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Its never too soon to look at what the Senate holds for 2014.  

Did the Dems build up enough of a cushion to insulate them in 2014, where they will be facing a similar-to-2012 20-13 difference in seats up for re-election?

Maybe.

First up:
Democrats should immediately approach Susan Collins and offer her whatever swag she needs to become an Indy like King and caucus with the Democrats.  Mainers have proven they'll vote for an Indy, and she's getting primaried anyway - so she may as well do it now and gain some power.  

Predictions below the swirly.

SAFE DEMOCRAT
Delaware - Chris Coons:  Please please please let the witch run against him again.
Iowa - Tom Harkin: I have not heard any talk of his retirement.  If he retires, this one is a toss-up.
Illinois - Richard Durbin:  No sweat here, especially since either Durbin or Schumer will be next Maj. Leader.
Michigan - Carl Levin:  Unless he retires, this seat is quite safe.
Rhode Island - Jack Reed

LIKELY DEM
Massachusetts - John Kerry:  Rumors are he's the next SOS replacing Clinton.  Dem governor gets to appt his successor, and I'm assuming Scott Brown will run.  Will be lean-dem without Kerry in a non-Pres. year in that case.
Louisiana - Mary Landrieu:  I almost placed her in the safe column, but LA is too red a state at this point.  With a Jindal challenge this could move to toss-up quickly.
New Jersey    - Frank Lautenberg:  If he retires (he tried that once) this goes from Likely Dem to Lean.
New Mexico - Tom Udall:  They'll claim this is a target, but I think he'll quickly put them out of their misery.
Virginia - Mark Warner
West Virginia - Jay Rockefeller:  If he retires, this is a toss-up.

LEAN DEM
Colorado - Mark Udall:   If his opponent is batshit insane, becomes Safe Dem.
Montana - Max Baucus:  With Testers win and with a solid bench (Schweitzer), I'm putting this as Lean Dem.  Will Schweitzer primary?
New Hampshire - Jeanne Shaheen:  She'll be a top target but given the Presidential results, she's probably pretty safe.
Oregon - Jeff Merkley:  Could become Safe quickly depending on his opponent.

PURE TOSS-UP
Alaska - Mark Begich:  Depends on how batshit crazy his opponent is.
Minnesota - Al Franken:  Franken will be a top target and will likely land a top-tier opponent.
South Dakota - Tim Johnson:  Depends on how batshit crazy his opponent is.

DEMOCRATIC TOAST
Arkansas - Mark Pryor:  Not even sure why he's bothering to run.  Oh yeah - his opponent might talk about rape, so you never know.
North Carolina - Kay Hagan:  NC did not go the Dems way.  No way she survives here, even with a batshit crazy opponent.

UNCATEGORIZED

Maine - Susan Collins*:  Yeah, I know she's not a Democrat yet, but she's getting primaried.  If she goes indy she's safe.

SAFE REPUBLICAN - I don't see, without a batshit insane primary opponent, how these guys lose.  Also not sure who would get a primary challenge?  Alexander? Graham?

Alabama -Jeff Sessions
Georgia -Saxby Chambliss
Idaho -Jim Risch
Kansas -Pat Roberts (could retire, but still safe R even if Sebelius runs)
Kentucky    -Mitch McConnell
Mississippi  -Thad Cochran
Nebraska    -Mike Johanns
Oklahoma    -Jim Inhofe
South Carolina -Lindsey Graham
Tennessee -Lamar Alexander
Texas -John Cornyn
Wyoming    -Mike Enzi

RESULTS
I'm guessing we lose Ark ,NC and SD, and maybe gain an Indy in Collins before 2014 -  if things go badly we'll lose Franken and Begich.  Still enough of a cushion to put us at 50-52 if things go bad.  After that we'd be talking about losing NH and CO, in which case you can probably kiss MT and LA goodbye in an anti-Dem wave like in 2010.

Poll

On Nov. 5th 2014, the number Dem seats in the Senate

13%23 votes
5%9 votes
7%14 votes
9%16 votes
13%24 votes
10%18 votes
14%26 votes
8%15 votes
17%31 votes

| 176 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:15:58 AM PST

  •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, BasharH

    I'm still in celebration mode, but I give you credit for this with a tip.  :-)  

    I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

    by TomP on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:20:36 AM PST

  •  Do not assume Mark Warner will run again (0+ / 0-)

    he has not yet ruled out running for Governor again, where he would be a slam dunk against either Ken Cuccinelli or Bill Bolling, and he knows it.  Right now Terry McAuliffe is the presumptive nominee, and there is no guarantee he would win.

    Thus a run for governor is a free shot for Warner, because he can do it without giving up his Senate seat, and if he wins appoint his replacement.

    But at that point holding the seat could become problematic in a non-presidential year.  There is no obvious person for him to appoint as a replacement -  McAuliffe would probably not want to be a Senator.  None of the current Dem congressman has statewide appeal, although Bobby Scott has considered a statewide run in the past.  

    Given that Dems kept the Senate and Obama was reelected, I am assuming Warner will decide to stay in the Senate and see if he can be a key player in some kind of grand bargain, then possibly position himself to use that to run for PResident in 2016 which means he would run for reelection.

    But it is not a given

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:26:43 AM PST

    •  Why would McAuliffe do better in 2013 (0+ / 0-)

      than in 2009?

      •  field is cleared for him (0+ / 0-)

        as of now there is no one of any stature prepared to take him on for the nomination.  He has spent a lot of time building political relationships around the states.  The nomination is his if he wants it, unless Mark gets in, in which case Terry has to decide if he wants to step down to Lt. Gov, which already has several people positioned to run who might not get out (Anees Chopra and possibly either/both Ralph Northam and Paula Miller, with an outside possibility that Chap Petersen might make another run at the nomination -  Chopra has been actively campaigning for the slot

        Also worth noting that nominees will be selected by primary, which would give Terry an advantage, starting with money, but also with the organization he built four years ago.

        But Mark Warner in the 800 pound gorilla in the Commonwealth.  No Democratic would be suicidal enough to take him on - he has an approval rating of around 70%, was a very popular governor, and has a personal fortune in the hundreds of millions.  Hell, one wonders if he enters the race whether Cuccinelli, Bolling and anyone else on the Republican side might hesitate to run against him?

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:50:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would think the last scenario (0+ / 0-)

      is what would happen.  Warner runs and wins again in 2014, positioning himself for a possible presidential run in 2016.

  •  To early (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quantumlogic

    I read, and know there will be a battle.  But a lot can happen between now and then.

    Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

    by egarratt on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:28:59 AM PST

  •  North Carolina (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe the GOP would run batshit crazy Virginia Foxx.

  •  Is this good news for John McCain ? (0+ / 0-)

    The "free market" is not the solution, the "free market" is the problem.

    by Azazello on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:37:50 AM PST

  •  I think Kerry is not going to get SoS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clambake

    simply because Obama can't put the seat at risk. Here in Mass. we think Scott Brown would run and would be the favorite heading in unless he runs against Deval Patrick. Of course Brown was the favorite heading into this year but that was overcome.

    If Kerry does run I don't see Scott Brown running against him, and I'd call Mass. "Safe Dem."

    Not sure about Hagan either. N.C. was pretty close this year and the state is trending more Dem by demographics with each year.  Depending on opponent I think she could pull it out.

  •  Graham will be primaried (0+ / 0-)

    I'd also expect Cornyn, McConnell, Alexander, Chamblis and Roberts to be targeted in some fashion with one or a few going down.  The GOP base is doubling down on the stupidity.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:20:02 AM PST

  •  Prepare, Prepare, Prepare (0+ / 0-)

    You've correctly identified where the battles will be.  Now is the time for the grassroots, the netroots, and the DNC to invest in those battlegrounds.

    I support a 50-state strategy, but from election to election, various states are more equal than others. Here then are ten states that should become top targets for attention in 2009:

    NORTH CAROLINA: Because you are too pessimistic about Hagan.  The racists came out during the past two cycles, but North Carolina remains a swing state, home of Charlotte, Winston-Salem and the research triangle. We lose it, we double down and do what needs to be done to take it back.  The Repukes have lost Pennsylvania six xtraight times now, and they keep shoveling money into it as if it's a swing state. Maybe they'll break it some day. We should do the same thing with NC.

    MONTANA-NORTH DAKOTA-SOUTH DAKOTA:  Three red-leaning states with disproportionate Senate representation for their population.  As recently as 2006, we held ALL SIX of their Senate seats, and I've been arguing for a decade now that we should invest in their cheap, contiguous media markets to make them Democrat-friendly at the state level.  Individually, three EVs each haven't been enough to get attention from the national party. Together, they make nine EVs, with a  lot of bang for each undecided voter who chooses the Democrats.

    ALASKA, for the same reasons as above, but also with a top tier Senate seat to defend. alaska is less red than people think, and is a potential Democratic stronghold

    VIRGINIA: Not really for Warner, but because the State Government is at stake, Governor and Legislature.

    ARIZONA: To nurture the next big swing state.

    MISSOURI: Because it's been slipping away from us. Obama didn't even try here, and I'm annoyed. The statewide wins by Nixon and McCaskill prove that we can win here. We should work to regain and keep it.

    OHIO: Because we ALWAYS want to build on Ohio. More in preparation for House and Governor races than for the Senate

    FLORIDA: Because we always want to build here, too.

    Most of your recommendations are spot on; however, I would suggest upgrading Hagan to toss-up and calling the Arkansas race "Leans Republican" instead of writing it off entirely.  Also, Oregon is Likely Democratic, maybe even Safe.  It was close in 2008 because Merkley had to take out a popular incumbent, who was the ONLY Republican to win a statewide race in Oregon since 1992.  They aren't sending Merkley away unless something big happens.

    The Romney Campaign: Most expensive mid-life crisis in American history.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:37:42 AM PST

  •  Beat John Cornyn, because (0+ / 0-)

    as crazy as you think he may be, we will have already seen two years of Ted "Crazy Troll" Cruz in the U.S. Senate, "representing" Texas.  And all other things being equal, he will be there until 2018.

    And he's Canadian.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:32:45 PM PST

  •  Ha, it's never too early I guess... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm an optimist so my picks will be optimistic. I didn't see 2012 panning out as well as it has for us so my picks will be conservative by comparison but I think we've got potentially a better ground game and I'm hoping that President Obama, freed from his duties to campaign ever again for himself, will turn his vaunted GOTV machine over to the state parties and candidates to use to their advantage.

    I agree with all the safe Dems.

    *Kerry should be safe too, as long as he's running again and I'm assuming he is.
    *Landrieu has served her state well but I think this is a Lean Dem if not a Tossup already.
    *Lautenberg is safe, and even if he retires the seat is still Likely Dem.
    *Udall is safe, especially after last night's results with Senator-elect Heinrich.
    *Virginia is Likely Dem even if Warner decides not to run.
    *Rockefeller is safe unless the seat is open. But Democrats in West Virginia do pretty well at every level except the presidential one (and that may have only been because Obama was running; not jumping to any conclusion (cough, cough).

    *Udall in Colorado is Likely Dem, especially after last night's win at the presidential level.
    *Baucus is Likely Dem and we have a good bench in the state if he decides to retire.
    *Shaheen is Likely Dem, keeping the top tier elected officials all women in the state.
    *Merkley is more or less safe and at least Likely Dem.

    *Begich's race is definitely a tossup. Let's see if Palin decides to run.
    *Franken's seat is Lean Dem, methinks. He's been quite popular in the state and it went for Obama easily last night.
    *If Johnson runs, he'll win. Depends on if he runs. If he does run, this turns into a Lean Dem seat.

    *Pryor's race is a tossup but he's been pretty strong in the state. I think if he decides to run, it'll actually be Lean Dem eventually.
    *Hagan is definitely not toast. We may have lost North Carolina last night but after the next two years of Republican governance, I have a feeling that the state's voters will sour on them, just like they did in Ohio and Florida this year. It may be close and the race is a tossup but she is not toast.

    *Collins isn't going to be an Indy or a Democrat. She saw what happened to Specter in Pennsylvania and I don't feel like determining who the Maine voters get to vote for. She will be primaried and if she is and she loses, the seat becomes Lean Dem no matter who runs on our side.

    Safe Republican seats:
    Alabama
    Idaho
    Kansas
    Mississippi
    Oklahoma
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Wyoming

    Likely Republican seats:
    Georgia
    Kentucky
    Nebraska
    South Carolina

    I would even put South Carolina and Georgia in Lean Rep depending on how the candidates do the next few years.

    Barring any retirements we definitely have fewer chances of taking a seat in 2014 than we did this year, but anything can happen and no one saw Maine or Indiana on the radar until after the primary season. And with the Tea Party doing it's best to deep six the rest of the GOP, I would count on some more surprises in 2014. At the very least, you can count on every one of those Republicans to be drawn to the extreme right during a primary contest. Democrats can instantly commandeer the left and middle ground.

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:58:23 PM PST

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