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Author Topic: Ranking the Senate Races....  (Read 6661 times)
morgieb
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« on: November 29, 2011, 02:00:17 am »
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It's a little early, but why not?

Lean Pickup

1. North Dakota (Open, was D-Conrad) - this isn't good for the Democrats at all, but Heitkamp is a pretty strong candidate, and Berg might be too conservative even for North Dakota. Polls are also showing this tightening. I still think Berg will win this state, though.

2. Nebraska (D-Ben Nelson) - the only thing that might save him is 1. he hasn't been keeping to the Democratic line since Obama was elected, and 2. the Republican primary is likely to get messy. But he smells like Blanche Lincoln did last year, and there are now rumours that he might give it up. Should that happen, he'll go to #1.

3. Massachusetts (R-Scott Brown) - I'm probably being a little premature saying that this is a Lean Pickup, given Brown and Warren are pretty much tied in the polls, but the early signs are good for Warren. She's a pretty strong candidate, and I still struggle to see a Republican senator winning elections Massachusetts under normal circumstances.

Toss-up

4. Montana (D-Tester) - this looks like a dead heat. Both Rehberg and Tester have strong name recognition and are popular. A lot will depend on the election as a whole.

5. Nevada (R-Heller) - in effect an open seat because Heller's an appointed Senator. With Berkley performing well, and Nevada being purple with a blueish tinge, it looks to be a tight one.

6. Missouri (D-McCaskill) - looking like a dead heat too! The difference is, McCaskill won't get a contested primary, whereas the Republicans will, so she may still survive.

7. Wisconsin (Open, was D-Kohl) - pretty similar to Missouri in that it's a swing state with a contested Republican primary and an obvious Democrat, but Baldwin isn't the incumbent and her sexuality will probably cost her. However, Wisconsin leans Democratic stronger than Missouri, and it did elect liberal icon Russell Feingold many times, so if she campaigns well, Baldwin's got a good shot at the seat.

8. Virginia (Open, was D-Webb) - Macaca makes too much gaffes for him to have the edge, and Kaine is rather popular, but this is nevertheless a nail-biter.

9. New Mexico (Open, was D-Bingaman) - Democrats probably have the edge here, but we need to wait for the primaries to happen to make a proper judgement on the seat.

10. Florida (D-Bill Nelson) - with Connie Mack now running, it looks tough for Nelson to win. Previously, his chances of losing was probably overstated, because although his approvals weren't great, he was leading most Republicans. But now, he may not be. Could be a tight race.

Lean Retention

11. Ohio (D-Sherrod Brown) - Brown will be tough to knock-off, but Mandel's a strong candidate, if a little young, and Ohio's economy is in the pits and it remains to be seen who they blame.

12. Michigan (D-Stabenow) - similar fundamentals to Ohio, but Hoestrka isn't as strong as Mandel and the state is a fair bit bluer.

13. Arizona (Open, was R-Kyl) - if Giffords runs, she'll probably win due to the sympathy vote and Flake will probably make some form of gaffe, but if she hasn't properly recovered, it'll probably stay in Republican hands. However, polls are showing this to be rather close even without her.

Likely Retention

14. Hawaii (Open, was D-Akaka) - Lingle would be more competitive in a mid-term year, but it's probably too much to ask of her to beat the Democrats in a presidential year. But if Case beats Hirono in the primary, watch out.

15. West Virginia (D-Manchin) - Obama is poison in this state, but Manchin is popular and anti-Obama, WV is actually very Democratic outside of federal elections, and Capito may not run.

16. New Jersey (D-Menendez) - he's not popular, but neither are most New Jersey politicians, and too often it looks like a seat for the Republicans, and they don't win it.

Long Shots

17. Connecticut (Open, was ID-Lieberman) - probably could be competitive if Shays wins the nomination, but won't be if McMahon does so.

18. Pennsylvania (D-Casey) - the Casey name is gold in Pennsylvania, and the Republicans don't have good candidates.

19. Maine (R-Snowe) - will win the state if she gets past the primary. If not, then it'll turn blue.

20. Indiana (R-Lugar) - see above, but there are other contingencies to talk about. Firstly, Morduck actually has some establishment support (in contrast to Snowe's opposition), and secondly, Morduck would still have the edge if he knocked off Lugar in the primary. However, Donnelly is a strong coup for the Democrats.

21. Texas (Open, was R-Bailey Hutchison) - I still think it's too much to expect a Democrat to win in Texas right now, but things might change.

Snowball's-Chance-in-Hell

22. Washington (D-Cantwell) - with a good candidate it could be interesting, but I'm yet to hear of one.

23. Tennessee (R-Corker) - see above. And the Democrats bench in Tennessee isn't much chop, either.

24. Minnesota (D-Klobuchar) - her approvals are too high for the Republicans to have a realistic chance of knocking her off.

Live Boy, Dead Girl

25. California (D-Feinstein) - Feinstein might retire, and her approvals aren't that strong anyway, but the Republicans don't have a good bench in Cali.

26. Delaware (D-Carper) - Republican's bench isn't good enough for Carper to be knocked off.

27. Maryland (D-Cardin) - not the sort of state that the Republicans would think of winning.

28. Rhode Island (D-Whitehouse) - Whitehouse has marginal approval ratings, but Rhode Island isn't the sort of state the Republicans would win.

29. New York (D-Gilliband) - Schumer will raise too much money for Gilliband, so it's near impossible for a Republican to knock her off, even someone like Giluiani.

30. Mississippi (R-Wicker) - he's even popular with Democrats. Says a lot, doesn't it?

31. Vermont (ID-Sanders) - he's a socialist, but it's Vermont, and there aren't many good Republicans in Vermont anymore.

32. Wyoming (R-Barrasso) - it's Wyoming. Enough said.

33. Utah (R-Hatch) - may have been interesting if Chaffetz and Matheson ran, but they aren't so Hatch will stay solid.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 02:05:03 am by morgieb »Logged
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jfern
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 02:07:12 am »
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Lean Pickup for North Dakota is probably being rather generous to the Democrats.
Missouri and Virginia seem like races that will go down to the wire.
Sadly it's got to be impossible to primary DiFi with the new runoff system instead of a primary.
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 11:23:49 am »
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Good analysis. Smiley Though to quibble I'd say Heitkamp's and Nelson's chances are one step worse than stated (particularly Nelson's).
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morgieb
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 12:47:03 am »
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Likely Pickup

1. Nebraska (D-Ben Nelson) - no doubt Nelson is in trouble. He's behind in the polls, his approvals are awful, he's in a very red state, and there is even the chance of him not being the nominee. However, the Republican candidates haven't got a solid lead on him, and Bob Kerrey could be a better option should he retire.

Lean Pickup

2. North Dakota (Open, was D-Conrad) - this race deserves some neutral polling. Indeed, it seems rather close. I still give the edge to Berg, however.

3. Massachusetts (R-Scott Brown) - Most polling has Brown behind, and the gap will only widen as Warren's name recognition starts to improve. His approval ratings are also underwater now, and Massachusetts remains a heavily Democratic state - Brown is literally the only Republican with a credible political position. However, assuming Mitt Romney is the nominee, he could give Brown some help.

Toss-up

4. Montana (D-Tester) - Tester's approvals look very marginal now. Most polls have Rehberg with a narrow lead. It is quite a Republican state. Still, Montana usually elects Democratic senators.

5. Wisconsin (Open, was D-Kohl) - still have problems believing Baldwin's mainstream enough to beat a strong candidate like Tommy Thompson. However, she certainly can beat Neumann.

6. Nevada (R-Heller) - Berkley's catching up big time. Within time, Heller could be in serious trouble.

7. Missouri (D-McCaskill) - McCaskill should be in some trouble, as Missouri is turning redder and her approvals are quite poor. But she is still leading most Republicans in the polls.

8. Virginia (Open, was D-Webb) - will remain a tossup long into the future.

Lean Retention

9. Florida (D-Bill Nelson) - I still don't know what to believe here. A poll by Rasmussen showed Mack up by 2. Yet PPP showed Nelson up by 11. Overall, the edge is Nelson's, but we need to wait and see.

10. New Mexico (Open, was D-Bingaman) - Johnson would be a strong candidate, but he's on an ego trip. Wilson could be competitive, but Heinrich still leads her relatively comfortably.

11. Ohio (D-Sherrod Brown)

12. Michigan (D-Stabenow)

13. Arizona (Open, was R-Kyl) - Carmona has Flake in within 4. Add that Flake, on fiscal matters is the most conservative house member (or was), this race could be interesting. But we need to wait to see if Carmona is a Jim Webb, or a Ricardo Sanchez.

Likely Retention

14. Hawaii (Open, was D-Akaka) - Hirono should be safe against Lingle given the circumstances, but Case won't be.

15. Connecticut (Open, was ID-Lieberman) - the polling in this race is actually competitive. However, I still think Connecticut Republicans will make the mistake of nominating McMahon.

16. Pennsylvania (D-Casey) - Casey's approval ratings are surprisingly marginal. Also, the Republican bench in Pennsylvania is quite strong, and Corbett's approvals aren't ed like Kasich and Snyder's are. With that said, the candidates in this race aren't very strong.

Long Shots

17. New Jersey (D-Menendez)

18. West Virginia (D-Manchin) - Manchin's approvals are awesome, and he's way ahead of the rest of the pack. It might be competitive if Capito runs and can tie him to Obama, but that's a long shot at this stage.

19. Indiana (R-Lugar) - deserves some more polling.

Snowball's-Chance-in-Hell

20. Washington (D-Cantwell)

21. Tennessee (R-Corker)

22. Texas (Open, was R-Bailey Hutchison) - Democrats should've found much better candidates than the one's they have now.

23. Minnesota (D-Klobuchar)

24. Maine (R-Snowe) - A primary challenge isn't looking like it'd succeed.

Live Boy, Dead Girl

25. California (D-Feinstein)

26. Delaware (D-Carper)

27. Maryland (D-Cardin)

28. Rhode Island (D-Whitehouse)

29. New York (D-Gilliband)

30. Utah (R-Hatch)

31. Mississippi (R-Wicker)

32. Vermont (ID-Sanders)

33. Wyoming (R-Barrasso)

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pikachu
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 03:13:42 pm »
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North Dakota's also probably a Republican pickup.
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morgieb
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 05:40:08 pm »
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Not a real update, but with Nelson retiring, Nebraska moves to Safe Pickup.
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morgieb
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 07:51:03 am »
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Likely Pickup

1. North Dakota (D-Open)

2. Nebraska (D-Open) - Kerrey at least will force the Republicans to spend some money here. But the country is so polarised now that it's hard to see him win, as well as him spending the last 12 years in New York.

Lean Pickup

3. Maine (R-Open) - this race has changed so much in the past week. First, Snowe retired at the last minute, leaving the Republicans without a Plan B. Then, John Baldacci, Mike Machaud and Chellie Pingree all jumped in, but only Baldacci stayed in. Then, former Governor Angus King jumped in. Assuming he caucuses with the Democrats, the Democrats should pick this up, despite a three-way race, because the candidates are unpopular (Baldacci) or unknown (the other candidates).

Toss-up

4. Montana (D-Tester)

5. Wisconsin (D-Open) - I still feel Baldwin's too liberal for Wisconsin, and Thompson has a comfortable lead on her, but the Republicans could make the mistake of nominating Neumann, and a big win by Obama here could elect Baldwin on his coattails.

6. Massachusetts (R-Brown) - looks more crucial than it did a month ago when it looked like Warren was gonna cruise to victory, but Brown now has a lead in many polls. I still struggle to believe that this race won't narrow, but it's more of a toss-up right now rather than a lean/likely Democratic pickup.

7. Nevada (R-Heller)

8. Missouri (D-McCaskill)

9. Virginia (D-Open)

10. Florida (D-Bill Nelson) - no idea what will happen here. Polls were rather bouncy but now they're showing a very narrow Nelson victory.

Lean Retention

11. New Mexico (D-Open)

12. Ohio (D-Brown) - this race will probably narrow once Mandel's name recognition improves, and he has got serious money, but I still favour Sherrod Brown to win right now.

Likely Retention

13. Arizona (R-Open)

14. Hawaii (D-Open) - looking more like Hirono rather than Case will be the candidate, which can only be a good thing for Hawaiian Democrats.

15. Connecticut (D-Open) - polls are close, but I still think the Republicans will make the mistake of nominating McMahon.

16. Indiana (R-Open) - we need more polling.

17. Michigan (D-Stabenow) - improving economy and a racist candidate improves Stabenow's chances of winning. Who would've thought?

18. Pennsylvania (D-Casey)

Long Shots

19. West Virginia (D-Manchin) - unless Obama has major downballot effects, Manchin should cruise to victory.

20. New Jersey (D-Menendez)

Snowball's-Chance-in-Hell


21. Texas (R-Open)

22. Washington (D-Cantwell)

23. Tennessee (R-Corker)

24. Minnesota (D-Kloubchar)

Live Boy, Dead Girl

25. California (D-Feinstein)

26. Delaware (D-Carper)

27. Maryland (D-Cardin)

28. Rhode Island (D-Whitehouse)

29. New York (D-Gilliband)

30. Utah (R-Hatch)

31. Mississippi (R-Wicker)

32. Vermont (ID-Sanders)

33. Wyoming (R-Barrasso)
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 03:11:00 pm »
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Lean pickup
WI,NEB, MT, and ND
Lean retention
MA, VA, NM, FL, OH
Tossup
MO,NV, and ME
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Harry
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 07:09:52 pm »
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30. Mississippi (R-Wicker) - he's even popular with Democrats. Says a lot, doesn't it?

While Wicker's chances of losing are far below 1%, he's not popular with Democrats at all, or Republicans for that matter.  He widely considered to be one of the biggest jokes in Washington.
The guy outright refuses to bring home any pork to Mississippi.  That's going to bite him in the ass one day.  I was hoping he'd get primaried out, but don't count out 2018.
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morgieb
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 08:29:33 am »
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Republicans list (to knock off):

1. Nebraska (Open) - Kerrey's a long way behind in the polls, and his carpetbagging won't help. While on paper he's a great candidate, he doesn't appear to be in practice. Democrats can forget about this seat.

2. North Dakota (Open) - while I'm skeptical of internals, it appears that Berg looks like a dud candidate. While the partisan lean of North Dakota will probably get him a win, it isn't as easy as most people expect.

3. Montana (Tester) - both candidates have high name recognition (I could be wrong), so most likely the polls won't be as jumpy here. And most polls appear to have a narrow but steady lead for Rehberg.

4. Missouri (McCaskill) - polling has turned very sour for her, but all the Republican candidates are nutcases. McCaskill may be able to win by saying she's an independent voice for the state.

5. Wisconsin (Open) - Mourdock's win here hurts the Republican's chances I feel. It gives Thompson a major threat in the primaries by Neumann, and Neumann can't really appear like a moderate due to his Club for Growth links. A genuine conservative versus a genuine progressive will probably depend a lot on the GOTV, and the recall.

6. Virginia (Open) - this depends on the General Election most likely, and may be the race that tips the Senate.

7. New Mexico (Open) - although Wilson's quite a good candidate, and there's a contested race on the Democrat side, it's probably asking too much for a Republican to win New Mexico in an election year. Whether Obama's gay marriage turn could depress Hispanic turnout is another question altogether.

8. Florida (Nelson) - Mack appears to be a troubled candidate, and LeMieux is too linked to Crist to win a primary. Nelson looks a lot better, but if the Republicans get a decent win here, it can push their Senate candidate over the line.

9. Ohio (Sherrod Brown) - possible that it could narrow as Mandel's name recognition improves, but despite being very liberal Brown's probably a better fit for Ohio than Mandel.

10. Hawaii (Open) - Lingle's a very strong candidate, but it probably won't be enough in Obama's year.

11. Michigan (Stabenow) - should've been competitive, but Hoestrka turned out to be a fail candidate and the economy is improving.

12. Connecticut (Open) - as the primaries aren't over it may become competitive if flukes happen. But it probably won't.

13. New Jersey (Mendenez) - Kyrillos seems a semi-interesting candidate, but it'll probably require something big to happen to cause an upset.

14. Pennsylvania (Casey) - the Casey name is an institution into Pennsylvanian politics, and running a self-raiser businessman against someone is usually a sign of weakness.

15. West Virginia (Manchin) - should've been competitive due to Obama's troubles in Appalachia, but Raese is a terrible candidate and Manchin remains very popular.

16. Washington (Cantwell) - Republicans needed the right circumstances to trouble Cantwell and they didn't get one.

17. Minnesota (Kloubchar) - Kloubchar is very popular in Minnesota, and a strong candidate to make the seat vaguely competitive wasn't found.

18. New York (Gillibrand) - Gillibrand's not really a candidate to knock off.

19. Delaware (Carper) - Republicans didn't nominate O'Donnell but they didn't nominate someone compelling.

20. California (Feinstein) - Californian Republicans are retarded.

21. Maryland (Cardin) - running against a no-name

22. Vermont (Sanders) - Sanders is an institution in Vermont politics.

23. Rhode Island (Whitehouse) - running against a no-name.

Democrat list (to knock off):

1. Maine (Open) - King will caucus with the Democrats, those that don't think so are delusional. Knocking him off is possible if everything goes wrong, but that's unlikely.

2. Massachusetts (Scott Brown) - despite the Native American scandal, Warren hasn't been hit very hard. While it's still tight, the blueness of Massachusetts gives Warren a major advantage.

3. Nevada (Heller) - Berkley's struggling in the polls, and Heller is a decent fit for Nevada. While a version of the reserve Bradley candidate may be play in here (Hispanics getting undercounted by pollsters), Heller is probably the narrow favourite at this stage.

4. Indiana (Open, Lugar lost primary) - Lugar, an institution of Indianan politics, lost to Mourdock, a Tea Party backed insurgent. While Mourdock, unlike most Tea Party candidates, actually has won elected office, it gives Donnelly a big chance if he runs a competent campaign, and at the very least forces the Republicans to spend a lot of money to keep the seat.

5. Arizona (Open) - winnable with an upset in the Presidential election, but it requires Carmona to play his cards right.

6. Texas (Open) - could've been interesting on paper, but the Democrats only got some no-names.

7. Utah (Hatch) - Hatch might get primaried, but a Democrat isn't winning in Utah in Mitt Romney's year.

8. Tennessee (Corker) - does he have a opponent yet?

9. Mississippi (Wicker) - running against a no-name.

10. Wyoming (Barrasso) - running effectively unopposed.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 04:49:41 pm »
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2. North Dakota (Open) - while I'm skeptical of internals, it appears that Berg looks like a dud candidate. While the partisan lean of North Dakota will probably get him a win, it isn't as easy as most people expect.


Going by polling alone, it looks like Heitkamp has the advantage. While you should always take internals with a grain of salt, so far all available polling has Heitkamp up roughly 5 points. Even more, Rick Berg paid $24,000 to Public Opinion Strategies to poll the senate race back in January, and he has yet to  release the results. If a pollster paid for by the Republicans can't show Berg with a lead, this seat may very well stay Democratic.

Overall, this is a really good analysis of the 2012 senate races!
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 05:27:54 pm »
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2. North Dakota (Open) - while I'm skeptical of internals, it appears that Berg looks like a dud candidate. While the partisan lean of North Dakota will probably get him a win, it isn't as easy as most people expect.


Going by polling alone, it looks like Heitkamp has the advantage. While you should always take internals with a grain of salt, so far all available polling has Heitkamp up roughly 5 points. Even more, Rick Berg paid $24,000 to Public Opinion Strategies to poll the senate race back in January, and he has yet to  release the results. If a pollster paid for by the Republicans can't show Berg with a lead, this seat may very well stay Democratic.

Overall, this is a really good analysis of the 2012 senate races!
Yeah Heitkamp is a good candidate. Berg just doesn't have name recognition. The Dems also have a good candidate for the North Dakota-At Large House Seat.

That would be funny to see John Hooven serve with Heitkamp in the Senate since Hooven defeated her in the 2000 North Dakota Governor's race. That was Hooven's closest election  race for Governor too.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 06:27:05 pm »
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Wisconsin-Well if Baldwin wins she would be serving with Ron Johnson. Talk about polar opposites.

New Jersey-(The state that I live in.)If the Republicans could have ran Jennifer Beck against Menendez the Republicans would have a victory there. Even Frank LiBiondo would be decent to run against Menendez. Joe Kyrollis isn't a household name for New Jerseyens.

Washington State-Reichert would have been perfect to run against Cantwell. I think he said no though and his House Seat was made safer in redistricting. Maybe he is waiting for Murray to retire in 2016! She has been there a long time afterall. Cantwell hasn't been in Washington D.C. that long in comparison to Murray. She was defeated as a US House Member in the Republican Wave in 1994 and came back in 2001 to be a US Senator.

Hawaii-Don't count out Lingle yet. She won re-election for Governor in 2006 in a dem year.

Connecticut-I still can't see Shays winning even if he win the Primary. I mean Obama is on top of the ballot in Connecticut. Shays lost his House Seat in 2008 because Obama was on top of the ballot.

Virginia-Like somebody said it depends on the Presidential Election.

Montana-toss-up of all toss-ups. Rehberg did vote against "The Ryan Plan" the first time it came up for a vote but don't know about the second time it came up for a vote. Voting against "The Ryan Plan" the first time that it came up for a vote may help him out some.

Missouri-Ditto like Montana but McCaskill voted for ObamaCare. The Republicans will feast on that vote this Election Season.




 
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 07:33:05 pm »
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I can't recall the reasons for each state in reaching these tallies, but here's the bottom line:

If all the breaks go the Republicans' way, the GOP will net +7.
If all the breaks go the Democrats' way, then the GOP will net +3.

A -3 result would be a real victory for Democrats defending 23 seats against their opponents' 10, especially considering that all of these 23 seats were ones the Democrats won in the "wave year" of 2006.

Btw, we need to change the filibuster rules.  It's ridiculous to require 60 votes for nearly everything.
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Miles
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 09:55:46 pm »
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If all the breaks go the Republicans' way, the GOP will net +7.
If all the breaks go the Democrats' way, then the GOP Democrats will net +3.

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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 09:07:12 am »
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I can't recall the reasons for each state in reaching these tallies, but here's the bottom line:

If all the breaks go the Republicans' way, the GOP will net +7.
If all the breaks go the Democrats' way, then the GOP will net +3.

A -3 result would be a real victory for Democrats defending 23 seats against their opponents' 10, especially considering that all of these 23 seats were ones the Democrats won in the "wave year" of 2006.

Btw, we need to change the filibuster rules.  It's ridiculous to require 60 votes for nearly everything.
I thought it used to be 51 votes for spending bills. What happened to that particular rule after 2009 I believe?
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 01:24:59 pm »
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The Senate races Im looking at are
Indiana- Joe Donnelly a Blue Dog is tied with Mourdock, and this could be very Close, but if Donnelly does well among Independents he could win
Virginia- Tim Kaine vs George Allen a pure Tossup
Hawaii- the democratic primary could be bloody i support Ed Case, but he is far behind in the polls but Linda Lingle could make this race close
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2012, 02:14:47 pm »
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Nebraska and North Dakota are safe pick-ups
Missouri and Montana are likely pick-ups
Wisconsin leans pick-up
Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts and Nevada are total toss-ups
New Mexico leans retention
Indiana and Arizona likely retention
Connecticut will depend on the primary
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 02:27:13 pm »
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Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts and Nevada are total toss-ups

Rasmussen is the only pollster showing a close race in Ohio.
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 03:51:20 pm »
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Nebraska and North Dakota are safe pick-ups
Missouri and Montana are likely pick-ups
Wisconsin leans pick-up
Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts and Nevada are total toss-ups
New Mexico leans retention
Indiana and Arizona likely retention
Connecticut will depend on the primary

Your prediction isn't very balanced. Also you forgot Maine. The reality is more like this:

Nebraska is a safe pick-up
Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and Missouri lean pick-up
Wisconsin, Virginia and Montana are toss-ups
Ohio and New Mexico lean retention
Indiana and Arizona likely retention
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2012, 01:04:36 am »
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I personally would rate them this way as of now:

Safe Democratic
California, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont (ind.), Washington

Likely Democratic
Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Lean Democratic
Florida, New Mexico, Ohio

Tossup
Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin

Lean Republican
Indiana, North Dakota

Likely Republican
Arizona, Nebraska

Safe Republican
Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Likely Independent
Maine (I suspect King will caucus with the Democrats)
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morgieb
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2012, 08:07:16 am »
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Likely Pickup

1. Nebraska (D-Open [was Ben Nelson]) - no real hope for Kerrey here unless Fischer completely flops, and even then she might still win here.

2. Maine (R-Open [was Snowe]) - King will kill his pitiful opposition unless Dill lights a Christmas tree, but who he caucuses with is unknown. However, I think he'll caucus with the Democrats.

Toss-up

3. North Dakota (D-Open [was Conrad]) - although I think the partisan lean of North Dakota will eventually be too much for Heitkamp, Berg has proved totally incompetent and turned a likely pickup to a toss-up.

4. Missouri (D-McCaskill) - she's in a load of sh**t, but the Republican candidates I feel are too right-wing for this not to be competitive.

5. Wisconsin (D-Open [was Kohl]) - Baldwin is struggling big time and the recall will the Reps here, but I reckon it could become very competitive if Thompson loses the primary, which remains very possible given in Indiana and Nebraska.

6. Montana (D-Tester) - a close fight, could go either way. I give Rehberg an edge though as Montana is quite red.

7. Massachusetts (R-Scott Brown) - see Montana, except this state is very blue rather than red.

8. Virginia (D-Open [was Webb]) - the ultra swing state. Very feasible that it may decide the Presidency and the Senate.

9. Indiana (R-Open [was Lugar]) - see North Dakota. Republicans really screwed this race up.

Leans Retention

10. Nevada (R-Heller) - most polls are showing Heller with a lead. While it's impossible to rule out the Harry Reid machine, advantage Republican at this stage.

11. Ohio (D-Sherrod Brown)

12. New Mexico (D-Open [was Bingaman]) - polling and coat-tails favour Heinrich.

13. Florida (D-Bill Nelson) - should have been competitive, but Mack has been a failed candidate.

Likely Retention

14. Hawaii (D-Open [was Akaka])

15. Arizona (R-Open [was Kyl]) - polling has shown this to be fairly competitive but I still think Carmona's a long shot.

16. New Jersey (D-Medendez)

17. Connecticut (ID-Open [was Lieberman]) - polling has shown this surprisingly competitive, but I can't see Murphy losing.

18. Michigan (D-Stabenow)

Safe Retention

19. West Virginia (D-Manchin) - surely the Reps could've found a better candidate than Raese?

20. Pennsylvania (D-Casey) - running an untested businessman is a weakness, not a strength. Particularly given the Republicans have a strong bench here and Casey's approvals are surprisingly tepid.

21. Minnesota (D-Klobuchar)

22. Texas (R-Open [was Hutchison]) - Dems didn't provide proper opposition to an open seat.

23. Washington (D-Cantwell)

24. Tennessee (R-Corker)

25. Utah (R-Hatch) - a primary loss could shake it up, but it's Utah.

26. New York (D-Gilliband)

27. California (D-Feinstein)

28. Delaware (D-Carper)

29. Maryland (D-Cardin)

30. Rhode Island (D-Whitehouse)

31. Mississippi (R-Wicker)

32. Vermont (ID-Sanders)

33. Wyoming (R-Barrasso)

2014 (I'm doing this in order of vulnerability)

Very Vulnerable:

1. Alaska (D-Begich) - Begich only barely won against a convicted felon in 2008. In less favourable circumstances and against a non-corrupt Republican, he is probably toast.

2. Louisiana (D-Landrieu) - Landrieu got tested by a little funded Republican opponent in 2008 and Louisiana is trending red hard. She is in a lot of trouble.

3. Arkansas (D-Pryor) - Arkansas is trending red hard, and Pryor doesn't appear to be very popular. He too is in quite a lot of trouble.

4. Montana (D-Baucus) - Yes Baucus has been a Senate figure for over 30 years, but his welcome appears to be worn out and Montana is still fundamentally a red state. Baucus is in trouble.

Vulnerable

5. North Carolina (D-Hagan) - Hagan isn't very popular, and the state has never truly loved their Senators. Could be trouble.

6. South Dakota (D-Johnson?) - a lot depends on Johnson. Will he make another run, given his health issues? Might Mike Rounds (who seems likely to run) make him work for him job or scare him into retirement? If Johnson runs again however, he is probably the favourite. If not, this race will become the Republicans #1 pickup opportunity.

7. New Hampshire (D-Shaheen) - key swing state. New Hampshire appears to returning to its red roots after the Lynch experiment and Shaheen isn't extremely well established. Could be interesting, though if the Dems pick up the house seats it may fall off the radar.

8. West Virginia (D-Rockefeller?) - it seems likely that Rockefeller will retire after this election. Although West Virginia is trending Republican hard at the Presidential level, it is still quite blue outside of it, so it is probably still leaning Dem unless Capito wants this seat.

9. Kentucky (R-McConnell) - Yes McConnell is a machine man, but his approvals are in the dump. And they could get worse if Romney wins. This is the Dems best pickup opportunity this cycle and they won't want to waste it. If Obama wins however, it'll take a lot of heat off McConnell.

Potentially Vulnerable

10. New Jersey (D-Lautenberg?) - Lautenberg will probably retire after this election. As it is, he is quite unpopular, but unless Christie wants the seat, it will probably remain in Democratic hands.

11. New Mexico (D-T Udall) - Tom Udall seems to be fairly quiet, and the Hispanic advantage is probably less relevant in a mid-term election. Nevertheless, it'll probably be hard to stop him.

12. Maine (R-Collins?) - This race depends entirely on Collins. If she runs for re-election, she'll easily win, but will she? Or can she? A primary challenge or a retirement is not out of the question.

13. Colorado (D-M Udall) - Mark Udall seems to be making a name for himself, so he is probably OK.

14. Minnesota (D-Franken) - Franken will be the liberal icon that the Reps would love to knock over, but can they? The state seems to be returning to its blue roots after the Pawlenty experiment, and he is 50+ against the likes of Coleman and Pawlenty, let alone Bachmann.

15. Iowa (D-Harkin) - Harkin is very well entrenched. Simply put, this race ranks where it is as there aren't any better options, unless Branstad gets in his mind that being a Senator might be a good option.

16. Michigan (D-Levin?) - Levin would need to retire, which is possible. If he does, the seat will become a toss-up, perhaps leaning R.

17. Virginia (D-Warner?) - some talk that Warner will run for Governor or even retire. He won't lose if he runs but it'll become a toss-up if he doesn't, perhaps leaning R.

18. South Carolina (R-Graham?) - Graham might get primaried, but it's unclear what effect that might have as South Carolina tends to be fairly conservative.

19. Georgia (R-Chambliss) - A chance with proper targeting at a GE, but a midterm might be one step too far.

Safe (for now)

20. Oregon (D-Merkley) - only narrowly won in 2008, but who would beat him? I don't see Smith running again.

21. Oklahoma (R-Inhofe?) - Inhofe might retire, but Oklahoma doesn't like sending Democrats to Washington.

22. Illinois (D-Durbin?) - might retire, but even then there's a weak bench in Illinois, and I really don't see them giving the Reps 2 seats.

23. Mississippi (R-Cochran?) - I don't see him running again, but are there any Dems who can win in Mississippi currently?

24. Tennessee (R-Alexander) - see Oklahoma, except Alexander is running again.

25. Texas (R-Cornyn?) - may get primaried, but it's Texas, and in a mid-term.

26. Nebraska (R-Johanns) - fairly well entrenched, plus the Dems don't really have a bench here.

27. Kansas (R-Roberts) - very well entrenched, even if Seliebus or Parkinson runs they'll probably lose.

28. Delaware (D-Coons) - Republicans don't have a bench here.

29. Massachusetts (D-Kerry?) - Kerry may retire, or pick up the SoS slot, but the Republicans don't have a bench here.

30. Wyoming (R-Enzi?) - Enzi may retire, but are there any non-Frudenthal Dems in Wyoming?

31. Alabama (R-Sessions) - unless Sessions retires, the Dems have no hope. Even with a retirement, there aren't really many strong candidates here that are still Democrats.

32. Rhode Island (D-Reed) - no real shot, Rhode Island is just too blue.

33. Idaho (R-Risch) - no real shot, Idaho is just too red.
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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 02:27:02 pm »
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Likely Pickup

1. Nebraska (D-Open [was Ben Nelson]) - no real hope for Kerrey here unless Fischer completely flops, and even then she might still win here.

2. Maine (R-Open [was Snowe]) - King will kill his pitiful opposition unless Dill lights a Christmas tree, but who he caucuses with is unknown. However, I think he'll caucus with the Democrats.

Toss-up

3. North Dakota (D-Open [was Conrad]) - although I think the partisan lean of North Dakota will eventually be too much for Heitkamp, Berg has proved totally incompetent and turned a likely pickup to a toss-up.

4. Missouri (D-McCaskill) - she's in a load of sh**t, but the Republican candidates I feel are too right-wing for this not to be competitive.

5. Wisconsin (D-Open [was Kohl]) - Baldwin is struggling big time and the recall will the Reps here, but I reckon it could become very competitive if Thompson loses the primary, which remains very possible given in Indiana and Nebraska.

6. Montana (D-Tester) - a close fight, could go either way. I give Rehberg an edge though as Montana is quite red.

7. Massachusetts (R-Scott Brown) - see Montana, except this state is very blue rather than red.

8. Virginia (D-Open [was Webb]) - the ultra swing state. Very feasible that it may decide the Presidency and the Senate.

9. Indiana (R-Open [was Lugar]) - see North Dakota. Republicans really screwed this race up.

Leans Retention

10. Nevada (R-Heller) - most polls are showing Heller with a lead. While it's impossible to rule out the Harry Reid machine, advantage Republican at this stage.

11. Ohio (D-Sherrod Brown)

12. New Mexico (D-Open [was Bingaman]) - polling and coat-tails favour Heinrich.

13. Florida (D-Bill Nelson) - should have been competitive, but Mack has been a failed candidate.

Likely Retention

14. Hawaii (D-Open [was Akaka])

15. Arizona (R-Open [was Kyl]) - polling has shown this to be fairly competitive but I still think Carmona's a long shot.

16. New Jersey (D-Medendez)

17. Connecticut (ID-Open [was Lieberman]) - polling has shown this surprisingly competitive, but I can't see Murphy losing.

18. Michigan (D-Stabenow)

Safe Retention

19. West Virginia (D-Manchin) - surely the Reps could've found a better candidate than Raese?

20. Pennsylvania (D-Casey) - running an untested businessman is a weakness, not a strength. Particularly given the Republicans have a strong bench here and Casey's approvals are surprisingly tepid.

21. Minnesota (D-Klobuchar)

22. Texas (R-Open [was Hutchison]) - Dems didn't provide proper opposition to an open seat.

23. Washington (D-Cantwell)

24. Tennessee (R-Corker)

25. Utah (R-Hatch) - a primary loss could shake it up, but it's Utah.

26. New York (D-Gilliband)

27. California (D-Feinstein)

28. Delaware (D-Carper)

29. Maryland (D-Cardin)

30. Rhode Island (D-Whitehouse)

31. Mississippi (R-Wicker)

32. Vermont (ID-Sanders)

33. Wyoming (R-Barrasso)

2014 (I'm doing this in order of vulnerability)

Very Vulnerable:

1. Alaska (D-Begich) - Begich only barely won against a convicted felon in 2008. In less favourable circumstances and against a non-corrupt Republican, he is probably toast.

2. Louisiana (D-Landrieu) - Landrieu got tested by a little funded Republican opponent in 2008 and Louisiana is trending red hard. She is in a lot of trouble.

3. Arkansas (D-Pryor) - Arkansas is trending red hard, and Pryor doesn't appear to be very popular. He too is in quite a lot of trouble.

4. Montana (D-Baucus) - Yes Baucus has been a Senate figure for over 30 years, but his welcome appears to be worn out and Montana is still fundamentally a red state. Baucus is in trouble.

Vulnerable

5. North Carolina (D-Hagan) - Hagan isn't very popular, and the state has never truly loved their Senators. Could be trouble.

6. South Dakota (D-Johnson?) - a lot depends on Johnson. Will he make another run, given his health issues? Might Mike Rounds (who seems likely to run) make him work for him job or scare him into retirement? If Johnson runs again however, he is probably the favourite. If not, this race will become the Republicans #1 pickup opportunity.

7. New Hampshire (D-Shaheen) - key swing state. New Hampshire appears to returning to its red roots after the Lynch experiment and Shaheen isn't extremely well established. Could be interesting, though if the Dems pick up the house seats it may fall off the radar.

8. West Virginia (D-Rockefeller?) - it seems likely that Rockefeller will retire after this election. Although West Virginia is trending Republican hard at the Presidential level, it is still quite blue outside of it, so it is probably still leaning Dem unless Capito wants this seat.

9. Kentucky (R-McConnell) - Yes McConnell is a machine man, but his approvals are in the dump. And they could get worse if Romney wins. This is the Dems best pickup opportunity this cycle and they won't want to waste it. If Obama wins however, it'll take a lot of heat off McConnell.

Potentially Vulnerable

10. New Jersey (D-Lautenberg?) - Lautenberg will probably retire after this election. As it is, he is quite unpopular, but unless Christie wants the seat, it will probably remain in Democratic hands.

11. New Mexico (D-T Udall) - Tom Udall seems to be fairly quiet, and the Hispanic advantage is probably less relevant in a mid-term election. Nevertheless, it'll probably be hard to stop him.

12. Maine (R-Collins?) - This race depends entirely on Collins. If she runs for re-election, she'll easily win, but will she? Or can she? A primary challenge or a retirement is not out of the question.

13. Colorado (D-M Udall) - Mark Udall seems to be making a name for himself, so he is probably OK.

14. Minnesota (D-Franken) - Franken will be the liberal icon that the Reps would love to knock over, but can they? The state seems to be returning to its blue roots after the Pawlenty experiment, and he is 50+ against the likes of Coleman and Pawlenty, let alone Bachmann.

15. Iowa (D-Harkin) - Harkin is very well entrenched. Simply put, this race ranks where it is as there aren't any better options, unless Branstad gets in his mind that being a Senator might be a good option.

16. Michigan (D-Levin?) - Levin would need to retire, which is possible. If he does, the seat will become a toss-up, perhaps leaning R.

17. Virginia (D-Warner?) - some talk that Warner will run for Governor or even retire. He won't lose if he runs but it'll become a toss-up if he doesn't, perhaps leaning R.

18. South Carolina (R-Graham?) - Graham might get primaried, but it's unclear what effect that might have as South Carolina tends to be fairly conservative.

19. Georgia (R-Chambliss) - A chance with proper targeting at a GE, but a midterm might be one step too far.

Safe (for now)

20. Oregon (D-Merkley) - only narrowly won in 2008, but who would beat him? I don't see Smith running again.

21. Oklahoma (R-Inhofe?) - Inhofe might retire, but Oklahoma doesn't like sending Democrats to Washington.

22. Illinois (D-Durbin?) - might retire, but even then there's a weak bench in Illinois, and I really don't see them giving the Reps 2 seats.

23. Mississippi (R-Cochran?) - I don't see him running again, but are there any Dems who can win in Mississippi currently?

24. Tennessee (R-Alexander) - see Oklahoma, except Alexander is running again.

25. Texas (R-Cornyn?) - may get primaried, but it's Texas, and in a mid-term.

26. Nebraska (R-Johanns) - fairly well entrenched, plus the Dems don't really have a bench here.

27. Kansas (R-Roberts) - very well entrenched, even if Seliebus or Parkinson runs they'll probably lose.

28. Delaware (D-Coons) - Republicans don't have a bench here.

29. Massachusetts (D-Kerry?) - Kerry may retire, or pick up the SoS slot, but the Republicans don't have a bench here.

30. Wyoming (R-Enzi?) - Enzi may retire, but are there any non-Frudenthal Dems in Wyoming?

31. Alabama (R-Sessions) - unless Sessions retires, the Dems have no hope. Even with a retirement, there aren't really many strong candidates here that are still Democrats.

32. Rhode Island (D-Reed) - no real shot, Rhode Island is just too blue.

33. Idaho (R-Risch) - no real shot, Idaho is just too red.
Indiana-No Republicans didn't mess that race up-Lugar did plus Murdock has been in politics for 20+ years. He is not a newcomer to politics by any means.

Colorado 2014-Yeah watch out a PPP poll should former Governor Bill Owens only 4 points behind Mark Udall in that race so if Owens runs it could be a toss-up race. 

Virginia 2014- I thought Warner can't run for Governor again there because of the single term limit rule.
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Zioneer
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« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2012, 08:10:44 pm »
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The Utah Senate race is incredibly depressing; the candidate is good on paper (and in speeches), but it's Scott Howell, the guy who ran against Hatch in 2000 and who lost by 30 points. Hatch is just too entrenched, too wily, and Utah is much to ingrained into the attitude of electing Hatch to change. Governor Herbert is more vulnerable than Hatch, for crying out loud. I would bet that if any Utah Democratic fluke wins happen this year, it'll be in the Governor's seat, not the Senate.
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« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2012, 09:06:46 pm »
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The Utah Senate race is incredibly depressing; the candidate is good on paper (and in speeches), but it's Scott Howell, the guy who ran against Hatch in 2000 and who lost by 30 points. Hatch is just too entrenched, too wily, and Utah is much to ingrained into the attitude of electing Hatch to change. Governor Herbert is more vulnerable than Hatch, for crying out loud. I would bet that if any Utah Democratic fluke wins happen this year, it'll be in the Governor's seat, not the Senate.
Governor Herbert is popular though. He will still be hard to beat.
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