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Thursday, May 23, 2013

2014 Midterm Elections- The Senate- The Political Environment Turns on Democrats

By Susan Duclos

While taking control of the Senate may not be an easy feat by any means in the 2014 midterm elections where they need a six seat net gain to flip control from Democrats to Republicans, The Rotherberg Political Report points out that it is "easier than you think" and the recent scandal ridden Democratic administration has created a political environment that has turned on Democrats, which has changed their status among handicappers.

Republicans don’t need to win a single state that Barack Obama won in 2012 in order to have a majority in the Senate after the midterm elections.

Easier Than You Think:

Democrats are defending seven states that President Obama lost in 2012 and Republicans need a net gain of six to reclaim the majority. That also means in the very unlikely event that Democrats somehow knock off Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican senator up for re-election in an Obama state, the GOP could be in the majority without her by sweeping the Romney states currently held by a Democrat.


President Obama lost six of the seven states with a Democratic senator by an average of 19 percentage points. Some of the states were uglier than others for the President, including West Virginia (Obama minus 27 percent), Arkansas (minus 24 percent), South Dakota (minus 18 percent), Louisiana (minus 17 percent), and Alaska and Montana, which he lost both by just under 14 percent.
The outlier is North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan (D) is running for a second term and President Obama lost by just a couple of points last year.

The red path to the Republican majority would require holding states such as Georgia and Kentucky and defeating at least three incumbents, which would be equal the number they have defeated in total in the last decade.

Two points here: Republicans need candidates that won't consistently shoot themselves in the foot, reload and shoot the other foot and they need to nationalize the elections.

As has been pointed out in the past, there are 14 Democratic Senators on the ballot in the 2014 midterm elections that cast their vote for Obamacare, despite the opposition of the majority of Americans.

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Al Franken (D-Minn)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
 Mark Warner (D-VA)

 Political Environment Turns On Democrats

Stuart Rothenberg, non-partisan political analyst/handicapper who has been a Roll Call columnist for more than 20 years, states "it is undeniable that recent events have altered, at least for now, the trajectory of the 2014 elections.," which leads him to change the status of certain Democratic seats on the ballot in the 2014 midterms.

Our moves are as follows:
  • West Virginia (Open seat; Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, is retiring): From Tossup/Tilt Republican to Lean Republican.
  • South Dakota (Open seat; Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, is retiring): From Tossup/Tilt Republican to Lean Republican.
  • Arkansas (Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat): From Tossup/Tilt Democrat to Pure Tossup.
  • Louisiana (Sen. Mary L. Landreiu, a Democrat): From Tossup/Tilt Democrat to Pure Tossup.
  • Alaska (Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat): From Lean Democrat to Tossup/Tilt Democrat.
  • North Carolina (Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat): From Lean Democrat to Tossup/Tilt Democrat.

 Each of the states have an incumbent that voted for Obamacare and were not on the ballot in the 2010 midterm elections where Democrats that voted for Obamacare lost seats across the board, which studies linked directly to their vote for Obamacare.

Counting on scandals within a Democratic administration, like the IRS targeting conservatives, the DOJ out of control attacking the free press, and the Benghazi coverup, does not a campaign make and will only get Republicans so far.

Republicans need to consistently and relentlessly link every Obamacare implementation failure  to the Democrats above, that were saved from being held accountable for their vote, by the simple virtue of not being on the ballot in 2010.