 2002 election, but the GOP has yet to run the right candidate against her. She's comeback from the dead before. After the healthcare vote her ratings plummetted to near Blanche Lincoln levels, but she ofcourse wasn't up for reelection. The oil spill actually boosted her cred when she opposed the Obama Administration on drilling.

I'm curious to see who eventually runs against her.

As for 2016 it may really come down to how willing voters are to ticket splitting as to how many seats the Dems pick up.


[ Parent ]
bobby jindal needs run
I can't see him winning nomination.  

[ Parent ]
NC, 2014
What do you think transpires here in terms of how competitive Kay Hagan will be and what the GOP primary field will look like? I think Hagan will be hard to beat. It is a midterm year which favors the GOP but she isn't an extreme liberal and has kind of portrayed herself as a moderate. Seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and West Virginia probably flip before North Carolina. I think at least two viable candidates will run in the GOP primary and maybe three will. I think North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis is sure to run and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and/or Congresswoman Renee Ellmers will run. Hopefully, only Tillis runs since I think he's the best candidate due to his leadership in the House and his business background.

Yep
I agree with just about everything you said and it's nice to see a fellow Tar Heel from the other side of the 'aisle' who feels, like I do, that this seat should not be rated a 'Toss Up' by the DC punditry.

The one addition I want to make is that I personally think Jim Cain would be the strongest GOP nominee, of those who have been reported as possibilities. While I think Thom Tillis is the strongest of the likely field, I think the unpopularity of the legislature will undercut him. His ability to be a true contender will depend on how well he can separate himself from the General Assembly.

Tillis and Berger come from nearly opposite ends of the NC GOP. If they both run it'll be very interesting to see how the primary shakes out, because it'll be very telling about what direction the NC GOP will follow over the next few years.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
NC has a quirky Senate history
A lot of incumbents have been tossed in the past 40 years. Helms and Burr have survived.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
NC Senate Turnover
1972: Helms (R) won an open seat because of the 1972 Nixon landslide.

1974: Morgan (D) won an open seat in the Watergate wave.

1980: Morgan (D) lost to East (R) 49.9%-49.4% because of the 1980 Reagan landslide.

1986: East (R) didn't seek reelection, and committed suicide in June. Sanford (D) beat an R appointee.

1992: Faircloth (R) won because Sanford (D) had an emergency heart operation on October 11 and couldn't campaign after that..

1998: Edwards (D) won because Faircloth (R) should've never been elected in the first place (see 1992).

2002: Dole (R) won an open seat.

2004: Burr (R) won an open seat.

2008: Dole (R) lost to Hagan (D) because she forgot where North Carolina was from November of 2002 until October of 2008. It's tough to barnstorm North Carolina without traveling south of the Potomac.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Dole forgot where North Carolina was
from 1958 to present, with the exception of a few months in 2001 and 2002. She graduated from Duke in '58, took the first bus north & rarely came back until she decided she wanted to become a Senator.

[ Parent ]
Jane Harman
I remember that right after I moved to Los Angeles my congressional district was open. Jane Harman had graduated from a high school near the district 30 years before and decided to run. I'm sure she came back now and again during her 18 years in office.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
And Maureen Reagan ran in the GOP primary that year, too.


[ Parent ]
At least Harman had some ties to the state
She had been on the staff of Sen. John Tunney.

(Tunney, the son of boxer Gene Tunney, from my perspective as a Democrat, was a decent Senator but he could never overcome the unfair line, "The lightweight son of the heavyweight champ." He was also damaged by Tom Hayden's kamikaze challenge from the left in the 1976 primary.)


[ Parent ]
Helms in 1972
In 1972, Helms beat Rep. Nick Galifianakis, the uncle of actor/comedian Zach Galifianakis.

Nick used to tell audiences they could remember his name "because it begins with a gal and ends with a kiss."


[ Parent ]
East committed suicide??? Not a good ending for a sitting senator...


38, male, Roma ( Italia ), conservative

[ Parent ]
Hagan
I agree that she'll be tough to beat, but only because it's a closely divided state and there isn't a clear top of the line GOP candidate. That said, there is absolutely nothing significant about her political talents. She isn't widely known, has mediocre approval ratings, is a straight-down-the-line liberal vote on all major issues of the last 4 years, is from the wrong area of the state to have much of regional bounce, and won in 2008 due to a bad incumbent and a bad national environment. She won't have OFA goosing turnout and the NC Democratic party is in shambles.

Both Tillis and Berger have proven to be strong fundraisers, Amb. Cain has an impressive profile, and Rep. Ellmers has shown a surprising ability to move up in Washington. I'm not counting any of them out. There aren't any 'Akins' on the horizon, and the run-off primary system will mean that none will sneak through unnoticed.

And FWIW, The last Democratic Senator to win reelection in NC was Sam Ervin in the 1970s.

I'd rate this as a toss-up/tilt D until the primary, but this is an eminently winnable race.



24/M/Republican/Law Student/NC-13


[ Parent ]
I imagine N.C. is guaranteed to be a competitive affair
Given her all-around inoffensiveness, Hagan probably begins with a slight edge, but I would think any competent-exciting Republican could give her a run. Dole, for all of accomplishments, ran an awe-inspiringly horrendous campaign. She was several tiers below generic R. If Tillis runs a solid race, this should be a <5% showdown either way.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Inoffensive isn't the same as talented
She's had very little presence here since 2008 and is now trying to gear up for reelection by repeating the word "bipartisan" over and over again. She's probably even more unknown than Burr, her favorability ratings are going to get cratered by a swarm of outside advertising, and she has no signature issue that she can use as a shield against attacks(mediocre record on guns, pro-choice, pro-Obamacare, pro-tax hikes). She isn't a particularly good speaker or campaigner.

And FWIW, she has a record in the state legislature herself, serving for the last 10 corrupt, ineffective years of Democratic control of the legislature. If they try and tar Tillis or Berger with their legislative records, it should be fairly easy to turn it back on her.

The short of it is-I'm not impressed by her and I'm not worried about her. She can survive for a second term the same way she was elected the first time around if its a decent Democratic midterm and/or the Republican nominee doesn't run a strong campaign.  

24/M/Republican/Law Student/NC-13


[ Parent ]
I suspect we're looking at 1998 part 2
Both parties relatively mobilized at the same time. At least as far as core Democratic constituencies are concerned, the Administration and Democratic Party are doing a vastly better job keeping them agitated and angry than they did in 2009. Gerrymandering and Obstruction, regardless of their basis in reality as causes of Washington dysfunction, are actually on the lips of most Democrats right now rather than simply process issues.

Republicans are going to be motivated because it is a midterm, and because Obama is practically baiting them. His strategy seems to be that if he treats the House GOP as irrelevant and bypasses them he will disillusion Republican voters the way his own voters were disillusioned in 2010, though why he did not push for the talking filibuster if that was the plan is beyond me. If Hagel wasn't imploding, a filibuster there would provide prime cover to revisit the issue.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
6 Year Itch
I think people are overstating the 'six year itch' factor, and not just because I think political junkies generally tend to attach too much significance to patterns that don't have nearly enough data points to be statistically meaningful.

The big 'six year itch' waves have tended to occur when the two-term president's party has suffered only modest losses in the first midterm. That includes 2006, 1986 (in the Senate), 1974, 1966 (if you count Kennedy/Johnson as a whole), 1958 (more in the Senate than the House), and 1938.

By contrast, when the president's party has suffered heavy losses in the first midterm, the second midterm has seen only modest losses or gains. That includes 1998, 1986 (in the House), and 1918 (more in the House than the Senate), and arguably 1902 (if you count McKinley/Roosevelt as a whole).

So, if you do ascribe to the past is prologue viewpoint, the historical patterns are debatable, at best.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
You guys remind me of those saying "1934" in 2010
In early 2009, the message from some quarters was that 2010 would be like 1934, when the Democrats continued their gains. Time Magazine declared the Republican party dead and Chuck Schumer reflected conventional wisdom when he told Rachel Maddow that until Republicans dropped the "party of no" and started working with the Democrats they were going to remain irrelevant.

Obama operated under an "I won" strategy, thinking that this would disillusion Republican voters and keep the center in the Democratic camp. The opposite happened, of course. Nothing motivates people like a President treating their voice as irrelevant and the President is perceived arrogant by the middle. People blame the President for what goes wrong in Washington and credit him for what goes right. They don't blame the House.

Mid-terms are bad for a President. In 17 mid-terms since 1944 the President's party's share of the House vote has dropped from the previous election 16 times. I haven't gone back further but I'm sure you could.

I know people think 1998 was a good Democratic year and it was from the standpoint of Democrats gaining seats. What people don't realize is that the Democratic party's share of vote dropped from 1996 to 1998 from 50.2% to 49.5%. Gaining seats was a combination of good luck from retirements and 1994 winners who didn't lose in 1996.

So, in 1998 you have a Democratic President and a Republican party that did the unthinkable. Impeaching the President is one the few things a party can do to elevate the House above the President in people's minds. Despite this blunder, Republicans still got a higher percentage than 1996.

You really shouldn't 1986 as a good example either. The GOP got 47.4% of the vote in 1984 and only 44.9% in 1986. That's certainly not a drop similar to 1994 or 2010, but it's certainly a poor mid-term.

The reason the years you cite don't appear bad is that the President's party didn't have a bloated caucus at the time. So there weren't big losses to be had. The only time a President's party didn't drop in a mid-term was 2002, a year where George Bush's approval rating was sky high due to 9-11. So it might take an event like that for Democrats to win more votes.

I'm not saying big losses are inevitable. As 1998 shows, it's possible that a party can get a lower percentage and gain seats. Of course that's the only time that happened too.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
recent trends seem to make midterms more cloudy
Yes generally speaking midterms tend to be bad for the presidents party though if you look at the last 4 midterms that's only true 50% of time.

Seeing as the house Dems did win a majority of the house popular vote is very possible that a party gain seats with a lower percentage.

What people don't realize is that the Democratic party's share of vote dropped from 1996 to 1998 from 50.2% to 49.5%.

yes but also people seem to forget that 1996 was an odd year where the Dems won the house popular vote but still didn't win control of the house. I wouldn't really use it as the best predictor.

What Rougemapper was trying to say is that since there were massive GOP gains in the 2010 midterms don't expect similar massive gains this midterm as much low hanging fruit (in the house especially) is gone. The GOP would need to repeat it's 2010 gains if it wants to take the senate, which now is a little more uphill following the 2012 elections.

And the CW can be wrong, people thought the Dems would gain senate seats in 2010 much in the same way people thought the GOP would gain in senate in 2012, both predictions turned out to be wrong.  


[ Parent ]
Not cloudy at all
There's only one mid-term that's an exception and that's 2002. George W. Bush had a 65% approval rating at the mid-term election. That was unusual. Barack Obama has a 51% job approval right now. If Obama gets his approval rating up around 65%, then this election might be applicable.

What's important about 1998 is not that the Democrats won seats or that they won a majority of the vote in 1996 but didn't get the majority. What's important is that they got a lower share of the votes.

No, massive mid-term losses are unlikely, but I didn't think we were arguing whether 2014 would be a disaster for Democrats, only whether they'd do better or worse than 2012. Democrats don't have enough marginal seats in 2014 to suffer massive losses.

The senate has some different behavior than the House does. I'm aware that some people thought Democrats would gain senate seats in 2010, but anyone expecting that didn't do much research on the environment.

Republicans losing seats in 2012 did go against the grain, because the Democrats had a lot of seats up. It wasn't unprecedented. There have been a number of years where the party with more seats up didn't lose seats.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
well
The last Democratic Senator to win reelection in NC was Sam Ervin in the 1970s.

That coincides with the last time North Carolina was a real swing state before the last few years.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Actually 1968
Senator Sam's last reelect was in 1968. He resigned partway through the term. A great guy-his grandson nearly won a seat on the state Supreme Court based on the strength of his last name.  

24/M/Republican/Law Student/NC-13

[ Parent ]
It's misleading to say Ervin "resigned partway through (his) term"
Ervin resigned on December 31, 1974, a few days before his term expired on January 3, 1975, a common practice in those days. He did so in order to give his successor, Morgan, a leg up in seniority.

[ Parent ]
Kirk in 2016
I'm not entirely sure that Kirk will be that much vulnerable in 2016. Yes, it's a Presidential Cycle and it's Illinois, but wouldn't it be possible to think that his stroke will give him some sort of bump - as ugly as it is to say something like that.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

it'll be old news by then
if his stroke happened in 2015 or 2016, yes.  But it was 2012.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Toomey
I am kind of surprised nobody has mentioned Toomey as vulnerable.  I think he has done a great job so far, but Pennsylvania in a presidential year is not necessarily easy.

28, Republican, PA-6

Toomey
His approval rating is quite low (I believe 33% when last polled) so he's definitely in the high-risk range. He'd certainly be on my list if I were going to predict which seats will flip in 2016. I think that's a fairly pointless exercise though even for 2014, much less for 2016. Who would've predicted in February 2011 that this would be the 2012 Senate outcome.

R->D: IN, MA, ME
D->R: NE

And, that's it.

So, that's about what I think of these early-cycle predictions. But, what the heck, here's my pointless 2014 prediction.

D->R: SD, WV
R->D: GA

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Could you expound of your Georgia prediction
I can't tell whether you're serious, but it is pretty out there...

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Sure
I think the Georgia GOP electorate is hyper-conservative. I find it strange that people think a divided primary is the way to get two 'establishment' Republicans into a run-off. The divided Georgia primary should result in either two far-right candidates or one far-right and one establishment candidate in a run-off. And, the latter should be the case only if there's only one viable establishment candidate.

So, my very premature prediction is that the Georgia run-off will be either Broun v Gingrey or one of Broun/Gingrey v Kingston. If the latter, I think Broun or Gingrey will be slightly favored. They will toss out the 'red meat' like it's going out of style.

And, I think if Broun or Gingrey is the nominee, it's very likely the GOP will toss away yet another seat it should hold.

While I'm at it, I'll briefly comment on two other Southern races.

Arkansas: I don't Pryor is in any great risk at all. His approval rating is 51% positive to 20% negative. That is not a high-risk situation.

Louisiana: Landrieu won both in 2008 and in 2002 by getting 95% of the black vote and 35% of the white vote. I see no obvious reason why she can't pull that off yet again, but she has a very narrow margin for error.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Repubs in South in 2014
I agree that Repubs could lose GA in 2014 if an extreme social conservative like Broun wins the Repub nomination. If Barrow becomes the Dem nominee I think he would defeat Broun.  The only reason Broun may not get the nod is that he will have to compete in a run-off.  If a mainstream conservative GOP candidate runs against Barrow it would be close, but I think the GOP candidate would have the edge. However, the GOP seems to excell lately in nominating candidates who lose seats that should be in Repub hands, so who knows.
I also think that Pryor is safe.  He is probably the most conservative Dem in the Senate and appears to be well liked in Arkansas. Landrieu and Hagan have a slight edge but if the GOP puts up good candidates who run decent campaigns these 2 races could be close.  I suspect that Landrieu and Hagan will swing somewhat to the right in terms of their Senate voting record over the next 2 years.  

[ Parent ]
Since when is Handel establishment?
Gingrey is far more establishment than she is.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I think you are missing two things
1. Karen Handel.  She's very likely to get into a runoff.  

2. Even if Broun wins the primary, the Dems don't have a good opponent to oppose him.  They would need a fiscally conservative suburbanite, preferably a woman, someone like Cathy Cox.  But they are more likely to nominate a black candidate or a rural white one, neither of whom will get the needed margins in the Atlanta suburbs.

I actually agree with you on Pryor and Landrieu.  Pryor only goes down in a wave election, and Landrieu's seat is a tossup because of her support from the oil industry.

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
Toomey polling
We have two post-2012 polls with one showing Toomey polling relatively the same as Casey:

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/inst...

http://www.politicspa.com/fm-p...

F&M is not a serious pollster though.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
He will be vulnerable
if the Democrats win in PA in 2016.  If Hillary Clinton is winning PA by 8-10%, then Toomey will be in deep trouble.  However if Chris Christie is our nominee and wins PA (or comes close), not so much.  Personally, I think the second one is more likely.  
I don't see Toomey doing what Santorum did in 2000 (a margin of 11% better than Bush), but I could see him overcoming a 2-5% deficit easily.  If Toomey had been up in 2012, I think it would have been tough.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
I think his term has helped him
I think he came into 2010 with a reputation for hardcore conservatism from his challenge to Toomey, and one that outside his own old district, was not clearly differentiated in voters' minds between Social and Fiscal issues. He has been a pretty moderate senator, and fairly low-key, so I don't see that much reason for unhappiness other than that he is a Republican.

Something like Right to Work could change that if the national environment and his opponent were such that SEPA voters were inclined to vote Democratic anyway.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Agree
Beating Toomey is not going to be easy.  I think the best analogy to him is someone like Mitch Daniels or Rick Snyder.

The Democrats need a good candidate against Toomey that will have to hit the right buttons.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
Precisely
So long as the Democratic presidential nominee isn't winning in a rout, I think Toomey, who's proven himself both productive and completely inoffensive in his first term, can hang on. His ceiling is probably right around 53 percent, so I wouldn't get too comfortable, but he's no Santorum. I'd say he'll probably be in about the same position as Kay Hagan is right now.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Santorum
It's important to differentiate between Santorum 2000 and Santorum 2006.  The former ran 11% better (margin) than did Bush in 2000, granted against a weak Dem.  The latter was derided as a far-right nutcase and lost accordingly.  
My guess is that if Toomey had been up in 2012, it would have been close to a dead heat.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
It was close to a dead-heat in 2010
I can't see him winning an open seat in 2012. His past record, including the challenge to Specter, would have been used to tie him(unfairly I think) to the Akin/Rehberg/Mourdock crowd of "Tea Party" republicans.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Sabato's Crystal Ball
Today Sabato released his Senate ratings for 2014. Here are the non-Safe seats.

Likely D: CO, HI, IL, MA, MI, NJ, OR, VA
Lean D: AR, MN, MT, NH
Toss-Up: AK, IA, LA, NC, SD
Lean R: WV
Likely R: GA, KY

So, I thought it'd be interesting to go back and take a look at his March 2011 ratings. Here they are.

Likely D: MN, PA, WI
Lean D: CT, FL, HI, MI, NJ, WV
Toss-Up: MO, MT, NE, NM, NV, OH, VA
Lean R: AZ, MA
Likely R: IN, ME, ND, TX

Wow. Things looked quite grim for Democrats at the open of the 2012 cycle. Notably worse than they supposedly look at the open of the 2014 cycle. So much for that!

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Looking closely
I'll disagree. In Sabato's ratings, he has three Republican seats, NV, AZ, and MA in Lean Republican or toss-up. He likely would've had Maine there too if he knew Snowe would retire. The Republicans had real possibilities of losses. They don't have that this year unless Collins retires.

He had 1 Democratic seat on the Republican side then, just as he does now. He had more Democratic seats in Lean Democrat or toss-up then than he does now, but he was way too optimistic on some of them. Because NM, NJ, MI, and HI didn't come close to flipping he doesn't have those in danger in 2014. So it really doesn't look any better for Democrats, especially when you consider pick-ups are real long shots.


R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
yeah
Dems have a lower floor this time around.  I'm only expecting R+3, but the potential for huge losses is definitely there.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
comparing Sabato's original rankings to results
MN went to Safe D
PA went to Lean/Likely D
WI, IN, NE, ME involved retirements/primary losses so I'm discounting them.
MT, NV, VA remained Tossups.
OH was Lean D, as was NM.  MO was Likely D because Akin.
AZ stayed Lean R, MA was a Tossup or maybe Lean D if you're generous.
ND was a Tossup, of course.
So basically anything on the board could become a Tossup, since ND did last cycle.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
WI, IN, NE, ME
But, those are my whole point. We don't know who will unexpectedly retire, what primary upsets might happen, or, for that matter, who might die. The 2000, 2002, 2008, and 2010 cycles all included senate seats that came open due to a senator dying. Of course, we've already had one for this cycle (Hawaii). The 1978 cycle had four.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
SD
Is it really a toss-up? I know Tim Johnson hasn't announced that he's retiring and he could run again (unlikely) but I think even if he did, Mike Rounds would be favored due to the lean of the state, Johnson's poor health, and Rounds' popularity and early entrance in the race. I highly doubt (in the likely scenario where Johnson retires) there's a potential candidate for the Dems like Heidi Heitkamp was in 2012 in the North Dakota Senate race and Rounds seems to be a much better candidate than Rick Berg.

[ Parent ]
I don't think so
I think it's Lean R with Johnson and Likely to Safe R without.

If I had to rate the 2014 races as they appear to stand right now, here's how I would rate them.

Safe D: CO, DE, HI, ID, IL, MA, ME, MI, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA
Likely D: AR, MN, MT, NH
Lean D: AK, IA, NC
Toss-Up: LA
Lean R: GA, SD
Likely R: KY, WV
Safe R: AL, KS, MS, NE, OK, SCx2, TN, TX, WY

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Oops!
Maine should obviously be in the Safe R, not Safe D, column, unless of course Collins retires, which would be a big surprise.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Double oops!
I obviously got some neurons crossed.. Idaho should be Safe R too, to say the least.. Here's a do-over.

Safe D: CO, DE, HI, IL, MA, MI, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA
Likely D: AR, MN, MT, NH
Lean D: AK, IA, NC
Toss-Up: LA
Lean R: GA, SD
Likely R: KY, WV
Safe R: AL, ID, KS, ME, MS, NE, OK, SCx2, TN, TX, WY  

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Mid-term
I think you're a tad too optimistic on some of the Democratic seats. While Republicans have had a tough time unseating incumbents, this will be a mid-term, not a Presidential election year. I wouldn't be so bold to predict a repeat of 2010, I do believe the year will be closer to 2010 than 2012. The electorate will probably be 76-77% White and the 18-29 segment could be around 12% again.

Any state Republicans won or came close in 2010 has the potential to be competitive. The GOP won big in Alaska, Arkansas, and New Hampshire that year and came close in Colorado. They also won statewide in Michigan and New Mexico.

I think the only caution flag I'd have is that there is no Republican in some of these races.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Yes, well
I already said what I had to say about the "six year itch" and it just so happens that Neil Newhouse agrees with me. Was he talking about 1934 in 2010?

Anyway, I'll comment with my view on the races you noted:

1) Colorado: If Bennet survived 2010 Udall won't have any problem in 2014, certainly not against the apparent field.

2) Arkansas: Pryor has a 51%-20% positive approval rating. Until that changes, it's Likely D in my view. It's even more Likely D so long as no Republican of consequence is making serious moves to enter the race.

3) New Hampshire: The only reason this isn't Safe D is because there are several possible serious challengers (Sununu, Guinta, Bradley) and because New Hampshire has a contrary electorate.

4) Alaska: Begich was not the fluke that many here seem to think he is. He was mayor of Anchorage, much as his most likely opponent, except his most likely opponent isn't an incumbent senator.

5) Michigan: Levin is at zero risk. If he retires, we can revisit.

6) New Mexico: Udall is at zero risk unless Martinez runs.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
how do you not call Begich a fluke
Do you think he beats Stevens absent a conveniently timed criminal affair?

If so, that would of course fit the first half of this fact pattern.

1992: Faircloth (R) won because Sanford (D) had an emergency heart operation on October 11 and couldn't campaign after that..

1998: Edwards (D) won because Faircloth (R) should've never been elected in the first place (see 1992).

27, R, PA-07.


[ Parent ]
I don't consider Begich a complete fluke
Stevens built up considerable good will in Alaska, which he retained even after his conviction.  Had Stevens not been convicted a week before the election, Begich loses by 10%.  But had the Democrats nominated almost any other candidate, Stevens would have won by double digits even with the conviction.

That doesn't mean that Begich will win re-election, but he's going to be a lot tougher to unseat than many think.  

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
What Indy said
Begich was mayor of Anchorage. Faircloth was a pig farmer.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Demos
So you agree with everything Neil Newhouse says? He's gospel? He was Mitt Romney's campaign pollster. He completely misread the electorate in 2012. Should I assume you agreed with him on how Mitt was going to win?

A better question is what you were predicting for 2010 in 2009? Were you, like many Democrats, predicting another good Democratic year?

Newhouse did say that Republicans shouldn't assume a win in 2014 just because it's a 6 year itch. He didn't refute my demographics above and neither did you. I have the demos of the last three mid-terms and the White percentage has gone up from the previous election by 1-3%. If that's the case, the electorate will be Whiter than 2012, although I'll be overestimating it at 76-77%. The 18-29 portion of the electorate has been 12% each time, even in 2006.

There are certainly strong potential challengers in each state. Yes, unseating an incumbent has been tough for the GOP but look at the last three Republicans did unseat. Blanche Lincoln was in a red state, but had won a number of elections before. She got 56% in 2004. Pryor got 54% in 2002. Since Pryor ran unopposed in 2008 we don't know his strength in another competitive race.

Ron Johnson was a nobody who got into the election late in a blue state.

Tom Daschle had easily won re-election several times before.


R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
2009
In early 2009 I was expecting a routine first midterm with modest Democratic losses. You might recall the health care debacle wasn't even off the ground floor until May. I started predicting increasing levels of disaster when a series of Democratic morons, from Baucus to Nelson to Lincoln, paraded out to torpedo a true overhaul of the health care system. The pivotal moment for me was when Lieberman killed his own longtime proposal to set Medicare eligibility at age 55. That's when I knew 2010 was going to be 2010, so that was on December 14, 2009.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
PS.
I didn't respond to you above because I don't respond to straw man attacks. If you want to debate someone who ever thought 2010 would resemble 1934, then that someone wasn't me.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
2010 as 1934?
My 2010=1934 supposition wasn't a straw man.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01...

http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgu...

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes...

http://rothenbergpoliticalrepo...

http://www.realclearpolitics.c...

You may not have been buying it, but Democrats were selling it and some in the media agreed. Most people weren't predicting anything other than modest Republican gains until after Scott Brown won. Democrats pointed to the their NY-23 win in November 2009 as proof that they'd do fine because Republicans were in a civil war and no one liked them anyway. And people would reward Democrats as soon as people saw how great the healthcare law was going to be.

Perhaps I'm reading you wrong, but you appear to be saying that 2014 will lean to the Democrats or at least be neutral and still favor Democrats in strong Romney states.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Yes
You're reading me wrong. I think 2014 will lean slightly GOP in the House much like 1998, because all the easy targets were swept away in 2010, much like 1994. In other words, I don't think it will be a GOP 'wave' election - which is what "six year itch" implies. Many here seem to be assessing the individual races with the underlying premise that 2014 will be a GOP 'wave' election.

I also think the mantra that 2012 was a "strong Democratic year" is misguided. I think 2012 was a neutral election that appears worse from a GOP standpoint than it actually was because the 'deskewers' were living in a fantasy world and because the GOP badly fumbled a lot of individual Senate races, but those races turned on local factors.

The way that I define a "neutral" election is one that turns more on the "all politics is local" principle. I define a "wave" election as one where the national mood overwhelms the particulars of individual races. 2012 was the former, not the latter, so it did not set up a bunch of low-hanging Democratic fruit to replace what was swept away in 2010.

What Pelosi or Shumer or McConnell or Cantor say to the media means nothing to me. It's their job to say that their party will win no matter what they actually think. The leaders of both parties have done it every single election cycle from as far back as I can remember election cycles.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
That's about what I see for 2014
GOP single digit pickups in both the House and the Senate.  

Three wildcards though,
1. The economy and budget situation (obviously)
2. The GOP base's reaction to immigration reform.
3. A controversial Supreme Court nomination

If immigration reform passes, I wouldn't be surprised to see a good deal of disillusionment from some in the GOP base and lower turnout, which could make the path that much easier for red state Dems.

Also a Supreme Court nomination that is controversial could result in conservative voters in some of the red states throwing out incumbents that they personally like (e.g. Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, Hagan, etc.)

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
gains in Congress but losses in governorships
The GOP is probably at its ceiling in terms of state level legislative seats and governorships.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Not a Democrat
but I think the game changer in 2010 was Scott Brown's shot heard around the world.  Had there been no special election, I don't think 2010 would have been as strong as it was.  
What Brown's election did was to tell the GOP and the country that Obama's agenda had been rejected.  After that Evan Bayh retired, and a whole bunch of new GOP recruits entered races in House seats.  And the Dems shoving Obamacare down the throat of the country, after having it rejected by one of the bluest states in the country, only further inflamed this sentiment.    
No MA special in early 2010, and I think the GOP picks up 40-45 in the House and not 60+.  And close Senate races in PA and IL probably swing the other way.

On Pryor, he won 54% against an incumbent in a pro-R year.  That sounds like strength, not weakness.  I really think it will take a another 2010-like wave election to topple him.  Susan Collins and Joe Manchin have won races in similarly hostile territory, and there is no reason to believe that Pryor won't do the same.

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
But that was 2002
Back when Democrats dominated the local statewide races, held 3 of the house seats, and Gore only lost the state by 5.5 points in a close election

Romney just won the state by more than Reagan did in 1984, Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature and every other federal office than this one.  I think it's safe to say that the state is more locally Republican than it was back then, and Pryor now has to defend an Obamacare vote right as its being put into place.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Power of Incumbency
It's also worth noting that you have to go all the way back to 1980 to find an election when more than two non-appointed incumbent Democratic senators lost in the general election. Republicans have fared much worse on that front.

2012: 0D, 1R
2010: 2D, 0R
2008: 0D, 5R
2006: 0D, 5R
2004: 1D, 0R
2002: 1D, 1R
2000: 1D, 5R
1998: 1D, 2R
1996: 0D, 1R
1994: 1D, 0R
1992: 2D, 1R
1990: 0D, 1R
1988: 1D, 3R
1986: 0D, 7R
1984: 1D, 2R
1982: 1D, 1R
1980: 9D, 0R

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
My changes
Safe D->Likely D CO, NJ
Likely D -> Lean D AR, MN, MT
Lean D -> Tilt D AK,NC
Lean D-> Toss Up IA (if Latham runs)
Lean R -> Likely R GA
Safe R -> Likely R SC (Scott)

The reason why I put Tim Scott as likely and not safe is because I suspect that there is an element of the older South Carolina electorate that won't vote for him.  This may not be politically correct to say, but I suspect that there is still some latent racism among some of the former Democrats in the rural areas of the state (and that Scott comes from Charleston doesn't help).  If the Democrats come up with a strong conservative Democrat who can appeal to them, the race might be winnable for him.  

Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
How many races could be competitive in 2012?
We have 7 Romney-Democrat Senators (AK, AR, LA, MT, NC, SD, WV) that should all face some sort of challenge

We have an open seat in Iowa (#8)

How many of these otherwise safe-seat Senators will retire?
Durbin, Levin, Lautenberg (+/- Menendez)

Then I would imagine someone out of these Senators will get a challenge or two?
UdallX2, Markey/Lynch, Franken, Shaheen, Merkley, Warner

The only races I see as being totally safe from a race are Reed and Schatz.


Baker '14
R, MA-3


Virginia
Mark Warner, who has a positive 43-34 approval rating even among Republicans, will not get a challenge from anyone even remotely viable, because no real Republican contender will want to flush his or her career in a quixotic self-immolation.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Yep
I give him a 10% chance of an Evan Bayh-style retirement (not in timing, but in surprise value), in which the GOP would be no worse than 50/50 with McDonnell. But other than that the only question is whether someone like Bob Marshall runs, or if we're stuck with a Some Dude.

[ Parent ]
Some Dude is less likely to hurt candidates else-ware than Marshall
Marshall is bad, far worse than Akin or Mourdock. Akin was a moron, Mourdock said something offensive. Bob Marshall is personally offensive, and takes pleasure in it. He would run ads, if he had money, with that Akin line.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Yeah
I'd like to see Bishop EW Jackson run here (assuming Warner doesn't retire). Anybody but Marshall.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Franken may not get even a C-level challenger
All of the big guns are keeping their powder dry, and even the second Tibet candidates have only sort of voiced some interest in taking on Dayton. The MN-GOP is still a disaster, so there will be little in terms of institutional backing for any statewide candidate. Remember, there are a total of 5 statewide races coming up, all with Democratic incumbents. I would be really surprised if any of them but Otto isn't in their same seats in 2015. Otto I think steps aside, as she is far from a strong candidate by comparison.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
That's unfortunate
as Franken is probably the most obnoxious member in the entire Dem Caucus.  Here's an example:

According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of "The First Billion Is the Hardest" stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended

Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire's financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Said Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh: "It was a lively conversation."

Pickens was on the Hill to address the Senate Democratic Policy Committee lunch about his plans to use wind energy to lower the nation's dependence on oil and gas. But the thought of Pickens being invited to a Democratic event angered some on the Hill and in the liberal blogs.

http://www.politico.com/news/s...

The supposed victim of the Swift Boat ads, John Kerry, met with Pickens several times, and eventually got him to endorse his cap and trade legislation.  The fact that Franken behaves in this manner, along with his previous record, especially his antics with Bill O'Reilly makes him unfit to be in the Senate.  



Christie 2016  


[ Parent ]
Coleman's defeat is probably my most bitter disappointment of 2008
Mostly because of how it happened and how close it was. I wonder if he would have held the seat in 2014.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Minnesota doesn't like reelecting senators
Amy Klobuchar was the first one reelected since 1996.  

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Coons
is also totally safe. Schatz may face a primary.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Totally forgot Coons
Not really surprising though

Baker '14
R, MA-3


[ Parent ]
second tier*
Damn autocorrect

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

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