As the 2010 elections approach this fall and as the Tea Party and Sarah Palin continue to take on Republican incumbents, here are a few numbers to ponder:
- 41 - number of sitting GOP Senators
- 34 - number of sitting GOP Senators who aren't retiring this year
- 24 - number of sitting GOP Senators who don't have a re-election to worry about this year
These are humiliating numbers for Senate Republicans at a time when they don't have a heck of a lot of accomplishments or solutions to run on.
In 2006 the GOP lost 6 Senate seats, in 2008 they lost 8 seats, and in 2010 they may be ready to hang the Mission Accomplished banner before Election Day, but they could actually lose a handful more depending on which way the wave crashes on November 2.
I don't care what anybody says, this is a great time to be a Democrat.
Just look at what's left of the GOP caucus ...
THE GOP SENATE CAUCUS
Here are the 34 members of the GOP Senate caucus who aren't currently retiring, including year of their next election and the year that they first joined the Senate. 2010 races highlighted in bold.
- ['12] Dick Lugar, IN, 1977
- ['12] Orrin Hatch, UT, 1977
- ['14] Thad Cochran, MS, 1979
- ['10] Chuck Grassley, IA, 1981
- ['14] Mitch McConnell, KY, 1985
- ['10] Richard Shelby, AL, 1987
- ['10] John McCain, AZ, 1987
- ['12] Kay Bailey Hutchison, TX, 1993
- ['12] Jon Kyl, AZ, 1995
- ['12] Olympia Snowe, ME, 1995
- ['14] Jim Inhofe, OK, 1995
- ['14] Jeff Sessions, AL, 1997
- ['14] Pat Roberts, KS, 1997
- ['14] Susan Collins, ME, 1997
- ['14] Mike Enzi, WY, 1997
- ['10] Mike Crapo, ID, 1999
- ['12] John Ensign, NV, 2001
- ['10] Lisa Murkowski, AK, 2002
- ['14] Saxby Chambliss, GA, 2003
- ['14] Lindsey Graham, SC, 2003
- ['14] Lamar Alexander, TN, 2003
- ['14] John Cornyn, TX, 2003
- ['10] Johnny Isakson, GA, 2005
- ['10] David Vitter, LA, 2005
- ['10] Richard Burr, NC, 2005
- ['10] Tom Coburn, OK, 2005
- ['10] Jim DeMint, SC, 2005
- ['10] John Thune, SD, 2005*
- ['12] Roger Wicker, MS, 2007
- ['12] Bob Corker, TN, 2007
- ['12] John Barrasso, WY, 2007
- ['14] Jim Risch, ID, 2009
- ['14] Mike Johanns, NE, 2009
- ['12] Scott Brown, MA, 2010
*Thune is the only GOP Senate incumbent running unopposed in 2010.
And here are the 8 members of the GOP caucus that are retiring this year (counting Specter since he started this congressional session as a Republican):
- Arlen Specter, PA, 1981 (switched parties, then lost primary)
- Kit Bond, MO, 1987 (retiring)
- Judd Gregg, NH, 1993 (retiring)
- Bob Bennett, UT, 1993 (lost primary)
- Sam Brownback, KS, 1996 (running for governor)
- Jim Bunning, KY, 1999 (retiring)
- George Voinovich, OH, 1999 (retiring)
- George LeMieux, FL, 2009 (seat warmer)
TOTAL: 8, including Specter
By contrast: Democrats have 52 non-retiring incumbents and only 6 retirements (not counting Specter, since he started this congressional session as a Republican.)
2010 IS OUR BEST CHANCE FOR MORE SENATE GAINS, NOT LATER
Consider these coming election years that quickly balloon from 1:1 odds to 2:1 odds:
Senate seats up for election in 2010: DEMS 19, GOP 18
Senate seats up for election in 2012: DEMS 23, GOP 10
Senate seats up for election in 2014: DEMS 20, GOP 13
Yet, even in 2012 when Democrats will have more than twice as many Senate seats on the ballot as Republicans, most of our seats are from Obama-friendly states and it's a year in which Obama will be back at the top of the ballot.
Check it out: In 2012, only 5 of the 23 DEM seats up are from states that Obama lost (MO, MT, NE, ND, and WV), while 4 of the 10 GOP seats up are from states that Obama won (MA, NV, ME, and IN.)
So even in 2012, we don't have to expect losses. It's up to us to get out the vote and keep our politicians on point.
Food for thought, folks!
Vote, fight, gain!