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Upgrade the Senate bug
When we talk about Upgrading the Senate, one of the things we had in mind was the long-standing idea of more and better Democrats. By better, we mean Democrats that will unapologetically fight for progressive policies. Keeping the Senate has been important, but keeping the Senate and increasing the number of progressive senators in the caucus has been the key.

If you want to see what that might look like quantitatively, Ezra Klein has the goods. Based on analysis done by Boris Shor at the University of Chicago comparing the stated policy preferences as aggregated by Project Vote Smart for candidates, Klein looked at the 12 most competitive Senate races and their ideological split. What's potentially scary about this is what would happen if Republicans were to take over the Senate. There are some seriously extreme right-wingers there. But, here's the positive side. Look at the ideology over all among Democrats:

Graph showing ideology of 2012 Senate candidates.

Goal Thermometer
In Wisconsin, Connecticut and Massachusetts, our candidates Tammy Baldwin, Chris Murphy and Elizabeth Warren would all pull those seats to the left. Add in Martin Heinrich in New Mexico and Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, who are committed progressives on their way to the Senate, and we're looking at a much larger progressive bloc of Senate Democrats.

But first, we've got to get them there. So let's make that Senate upgrade happen. Please help do that by contributing to our candidates here.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  YAY (6+ / 0-)

    This much more sane senate with Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

    Moving towards sanity for all :)

    •  Don't get too excited.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark

      Bob Kerry is suddenly competitive....yes he is a Democrat, but he seems to be gaining ground by getting endorsements from a slew of GOP backers.  Somehow, I get the feeling that Bob, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles could be bunk buddies.  JUST what we need for a Grand Compromise.  

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:15:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kerrey would be a vote for Harry Reid (6+ / 0-)

        Democratic judges, and 75% or so of the Democratic agenda. What more do you want from a Nebraska senator? We'd get none of that from Deb Fischer.

         

        NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

        by bear83 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:48:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Am I somehow misreading the graph? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomNonviolence

        My slightly left-of-center senator, Bill Nelson rated 3 tenths of a point further to the left than Tammy Baldwin would be?

        And you could cue Scooby Do ("Huhhhh?") on Nelson being 6 tenths of a point further to the left of Elizabeth Warren?

        That's a real head-scratcher for me.

        I voted for Nelson every time he's run, dating back to when he was in the House. But that says more about the caliber of candidates we Floridians have had to choose from over the years than how we're satisfied with his ideology.

        Saying he's always a good and reliable progressive is a stretch, in my opinion.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:48:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No kidding! I was just coming here to post (0+ / 0-)

          the same thing! I cannot believe Bill Nelson is rated that progressively.

          "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

          by Wendy in FL on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:49:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I realize now that it's 3 hundreds of a percentage (0+ / 0-)

            point more progressive than Baldwin and 6 hundreds of a point with Warren. Not tenths.

            But still...  wtf?

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:56:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You know...it's probably because (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markthshark

              Nelson votes progressively but he's such a blue dog during the run up. I remember when he voted for cloture on Alito. That ended any support from me for him...ever. I called him and told him there was no point in supporting him if he was just going to allow extremists like Alito on the bench.

              So what did he get out of all of that?

              He got to blast out to all his constituents that he voted "NO!" on Alito. But we all knew that that wasn't the vote that mattered. Alito was going to win the nomination vote. But to break the filibuster? That was just being a$$hole.

              Then, in the health care debate, he sat on the Senate Finance Committee and for 4 months helped to stall the damn bill, using emails saying "I'm just not sure about healthcare reform." He collected a ton of money from the industry in those 4 months. Unbelievable.

              I even went to Washington with the family (as part of a vacation), scheduled a time to meet with him (he meets with Floridians every Wednesday), and was told where to be (the Florida House). Got there...no Senator. "Oh, he never has his Wednesday meetings at the Florida House" so I was given bad information, whatever. Just pissed me off even more.

              So, Bill Nelson is the classic "knows how to get attention" politician (especially with his never-ending display of his ride on the Space Shuttle) but really just goes the way the wind blows.

              "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

              by Wendy in FL on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:21:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nelson's a Stereotypical publicity hound... (0+ / 0-)

                He certainly has squeezed every ounce of press and visibility from his association with NASA.  

                So, Bill Nelson is the classic "knows how to get attention" politician (especially with his never-ending display of his ride on the Space Shuttle) but really just goes the way the wind blows.
                Unfortunately, it's that nurtured astro-fame (and his cozy corporate connections) that are saving his butt from primary challenges.

                "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 12:06:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  And Sherrod Brown appears (0+ / 0-)

          a bit less progressive than I'd expect. Not out of synch with the state, but I thought he'd rival Warren and the rest of the longer blue bars.

          I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

          by cal2010 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 03:01:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From Wikipedia: (0+ / 0-)

            "In 2011, among the National Journal’s annual rankings, Brown tied with eight other members for the title of the most liberal member of Congress."

            I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

            by cal2010 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 03:09:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Is it from co-sponsoring PIPA and (0+ / 0-)

            some agriculture policy/votes that he comes out less blue?

            I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

            by cal2010 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 03:12:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Does that Arizona score mean that Dr. Carmona is (4+ / 0-)

    going to be Orange to Blue?

    Akin's Missouri score just proves how scary he is.

  •  Combine this with filibuster/rules reform (6+ / 0-)

    and we could see some great legislation and judges coming from the Senate.

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:54:01 PM PDT

  •  It is all the more amazing in this year when (10+ / 0-)

    we were supposed to lose the Senate to be talking about

    a) not losing it

    b) gaining seats

    c) gaining perhaps 5 seats

    d) adding better Democrats to bring the Senate leftward

    Let's hope it is a 5 seat pick-up and a complete repudiation by the nation of the Radical Republican Party agenda and extremist candidates.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:19:38 PM PDT

  •  Bob Kerrey a good guy (4+ / 0-)

    Bob Kerrey in Nebraska comes out ahead of six other Democratic candidates. Who wudda thunk it? Maybe Kos should dial down his negativity about him.

    And on this scorecard, Sherrod Brown doesn't look quite like our fearless liberal leader after all.

    On their side, are we sure that Mourdock in IN is less krazy than Flake in AZ? Can't be that Mourdock is more bipartisan.

    Interesting stuff, even if I have my doubts about some of the rankings.

  •  Why are the Progressive scores shown as negative? (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry to be sensitive about this triviality, but the word "liberal" has already been demonized.  We don't need to fuel right wing radicals now calling progressive a negative for the country.

    Regarding the scores, I'm surprised the Sherrod Brown doesn't score higher.  He has been firmly on the right side of many of our battles.

    . . . in dog we trust

    by don corazon on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:16:37 PM PDT

    •  +/- (0+ / 0-)

      It's DW-NOMINATE

      http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(scaling_method)

      Method is decades old.

      Nate Silver has used it in the past.

      The person quoting it didn't get to pick out who was + and who was - for the graph.

      Could just be the left/right idea. The left side of the number line is negative the way it is normally represented.

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:35:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wondering why... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, JBraden

    he left ND off this chart...it's as competitive as many of these and Heitkamp is at least as progressive as Casey, Tester, Nelson, Kerry, Donnelly, Carmona, or McCaskill.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:20:03 PM PDT

  •  Donate to progressives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:21:38 PM PDT

  •  remember (0+ / 0-)

    left is right, right is wrong!

  •  Am I reading this correctly? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence

    Bill Nelson is the second-most liberal candidate in this group? And Richard Carmona is more liberal than Sherrod Brown, Shelley Berkley, and Martin Heinrich?

  •  What's with the 0.7% difference in Ohio? (0+ / 0-)

    Is Senator Brown going to be just that much more liberal in his second term?

  •  Sherrod Brown rating is screwy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence

    I am sorry, but it is ludicrous to rate Sherrod Brown of Ohio as only 1/2 as progressive as Richard Carmona or Bill Nelson. Sherrod Brown is one of the most liberal and populist senators in the country.  

  •  more linda mcmhon foolishness- (0+ / 0-)

    from: www.newhavenindependent.org

    Republican Linda McMahon brought her Senate campaign into deep Democratic country Thursday—opening a downtown New Haven office and moving to haul city officials into state court over alleged ballot problems.

    City Hall’s top lawyer swung back, accusing McMahon’s campaign of concocting a bogus legal complaint and gumming up the works in the final, storm-wracked days of preparing for next Tuesday’s election.

    City officials Thursday afternoon scrambled to respond to a letter from a McMahon lawyer, and to respond to the campaign’s allegations before Superior Court Judge Nicola Rubinow in state court in Hartford at 11 a.m. Friday.

    At day’s end, the city and the campaign agreed to a postponement of the hearing until 2 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the campaign’s lawyer is coming to New Haven to meet with city officials to see if they can settle the issue among themselves.

    In its request for an emergency order, the campaign is asking Rubinow to order New Haven to:

    • “certify that it has ordered enough ballots for each precinct for the coming election.”
    • otherwise “institute security and counting measures in the event that unscannable, photocopied ballots are used.”
    • “purge the voter file of individuals that are not eligible to vote in the city.”

    i am sick and tired of linda mcmahon and her antics. we better crush this sorry bitch tuesday.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:14:08 PM PDT

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