Senate Elections

All this concern about the presidential election, there’s not a lot of discussion about the Senate Election.

Background- The Democrats did very well in 2000 and 2006, so they hold 23 of the 33 seats up this round. Nearly half their caucus is up this time. The Republicans are only defending 10 seats this time out, all but two of those are considered safe.,_2012

Remember now, the Republicans only have to win four seats to gain control of the Senate.

Most people seem to think that they will pick up the vacancy in North Dakota.

Missouri, Montana, Virginia, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and West Virginia are in play for the Democrats, and Massachusetts and Nevada are in play for the Republicans.

Worst case scenario, Republicans pick up 9 seats. Best case, the Dems pick up one.

Yeah, that’s pretty much the elephant in the room, isn’t it? It’ll be interesting to see how many of these seats will remain liquid and for how long they do as well. Same as the house. It’s not impossible to see a scenario where the Dems lose the Senate, but gain back the House, regardless of the result for the presidential election.

Least- I don’t know if the Democrats CAN retake the House. I read a story like this…


So in one particular state, the decadal redistricting process is giving Republicans the potential for gaining four seats. There’s an awful lot of extrapolation between that and 50 states and 435 seats.

Yep, it actually looks like overall, the Dems will make a very small gain. The Republicans are adding a few seats in all the states they control, but the Dems are adding more.

Massachusetts is pretty much locked up for Scott Brown-he’s the most popular politician in the state.

Not from Massachusetts are you?

Right now the only thing Scott Brown has going for him is he doesn’t have a challenger. At the point where people have another name to choose from his poll numbers will look quite different.

One of Brown’s biggest issues is he has to make it through a Republican primary. The Tea Party has labeled him a traitor and promised to oust him. While I don’t think they actually have the power to do so in MA, it’s a season of negative campaign ads against him that will certainly be remembered come the general election.

Does that mean that his popularity is above 50%, or just that everyone else’s is even worse than his? A politician whose popularity rating is above 50% is almost always going to be re-elected, but below that, it depends a lot on who the opponent is, beyond “generic member of X party”.


Wait, really? Do conservatives really think they can do any better than Brown, in Massachusetts?

Their primary mission is to take out Scott. They feel he used the Tea Party to get himself the seat then betrayed them(by not joining every filibuster apparently). He’s been labeled target number one to be primary’d out. I think it’s cutting off their own noses but hey they can do whatever they want, makes getting a Democrat in all that much easier.

In order for him to win MA he’ll need to step out of line with the Republican senators. Otherwise he’ll just be another one of ‘them’ I expect it will be a a few votes just important enough to make news. It’d be good politics for Massachusetts but Republicans actively punish those that step out of line by denying campaign funds, he’ll be running with a broken leg.

The Democrats weren’t expecting his win untill it was too late to do anything about it, so they failed to throw enough national money into the election and Martha Coakley was a poor campaigner. Next election I’m sure there is going to be lots of money being shoveled in with a well groomed candidate to challenge Brown.

I predict Brown will make it through the primary and will go into a race where he can’t match the funding of his challenger. As in the US money wins elections we’ll see how it turns out.

Then Teabagger party has faded. I think less and less politicians will toe the bagline. They have become silly background noise that people don’t take seriously. Who will listen to a group that backs Bachmann, Palin and other nutcases.

Wait, what? Scott Brown doesn’t have a challenger? Who’s running the state party out there these days? Christ.

There’s rumors that Elizabeth Warren will run for Scott Brown’s seat whenever Obama finally gives up on her CFPB nomination getting past a filibuster. I’m sure at least Mike Capuano is contemplating another go at it, but then he couldn’t run for reelection, so he’s unlikely to jump in unless he thinks he’s got a good shot. The other representatives are probably waiting to see how redistricting turns out.

Massachusetts is a very Democratic state. No Republican in either house of Congress represents a bluer district. Presidential elections usually attract more Democratic voters than off-year and special elections. Given a decent challenger, he’s definitely vulnerable.

I do think that Massachusetts is the one place where Dems can pick up a seat. Brown was elected to stop ObamaCare (Because RomneyCare was such a treat) and that didn’t happen.

But there are about seven places the Republicans can pick up seats.

Kent Conrad is retiring in North Dakota and apparently turning out the lights on the Democratic Party on that state.

Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Virginia, New Mexico, Wisconsin Florida are all in the “Toss up” column.

Of course, if the economy gets worse, a lot more Democratic seats could end up in play.

It’s still a year and a quarter until the elections. Plenty of time to settle on a candidate, especially for a statewide race. Besides, there are already five declared candidates, but I think only Tom Conroy and Bob Massie have a shot in terms of declared candidates.

Oh, forgot to add, I think you’ll see Capuano run and win the Dem. primary in Mass. They’re losing a House seat anyway, and it might as well be his.

I think the Democrats also have a chance to pick of Nevada, albeit not a great chance, especially if Rep. Berkley gets the nomination.

Montana, it depends on the candidate. If Rehberg (our current lone Representative) runs, he could give Tester a serious challenge. But he’s currently the only high-level Republican in the state: Nobody else has anywhere near the clout to pull it off. And by the same token, Rehberg running for Senate would open up his House seat, in which case there’s a pretty good chance that’ll flip D. Now, of course, a single House seat isn’t worth nearly as much as a single Senate seat, but it’s still a definite mitigating factor.

In Maine, Snowe’s facing a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate. It’s not likely she’ll be defeated in the primary, but if she is, the Democrats will have a chance.

Does Scott actually have a primary challenger? I’m sure the Tea-Party doesn’t like his moderation, but I haven’t seen anything concrete that makes me think they’ll actually try and unseat him.

That said, there are some races where otherwise sure thing GOP candidates have actual primary challengers that would make their seats up for grabs if the incumbant were to loose. Olympia Snowe in Maine has a primary challenger who would have a hard time winning the general election, while Snowe would easily defeat anyone in the same. Ditto Richard Lugar. So I guess those seats can be listed as safe GOP with a footnote.

(Orrin Hatch looks unlikely to win his primary as well, though even if he looses its pretty unlikely his seat will flip given Utah’s very strong GOP leanings).

I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to eliminate Capuano’s district. Scott Brown’s suggestion for redistricting was to use the opportunity to create a majority-minority district centered on Suffolk County. Which is what the Eighth District already is. And it seems to be considered politically important to keep the city of Boston divided so that its residents are at least half the population of two different districts (Steven Lynch’s Ninth District is the other). So I don’t really see much change coming to the Eighth, whether or not Capuano sticks around.

Nope. There isn’t “plenty of time”. Fundraising and what not begins now. Granted, Massachusetts is a smaller state, but there are a lot of people and a lot of donors to talk to.