Category Archives: McCaskill

Akin for Control of the Senate

So, maybe the news isn’t all bad for Republican control of the Senate? Let’s go straight to predictions and explanations!

  • Arizona: No change from last week. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • California: No change from last week. I’m excited to see Emken go on CNN Monday morning. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Connecticut: This one has moved into a tossup. A new poll had McMahon up 49-46 and Connecticut looks a lot less friendly to Obama. Could a Republican upset happen here? Until I see another poll tell me otherwise, I say yes. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Delaware: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Florida: No change. I still think the way Florida goes in November decides the winner between Nelson and Mack. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Hawaii: No change yet. Hirono and Lingle are going to debate 8 times between now and November. Lots of room for change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Indiana: Still not a lot of polling, so no change. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Maine:No change. Still not a lot of polling and King has still not declared a caucus yet. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Maryland: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Massachusetts: A PPP poll had Brown up 5 points yesterday. Looking like Brown’s race to lose.  TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Michigan: Two new polls have  given Hoekstra a lead and another Stabenow in the low single-digits. Romney’s coattails could make this an upset. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Minnesota: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Mississippi: Incumbent: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Missouri: Call it a tossup now. Actually, as long as Akin is the nominee, McCaskill will win. Weak Dem lean with the chance to jump back to GOP with a new nominee. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Montana: Montana is looking RED as RED can be this year. Moving this to GOP lean. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nebraska: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nevada: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • New Jersey: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • New Mexico: No change yet. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • New York: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • North Dakota: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Ohio: No change. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Pennsylvania: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Rhode Island: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Tennessee: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Texas: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Utah: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Vermont: No change. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
  • Virginia: Virginia is looking like a lean blue state in November, so I’m moving this one down to a Dem hold. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Washington: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • West Virginia: No change.  STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Wisconsin: Thompson looks to be getting stronger and Wisconsin is looking like a Romney state. Moving this up a little. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Wyoming: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD

Last week I had it at 52-47-1 (GOP/Dem/Independent King); this week we have it at: 52-47-1. Haha. Missouri goes blue, Connecticut goes red. Total wash.

The Morning Dump, August 23rd

So I’ve spent all morning thinking it was the 22nd. TGIF, tomorrow…TO THE DUMP! (Abbreviated today)

World News

  • Rumors of war within Los Zetas. Man, that shouldn’t make Mexico any less violent, corrupt, or prone to mass murders that spill over into the American Southwest…

U.S. News

Texas News

Akin Watch: Day 3

  • Rasmussen teased a poll showing Claire McCaskill up 10 points on Akin. Private sources have said he’d drop out if he’s down 5+ points…

 

 

Open Letter to Republicans: How Could You Have Been So Stupid?

August 21, 2012

An Open Letter to Republicans (Especially Conservatives) in America:

Do you not learn any type of lessons? They said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I guess that is also the definition of conservatism in voting.

For the second third election cycle, conservatives have chosen Senate candidates who cannot or will not win. Let’s look at them, shall we:

2008 (-8 seats and GOP loss of Senate)

  • Colorado: Bob Schaffer and his ties to Abramoff; lost a GOP seat
  • New Mexico: Steve Pearce, too conservative for the state; lost a GOP seat
  • Virginia: Jim Gilmore, failed 2008 presidential nominee; lost a GOP seat

2010 (+6 seats, but not enough to retake control)

  • Alaska: Joe Miller and the handcuffed journalist; held a GOP seat due to write-in by incumbent Murkowski
  • Colorado: Ken Buck instead of more popular, moderate Jane Norton; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon instead of more moderate Rob Simmons; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Delaware: Christine freaking O’Donnell over Mike Castle. Castle would have picked up this seat in a blowout….gosh darn, this still makes me mad; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains.
  • Nevada: Sharon Angle instead of…anyone; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains

2012 (yet to be determined)

  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon (again) over more moderate Chris Shays: Dem favorite to retain
  • Indiana: Richard Murdock over incumbent Richard Lugar; tossup status
  • Maine: Conservative grassroots HATE Olympia Snowe, pushing her into retirement, easily losing this seat; Dem favorite to pickup
  • Missouri: Todd Akin over Brunner or Steelman; one gaffe makes this a tossup versus GOP pickup

I will acknowledge the GOP base in some states made excellent decisions (Heather Wilson in NM, Tommy Thompson in WI) but Senate control is going to come down to 1 or 2 seats we could have won with better candidates.

The GOP base has to stop putting a litmus test on their candidates. You have to run the right Republican for certain states. Scott Brown isn’t the most conservative, but he’s the right Republican for Massachusetts. Same with Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins in Maine. The Democrats mastered this, picking up seats in 2006 and 2008 by running more moderate/conservative Democrats in states that lean more moderate/conservative: Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana.

If the GOP can’t win the Senate back in 2012, 2014 has to be the year if the right people are chosen for the right states. You have pickup opportunities in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina and no GOP seats in moderate states up for grabs except Maine, and Susan Collins is the right choice for Maine. At the least, 2014 should be a GOP +6 year (and a guaranteed GOP +3 year, because no way Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu are re-elected).

Don’t screw it up, guys. Stop putting ideological purity before elections. If you run the most conservative candidate and they lose, what was the point? Better to have someone who votes with you 80% of the time than someone who votes with you 20% of the time.

The Morning Dump, August 21st

Here comes your Morning Dump for Tuesday. Such an awkward day of the week, but we soldier through it; though, under my plan, Tuesday is the new Monday.
World News

  • It is about time someone noticed how screwed my generation is (no, screwed…not screwed up…)! The Euro Crisis is not rich vs. poor, people vs. banks, it’s young vs. old. The Baby Boomers are dead set on living and retiring on the backs of Gen X and Gen Y, forcing our generations into bankruptcy and insolvency. See, not just a problem in this country. Even “the great European countries” suffer too.
  • Putin Cracks Down on Pussy. The Russian band Pussy Riot, who walked into a public square and insulted the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Two years in jail for all three members of the band. Putin hates music…what’ a fascist. Also, TATU was a much better Russian band. Just sayin‘.

U.S. News

  • Virginia’s “photo ID” law has been cleared by the DOJ. I say “photo ID” because you can show certain non-photo forms of ID, but now, you can’t vote without an ID by signing an affidavit anymore. More states taking necessary steps to protect our fundamental rights.
  • Mission to Mars!! NASA announced yesterday an unmanned mission in 2016 to drill into the red planet’s surface. Again: why are we not funding this enough??
  • Money makes the world go ’round…Challenger Mitt Romney now has more money in the bank than President Obama. For the President, running a campaign is like running this U.S. Government, as his campaign spent more than it took in. That’s why we are in this mess, just sayin’.
  • Quick poll: Romney made a good pick. A Monmouth poll has Paul Ryan at 31/27 fav/unfav (compared to 30/35 for VP Biden). He’s even with women and young voters, and positive at 36/31 among seniors. 56% say good pick. Score one for Romney.

Texas News

Interesting Tidbit of the Day

  • A new poll by PPP to be released this morning (and teased on Twitter) says 44% of Wisconsin Republicans would consider voting for an openly gay candidate, 39% say no. But Wisconsin GOP is 93% behind Tommy Thompson over Tammy Baldwin.

“Achin’ for Akin” Watch

  • He has until 5pm today to withdraw without needing to take it to court.
  • Quick PPP poll last night has him up 1 on Claire McCaskill, same as last time.
  • SurveyUSA poll had only 35% say Akin should say in the race.
  • Akin Campaign has picked up an 8/22-27 media buy.

Todd Akin, Please Call Your Office (if you still have one)

Todd “I stuck my foot in it” Akin is so screwed.

Top Republicans in the Senate are on their way towards distancing themselves from Congressman Achin’.

Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass): “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong…There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc): “Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. Gaining a Republican majority in the US Senate and fixing the huge challenges that face our nation is more important than any one individual’s political ambitions.   Todd Akin should do the right thing for the nation and step aside today, so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas): “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Mr. Cornyn said in a written statement. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R-Mass): “I can’t defend what he said, I can’t defend him… He should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time”

My man Aaron Blake (The Fix) tweeted: “Source: NRSC chair John Cornyn has told Todd Akin that NRSC will not spend money on him and that he is endangering GOP’s majority hopes.”

Crossroads USA (Karl Rover Super PAC) has pulled out of the Missouri Senate Race.

Todd Akin is a man without friends right now and soon to be a man without a party. I do expect him to pull out by tomorrow’s deadline.

Update (1:48pm):

Richard Grunell tweets: “Breaking: Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.”

Erick Erickson tweets: “Todd Akin will withdraw from the Senate race.”

MO GOP has until September 18th to nominate a candidate. There was less than 1% difference between John Brunner and Sarah Steelman.

Update (1:56pm):

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed reports a top Republican source told him Akin has begun moving towards ending his campaign tomorrow by 5pm, but could change his mind.

The sources cites the following as replacements: former MO Senators Jim Talent, Kit Bond, and John Ashcroft (Bush AG); former Ambassador Ann Wagner, who is running for Akin’s Congressional seat; and Auditor Tom Schewich. No mention of Brunner or Steelman.

Update (2:43pm):

Todd Akin tells Sean Hannity he is staying in the race. but acknowledging the deadline is tomorrow. Stay in today, maybe.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Was Missouri Rep. and Senate nominee Todd Akin joking or just an idiot?

Open mouth, insert foot Mr. Akin:

“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Didn’t take long for him to start backtracking that statement. Dems have pounced and the GOP have distanced themselves.

“As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.

“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”

I don’t know where Senator Claire McCaskill’s election HQ is, but holy crap, I bet an order was placed for champagne, champagne, and more champagne. Sen. McCaskill is popping bottles at her good fortune. She tweeted:

“Akin previously was the co-sponsor of a bill to redefine rape,” McCaskill said. “And it was recently reported that Akin opposed a state law against spousal rape because it might be used as a tool against husbands in a ‘messy divorce.’ ”

Politicos should note, Rep. Akin has until 5pm Tuesday (Aug. 21st) to withdraw his name from the ballot. Akin was the weakest of the three who were in the primary, so would the state GOP give it to runner up John Brunner? It was 36%-30%-29% with Steelman in third.

Control of the Senate could hinge on this race. Depending on what happens Tuesday at 5pm, this will affect the Senate predictions considerably.
Monday Update (1:12pm):

Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass): “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong…There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc): “Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. Gaining a Republican majority in the US Senate and fixing the huge challenges that face our nation is more important than any one individual’s political ambitions.   Todd Akin should do the right thing for the nation and step aside today, so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas): “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Mr. Cornyn said in a written statement. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R-Mass): “I can’t defend what he said, I can’t defend him… He should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time”

My man Aaron Blake (The Fix) tweeted: “Source: NRSC chair John Cornyn has told Todd Akin that NRSC will not spend money on him and that he is endangering GOP’s majority hopes.”

Crossroads USA (Karl Rover Super PAC) has pulled out of the Missouri Senate Race.

Todd Akin is a man without friends right now and soon to be a man without a party. I do expect him to pull out by tomorrow’s deadline.
Update (1:48pm):

Richard Grunell tweets: “Breaking: Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.”

Erick Erickson tweets: “Todd Akin will withdraw from the Senate race.”

MO GOP has until September 18th to nominate a candidate. There was less than 1% difference between John Brunner and Sarah Steelman.

They Are Woman, Hear Them Roar

17 out of 100. 17%. That’s the percentage of women in the United States Senate. Women make up 50.8% of this country, but just 17% of the body that represents each state. Puzzling. I promise, no kitchen jokes or driving jokes.

But is that about to change? Politico reported that female Senate candidates this cycle are raking up money, to the tune of $135 million!! There are currently 17 female US Senators serving today:

  • Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), serving until 2016
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-California), up for re-election this year
  • Barbara Boxer (D-California), serving until 2016
  • Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), serving until 2014
  • Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), retiring at the end of this year
  • Susan Collins (R-Maine), serving until 2014
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), serving until 2016
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), up for re-election this year
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), up for re-election this year
  • Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), up for re-election this year
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), serving until 2014
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), serving until 2016
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), up for re-election this year
  • Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina), serving until 2014
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), retiring at end of this year
  • Patty Murray (D-Washington), serving until 2016
  • Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), up for re-election this year

Until 2013, California, New Hampshire, Maine, and Washington are the only states with two current female Senators. Of the above, Feinstein, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, and Cantwell are locks for re-election, setting the minimum number of female Senators in 2013 at 14. Let’s look at where they can make gains this cycle:

  • Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren is a formidable opponent. She has amassed nearly a $25 million war chest thus far. Beloved my the liberal grassroots.
  • Wisconsin: U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin has raised nearly $7 million for her campaign. She would become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator if she was to win.
  • Nevada: U.S. Rep Shelley Berkley has raised almost $7 million as well, putting her on even-footing with her opponent.
  • New York: Attorney Wendy E. Long is running against Kirsten Gillibrand (one of three female-on-female battles)
  • California: Autism activist Elizabeth Emken is running against Sen. Feinstein but has failed to reach $1 million in funds, despite Feinstein losing $4.5 million stolen by her former treasurer
  • Maine: State Sen. Cynthia Dill is running to replace Olympia Snowe but has failed to gain any traction behind Independent former Gov. Angus King
  • North Dakota: State AG Heidi Heitkamp is running a strong campaign in a strong GOP state in a Republican year. She is one to watch. $1.8 million in a cheap media market.
  • Hawaii: Both U.S. Rep Maze Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle are running in this open seat. Give or take, each candidate has raised about $4 million on the islands.
  • New Mexico: the GOP’s strongest female candidate, former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson, has also raised about $4 million and is running competitively in this open seat.
  • Connecticut: 2010 candidate Linda McMahon is once again running in this open-seat (again) and after pouring $50 million (!!!!) into her last campaign, she has $14 million right now (….with a $12 million loan)

If you ask me (and you did, because you’re still reading), I think more female Senators and U.S. Representatives is extremely good for this country. Female legislators tend to be less interested in partisan combat, more likely to cross the aisle, and bring a fresh perspective to Congress, often as leaders of households. Again, no jokes.

Oh and how many female Senators will there be in 2013? 16 is this man’s guess.

Those who know me know I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Michele Bachmann in 2012. It is time for a woman to serve as President. Who will be the first female President, you ask me? (Which again, you did!) Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. In 2020.

 

A Poll of No Confidence

The only thing more split this year than Presidential Election polling is Senate polling. The House is almost assuredly going to stay Republican due to redistricting and a sizable majority. Will the Senate finally turn red after Republicans (read: Tea Party) blew it in 2010?

Let’s take a look:

  • Arizona: Sen. John Kyl is retiring after three terms and serving as Minority Whip this session. US Rep. Jeff Flake is taking on former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (who served under President George W. Bush). State demographics would tilt this Democrat due to the high Hispanic population, but Arizona also has a sizable Mormon population and low-Hispanic turnout. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • California: Three term Senator Dianne Feinstein is up this year and will face Autism advocate and former IBM Cost Analyst Elizabeth Emken. The latest field poll shows Feinstein polling way below Obama and only up 12% on Emken. But California is California and even in a wave election, the GOP couldn’t touch Boxer last cycle. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Connecticut: Independent (and perpetual thorn in the side of both parties) Joe Lieberman is retiring. 2010 GOP nominee Linda McMahon of WWE fame and Dem. Rep. Chris Murphy will face off after defeating opposition by 75% of the vote. Despite spending ten million dollars in 2010, McMahon couldn’t even take the open seat. I don’t think she has a chance this year barring a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Delaware: Two-term Sen. Tom Carper is up against…who? STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Florida: Two-term Sen. Bill Nelson faces an uphill battle with strong headwinds in a presidential year. He will face U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV. A strong candidate in Mack and a tough year for Nelson makes this a top 5 race.  Whichever presidential candidate wins FL, so goes the Senate race. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Hawaii: An open seat, Democratic U.S. Rep Maze Hirono will face former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Lingle is a strong candidate, but having to go against President Obama at the top of the ticket in his home state. It’ll take a massive effort but it is not in her favor. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Indiana: Now an open race, Richard Murdock knocked off longtime incumbent Richard Lugar on the GOP side. For the Dems, U.S. Rep Joe Donnelly will face him. Obama won’t win Indiana again, but something about this race bothers me. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Maine: Sen. Olympia Snowe surprised the political world with her retirement. A shoo-in for reelection, it now falls to a threeway race: State Sen. Cynthia Dill for the Dems, State Sec. of State Charles Summers for the GOP, and former Gov. Angus King as an Independent. King has not announced who he will caucus with, but the Democratic Senate Committee is pretty sure he’ll caucus with the Dems and has given no backing to Dill. It’s still Maine….MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Maryland: First-term Sen. Ben Cardin faces former USSS Agent Daniel Bongino. Never heard of him and I doubt voters have either. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Massachusetts: THE race of the year. Incumbent Sen. Scott Brown faces the Harvard-educated, liberal activist Elizabeth Warren. A lot of money has been raised and the polls are razor thin. Tie goes to the incumbent. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Michigan: Two-term incumbent Debbie Stabenow faces former U.S. Rep Pete Hoesktra, famous for his oddly racist ad against China and Senator “Spend-it-Now” (lol). His only chance is a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Minnesota: Incumbent Amy Klobuchar faces Ron Paul-ite Kurt Bills, State Rep. and an economics teacher. Sen. Klobuchar has kept her nose down and her name out of the news, so she’s good for a second term. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Mississippi: Incumbent Roger Wicker will face…someone named Al Gore, Jr. (Don’t ask me how he’s a “Jr,” he looks about 112 and…no relation to another Gore). Okay then…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Missouri: One-term incumbent Claire McCaskill will face U.S. Congress Todd Akin, who won over Palin-endorsed State Treasure Sarah Steelman and “endorsed by everyone else” John Brunner. A lot of trouble for Sen McCaskill, despite weaker than expected opposition. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Montana: Incumbent Jon Tester will face Rep. U.S. Rep Danny Rehberg. This is a surprisingly close race in a state as red as Montana, but in the end, I think Rehberg rides Romney’s coattails to Washington. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Nebraska: Sen. Ben Nelson retired (because he had no chance of winning). Former Senator Bob Kerrey flew back from New York to run in his place. Deb Fischer came from third to first behind Sarah Palin’s help and will fly to Washington D.C. as the next Senator. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nevada: Sen. Dean Heller will face ethics-plagued U.S. Rep. Shelly Berkley. Despite the state’s Obama lean, Berkley is in serious trouble over the ethics complaint. Heller wins due to incumbency. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • New Jersey: Incumbent Bob Menendez will face State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos. Menendez is not terribly popular but should win, barring a miracle Romney pickup of NJ behind Chris Christie’s help. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • New Mexico: Open race time! Another top 5 tossup. U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich for the Dems and former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson for the GOP. Polls show neither candidate with a significant lead outside the MoE. Hold for now. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • New York: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will go up against Attorney Wendy Long. Gillibrand has New York and Schumer behind her. Romp. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • North Dakota: Sen. Kent Conradt is retiring, leading to another open-race tossup. For the GOP, U.S. Rep Rick Berg; for the Dems, former State AG Heidi Heitkamp. She’s a good candidate, but ND is red, red, red. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Ohio: Incumbent Dem. Sen Sherrod Brown will face State Treasurer Josh Mandel. Mandel, who looks like he just graduated HS, is a money-raising machine, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how Brown is the favorite. Yet, he is, barring an Romney romp of 5 or more points. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Pennsylvania: Incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. is not his father, but Keystone residents think he is. Either way, businessman Tom Smith is a no one. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Rhode Island: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (sweet name) will face…someone. Whatever. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Tennessee: Incumbent Sen. Bob Corker is facing…someone. Whatever. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Texas: This was the premier matchup on the GOP side after incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided not to run again. Former State Solicitor General Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in a run-off. Texas…red…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Utah: Sen. Orrin Hatch managed to be renominated (by a lot) and will face…someone. This is the reddest state in the country. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Vermont: Incumbent Bernie Sanders (self described democratic socialist) will face…who cares. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
  • Virginia: The race of all races this year. Incumbent Jim Webb retired, setting up a fight between former Gov. and DNC Chair Tim Kaine and former US Senator George Allen who wants his seat back. Kaine runs a point or so better than Obama, but like Florida, he who wins the state wins the seat. Give me Allen right now. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Washington: Incumbent Maria Cantwell will face State Rep and veteran Michael Baumgartner. Washington was fool’s gold for the GOP in 2010 and even though Cantwell is not very popular, she will win. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • West Virginia: 2010 rematch, incumbent Joe Manchin against businessman John Raese. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Manchin will win, but he’ll be a Republican by 2013/14. Book it. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Wisconsin: Another open-race tossup party! Former Gov and HHS Tommy Thompson, who was a reformer but being a reformer was cool, will face U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin has been the epicenter of politics in 2012 (recall…Rep. Paul Ryan…battleground) and Thompson is way popular. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Wyoming: Did you know John Barrasso is the Senator from Wyoming? He will still be the Senator from Wyoming in 2013. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD

So there you have it. By my estimate, the next Senate will be 53-47 GOP control. The hapless KY Senator Mitch McConnell will be Senator Majority Leader. Woohoo? For no one.

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