Saturday, May 11, 2013

2014 US Senate Early Look

I 've been watching the early efforts of which Senate seats are up for grabs in 2014, and while it's still early, and there are always surprises, I think it's beginning to take shape.

The Crystal Ball 2014 Senate Map  shows 2 States likely to switch from Dem to GOP
South Dakota    Tim Johnson retiring, very solid Red state, Gov Mike Rounds, easy favorite.
West Virginia     Jay Rockefeller retiring, First GOP Senate seat possibility in decades (1958)!

They also show toss-ups in 4 states :

Alaska         Mark Begich, (Barely won in 2008, a very red leaning state)
Lousianna    Mary Landrieu (Also very close in a red leaning state)
Montana      Max Baucus, retiring.
North Carolina
Nancy Hagen, (Just barely beat Elizabeth Dole, in a surprise Obama win for NC)

At first blush ALL of those 6 seats should flip to "Red" in an off year, non-presidential Obama led election cycle.  I believe all 6 have a GOP Governor, and a GOP Gov race in the same election cycle.  As far as I know none of those Gov's are facing serious challenges yet.

So lets look at the next tier of races in the lightest blue shade:

New Hampshire
   Jeanine Shaheen, (a close win in 2008, vs John Sununu Jr.)
Minnesota    Al Franken,  (The ultimate nail-biter, against Norm Coleman recount was corrupted).
Iowa            Tom Harkin, Retiring at last!!   Lots of candidates considering a run.
Arkansas      Mark Pryor, (Should be very vulnerable, just awaiting a solid Republican with $$ to run).
Michigan      Carl Levin, Retired at last!   Can Michigan find a suitable GOP that can win this state?

There are no GOP light "Red" states in play.

If John Kerry's Massachusetts seat doesn't flip to Gabriel Gomez in the special election next month, (June 25th).  The GOP will still need to pick up 6 seats to take control of the US Senate.  It certainly is within reach.  I think if the wave similar to the 2010 wave is duplicated they could grab another 2 or 3.

The response to ObamaCare, Economics issues, and perhaps his mess in Benghazi could hurt the Dems across the country.     The House seats seem to be pretty well defined I suspect a GOP pick-up of 5 seats..to as many 12 at the most. The Senate is primed for a big swing though.

I would think of the 5 light blue races the most flipable are in this order:

Arkansas
Iowa
Minnesota
Michigan
New Hampshire.

Just imagine the message that would be sent to the Obama camp if 6-11 seats flipped against him.  That'd be a Shellacking for the ages!   It would also demonstrate the TEA Party isn't gone..and would have completed it's takeover of the GOP core.

There have been over 10 Senate election cycles with more than 8 seat changes in the last 99 years. This includes the 1958 elections where the Dems took 16 seats from the GOP during Eisenhower's final mid-term.   Several were 10 seat switches.  One was 12 and another 11.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

2013 Politics

This year there is very little to keep your eyes on and even less reason to vote. What a relief for those of us in SE WI who have had races, recalls, recounts etc. for 2 1/2 years!.

But a few things to watch:
 Gov Races in New Jersey and Virginia and 2 Special Senate elections in Mass and Hawaii

NJ's Gov Chris Christie has a challenger but he seems to be going no where..Likely Christie will have an easy re-election here.  Good for him a purple tilting state.

Virginia has become more "purple" over the years and the current GOP Gov has been great Bob McDonnell, we'll prob see him n the 2016 GOP Prez line-up.   But Virginia is term limited at one 4 year term.  So Ken Cuccinelli the State's Atty General is the early favorite for this November's election.  His challenger is Terry McAulliffe who has run before and was closely connected to Bill Clinton.  He was also the spokesperson for the Dem Party for a few years.  His bullying style, his dishonest smile and tendency to lie about almost anything is catching up to him I believe.  The early polls have Ken C. up 51-41 with "likely" voters.  

Massachusetts Senate Special election:
When Teddy Kennedy died in 2010 and the TEA Party was just getting it's legs.  This Scott Brown came out of no where in a VERY Blue State.  I didn't have much hope when folks were thrilled he was only 19 points behind Marth Coakley..  then a week later he closed to 9 points.. and I started to give it a little credit, but was still doubtful...then he won the seat in the second Bluest state in the USA.

That said, how does that compare to the June 25th election.   3 polls are out this week and the leading Dem Cong. Ed Markey, vs GOP candidate Gabriel Gomez.  wth about 45 days to go Markey has only a 4-5 point lead..and is at about 44%.  Markey is known in Massachusetts for decades!  He should be well over 50% already.  Thus it's a real race in Mass this Summer.   I'll be watching..if Gomez doesn't say anything stupid he can win this race.    If that happens the GOP is in GREAT shape to take back the US Senate in 2014.  They'll need 4 for a tie and 5 for control.  If they do either it sends a message to Barack Obama that his agenda is dead and not welcome to America with the TEA Party in leadership in the GOP across the country.

We'll keep an eye out for more changes or updates.