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Author Topic: Vosem's 2014 Senate Elections Analysis  (Read 3306 times)
Vosem
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« on: August 25, 2012, 10:32:51 pm »
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Alabama: Whether or not Jeff Sessions, at 67, will be seeking another term is unclear, but which party will win the general election is very clear in blood-red Alabama. Safe Republican.

Alaska: Mark Begich won just barely against controversial Senator Ted Stevens in the Democratic landslide year of 2008, and is quite vulnerable in 2014. Some Republican candidates include Sean Parnell, the Governor of Alaska (who lost a Republican House primary in 2008), and Dan Sullivan, the Mayor of Anchorage. If Republicans don't like an extra Senate seat, 2010 candidate Joe Miller is also a possibility. Ultimately, Leans Republican.

Arkansas: Mark Pryor won completely unopposed in 2008 and is personally popular, but as Richard Lugar has taught us, this doesn't guarantee safety. That said, Pryor won't be primaried. In addition to the three Republican Representatives, other possible Republican candidates include state Senator Gilbert Baker and 2004 Senate candidate Jim Holt. Pryor will be very vulnerable if Obama wins, but probably has nothing to worry about in a Romney presidency. Leans Democratic.

Colorado: Mark Udall is fairly popular and Colorado is trending Democratic, but Republicans may nevertheless put up a strong challenge for this seat. Polling by PPP shows Udall consistently under 50%. U.S. Representative Mike Coffman seems to be the strongest possibility (actually, former Governor Bill Owens, but he's left politics), but others who don't do particularly badly include 2010 Senate primary loser Jane Norton, 2010 independent gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, and state Attorney General John Suthers. However, Congressman Doug Lamborn or 2010 Senate nominee Ken Buck would both be awful choices. Apparently, Senator Ayotte of New Hampshire has spoken to Jane Norton about running here, which probably makes her the favorite. Udall is likely to be saved by the simple fact the Republicans have easier targets than Colorado. Leans Democratic.

Delaware: The last significant Delaware Republican, Mike Castle, lost a primary in 2010. Apparently, the 2012 candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, Sher Valenzuela, is getting a prominent speaking slot at the Republican Convention, so maybe she's the future of the Delaware Republicans. However, the chance that Republicans seriously challenge Chris Coons is infinitesimal. Safe Democratic.

Georgia: Saxby Chambliss has confirmed he is seeking a third term, but he is not exactly beloved. By anybody. It is very possible that Chambliss may find himself with a Tea Party challenger; the three most prominent names are former Secretary of State Karen Handel and 2004 primary loser and all-around awesome dude Herman Cain. Georgia is polarized enough that the winner of the Republican primary is basically certain to win the election. Safe Republican.

Idaho: Jim Risch has already announced that he will seek a second term. I'm not familiar enough with Idaho politics to say how plausible this is (he will be 71) or whether he may face some sort of primary challenge, but I do know enough to say a Republican will win the general election; Democrats had the strongest candidate possible in 2008 in former Representative Larry laRocco and lost by double-digits anyway. Safe Republican.

Iowa: Tom Harkin has already announced he will seek another (apparently final) term in 2014. Polling by PPP has shown him with single-digit leads against Governor Branstad, and Congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham; however, these people are generally happy where they are, and it seems doubtful they will challenge Harkin. The theoretically vulnerable Harkin may draw a challenger from business, the legislature, or one of the lesser executive officers (the Iowa Lt. Gov., Sec. State, Auditor, and Sec. Agriculture are all Republicans and yes the last one is an elected position in Iowa). However, the simple fact that Republicans have better targets will probably spare Harkin too strong of a blow. Likely Democratic.

Illinois: Having lost the shadow battle with Chuck Schumer to eventually succeed Harry Reid when he leaves the Senate (apparently very possible in 2016, though Reid strikes me as a I'm-leaving-in-a-hearse type of politician), Dick Durbin is considered very likely to retire in 2014. There are large numbers of politicians from both parties who are theoretically interested in this seat, but former state Comptroller Dan Hynes, who came in second in 2004 Senate primary and the 2010 gubernatorial primary, seems to be the favorite. If Obama is president, Republicans may make a play here, with up-and-coming Representatives Aaron Schock or Adam Kinzinger, or 2010 gubernatorial primary loser Kirk Dillard. If Romney is president, this seat is probably gone. Republicans do have a path to victory here, but it's out there. Likely Democratic.

Louisiana: Mary Landrieu is in a state which has shifted incredibly Republican over the past few years. She has already begun gearing up for a fight; the likely Republican nominee is U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy, though some Republicans hope to covince extremely popular Governor Bobby Jindal, who will be term-limited in 2015, to challenge Landrieu. If Jindal does Landrieu is gone; if Cassidy is the challenger, Landrieu has a fighting chance, but it'll be an uphill fight in this red of a state. Tossup/Tilts Republican.

Kansas: Pat Roberts has already begun fundraising for his next term. This is Kansas; a Republican will win no matter what. Safe Republican.

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell has announced he is seeking reelection and is already fundraising. It is possible that he may receive a Tea Party challenge, though I'm not sure from who; and a real Democratic challenger is likely; most prominent are Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, Governor Steve Beshear (who challenged McConnell in 1996), 2010 Senate candidate Jack Conway and state Sec. of State Alison Grimes. Nevertheless, McConnell has a powerful machine on his side and has won close races before. Again, if Obama is reelected, this one's off the map, but with a Romney presidency Kentucky could legitimately be vulnerable. Leans Republican.

Maine: Susan Collins is still considering whether or not to seek another term; after all, her colleague Olympia Snowe retired in 2012. If she does seek reelection, Collins won't face any real opposition, but if she doesn't, Democrats become favored to take the seat, though Republicans remain strong at a local level in Maine and should not be underestimated. Ultimately, Democratic chances here depend on a Collins retirement. Likely Republican.

Massachusetts: In the event of an Obama presidency, John Kerry has a good chance to be Secretary of State. If Warren wins and Kerry becomes Secretary of State, then it's at least possible Scott Brown will get this seat. But that's a lot of 'if's, and there is basically no other scenario under which this seat goes Republican. And neither Kerry becoming Sec. State or Warren winning is very likely. Safe Democratic.

Michigan: Carl Levin may retire, but I personally find that doubtful. If Levin goes, the Republicans have a much stronger bench in Michigan than the Democrats. Republican state Senator Roger Kahn is apparently considering running against Levin; he seems to think Levin will run again. If Levin goes, this will be competitive, but if he stays, this is safe. Likely Democratic.

Minnesota: Polling has shown Al Franken leading all comers by double-digits, and above 50%. The best challenger would apparently be ex-Senator Norm Coleman, but Coleman's left politics. There's basically no way Franken loses. Safe Democratic.

Mississippi: Thad Cochran is seriously considering retirement in 2014; he has been in the Senate since 1978. Certainly there will be no Democratic challenge, but it will be interesting to see the Republican primary, if an open one occurs; whoever is the winner will be able to hold his seat basically for-life. Safe Republican.

Montana: Max Baucus has not faced a competitive race since the 1990s, but he has become unpopular due to his role in the healthcare debate. Baucus has insisted that he will seek reelection. He may face opposition from within the Democratic party, though the strongest candidate will-be-former-but-now-current Governor Brian Schweitzer, has insisted he will not challenge Baucus. If Jon Tester is not reelected, he may challenge Baucus in the primary, as may state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau or Steve Bullock, if he loses the gubernatorial election. The Republican field is even murkier; if Denny Rehberg loses to Tester, he may run against Baucus in 2014 (which would be a rematch of the 1996 Senate race). For other Republican possibilities, just look how crowded the 2012 gubernatorial primary was. This is also a state where an Obama presidency will kill Democratic chances, but they may yet win with a Republican Administration. Tossup/Tilts Republican.
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Vosem
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 10:33:34 pm »
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Nebraska: Democrats got the strongest possible candidate here in 2012 and it still didn't matter. Mike Johanns has made no public comments about reelection; he may retire, but it wouldn't matter. Safe Republican.

New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen's office has confirmed she will seek reelection, but she has not been fundraising too much. If Shaheen retires, Carol Shea-Porter probably becomes the favorite (assuming she wins in 2012, which seems likely), or one of the two Democratic women running for Governor. The Republican field is murkier, with a variety of businessmen and state legislators all prominent possibilities. Wikipedia has a good list of prominent Republicans who declined to run for Governor in 2012; check it out. This race is likely to reflect the national environment; in a wave election it will be a landslide, but in an even year it should be close. And the climate in 2014 is impossible to predict in 2012. Pure Tossup.

New Jersey: Lautenberg has pretty much literally confirmed he will leave the Senate in a body-bag. Rob Andrews' attempt to primary him in 2008 was unsuccessful and I think it's doubtful anyone else would try, as Lautenberg would probably emerge as the winner of that altercation. In a very good year, with an Obama presidency, Republicans may have a strong challenger for this seat, but even then it's doubtful, and forget it with a Republican Administration. Safe Democratic.

New Mexico: Tom Udall won with over 60% of the vote in 2008 and seems to be completely safe; he will neither retire nor be seriously challenged by anyone. Safe Democratic.

North Carolina: Kay Hagan will be challenged by Speaker Thom Tillis of the North Carolina House of Representatives; this is basically a certainty. Polling by PPP has shown Hagan leading by double-digits, but under 50%. Again, with an Obama presidency this one will probably fall, but with Romney it's probably Democratic. Hagan does lead Tillis by a bit of a lot right now, though. Leans Democratic.

Oklahoma: Jim Inhofe is actually really getting up there in years he'll be 79 at the time of the election and could retire. Republicans would be favored to hold his seat, but certainly it won't be a guarantee; former Governor Brad Henry or would-be-former Representative Dan Boren could both run real races. U.S. Representative Tom Cole apparently has senatorial ambitions, and some statewide officials could also go for it; but former Representative J.C. Watts would probably be able to clear the field on the Republican side if he chooses to run although since his retirement in 2002, Watts has consistently almost ran for things but ultimately decided not to. Democrats have a path to victory here, but they'll need the right circumstances and a deal of luck. Likely Republican.

Oregon: Polling by PPP has actually shown Jeff Merkley doing rather poorly; not only is he consistently below 50%, he's consistently below 44%, which seems to suggest Merkley is dead meat except in a Democratic wave (not impossible). He's losing outright to U.S. Representative Greg Walden (who, thankfully for Merkley, won't be running), and is in single digits against 2010 gubernatorial primary loser, businessman Allen Alley; against co-Speaker of the Oregon HoR Bruce Hanna, and against state Senator Jason Atkinson, who lost the 2010 gubernatorial primary. Alley does the best of the bunch and seems to be an ambitious fellow, and I honestly might be favored if Obama wins reelection. However, Oregon is a polarized state and this favors the Democrats. Pure Tossup.

Rhode Island: Jack Reed has never faced a serious challenge and is very, very popular. Safe Democratic.

Tennessee: Lamar Alexander is already saying he will seek a third term. He may face a Tea Party challenge but there is no reason Republicans won't win the general election. Safe Republican.

South Carolina: Lindsey Graham is considered a moderate Republican in South Carolina, and polling by PPP in fact has shown him losing to U.S. Representative Joe Wilson if the latter decides to challenge him in a primary. Other Tea Party challengers abound, but the Democrats will not be making a significant play for this seat. Safe Republican.

South Dakota: Apparently, Tim Johnson is probably retiring, but this doesn't matter too much because the inside track is that popular former Governor Mike Rounds is running for the Republicans, and he's likely to beat all comers. Democrats were grooming Herseth Sandlin to succeed Johnson, but she would likely lose against Rounds. Ultimately, Democrats are the incumbents and I will give them the benefit of the doubt, but the outlook here does not look good at all. Leans Republican.

Texas: John Cornyn will probably be Mitch McConnell's successor as Republican leader after the latter leaves the Senate. In any case, there will be no serious Democratic challenge, and Cornyn is reasonably liked by both 'moderate' (for Texas) Republicans and the Tea Party. Safe Republican.

Virginia: If Warner runs for reelection he will defeat anybody by double-digits; however, it's possible Warner may not seek reelection or may run for Governor in 2013, in which case this instantly becomes a tossup race. Like in Michigan, it is retirement or no chance for the Republicans. Likely Democratic.

West Virginia: Apparently Jay Rockefeller is very likely to retire; in either case he is trailing U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito in PPP polling. Capito probably gets the seat if she wants it, but if she doesn't there are still enough Democrats in West Virginia to make them favored. Some Democratic possibilities include state Secretary of State Natalie Tennant or former U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin, a Joe Manchin protege who apparently impressed during his brief stint in Washington in 2010. Leans Democratic.

Wyoming: Mike Enzi will be 70 in 2014, so a retirement is possible (and, indeed, apparently seems probable). Or he might not. In any case, Republicans will win here, as there are basically zero Democrats strong enough to take a Senate seat in Wyoming. If an open seat does come to being, U.S. Representative Barbara Cubin will probably be the frontrunner; some more names include Tom Sansonetti, a lobbyist who was one of the three choices Republicans sent to Freudenthal in 2007; Governor Matt Mead; 2010 primary losers Rita Meyer and Ron Micheli; former state House Speaker Colin Simpson; and a bewildering variety of state legislators and executive officials. Safe Republican.

I may make a map tomorrow, or alternatively I may not. Thoughts?
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 10:46:10 pm »
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Very good - One thing I will say about Georgia: Karen Handel, despite being big on government reform and ethics, wasn't exactly a Tea Party candidate, and if anything, would probably be to the left of Isakson. And knowing her, I highly doubt she'd attempt to unseat him. Smiley

Very good, very thorough. Nice work! Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 02:40:59 pm »
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Very good - One thing I will say about Georgia: Karen Handel, despite being big on government reform and ethics, wasn't exactly a Tea Party candidate, and if anything, would probably be to the left of Isakson. And knowing her, I highly doubt she'd attempt to unseat him. Smiley

Very good, very thorough. Nice work! Smiley

Karen Handel was considered the more "liberal" candidate when she ran for Governor in the primary in 2010. She was pinned as being "pro-choice" because of some comments she had made in prior years and ended up losing the race by 0.4% in the primary runoff (she beat Deal by 11 points in the primary). Unfortunately, it's much harder to dig those comments up now that she went all rogue on Planned Parenthood when working at SGK. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if that wasn't at least a convenient way for her to shed that "pro-choice" identity so she could run unhindered in 2014, ala "look at all the hell I raised against those abortion freaks".
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 02:54:04 pm »
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Minnesota: Polling has shown Al Franken leading all comers by double-digits, and above 50%. The best challenger would apparently be ex-Senator Norm Coleman, but Coleman's left politics. There's basically no way Franken loses. Safe Democratic.
For which, of course, Republicans have Norm Coleman to thank. Grin
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 03:51:04 pm »
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Oregon, a Pure Toss-up? Really?
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 04:59:27 pm »
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Nebraska: Democrats got the strongest possible candidate here in 2012 and it still didn't matter. Mike Johanns has made no public comments about reelection; he may retire, but it wouldn't matter. Safe Republican.

Dude who spent last 12 years in NYC and alienated his former constituency is "strongest possible candidate"? Well, considering pathetic Democratic bench in Nebraska, he really is.
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 05:43:36 pm »
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Oregon, a Pure Toss-up? Really?

Merkley is also a candidate like Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren that can raise lots of money from progressive groups.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 05:57:08 pm »
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Very good - One thing I will say about Georgia: Karen Handel, despite being big on government reform and ethics, wasn't exactly a Tea Party candidate, and if anything, would probably be to the left of Isakson. And knowing her, I highly doubt she'd attempt to unseat him. Smiley

Very good, very thorough. Nice work! Smiley

Karen Handel was considered the more "liberal" candidate when she ran for Governor in the primary in 2010. She was pinned as being "pro-choice" because of some comments she had made in prior years and ended up losing the race by 0.4% in the primary runoff (she beat Deal by 11 points in the primary). Unfortunately, it's much harder to dig those comments up now that she went all rogue on Planned Parenthood when working at SGK. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if that wasn't at least a convenient way for her to shed that "pro-choice" identity so she could run unhindered in 2014, ala "look at all the hell I raised against those abortion freaks".

Ah, well. The point is that Chambliss is vulnerable to a Tea Party challenge but it's unclear who might challenge him.

Oregon, a Pure Toss-up? Really?

Merkley is also a candidate like Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren that can raise lots of money from progressive groups.

My main basis for making that declaration was this PPP poll:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_OR_062712.pdf

Which shows Merkley consistently at 43% of the vote or less, against various candidates, none of whom are even close to as well-known as he is; that's a rather bad sign.
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 06:15:53 pm »
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Very realistic ratings. I think you're being too optimistic about Franken's chances in Minnesota and overestimating the strength of the WV Dems, Capito running or not. Look at the gubernatorial race last year. And I think Pryor or not, that senate seat is gone, barring an unpopular Romney presidency.
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 06:39:16 pm »
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I think Walden is overrated as a 2014 challenger.

Even if he wasn't working his way up in the House leadership, I don't think he's the strongest opponent or that he could win as he would have a voting record to the right of Gordon Smith to date and I expect there will be some big votes in 2013/2014 to add to that.

Huffman might run again in 2014 though he would be fairly old (69): http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-29037-jim_huffman_consider.html
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 06:51:11 pm »
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Oregon Senate

Republicans have a good chance of winning one statewide office this year in Bruce Starr, a young State Senator from a Dem-leaning district who is challenging the lackluster Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and leads in polling. Walden is unlikely to run due to his rise in House GOP Ranks, plus his voting record doesn't seem to fit the state. The 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee, Chris Dudley, would be an excellent candidate, but he left the state. With someone like Huffman, it's safe Dem.

I don't know if Gordon Smith is interested in returning to politics, but he'd definitely make it a certain Tossup, maybe even Tilt R.
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 10:09:42 pm »
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In Mississippi, the most likely contenders for the seat on the Republican side seem to be Rep. Gregg Harper (R, MS-3) or Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann.  Hosemann has essentially been campaigning for the seat since last year, going around the state securing several high-profile speaking engagements and doing fundraisers.  Harper's a bit more low-profile, but I seriously doubt his campaign would run into any problems if he decided to jump into the race.  A Harper/Hosemann race could prove to be interesting with Harper promising to be more of fresh face and attacking Hosemann as a "Cochran clone".  Harper's also a good bit younger than Hosemann, which may play into voters' minds--the Mississippi electorate likes to elect Senators who will be able to stay there for a good, long while.  The race could further be complicated by the entry of other candidates including Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, former Lt. Governor Amy Tuck (barring rumors of her sexuality) or Federal Reserve Board chairman and 2011 gubernatorial candidate Dave Dennis.  An interesting primary will ensue regardless, with Mississippi voters given the chance to "buck" our state's history of sending porkers to D.C.

On the Democratic side its a bit less interesting, mostly because the MS Democratic party is approaching laughing stock material.  Names to watch would include Fmr. Governor Ronnie Musgrove, fmr. Governor and Sec. of the Navy Ray Mabus, or former Congressmen Travis Childers and Gene Taylor.  I think Mabus would be the best choice because, despite their hyperpartisan record, any candidate sounds good when he has the title "Secretary of the Navy".  If he ran, Mabus would probably not face serious opposition in the primary.

Of course, all of this is operating under the assumption that Cochran will choose to retire in '14; some recent reports from those operating close to the Senator claim that they may not be the case.  Cochran loves to buck the Mississippi political establishment, and all of this talk of the Senator retiring may actually make him not want to retire.  I think we will have a lot clearer picture after this year's elections.  If the GOP finds itself as the majority party come January, Cochran will stay on through 2014 in order to milk his four years left as Appropriations chairman.  If the Democrats keep their majority, Cochran most likely leaves in 2014.

The dynamics of a sans-Cochran 2014 race could be interesting.  I see a Harper/Mabus or Reeves/Mabus match-up and incredibly competitive--especially for a state that is not use to very close elections.

If Mabus is the Democratic nominee, regardless of who the Republican is, I am a likely Mabus voter.  And that's coming from Senator Cochran's number one fan.
 

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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 08:04:31 am »
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Good stuff Vosem.

I'd have it as...

Leans Pickup: Alaska
Tossup: Louisiana, Arkansas, South Dakota, Montana, North Carolina
Leans Retention: West Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, Colorado, New Hampshire
Likely Retention: Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey
Seats To Watch:
Flippable: Maine, Virginia, Michigan
Primary/Needs a Good Candidate: Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Illinois,  Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee
Safe: Rhode Island, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Idaho, Delaware
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 09:02:44 am »
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Why is Frank Lautenberg v.2.0 determined to die in the Senate, while v.1.0 was happy to retire at the young age of 76?
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2012, 02:54:59 pm »
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Georgia: Saxby Chambliss has confirmed he is seeking a third term, but he is not exactly beloved. By anybody. It is very possible that Chambliss may find himself with a Tea Party challenger; the three most prominent names are former Secretary of State Karen Handel and 2004 primary loser and all-around awesome dude Herman Cain. Georgia is polarized enough that the winner of the Republican primary is basically certain to win the election. Safe Republican

Personally, I hope that Chambliss does get a challenge. However, I can't see any viable candidate at the moment:

I have to agree with Isaac: I can't see Karen Handel running for the seat. Despite what she had done at SGK, I don't think she could overcome that sort of "moderate"stigma.

Unfortunately, I can't see brother Cain doing it either. I believe that he could demolish Chambliss, but he now has a sweetheart job taking over for Neil Boortz, starting next year. Plus, I don't think Gloria could stand another foray into electoral politics after the demolition derby the 2012 primaries turned out to be.

Now, Martha Zoller, who just lost the 9th District Congressional Primary, might. Like Brother Cain, she is a talkshow host, with some considerable Tea Party cred. However, like Karen Handel, she was demolished over supposedly being "moderate"on social issues.

I hoped to see Ashley Bell, a Hall County Commissioner, to run. In December of 2010, he switched over to the Republican Party, which is significant considering he is black. He was once president of the College Democrats, and his wife was a delegate for Barack Obama in 2008. However, Bell lost a primary fight last July, and might be politically stagnant at this point.

South Carolina: Lindsey Graham is considered a moderate Republican in South Carolina, and polling by PPP in fact has shown him losing to U.S. Representative Joe Wilson if the latter decides to challenge him in a primary. Other Tea Party challengers abound, but the Democrats will not be making a significant play for this seat. Safe Republican.

I didn't know that anyone had done a poll about the SC Senate race. The results do not surprise me. The Tea Party has had the greatest success in the Palmetto State, with Senator Jim DeMint, and virtually its entire congressional delegation.

Joe Wilson seems the most likely challenge Graham. Ever since the "you lie" incident, Wilson has been extremely popular within TP circles. In fact, I believe he raised more money for his reelection campaign than any other candidate for Congress back in 2010. (Check that for me.) With a lot of conservatives around the country that have a bone to pick with Graham, Wilson would have no problems with fundraising.
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 05:25:40 pm »
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Agree with most of this, but in Colorado, despite what a smalll amount of polling might say, Coffman would not be a good candidate because of his general tea party views and birther comments.
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2012, 02:41:31 am »
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Pretty good.

Some minor notes.

I would downgrade Georgia to Likely Republican and Minnesota to Likely Democrat.

And I'd have West Virginia as a tossup if Jay Rockefeller is likely to retire and Shelley Capito the favorite in that case.
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 12:42:32 am »
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I disagree with some of the analysis

Alabama- Safe R
Alaska- Tossup, The state was the only Romney state which trended more Dem than 2008. Like the rest of the West (except maybe ID and WY) it is becoming friendlier turf for Dems. I wouldn't count him out. Also, if Joe Miller is nominated things are looking good for him.
Arkansas- Leans D, Mark Pryor is no Blanche Lincoln. He comes from an Arkansan legacy and has much better connections and fundraising skills. He won't go down easy and Griffin and Cotton are too fresh to get the better of him.
Delaware- Safe D
Colorado- Likely D, The Republican bench is weak in CO and they lost against a more unlikeable Dem candidate in a good year (2010). Udall is very strong, and barring a run by John Elway himself the Repubs should kiss this seat goodbye.
Georgia- Likely R, This seat is safe so long as a Tea-Partier doesn't knock off Saxby Chambliss. That would possibly put it in play, given Georgia's shifting demographics. However, even then only John Barrow could win the seat.
Illinois- Safe D, Durbin will likely retire but Luis Gutierrez or Lisa Madigan will take his seat.
Idaho- Safe R
Iowa- Likely D, Tom Harkin will not retire and coast to a fifth term.
Kansas- Safe R, Pat Roberts is old and should retire so someone new can come in but he won't.
Kentucky- Leans R, Dems will likely put someone like Ashley Judd up as a distraction but it is gonna be really hard to take out Mitch in an Obama midterm.
Louisiana- Tossup, Mary Landrieu is the perfect Dem for LA but the state is trending Republican. Bill Cassidy might take her seat.
Maine- Likely R, Susan Collins won't retire yet. If she does though, Pingree is taking this seat.
Massachusetts- Safe D, Kerry will be appointed SoD, but that doesn't matter because Scott Brown is damaged goods and the Dems have a financial advantage and a wide bench here. 2010 was a fluke and no Republican will take MA.
Minnesota- Likely D, Al Franken has proven to be surprisingly popular.
Michigan- Likely D, Carl Levin will retire but Republicans have a very weak bench here.
Mississippi-Safe R
Montana- Leans D, Max Baucus has a lot of wealthy friends and great name ID. He will be a tough cookie.
Nebraska- Safe R
New Hampshire- Likely D, People really like Jeanne Shaheen and Sununu is damaged goods.
New Jersey- Safe D, Frank Lautenberg will retire but the wise Cory Booker will not bother challenging Christie and go for this instead.
New Mexico- Safe D, This is Dem country now.
North Carolina- Tossup. Kay Hagan is a bit left for this state. But, the GOP bench is weak.
Oklahoma- Safe R
Oregon- Likely D, That poll is an outlier. Merkley is popular and well connected in Portland. More importantly, the GOP has nobody!
Rhode Island- Safe D
South Carolina- Likely R, An unpopular NIkki Haley might take Graham down with her in the primaries.
South Dakota- Leans R, Mike Rounds is the frontrunner
Tennessee-Likely R, The same primary stuff.
Texas- LIkely R, see above.
Virginia- Safe D, Do you really think the GOP can take out Mark Warner?
West Virginia- Leans R, Capito is a real contender--so long as they don't primary her.
Wyoming- Safe R, Duh
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olawakandi
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2012, 01:18:32 pm »
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adma
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2012, 09:23:29 pm »
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Alaska- Tossup, The state was the only Romney state which trended more Dem than 2008.

Then again, unlike 2008, it didn't have a "popular" vice-presidential nominee running...
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