First I will begin giving the results of my research about who performed better in the last elections in the bluest states.

Following this conditions:

- To take Democratic or Democratic leaning Independent politicians.
- To include not the politicians with higher level in the order of precedence than a Secretary of the Cabinet (level 18).
- To take politicians that run a race for the Senate and Governor.
- To take politicians that run not but poll recently stronger than the politicians that run.
- To take politicians that born in 1941 or later, and the older incumbents in the senate or as governors.
- To take only the last result of every politician in these races. If someone runs later unsuccesfully for lower level office, gets out.

I compared the data of every politician with the presidential numbers or with the US House overall numbers (in mid-term elections) of the cycle. And later I quit the effect of the Partisan Voting Index of every state to give all them a single basis.

With the data I made the following rank about who performed better in his last high level race:


+05.0% WA G Locke
He is here because the three following people in his home state are just the highest level incumbents for the following cycle. He is a fair and strong candidate for high government positions.

I'm not very friend of the idea of many changes in the Cabinet. But I think maybe positive some change that would affect not to the younger members of the Cabinet and would affect not to key incumbents in key places in overall terms.


+16.5% NM J Bingaman
+12.3% MN A Klobuchar
+11.4% DE J Markell
+10.6% NY C Schumer
+09.5% RI J Reed
+08.8% IA T Harkin
+08.4% OR R Wyden
+08.0% MD B Mikulski
+07.1% VT B Sanders (I)
+07.0% NV R Miller
+06.9% IL R Durbin
+06.3% PA E Rendell
+05.9% CO J Hickenlooper
+05.8% MI C Levin
+04.6% CA D Feinstein
+04.6% WA M Cantwell
+04.0% NJ R Menendez
+03.3% CT R Blumenthal
+01.4% HI N Abercrombie
- 08.4% MA D Patrick

+00.2% WI R Feingold
- 04.8% ME A King (I)

+05.8% NH J Lynch

Some of them are not in office but they have or should have value in their home states. I would consider them as the strongest challengers for the strongest republican incumbents in their home state:

2014 NM-Gov: J Bingaman vs S Martínez
2018 NV-Sen: R Miller vs D Heller
2016 PA-Sen: E Rendell vs P Toomey
2016 WI-Sen: R Feingold vs R Johnson
2016 NH-Sen: J Lynch vs K Ayotte

I would heavily try to recruit all them and in the case of the races for 2016 I would consider an appointment to the Cabinet until then if that would promote them positively.

R Miller is Robert Miller, the father, the former governor. He has very good results as governor, but unfortunately we see not him running for the senate.

I think J Kerry deserves an appointment as Secretary of State. I would not be opposed in this case. If H Clinton must be replaced I think he would be the right appointment, but it is necessary to take into account that S Brown can take the seat. There is the same trouble that the Democratic party has with the Governor's office that D Patrick is leaving open. But there is also some positive detail. Like we will see in the following lines, D Patrick performed a little better than E Warren comparing with the overall Democratic average, then D Patrick would be a very strong candidate for the seat of J Kerry, and I doubt S Brown would run against him. The true trouble is likely in the race for governor, and I would recommend begin to work fast against S Brown. I think S Brown will not have the same financial strength the following time.


+08.5% DE T Carper
+06.6% VT P Leahy
+06.6% NY A Cuomo
+06.4% NM T Udall
+04.9% CO W Ritter
+04.4% NV H Reid
+03.9% MI D Stabenow
+03.5% IL L Madigan (from polls of the last cycle)
+02.9% RI S Whitehouse
+02.6% WA P Murray
+02.2% PA J Sestak
+02.0% MD M O'Malley
+01.3% CA G Brown
+00.3% OR J Kitzhaber
- 00.9% NJ F Lautenberg
- 01.2% HI M Hirono
- 02.2% CT D Malloy
- 02.6% MN A Wynia
- 09.6% MA E Warren

+00.9% IA T Vilsack
- 01.3% WI J Doyle
- 08.4% ME C Pingree

+01.7% NH M Hassan

In this group there are also some politicians out of office. Some of them can be again very strong challengers for the highest level incumbents in their home state:

2016 IL-Sen: L Madigan vs M Kirk
2014 PA-Gov: J Sestak vs T Corbett
2016 IA-Sen: T Vilsack vs C Grassley
2014 WI-Gov: J Doyle vs S Walker
2014 ME-Sen: C Pingree vs S Collins

In the case of Illinois, until now L Madigan appears as the strongest Democrat after R Durbin. I prefer to see the strongest candidate challenging Kirk before than Quinn. To see new polls would be very good here.

In the case of Maryland, the natural step for M O'Malley, affected by term limits can be to replace B Mikulski in her senate seat. In this case it would not be risk in her retirement. For the open gubernatorial race, I expect not big troubles.

W Ritter (CO) and A Wynia (MN) are from states where the two senators and the governor are Democrats. I hope, I wish, that the current incumbents in these states have better results in their following reelection bid.


+06.4% NY K Gillibrand
+04.8% DE C Coons
+03.0% CO K Salazar
+00.8% PA R Casey
+00.3% CA B Boxer
+00.2% MI J Granholm
- 00.3% NM D Denish
- 00.5% OR L AuCoin
- 01.0% MD P Glendening
- 03.1% MN M Dayton
- 03.1% CT C Murphy
- 03.9% NJ J Corzine
- 04.2% HI J Waihe'e
- 04.4% WA J Inslee
- 06.1% VT P Shumlin
- 09.7% MA M Coakley

- 01.5% WI T Baldwin
- 02.5% IA C Culver
- 04.2% NV R Reid
- 06.2% IL P Quinn
- 12.9% RI M York
- 13.3% ME T Andrews

- 01.2% NH J Shaheen

Here we have a very interesting situation. While the Democrats in 2010 have low results, some of them perform well and despite the defeat, they are between the best performs in relation with the Democratic average in their home state.

The bench of people with the third best result is not especially strong in many states, and this is the first reason to be prudent promoting incumbents of the previous groups to the cabinet. The replacement would be dificult in many states like MI, PA, MA, RI, MD, OR, CT, NJ, WI, IA, NV, IL, ME, NH...

Looking at the incumbents of this third group, I would wait to see some poll about Quinn, but I tend to be cold about the idea of an expensive primary. I see not Quinn as a sure loser, I see very hard time for the Republicans defeating him, but it is necessary to see some poll. In few words, I would like to see the strongest in the polls (without count Durbin) against Kirk, and the second for Governor. If the second is Quinn I would be against a primary. If the second is someone else, I would like Quinn run not again.

Still we have without a clear Democratic challenger:

2014 MI-Gov: ????? vs R Snyder
2013 NJ-Gov: ????? vs C Christie
2014 IA-Gov: ????? vs T Branstad
2014 NV-Gov: ????? vs B Sandoval
2014 ME-Gov: ????? vs P LePage

Who can be the best Democratic challenger against them? The answer to this question is the candidate that can improve the results of the third best performers. I would promote open primaries and I would not be opposed to the idea of the people of the list running again between more candidates.


+02.9% CO M Bennet
- 00.1% CO M Udall
- 01.9% NM M Heinrich
- 03.9% MD B Cardin
- 08.0% OR J Merkley
- 12.9% MN A Franken
???????? HI B Schatz
- 19.7% RI L Chafee (I)
The case of Colorado is very good. The current senators are out of the three better results but that mean not they have bad results. In the last years every Democrat in the highest level races has very good results in the state.

Heinrich and Cardin have finally a little worse results than expected. They need to work for improve it the following time.

And again, like in the case of A King (I), to have three strong parties in a race means danger and means to be far of the Democratic overall average. It would be necessary some agreement at least in the case of L Chafee (I).

Looking at the numbers, I think the Republicans should have little hope of winning new offices in these states in 2014. This year they spend without sense in a lot of races where the Democratic candidates were in solid positions, and spend not enough in must win (for them) races. The Democratic Party would be lucky if the GOP repeats the mistake in 2014, but I doubt about it. For this cycle the GOP has a lot of races for defense in D+ states, and I think they will lose a decent number of them.

As overall philosophy (that can have some exception), I would like all the Democratic incumbents running again in these states, I would not like expensive primaries in unnecessary places, and I would like the strongest challengers with high financial support for the offices in Republican hands, including of course ME-Sen. It is to play offensive in these states.

The rest of the states deserve a second diary.

Wed Dec 26, 2012 at  8:49 AM PT: Updated after the death of D Inouye, the appointment of J Kerry as Secretary of State, and the appointment of B Schatz for the senate.

Mon Jan 14, 2013 at  2:27 AM PT: After to see a little mistake in the numbers for J Doyle, he goes to the second group and R Feingold to the first. As consecuence R Feingold would be the strongest challenger for WI-Sen 2016 and J Doyle would be the strongest challenger for WI-Gov 2014.

Originally posted to abgin on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:22 AM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.


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