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In the interest of spotlighting downballot races, and seeing that this year is when Virginia holds all of its statewide elections, I will take a look at the Virginia House of Delegates, a 100-seat body that is currently under Republican control 68-32(the actual makeup is 67R-1I-32D).  The election information on each House District is from the Virginia Public Access Project(VPAP).

District 1
Incumbent: Terry Kilgore(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities(in parenthesis are what percent it comprises the district):  Lee County(32%), Scott County(32%), Wise Count(31%), Norton City(5%).
2012 Elections:   Romney 73%/Obama 26%, Allen 70%/Kaine 30%

This Southwestern Virginia district is very Republican and it contains all of Scott and Lee counties and part of Wise County and also the city of Norton.   Kilgore currently is running unopposed and regardless given how blood red this district is, this is a Republican Hold.

District 2
Incumbent:  Mark Dudenhefer (R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Prince William County(54%), Stafford County(46%)
2012 Elections: Obama 58%/Romney 41%, Kaine 58%/Allen 42%

This district comprises of parts of the growing counties of Prince William and Stafford Counties.  The Democrat running for this seat is Michael Futrell, who recently had an embarrassing incident where he copied another political website word for word.  Given this district's Democratic lean, Dudenhefer could be endangered but Futrell seems like a lightweight.   For now I'll just say Lean R but eventually this district will likely give us a Democratic Delegate.

District 3
Incumbent: Will Morefield(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Tazewell County(54%), Buchanan County(31%), Bland County(9%), Russell County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 74%/Obama 25%, Allen 72%/Kaine 28%

This is another Southwestern Virginia district that has all of Bland, Buchanan and Tazewell Counties as well as part of Russell County.  Morefield is currently unopposed and this is a blood-red district so this would be a Republican Hold.

District 4
Incumbent: Joseph Johnson(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Washington County(33%), Russell County(30%), Dickinson County(22%), Wise County(15%)
2012 elections: Romney 68%/Obama 30%, Allen 66%/Kaine 34%

The Democratic incumbent has declined to run for re-election and given that he is over 80, I can see why.   As far as I know, the only candidate is a Republican named Ben Chafin.   Given this district heavy Republican lean this is a Republican pickup.   This is a Southwestern Virginia district that includes all of Dickinson and parts of Russell, Washington and Wise Counties

GOP + 1

District 5
Incumbent: Israel O'Quinn(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Washington County(36%), City of Bristol(23%), Grayson County(20%), Smyth County(14%), City of Galax(7%)
2012 elections: Romney 69%/Obama 29%, Allen 67%/Kaine 33%

This is another Southwestern Virginia district and no surprise it's blood-red.  Given that O'Quinn seems unopposed this is another Republican hold.   It has all of Grayson County and parts of Smyth and Washington Counties as well as the cities of Bristol and Galax.

District 6
Incumbent: Anne Crockett-Stark(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Wythe County(38%), Carroll County(37%), Smyth County(25%)
2012 elections: Romney 66%/Obama 31%/Goode 1% , Allen 65%/Kaine 34%

Yet another SW Virginia district.   This one has all of Carroll and Wythe Counties and part of Smyth County.   The incumbent Republican declined to run for re-election and one of the candidates is a Republican named Jeff Campbell.  The other two GOPers are named Ted Reavis and Jack Weaver. This is a Republican enough district to be a Republican Hold.

District 7
Incumbent: Nick Rush(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Montgomery County(44%), Pulaski County(36%), Floyd County(20%)
2012 election: Romney 60%/Obama 37%/Johnson 1%/Goode 1%, Allen 59%/Kaine 41%

This Western Virginia district that is close to Blacksburg has all of Floyd County and parts of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties.   Rush is running unopposed so this is a Republican hold.

District 8
Incumbent: Greg Habeeb
District link on VPAP
Localities: Roanoke County(44%), City of Salem(29%), Montgomery County(20%), Craig County(7%).
2012 elections: Romney 61%/Obama 37%, Allen 60%/Kaine 40%

This Western Virginia district which is between Blacksburg and Roanoke and includes Salem is trending slightly Democratic but it is still solid Republican.   It includes all of Craig County, parts of Montgomery and Roanoke Counties and the City of Salem.   Habeeb is running only against a Libertarian so this is a Republican Hold.

District 9
Incumbent: Charles Poindexter(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Franklin County(56%), Patrick County(24%), Henry County(20%)
2012 elections: Romney 63%/Obama 34%/Goode 2%, Allen 63%/Kaine 37%

This district which is south of Roanoke and west of Martinsville is solidly Republican, and includes all of Patrick County and parts of Frankin County and Henry County.   Poindexter seems to be running unopposed so this is a Republican Hold

District 10
Incumbent: Randy Minchew(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Loudoun County(76%), Frederick County(17%), Clarke County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 51%/Obama 47%, Allen 51%/Kaine 49%

This Northern Virginia district leans Republican and includes parts of Clarke, Frederick and Loudoun Counties.  The Democrat in this race is Monte Johnson, a firsttimer.   One of the issues that Johnson is running on his women's health and is a clear contrast with Minchew who supports forced ultrasounds.   This district has some pretty swingy parts of Loudoun County along with a few strong Democratic precincts(East Leesburg).  This is a Lean to Likely R from my view but we'll see if women want to throw out some Republicans in Northern Virginia.

District 11
Incumbent: Onzlee Ware(D)
District Link on VPAP
Locality: City of Roanoke
2012 elections: Obama 64%/Romney 34%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 66%/Allen 34%

This deep-blue district comprises of part of the City of Roanoke.   Ware is running unopposed so this is a Democratic Hold.

District 12
Incumbent: Joseph Yost(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Montgomery County(50%), Giles County(25%), City of Radford(17%), Pulaski County(7%)
2012 elections: Obama 51%/Romney 46%/Johnson 2%, Kaine 54%/Allen 64%

This is a swing district in western Virginia that includes Blacksburg and the city of Radford as well as Giles County and parts of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties.   Yost appears to have no opponent which IMO is political malpractice since it is a swing district and Obama and Kaine won this district and Yost was first elected in 2011.   Democrats need to run somebody here in 2015.   This district is likely a Tossup if it were contested.

District 13
Incumbent: Bob Marshall(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Prince William County(85%), City Of Manassas Park(15%)
2012 elections: Obama 55%/Romney 44%, Kaine 55%/Allen 45%

This Northern Virginia district is represented by a longtime Republican incumbent.   Until recently, there was a Democratic challenger as there should be since this district leans D.   This district includes part of Prince William County and the City of Manassas Park.   This should be another top target come 2015.

District 14
Incumbent: Danny Marshall(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: City Of Danville(54%), Pittsylvania County(27%), Henry County(20%)
2012 Elections:  Romney 49%/Obama 49%, Allen 50%/Kaine 50%

This Southern Virginia district which includes Danville and parts of Henry and Pittsylvania Counties ever so slightly leans Republican but is a swing district.   And there is a Democrat running in this district named Gary Miller.  Miller is Danville's Vice-Mayor and looks like a good candidate for a tough race.

District 15
Incumbent: Todd Gilbert(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Shenandoah County(52%), Page County(30%), Warren County(12%), Rockingham County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 65%/Obama 33%, Allen 65%/Kaine 35%

This Shenandoah Valley district includes all of Page and Shenandoah Counties as well as parts of Rockingham and Warren Counties.   Gilbert has a primary opponent named Mark Prince, and since they are the only ones running, Republican Hold

District 16
Incumbent: Donald Merricks(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Pittsylvania County(53%), Henry County(30%), City of Martinsville(17%)
2012 elections: Romney 56%/Obama 42%/Goode 2%, Allen 57%/Kaine 43%

This district which includes the solidly-Democratic city of Martinsville is still solid red. The district also has parts of Henry and Pittsylvania Counties.   Merricks declined to run for re-election and so two Republicans are vying for these seat(no Democrat appears to be running).  The GOP primary is June 11, 2013 between an attorney named Lee Adams and a former Pittsylvania County Economic Director named Kenneth Bowman.   This should be a target come 2015.

District 17
Incumbent: Chris Head(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Roanoke County(74%), City of Roanoke(20%), Botetourt County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 59%/Obama 39%, Allen 58%/Kaine 41%

This western Virginia district which includes parts of Botetourt and Roanoke County as well as the swing and Republican parts of the city of Roanoke will feature a re-match between Head and Democrat Freeda Cathcart.  I commend Cathcart for contending this race.   It looks Likely to Safe Republican however.

District 18
Incumbent: Michael Webert(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Fauquier County(53%), Warren County(21%), Culpeper County(16%), Rappahannock County(10%)
2012 elections: Romney 58%/Obama 40%/Johnson 1%, Allen 58%/Kaine 42%

This north central Virginia district includes Rappahannock County and parts of Culpeper, Fauqier and Warren Counties.   The district itself is ever so slightly trending blue in precincts in Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties.   Webert has a Democratic opponent named Colin Harris.   This looks like a Likely to Safe R.

District 19
Incumbent: Lacey Putney(I) (*caucuses with GOP)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Botetourt County(38%), Bedford County(28%), Alleghany County(20%), City of Bedford(7%), city of Covington(7%)
2012 elections: Romney 63%/Obama 35%, Allen 63%/Kaine 37%

This western Virginia district which includes the cities of Bedford and Covington as well as all of Alleghany County and parts of Bedord and Botetourt Counties will have two Republicans trying to replace the retiring Putney.   The firehouse primary is on May 7th, 2013 and is between Terry Austin, Jim Crosby, Jerry Johnson, Zachary Martin and Jim McKelvey.   There is also a Constitution Party joker running. This would technically be a GOP pickup.

GOP + 2

District 20
Incumbent: Richard Bell(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Staunton(30%), Augusta County(30%), City of Waynesboro(25%), Nelson County(12%), Highland County(4%)
2012 elections: Romney 57%/Obama 41%, Allen 58%/Kaine 42%

This western Virginia district which includes the cities of Stauton and Waynesboro as well as all of Highland County and parts of Augusta and Nelson counties has Bell running unopposed.   It's a Republican Hold.  For the record, parts of Nelson county and Stauton itself is a swing area.   Waynesboro leans Republican.  We'll see if this gets contested in 2015.

District 21
Incumbent: Ron Vllanueva(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Virginia Beach(93%), City of Chesepeake(7%)
2012 elections: Obama 52%/Romney 47%, Kaine 53%/Allen 47%

This district which has parts of Virginia Beach and a Republican precinct in Chesepeake should have been contested this year.   I hope that it is contested by a Democrat in 2015.    Republican hold(unfortunely).

District 22
Incumbent: Kathy Byron(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Bedford County(39%), City of Lynchburg(27%), Campbell County(22%), Franklin County(12%)
2012 elections: Romney 60%/Obama 38%, Allen 61%/Kaine 39%

Byron is the Republican responsible for introducing forced ultrasounds in Virginia.  This western Virginia district includes parts of the City of Lynchburg and the counties of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin.   Byron doesn't seem to have an opponent in 2013.   At least for 2015, a Democrat should make her spend money defending ultrasounds.

District 23
Incumbent: Scott Garrett(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Lynchburg(66%), Bedford County(23%), Amherst County(11%)
2012 elections: Romney 65%/Obama 33%, Allen 65%/Kaine 35%

This district which is mostly a Lynchburg district(it has part of that city) also includes parts of Amherst and Bedford counties.   Garrett is running unopposed in this very red district so it's a Republican Hold

District 24
Incumbent: Ben Cline(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Rockbridge County(29%), Amherst County(28%), Augusta County(21%), City of Buena Vista(8%),  City of Lexington(7%), Bath County(7%)
2012 elections: Romney 62%/Obama 37%, Allen 62%/Kaine 38%

This western Virginia district which includes all of Bath and Rockbridge Counties as well as the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington and parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties is blood-red and hence Cline is running unopposed.   A Republican Hold.

District 25
Incumbent: Steve Landes(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Augusta County(37%), Albemarle County(32%), Rockingham County(31%)
2012 elections: Romney 61%/Obama 37%, Allen 61%/Kaine 39%

This Blue Ridge Mountains district is very Republican and Landes is running unopposed so it is a Republican Hold.   It includes parts of Albemartle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties.

District 26
Incumbent: Tony Wilt(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localites:  City of Harrisonburg(53%), Rockingham County(47%)
2012 elections: Romney 55%/Obama 43%/Johnson 1%, Allen 57%/Kaine 43%

This Shenandoah Valley district which includes the City of Harrisonburg and parts of Rockingham County is where Harrisonburg leans Democratic and the Rockingham County parts are all strongly Republican.   By population, Harrisonburg edges out those Rockingham County parts so a moderate Democrat who can turn out the base could have a shot at this seat.   I think Hillary could win this district in 2016.   Wilt is running unopposed so this is a Republican Hold

District 27
Incumbent: Roxann Robinson(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Chesterfield County
2012 elections: Romney 53%/Obama 45%, Allen 52%/Kaine 48%.

This Richmond suburbs district includes part of Chesterfield County.  Robinson is unopposed so this is a Republican Hold.   The only time Robinson had an opponent was a special election which she won 70%.   A Democrat should take her on in a regular election because it would be much closer.

District 28
Incumbent: Bill Howell(R)-  Speaker of the House
District link on VPAP
Localities: Stafford County(91%), City of Fredericksburg(9%)
2012 elections: Obama 49%/Romney 49%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 51%/Allen 49%

Howell is a longtime incumbent and the Speaker.   Somewhat surprising for a swing district, there is a Republican primary.  Craig Ennis, who in the past has run as an Independent Green is running against Howell on taxes(calling for an end to tax hikes) and for expanding background checks on guns.  The June 11 Republican Primary should be interesting.   Does the GOP care more about taxes or guns?   The district includes part of Stafford County and strongly Democratic parts of Fredericksburg

District 29
Incumbent: Beverly Sherwood(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Frederick County(58%), City of Winchester(29%), Warren County(12%)
2012 elections: Romney 59%/Obama 38%/Johnson 1%, Allen 59%/Kaine 41%

This Shenanodah Valley district includes the City of Winchster(a swing city) and parts of Frederick and Warren Counties.   Sherwood has a Republican primary opponent named Mark Berg and no Democrat is running so this is a Republican hold

District 30
Incumbent: Ed Scott(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Orange County(43%), Culpeper County(39%), Madison County(17%)
2012 elections: Romney 56%/Obama 42%, Allen 57%/Kaine 43%

This Virginia Piedmont district has a Democrat named Traci Dippert running.   The district has all of Madison and Orange Counties as well as part of Culpeper County.   Given that it is solid Republican, this is a Likely Republican.

District 31
Incumbent: Scott Lingamfelter(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Prince William County(79%), Fauquier County(21%)
2012 elections: Obama 53%/Romney 46%, Kaine 53%/Allen 46%

This light blue district that includes part of Fauquier and Prince William counties will have a Democrat running for the seat named Jeremy McPike.  Lingamfelter is a long time incumbent and one of the Republicans that is running for Lieutenant Governor.   I'll keep on eye on this race given its very slight Democratic lean.   Lean Republican for now.

District 32
Incumbent: Tag Greason(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Loudoun County
2012 elections: Obama 52%/Romney 47%, Kaine 53%/Allen 47%

This swing district which is part of Loudoun County has Greason running unopposed.   A Democrat should run here in 2015.   Period.   Republican Hold.

District 33
Incumbent: Joe May(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Loudoun County(65%), Frederick County(23%), Clarke County(12%)
2012 elections: Romney 56%/Obama 42%/Johnson 1%, Allen 56%/Kaine 44%

This Northern Virginia district includes parts of Clarke, Frederick and Loudoun counties.   May has a Republican primary opponent named Dave LaRock who hates public transportation.   This could see May knocked out by a nutbag.   We'll see in June 2013.   Since no Democrat is running, this is a Republican Hold.

District 34
Incumbent: Barbara Comstock(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(69%), Loudoun County(31%)
2012 elections: Obama 49%/Romney 49%, Kaine 52%/Allen 47%

This Northern Virginia district includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.   This slightly leans Republican.  There is a Democrat running for this seat named Kathleen Murphy.   Murphy looks like a strong candidate and she could use the what the Republicans have done on their war on women to take it to Comstock.   Given the district's lean, this is Lean R.

District 35
Incumbent: Mark Keam(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 59%/Romney 39%, Kaine 61%/Allen 39%

Keam is running unopposed in this deep blue district in Fairfax County.   Democratic Hold.

District 36
Incumbent: Kenneth Plum(D)
District Link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 63%/Romney 35%, Kaine 65%/Allen 34%

Plum is another Democrat in a deep blue district that doesn't have an opponent.   Democratic Hold.

District 37
Incumbent: David Bulova(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(69%), City of Fairfax(31%)
2012 elections: Obama 60%/Romney 38%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 61%/Allen 39%

Bulova is running unopposed in this strongly blue district that has parts of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.  Democratic Hold

District 38
Incumbent: Kaye Kory(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 66%/Romney 33%, Kaine 67%/Allen 33%

Kory is running unopposed in this very blue district so it's a Democratic Hold.

District 39
Incumbent: Vivian Watts(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 61%/Romney 37%, Kaine 63%/Allen 37%

Watts has a Republican Some Dude opponent named Joseph Bury.   This is a strongly Democratic district and Watts is a longtime incumbent so I'm going to say Safe D.   Democratic Hold.

District 40
Incumbent: Tim Hugo(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(83%),  Prince William County(17%)
2012 elections: Romney 51%/Obama 48%, Allen 51%/Kaine 49%

This Northern Virginia district that leans Republican and includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties has a Democrat named Jerrold Foltz.   Given Hugo's large warchest and Foltz being a firstime candidate, this is a tough race to win.  Likely Republican

District 41
Incumbent: Eillen Filler-Corn(D)
District Link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 57%/Romney 41%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 59%/Allen 40%

Filler-Corn is running unopposed in this rather Democratic district.   Democratic Hold.

District 42
Incumbent: Dave Albo(R)
District Link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 52%/Romney 46%, Kaine 54%/Allen 46%

This swing district has a Democrat named Ed Deitsch running against Albo.   If Virginians are feeling like kicking off some GOPers over choice, I can see Deitsch having a chance.   For now, Lean R.

District 43
Incumbent: Mark Sickles(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 64%/Romney 34%, Kaine 66%/Allen 34%

Sickles is unopposed in this very strongly Democratic district.   Democratic Hold.

District 44
Incumbent: Scott Surovell(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Fairfax County
2012 elections: Obama 64%/Romney 34%, Kaine 65%/Allen 35%

Surovell is running unopposed in this quite strongly Democratic district.   Democratic Hold.

District 45
Incumbent: Rob Krupicka(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Alexandria(73%), Arlington County(19%), Fairfax County(8%)
2012 elections: Obama 67%/Romney 31%, Kaine 70%/Allen 30%

In the extremely strong Democratic district in Northern Virginia that includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax Counties as well as part of the City of Alexandria, Krupicka has a Some Dude independent opponent named Jeff Engle.   I don't see Krupicka having a problem here.   Democratic Hold.

District 46
Incumbent: Charniele Herring(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Alexandria
2012 elections: Obama 74%/Romney 25%, Kaine 75%/Allen 25%

Herring is running unopposed in this deep, deep blue district that is in part of the City of Alexandria.   Democratic Hold

District 47
Incumbent: Patrick Hope(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Arlington County
2012 elections: Obama 66%/Romney 32%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 69%/Allen 31%

Hope only has a Libertarian opponent in this very strongly Democratic district.   Democratic Hold.

District 48
Incumbent: Bob Brink(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Arlington County(69%), Fairfax County(31%)
2012 elections: Obama 62%/Romney 37%, Kaine 64%/Allen 35%

Brink is running against some Libertarian.   This is a strongly Democratic district and I don't see Brink having any trouble.   Democratic Hold.

District 49
Incumbent: Alfonso Lopez(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Arlington County(77%), Fairfax County(23%)
2012 elections: Obama 73%/Romney 25%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 75%/Allen 25%

In this deep, deep blue district, Lopez only has an opponent who is an Independent Green, which are basically Republicans who love the environment.  Lopez should cruise to victory.  Democratic hold.

District 50
Incumbent: Jackson Miller(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Prince William County(51%), City of Manassas(49%)
2012 elections: Obama 54%/Romney 44%, Kaine 54%/Allen 45%

Democrats let another Republican in an Obama district off easy.   This Northern Virginia district which includes part of Prince William County and all of the City of Manassas, which is Democratic voting.  Since Miller is running unopposed, Republican Hold

District 51
Incumbent: Richard Anderson(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Prince William County
2012 elections: Obama 51%/Romney 47%, Kaine 52%/Allen 48%

In this swing district, Anderson has a Democratic opponent named Reed Heddleston.  Heddleston is running on transportation as his big issue and he strikes a moderate profile.   Lean Republican(for now)

District 52
Incumbent: Luke Torian(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Prince William County
2012 elections: Obama 73%/Romney 26%, Kaine 72%/Allen 27%

Torian is unopposed in this very strong Democratic district.   Democratic Hold

District 53
Incumbent: Jim Scott(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(82%), City of Falls Church(18%)
2012 elections: Obama 65%/Romney 33%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 67%/Allen 33%

Scott is retiring, and the only candidate is a Democrat named Marcus Simon.   Democratic Hold.

District 54
Incumbent: Bobby Orrock(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Spotsylvania County(97%), Caroline County(3%)
2012 elections: Romney 53%/Obama 46%, Allen 53%/Kaine 47%

This central Virginia district that includes part of Spotsylvania County and Caroline Counties has a long time Republican incumbent challenged by a Tea Party nut named Dustin Curtis.   Even if this district is somewhat Republican, I can imagine that this district can be contested in 2015 against a freshman Tea Partier.    Republican Hold.

District 55
Incumbent: John Cox(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Hanover County(65%), Caroline County(24%), Spotsylvania County(11%)
2012 elections: Romney 59%/Obama 40%, Allen 57%/Kaine 42%

In this solidly Republican district that includes parts of Caroline, Hanover and Spotsylvania counties, there are two candidates, Buddy Fowler, a Republican and Chris Sullivan, a Libertarian.   Odds are that the Republican wins.   Republican Hold.  

District 56
Incumbent: Peter Farrell(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Louisa County(41%), Henrico County(36%), Goochland County(17%), Spotsylvania County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 61%/Obama 37%, Allen 59%/Kaine 41%

Farrell is unopposed in this strong Republican district in Central Virginia that has all of Louisa County and parts of Goochland, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties.   Republican Hold

District 57
Incumbent: David Toscano(D)- Minority Leader
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Charlottesville(54%), Albemarle County(48%)
2012 elections: Obama 69%/Romney 29%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 72%/Allen 27%

Toscano is unopposed in this strongly Democratic district that includes the very blue city of Charlottesville and parts of Albemarle County.   Democratic Hold.

District 58
Incumbent: Rob Bell(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Albemarle County(48%), Fluvanna County(23%), Greene County(22%), Rockingham County(14%)
2012 elections: Romney 58%/Obama 41%, Allen 58%/Allen 42%

In this solid Republican district in the Piedmont regions that includes parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Rockingham counties, Bell is unopposed.   Republican Hold

District 59
Incumbent: Matt Fariss(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Campbell County(38%), Appomattox County(20%), Buckingham County(20%), Albemarle County(12%), Nelson County(10%)
2012 elections: Romney 59%/Obama 40%, Allen 59%/Kaine 40%

This solid Republican district in the Piedmont that has all of Appomattox and Buckingham counties as well as parts of Albemarle, Campbell and Nelson counties has Fariss running unopposed.   For the record, the Albemarle county parts are blue, Nelson and Buckingham are swing and Appomattox and Campbell are the very red parts.   Republican Hold

District 60
Incumbent: James Edmunds(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Halifax County(47%), Prince Edward County(27%), Charlotte County(17%), Campbell County(9%)
2012 elections: Romney 51%/Obama 47%, Allen 53%/Kaine 47%

In this Republican leaning district that is east of Danville and includes all of Charlotte, Halifax and Prince Edward counties as well as part of Campbell County, there is a Democrat running named Jasper Hendricks.   This looks like a Likely Republican to me.

District 61
Incumbent: Tommy Wright(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Mecklenburg County(42%), Nottoway County(18%), Amelia County(16%), Cumberland County(13%), Lunenburg County(11%)
2012 elections: Romney 54%/Obama 44%, Allen 56%/Kaine 44%

This Southside district that has all of Amelia, Cumberland, Mecklenburg and Nottoway counties as well as part of Lunenburg County has Wright running unopposed.   Republican Hold

District 62
Incumbent: Riley Ingram(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Chesterfield County(64%), City of Hopewell(20%), Henrico County(12%), Prince George County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 53%/Obama 46%, Allen 53%/Kaine 47%

This Richmond suburbs district with parts of Chesterfield, Henrico and Prince George counties as well as part of the City of Hopewell has Ingram running unopposed.   Republican Hold

District 63
Incumbent: Rosalyn Dance(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Petersburg(42%), Dinwiddle County(23%), Chesterfield County(17%), Prince George County(9%), City of Hopewell(8%)
2012 elections: Obama 72%/Romney 27%, Kaine 72%/Allen 28%

This extremely strong Democratic district that is the City of Petersburg plus parts of Chestefield, Dinwiddle and Prince George counties as well as part of the City of Hopewell has Dance unopposed. Dance has a primary opponent named Evandra Thompson who is primarying her from the left and has some establishment support.  Democratic Hold

District 64
Incumbent: Rick Morris(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Isle of Wright County(44%), Prince George County(24%), City of Suffolk(9%), Surry County(9%), Southhampton County(8%), City of Franklin(5%), Sussex County(2%)
2012 elections: Romney 58%/Obama 41%, Allen 57%/Kaine 42%

This Tidewater district that is made up of parts of Isle of Wright, Prince George, Southhampton, Surry and Sussex counties as well as parts of the cities of Franklin and Suffolk has Morris unopposed.   Republican Hold

District 65
Incumbent: Lee Ware(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Chesterfield Count(46%), Powhatan County(33%), Goochland County(13%), Fluvanna County(9%)
2012 elections: Romney 64%/Obama 34%, Allen 63%/Kaine 37%

This strongly Republican district actually has a Democrat trying for it.   William Quarles is running against Ware.   This district contains all of Powhatan County and parts of Chestefield, Goochland and Fluvanna.   This is almost a Safe R in my mind.

District 66
Incumbent: Kirk Cox(R)-Majority Leader
Distirct link on VPAP
Localities: Chesterfield County(78%), City of Colonial Heights(22%)
2012 elections: Romney 62%/Obama 37%, Allen 61%/Kaine 39%

This Richmond suburbs distrct includes part of Chesterfield County and all of the City of Colonial Heights.   Cox is unopposed.   Republican Hold

District 67
Incumbent: James LeMunyon(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(91%), Loudoun County(9%)
2012 elections: Obama 53%/Romney 45%, Kaine 55%/Allen 45%

This is a Lean Democratic district in Northern Virginia and yet again the Democrats aren't running somebody.   Republican Hold.

District 68
Incumbent: Manoli Loupassi(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Chesterfield County(52%), City of Richmond(43%), Henrico County(6%)
2012 elections: Romney 54%/Obama 44%/Johnson 1%, Allen 51%/Kaine 49%

This somewhat Republican district that includes part of Richmond and its suburbs in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties has Loupassi with an Independent candidate named John Maloney against him.  This basically seems Safe R to me.   Republican Hold.

District 69
Incumbent: Betsy Carr(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Richmond(94%), Chesterfield County(6%)
2012 elections: Obama 85%/Romney 14%, Kaine 85%/Allen 14%

The laughably lopsided numbers for Obama and Kaine speak for themselves.   Democratic Hold.

District 70
Incumbent: Delores McQuinn(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Henrico County(41%), Chesterfield County(40%), City of Richmond(19%)
2012 elections: Obama 79%/Romney 20%, Kaine 80%/Allen 20%

The laughably lopsided Obama and Kaine numbers make this a Democratic Hold.

District 71
Incumbent: Jennifer McClellan(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Richmond(92%), Henrico County(8%)
2012 elections: Obama 85%/Romney 13%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 87%/Allen 13%

Yet another Richmond district with very lopsided Obama and Kaine numbers.   Democratic Hold.

District 72
Incumbent: Jimmie Massie(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Henrico County
2012 elections: Romney 54%/Obama 44%, Allen 52%/Kaine 48%.

Massie is unopposed in this somewhat Republican district.  Republican Hold.

District 73
Incumbent: John O'Bannon(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Henrico County
2012 elections: Romney 52%/Obama 46%/Johnson 1%, Allen 50%/Kaine 50%

In this Lean Republican district, O'Bannon is unopposed.   Democrats should look at this district come 2015.

District 74
Incumbent: Joseph Morrissey(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Henrico County(87%), Charles City County(10%), City of Richmond(3%)
2012 elections: Obama 74%/Romney 25%, Kaine 75%/Allen 25%

Given the lopsided Obama and Kaine numbers this is a Democratic Hold.

District 75
Incumbent: Roslyn Tyler(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Brunswick County(23%), Southampton County(16%), Greensville County(14%), Dinwiddle County(13%), Sussex County(12%), City of Emporia(8%), City of Franklin(7%), Lunenburg County(5%), Isle of Wright County(1%), Surry County(1%)
2012 elections: Obama 62%/Romney 37%, Kaine 61%/Allen 39%

This strong Democrat district in Southside Virginia includes the whole of Brunswick and Greensvile Counties as well as parts of Dinwiddle, Isle of Wright, Lunenburg, Southampton, Sussex and Surry counties as well as all of the City of Emporia and part of the city of Franklin.   Tyler is unopposed so this is a Democratic Hold.

District 76
Incumbent: Chris Jones(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Suffolk(63%), City of Chesapeake(37%)
2012 elections: Romney 54%/Obama 44%, Allen 53%/Kaine 47%

Jones has a Constitution Party opponent in this somewhat Republican district that is amde up of parts of the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake.   Republican Hold.

District 77
Incumbent: Lionel Spruill(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Chesapeake(77%), City of Suffolk(23%)
2012 elections: Obama 77%/Romney 22%, Kaine 77%/Allen 23%

The lopsided numbers for Democrats in this district means a Democratic Hold.

District 78
Incumbent: John Cosgrove(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Chesapeake
2012 elections: Romney 60%/Obama 38%, Allen 59%/Kaine 41%

Cosgrove is running unopposed so Republican Hold

District 79
Incumbent: Johnny Joannou(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Portsmouth(75%), City of Norfolk(25%)
2012 elections: Obama 61%/Romney 37%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 63%/Allen 37%

This is a strongly Democratic district and Joannou is unopposed.   Democratic Hold.

District 80
Incumbent: Matthew James(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Portsmouth(71%), City of Suffolk(15%), City of Chesapeake(9%), City of Norfolk(5%)
2012 elections: Obama 74%/Romney 25%, Kaine 74%/Allen 26%

The lopsided Obama and Kaine numbers and that James is unopposed means this is a Democratic Hold

District 81
Incumbent: Barry Knight(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Virginia Beach(57%), City of Chesapeake(43%)
2012 elections: Romney 57%/Obama 41%/Johnson 1%, Allen 56%/Kaine 43%

This strong Republican district has Knight unopposed.   Republican Hold.

District 82
Incumbent: Harry Purkey(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: Virginia Beach
2012 elections: Romney 58%/Obama 40%, Allen 56%/Kaine 44%

This is an open seat since Purkey is retiring.  A Virginia Beach Councilman who is a Republican named Bill DeSteph is running for this seat.   A Democrat named Bill Fleming is running for this seat.  He's a DFA-endorsed one too.   Given this district, it's a Likely Republican though

District 83
Incumbent: Chris Stolle(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Virginia Beach(61%), City of Norfolk(39%)
2012 elections: Romney 52%/Obama 46%, Allen 51%/Kaine 49%

This Lean Republican district has Stolle running unopposed.   Republican Hold.

District 84
Incumbent: Sal Iaquinto(R)
District link on VPAP
Localitiy: City of Virginia Beach
2012 elections: Romney 50%/Obama 49%, Kaine 50%/Allen 49%

This swing/tilt R district shows that Democracy for America is all talk and no walk.   This is a frigging open seat and no Democrat is running in it.   Just some Republican named Glenn Davis.  Republican Hold.

District 85
Incumbent: Bob Tata(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Virginia Beach
2012 elections: Obama 49%/Romney 49%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 51%/Allen 49%

This is an open seat, and the Democrat running is Bill Dale.   There are three Republicans running in the primary: Gary Byler, Scott Taylor and Jeremy Waters.  Dale seems like a lightweight so this is Lean Republican.

District 86
Incumbent: Tom Rust(R)
District Link on VPAP
Localities: Fairfax County(87%), Loudoun County(13%)
2012 elections: Obama 60%/Romney 39%, Kaine 61%/Allen 39%

This Northern Virginia district that is somewhat Democratic has two Democrats vying to take down Rust.  Jennifer Boysko (DFA-endorsed) and Herb Kemp.   Boysko seems to be the better fundraiser but both sound like good Dems.  Rust is an anti-choicer and I feel optimistic about Democrat's chances here.  Lean Democratic so possible Democratic pickup

(net change: GOP down to +1)

District 87
Incumbent: David Ramadan(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Loudoun County(86%), Prince William County(14%)
2012 elections: Obama 56%/Romney 43%, Kaine 56%/Allen 43%

Ramadan will be a tough one to beat, he's got a great profile for a Republican and he could become a Congressman someday.   John Bell is the Democrat who is running against him.  Bell is DFA-endorsed.   This district is Lean Democratic so Bell has a chance.   Thinking Lean R to Likely R, I'll put it as Lean R for now since Bell appears to fundraise well.

District 88
Incumbent: Mark Cole(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Spotsylvania County(39%), Stafford County(31%), City of Fredericksburg(19%), Fauquier County(12%)
2012 elections: Romney 56%/Obama 43%, Allen 55%/Kaine 44%

Cole is running unopposed so this is a Republican Hold

District 89
Incumbent: Daun Hester(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Norfolk
2012 elections: Obama 80%/Romney 18%, Kaine 81%/Allen 19%

Hester is unopposed so this a Democratic Hold

District 90
Incumbent: Algie Howell(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Norfolk(60%), City of Virginia Beach(40%)
2012 elections: Obama 79%/Romney 20%, Kaine 79%/Allen 21%

Looks like another Democratic primary between Howell and Some Dude named Rick James.   Democratic Hold regardless.

District 91
Incumbent: Gordon Helsel(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Hampton(54%), York County(29%), City of Poquoson(17%)
2012 elections: Romney 55%/Obama 43%/Johnson 1%, Allen 54%/Kaine 45%

Helsel is unopposed so this is a Republican Hold

District 92
Incumbent: Jeion Ward(D)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Hampton
2012 elections: Obama 79%/Romney 19%, Kaine 79%/Allen 21%

Ward is unopposed so this is a Democratic Hold

District 93
Incumbent: Mike Watson(R)
District link on VPAP
Localities: City of Newport News(42%), James City County(29%), City of Williamsburg(19%), York County(12%)
2012 elections: Obama 57%/Romney 42%, Kaine 58%/Allen 41%

This Williamsburg and parts of James City and York counties as well as part of the City of Newport News district is Lean Democratic and Watson has a Democratic challenger named Monty Mason.  I'm going to call this race a Lean R for now.

District 94
Incumbent: David Yancey(R)
District link on VPAP
Locality: City of Newport News
2012 elections: Obama 52%/Romney 46%/Johnson 1%, Kaine 53%/Allen 46%

Yancey has a Democratic challenger in Robert Farinholt.  This is a swing district, but given Yancey's incumbency this is a Lean R.

District 95
Incumbent: Mamye BaCote(D)
Localities: City of Newport News(80%), City of Hampton(20%)

The VPAP page for this really needs work.   BaCote seem unopposed so Democratic Hold.

District 96
Incumbent: Brenda Pogge(R)
Localities: James City County(59%), York County(41%)

VPAP page on this also needs some work.   Pogge seems unopposed so Republican Hold

District 97
Incumbent: Chris Peace(R)
Localities: Hanover County(62%), New Kent County(23%), King William County(14%)

Sorry VPAP page doesn't give me much info.   Peace seems unopposed so Republican Hold

District 98
Incumbent: Keith Hodges(R)
Localities: Gloucester County(46%), Middlesex County(14%), Essex County(13%), Mathews County(13%), King and Queen County(9%), King William County(5%)

The wikipedia page on Hodges makes it sound like a strongly Republican district.   Republican Hold.

District 99
Incumbent: Margaret Ransome(R)
Localities: King George County(27%), Westmoreland County(22%), Northumberland County(18%), Lancaster County(17%), Richmond County(10%), Caroline County(8%)

Seems like another strongly Republican one with Ransome's wikipedia page.   Republican Hold

District 100
Incumbent: Lynwood Lewis(D)
District link on VPAP
Localities: Accomack County(45%), City of Norfolk(37%), Northampton County(18%)
2012 elections: Obama 54%/Romney 44%, Kaine 55%/Allen 45%

Lewis is unopposed so this is a Democratic Hold.

Conclusions, Projection and links below the orange squiggle

Continue Reading

And now the count of jokers that somehow got a medical degree is two for the Republicans in the Georgia Senate race now that noted Todd Akin defender Phil Gingrey has officially announced his candidacy for Senate.

The article has a sampling of Gingrey's remarks(which is linked in a pdf)

It’s time for Georgians to again send a tested, trusted conservative to the U.S. Senate who will work with Johnny Isakson, and with a sense of urgency, to reward the trust Georgians place in him with action and results, immediately."
You cannot really get more conservative than saying that Akin partially got the biology of women's bodies correct although Gingrey did somewhat retract that statement with his "recent events" hilarity in which Gingrey means recent by geological scale.

Apparently, Congressman Gingrey has time to root for American soccer, but no time for actually fixing the sequester by well...repealing it which would likely only take five minutes.  

So we'll see if Paul "Evolution from the Pit of Hell" Broun or Phil "Todd Akin was totally right" Gingrey manages to be King (Loser) of the Hill in the likely GOP clown car primary.   The circus is just beginning to come to town in Georgia, and I can't wait to see what the Tea Party and Club for Growth will give us as far as GOP fail.

Discuss

As I begin my second in a monthly(eventually bi-weekly) series on predictions in the 2014 midterms and looking at the gubernatorial picture, in the month since I did my first predictions diary, things have looked better for the Democrats and if your name is Tom Corbett or Rick Scott, then you are in deep trouble.   It remains to be seen if Corbett or Scott will have a toxic effect on Republicans downballot(that could help regain a few House seats).

Sabato and Rothenberg have added their ratings since my last update.   Cook still hasn't updated his December ratings.   The current Governor and their party will be in parathesis after the name of their state.

Alabama(Bentley-R)

Nothing has changed here since last month.   It's Alabama and any action would likely be on the Republican side.   Alabama is a consensus Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Alaska(Parnell-R)

Not much change here either.   Parnell is almost a certain lock for re-election if he runs.   The consensus is that it is a Safe R state.

Prediction: Likely Republican(will change to Safe R once Parnell makes it official)

Arizona(Brewer-R)

The biggest news in the month since I last looked at this race was that Richard Carmona won't run for Governor.   It's too bad, but I suppose he would do better in 2016 if he ran again if McCain retired.   The only declared Republican is a former mayor of Tempe(Hugh Hallman).   There are some potential Democrats who have yet to declare or decline including a State Rep(Chad Campbell), a few former mayors(Neil Guiliano and Marco Lopez) and a current Mayor(Greg Stanton).   There is also a former Arizona Board of Regents Chairman named Fred Duval.   The GOP primary could be a clown car.  Sabato and Rothenberg call it Lean R while Cook said Likely R.

Prediction: Lean Republican.

Arkansas(Beebe-D)

Since I last updated, Arkansas went off the rails with a clearly unconstitutional abortion ban that Beebe had vetoed, and the legislature overrid it. Bill Halter is the only Democratic declared candidate so far, but there are still rumors that Blue Dog and overall dumbass peckerhead Mike Ross(who retired after Arkansas Democrats had went through the work to make sure that Ross could keep a gerrymandered district) will run.   I strongly prefer Halter and I will admit my personal bias there.   There are two declared Republicans:  Curtis Coleman and Asa Hutchinson.   Hutchinson is the establishment favorite.  Some fly-by-night polling place called Talk Business/Hendrix College did a general election around when I posted my last diary.   It had Hutchinson beating Halter 47-31 and beating Ross 43-38.   Yes, that poll does help a Ross run(if it were to be believed).   Sabato thinks Lean R and Cook and Rothenberg think Tossup.

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt R.   Possible GOP pickup(we'll see if the GOP wants Hutchinson or a Tea Partier)

California(Brown-D)

Only two big questions:   Will Brown retire?   And will Donnelly be the GOP nominee?  However, it doesn't really change that this state won't be electing a Republican Governor.   Donnelly could have a bad downballot effect on Republicans especially those in districts with a substantial amount of Hispanic voters.   Consensus is that this is Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Colorado(Hickenlooper-D)

Not much change here.   I guess I didn't notice that some Libertarian is running in 2014 but that would be a spoiler if the Republicans had a good moderate to survive their clown car primaries.    The Colorado GOP has mucho problems and besides two very red county sheriffs making noise about state gun laws, no blowback on gun safety.   Hickenlooper is in good shape, and should not be primaried despite what one suspictious "Democrat" on this site thinks.   Consensus is Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic(change from Likely Democratic. Could change back)

Connecticut(Malloy-D)

Not a lot of change here either.   Vaguely remember some Quinnipiac polls that had differing approval numbers for Malloy.   Looks like Tom Foley is declared on the Republican side.   Budget unhappiness aside, I think the GOP has to deal with their gun temper tantrums and their Sandy dickish and neither plays well in the Nutmeg State.   Sabato has it Lean D while Cook and Rothenberg have it Likely D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic.

Florida(Scott-R)

Scott has had a bad month since I last looked at this race.   His approval numbers are going further in the toilet and he had his Lt. Gov. resign in disgrace.   The only good news for Scott is that he still beats Nan Rich(the only declared Democrat) in PPP's poll of Florida(warning: contains pdf) this week by 42-36(that is still a bad number when he only get to 42).   The very bad news is that Charlie Crist beats him solidly in two polls(PPP's and Quinnipiac's).   PPP has Crist leading 52-40(say good night, Rick!) and Quinnipiac 50-34(ouch!   And any one who can do math can tell you that 50% wins when there is a declared Libertarian candidate).   Scott lost some Tea Party support over his now support of Medicaid expansion.   Looks like Governor Voldemort has had most of his Horcruxes destroyed.   Cook had it as a Lean R while Sabato and Rothenberg say Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Democratic(change from Tossup/Tilt D).   Democratic pickup.

Georgia(Deal-R)

No real change here.   Deal's approval numbers aren't that good but I find it hard for any Democrat to seriously challenge Deal.   Consensus is Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican.

Hawaii(Abercrombie-D)

Hawaii is notoriously hard to poll and Colleen Hanabusa had a private poll done and it shows that he would beat Abercrombie by a solid margin.   It seems like Hanabusa is more likely to focus on the Governor's mansion that the Senate.   The Hawaii GOP is very thin and almost a non-factor.   Sabato has it Lean D while Cook and Rothenberg Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic.

Idaho(Otter-R)

Not much change here.   Looks like any action would be on the Republican side as Democratic chances look slim.   Consensus is Safe R,

Prediction: Safe Republican

Illinois(Quinn-D)

Quinn is still toast.   Dick Durbin refused to endorse Quinn for re-election and Lisa Madigan seems poised to take him down in a primary(Durbin had nice words for Madigan, another sign that he knows which way the wind is blowing).   Madigan smashes most Republicans and beats them all,  Quinn has lots of trouble beating them.  Sabato and Rothenberg has this as Likely D while Cook a Lean D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic(since Madigan will defeat Quinn).   Change from Lean D.

Iowa(Branstad-R)

Not a lot of change here.   Branstad still in good position against most Democrats.   We'll see if Steve King hurts him as the Senate candidate for the Republicans like Mourdock was a slight drag on Pence.   Cook and Sabato have this as Likely R while Rothenberg as Lean R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Kansas(Brownback-R).

Turns out that Brownback isn't as popular as I thought according to PPP's Kansas poll.  He only leads some Democrats by single digits.   Consensus is still Safe R.   Perhaps it shouldn't be.

Prediction: Likely Republican(based on PPP's poll).   Change from Safe R.

Maine(LePage-R)

Looks like Democrats are going to take it scumbag third-party spoiler Cutler.   Democrats have two declared candidates(A state Rep named David Slagger and a Yarmouth Town Council member named Steve Woods).   Tons of other potential Democrats.   I want Dems to nuke Cutler for jumping into a race where if it were a Democrat and LePage, LePage would lose.   Looks like they could.   Cook has this as Lean R while Sabato and Rothenberg have this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Republican(Cutler still a problem to flipping this seat).   Change from Likely R.

Maryland(O'Malley-D)

Not a lot of change here.   Maryland is a blue state, and the Republicans don't have that many strong candidates.   Cook and Rothenberg say Safe D, while Sabato says Lean D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Massachusetts(Patrick-D)

OK, here's the deal.   Scott Brown isn't running.   He hasn't said so but his actions(Fox News, lobbyist job) say that he won't ever run for office again.   Thus, Republicans have a weaker hand but they still have a few potential challegers.   So far the only declared Democrat is a Some Dude, but many good potential Democrats.   Cook said Safe D, Rothenberg Likely D and Sabato has this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Likely Democratic(default until the field on both sides is better defined.   Brown being out makes it easier for Democrats).   Change from Lean D.

Michigan(Snyder-R).

Snyder's odds of re-election got slightly better since last month.   PPP (warning: contains PDF)had his approval have a slight uptick from the pits it was in December and two of his strongest challengers won't take him on(Peters is running for Senate to replace Levin and Bernero declined to run).   The remaining polled opponent, Mark Schauer still beats him in a head-to head but less than in December.  The March PPP poll has Schauer winning 40-36 with 24% undecided.   Since the field is better defined, I know have a better picture of this race.   Cook had this as Likely R, Sabato as Lean R and Rothenberg as a Tossup

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D (change from Lean R).   Possible Democratic pickup

Minnesota(Dayton-D)

Not much change here.   Dayton still crushes all GOP and the Minnesota GOP sucks right now.   Sabato has this a Likely D while Cook and Rothenberg says Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Nebraska(Heineman-R)

Not much change here either.   Could be crowded primary on both sides, but this is a red state.   Sabato has it as Likely R while Cook and Rothenberg say Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Nevada(Sandoval-R)

Not much change here either.   Sandoval in very good position as he crushes Democrats in polling.   2018 looks much better for Democrats if Democrats win the Lt. Gov. race.  Sabato has it as Likely R while Cook and Rothenberg say Lean R

Prediction: Likely Republican

New Hampshire(Hassan-D)

Not much change here.   Social issues are likely to haunt Republicans.   New Hampshire tends to swing more Republican in midterms, but the GOP could be killing themselves off in New England.   Consensus is Likely D

Prediction: Likely Democratic (change from Lean D)

New Mexico(Martinez-R)

Not much change here either.   I could only find that in July 2012, PPP found that Martinez would defeat Gary King 51-39.   PPP needs to do an updated poll, stat.   King is a declared Democratic candidate.   Cook had this a Lean R while Sabato and Rothenberg have it as Likely R.

Prediction: Likely Republican (change from Lean R)

New York(Cuomo-D)

Again, not a lot of change here.   Cuomo's numbers are still good(there was fantastic post- Sandy pre-gun bill).  Somebody took issue with the "Safe D" label of Cuomo.   Well, Cuomo is a Democrat although a corporatist one like Cory Booker is.   I still wouldn't bet against Cuomo.   Consensus is Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic (change from Likely Democratic)

Ohio(Kasich-R)

Hey Republicans, are you still sure you don't want Richard Cordray at the CFPB?   After I posted my diary last month, there was a Quinnipiac poll done.   Kasich has leads on all Democrats but Cordray is Kasich's strongest opponent only trailing him 44-38(and an incumbent only managing 44 is bad news for him).   If I were the national GOP, I'd just vote Cordray into the CFPB so he can't become the next governor of Ohio and become this cycle's Elizabeth Warren.  Tim Ryan is now out so there are only three potential Dems to challenge Kasich(Cordray,  Ed FitzGerald and Betty Sutton).   Kasich better hope that his opponent is FitzGerald.  Cook and Sabato have it Lean R while Rothenberg has it as a Tossup.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt R (Cordray could be this cycle's Elizabeth Warren).   Change from Lean R.   Possible Democratic pickup.

Oklahoma(Fallin-R).

Oklahoma's a snoozer.    Consensus Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Oregon(Kitzhaber-D)

Oregon also a snoozer.  Oregon GOP is weak.   Consensus Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Pennsylvania(Corbett-R)

Since my diary last month, Corbett's chances of reelection are sinking.   Allyson Schwartz, a strong Democratic candidate seems very ready to declare.   Harper thinks that Joe Sestak would win a close primary against Schwartz.  One of the declared candidates, Hanger ties Corbett in the latest Quinnipiac poll while Hanger beats Corbett in PPP's March poll(contains PDF).   Quinnpiac and PPP both have Schwartz defeating Corbett.   42-39 and 45-34 respectively.   Sestak would also beat Corbett in both polls.  47-38 and 45-34 respectively.   Consensus is a Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Democratic(change from Tossup/Tilt D).   Democratic pickup

Rhode Island(Chafee-I)

Not much change here.   Chafee's chances of re-election don't look good.   So far there are three Declared Republicans and one declared Democrat(but there are some other potential Democrats including Chafee who is a D all but in name).   Consensus is Tossup

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt D (could be a technical Democratic pickup).

South Carolina(Haley-R)

Haley is vulnerable to a primary or a general election against Vincent Shaheen.   Not much change here though.  Cook had it as Safe R while Sabato and Rothenberg have it as Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican (change from Likely R)

South Dakota(Daugaard-R)

Daugaard seems poised for re-election.   I wonder if choice will have any effect in South Dakota in 2014.   Consensus is Safe R.

Prediction:  Safe Republican

Tennessee(Haslam-R)

Seems like Tennessee will remain in GOP hands.   Consensus Safe R

Prediction:  Safe Republican

Texas(Perry-R)

Seems like Perry might have a tough go at it in the primary especially against Greg Abbott.   Democrats could have a tough time in the general since it looks like Bill White is not interested.   We'll see if Battleground Texas will reap any dividends for 2014.   Cook had this as Likely R while Sabato and Rothenberg say Safe R

Prediction: Likely Republican

Vermont(Shumlin-D)

Looks like Vermont will keep a Democrat in the Governor's mansion.    Consensus is Safe D

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Wisconsin(Walker-R)

PPP's February poll (warning:  contains PDF)which wasn't done when I did my last diary showed that Walker's approval is underwater(net negative) and that Russ Feingold would defeat him 49-47.    Ron Kind is his next strongest opponent only trailing by 4:  46-42.   Peter Barca's numbers are also pretty good, only trails by 5:  48-43.    Walker is vulnerable.   Consenus is Likely R

Prediction:  Lean Republican(could change to Tossup/Tilt D with Feingold or Kind).

Wyoming(Mead-R).

Any action would likely be on the Republican side.   It's also Wyoming, a deep red state.   Consensus Safe R.

Prediction:   Safe Republican.

Conclusions:  Four incumbents looks like they're going down.   Pat Quinn, Lincoln Chafee, Rick Scott and Tom Corbett.   Of this, it's all bad news for Republicans.   Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin all have vulnerable Republicans and I will watch to see if Democrats have a better shot at flipping those.   Arkansas could be the Republicans only gain.   With them losing in Florida and Pennsylvania, 2014 is not looking good for the GOP in this aspect.   We could possibly see six Democratic pickups in this cycle as far as governors go.   Stay tuned, this could be much more exciting that the Senate or House races.

Project net change: +2 Dem
Democratic Pickups:   PA, FL

Poll

Who is more toast?

53%23 votes
34%15 votes
2%1 votes
9%4 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Last month, I started what will be a monthly(and eventually bi-weekly) series on the everchanging 2014 picture.   Since one of the 2013 special elections in the House looks to be competitive, I will add that race to my predictions list(The other two seem predictable:  Democratic nominee Robin Kelly will become Rep.  Robin Kelly and the Republican will win the Missouri 8th).

I realize that it is still very early in the 2014 cycle, and the picture could become more favorable to either party as time goes on.   However,  I still believe the chances of a Democratic hold in the Senate are still quite good.

The U.S Senate
Currently the Senate makeup is 55 Democratic-aligned(53 D and 2 I that caucus with the Democratic Party) and 45 Republicans.   There will be 35 Senate election in 2014(33 are the normal Class II elections and 2 are special elections).   So far there have been six retirements announced, 4 are Democrats(Rockefeller, Harkin, Lautenberg and Levin) and 2 Republicans(Chambliss and Johannes).

AK-Sen:  Not much has changed in this race since last month.   Begich heads into 2014 with good approval numbers and decent leads on all but 1 candidate who likely isn't running(Parnell).   Joe Miller is very interested in running, and this is good news for Begich since Miller is unpopular with Alaskans.   At this point, I am not that worried about Alaska.   Cook, Nate Silver and Rothenberg all say Lean D and Sabato has this as a Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

AR-Sen:   Another month and still no poll from PPP(I'd even take a Harper poll at this moment).   I really hate having no baseline.   Arkansas is trending red which is worrying but the Arkansas GOP seems to be overreaching with the 12-week abortion ban so Pryor could be helped by not being a caveman like Tim Cotton or Mark Darr will ran as.   My gut is telling me that this will be a Tossup.    But I have no polls to back that up.   Cook, Nate Silver and Sabato have this as Lean D and Rothenberg says Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic (gut says Tossup/Tilt R but I will defer to Nate Silver on this for now).   Democratic Hold.

CO-Sen:  Not much change here either.   PPP hasn't done a poll since June 2012 but the Colorado GOP is in bad shape and there isn't a clear choice for the GOP yet here.   Hickenlooper is still very popular and Colorado is trending bluer.   I don't see any gun safety blowback here.   Cook, Nate Silver and Sabato all say Likely D and Rothenberg has this as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

GA-Sen:  The polls don't have a clear picture of this race at all.   PPP, Harper and Landmark/Rosetta Stone all found the GOP field to be wide open.   PPP suggests Max Cleland would be the best path to victory here, but barring that John Barrow(who shouldn't run because we'd stupidly give up a House seat) or Jason Carter have a credible shot at winning.  Jack Kingston seems to have the strongest general election polling and Broun and Gingrey have the weakest(Broun is the only declared one and Gingrey has strongly hinted that he is running).   I will keep an eye on this race as it could be our best shot at a Democratic pickup.   Cook, Nate Silver and Sabato have this as Likely R and Rothenber as a Safe R.

Prediction:  Likely Republican.    Lean R(if Broun or Gingrey).   Republican Hold

HI-Sen(special).   Hawaii is notoriously difficult to poll, but I don't see any problems that Schatz is likely to encounter.   The Republicans even with a midterm year are not that competitive in Hawaii.   Cook and Sabato have this as Likely D and Nate Silver and Rothenberg call it as a Safe D.

Prediction:   Safe Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

IL-Sen:   Dick Durbin is running for another term and the only potential Republican so far is Joe Walsh.   Joe Walsh!!   PPP in a November poll had Durbin spanking Walsh 54-29.   Cook, Nate Silver and Rothenberg all say Safe D and Sabato somehow says Likely D(I just don't see Quinn making to the general to pull down Durbin's totals).   Joe Walsh cannot beat Dick Durbin.   Period.

Prediction:   Safe Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

IA-Sen:  The long and short of it:  Bruce Braley is the Democratic frontrunner and Steve King has a relatively clear path to the GOP nomination since Latham is not running(Latham was the GOP's best shot at this seat).   Braley would have a pretty good path to victory over King since PPP had him beating King 49-38 in a poll last month.   At this point, I am feeling pretty good about Braley winning and it will be interesting to see if King has a bad downballot effect on the IA-03 and IA-04 races.  Cook has this as a Tossup and Nate Silver, Sabato and Rothenberg have this as a Lean D.  

Prediction:  Likely Democratic   Democratic Hold.

KY-Sen:  Yertle the Turtle has a primary challenger and he can't help but keep on attacking Ashley Judd, who hasn't said if she's running yet.   Yertle's got some bad numbers against Judd and the DSCC is playing coy about who they want in.   My message to Alison Lundergan Grimes or Greg Fischer, if you want to run against McConnell, then frigging do it already!   I don't have time for chicken Democrats that don't really want it.   Judd seems like she does want it(since it is been strongly hinted that she will announce).   Certainly Judd is a better candidate that Ed Marksberry(the only declared candidate so far), and Yertle could find that his attacks on Judd could backfire.   Kentucky Democrats are in good position, but they need to announce and rollout NOW(and if Grimes and Fischer miss the train that gonna leave that station, I won't weep for them).   Consensus has this as Likely R.

Prediction:  Lean Republican.   Republican hold(for now).

LA-Sen:  As it was fresh news when I wrote about it last month, Mary Landrieu is in good shape for her reelection campaign.   However, the PPP poll may have gotten the NRSC to try to get Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne, who polled the best against Landrieu.   Dardenne is a moderate Republican, and seems more interested in the gubernatorial election in 2015.   Landrieu has solid leads against the rest of her opponents, and Landrieu is very canny politican and survivor of very close races.   There is a lot of potential for a messy GOP jungle primary, and Landrieu is no Blanche Lincoln.   Cook has this as Lean D, while Nate Silver, Sabato and Rothenberg have it as a Tossup.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D.   Democratic hold.

ME-Sen:  If Susan Collins isn't challenged from the right, then this is a ho-hum race.   Democrats have to hope for Collins to retire or be ousted in a GOP primary.    Given the Maine GOP, this is still very possible.   A Collins retirement makes this race the very best chance of a Democratic pickup.  Cook, Nate Silver and Rothenberg have it as Likely R while Sabato says Safe R.

Prediction:   Safe Republican,  Lean D(if Collins retires or is defeated in a primary).

MA-Sen:  Markey according to polling(PPP in Febuary, Boston Herald in March) is on pace to crush Lynch in the special election primary.   In the special election itself Markey gets at least 47% against the three Republican candidates(he gets 49.1% against Winslow and 47% and 47.5% against Gomez and Sullivan).   He has crushing leads against all 3 with Sullivan the only one to get 30% according to the Boston Herald poll(note: I take their poll with a grain of salt).   I am pretty confident that Ed Markey will be Massachusetts's next Senator and thus in position to crush any Republican opponent in 2014.   Cook and Rothenberg have this as Safe D while Nate Silver and Sabato say Likely D.

Prediction:  Safe Democratic.   Democratic hold.

MI-Sen:  Carl Levin's retirement means that the Republicans have at least a small chance at this race.   So far Harper is the only one with a poll of the potential field and presumed Democratic frontrunner Gary Peters who is a fairly strong candidate matches pretty well against all Republican opponents(since the matchups are in the 20s, the leads are basically irrelevant).   Justin Amash is very likely to run, Mike Rogers would be one of the GOP's strongest potential candidates but Rogers running would open up his House seat which the Democrats could possibly flip.   Another potential GOP one is former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.   Amash getting the nomination would be very good news for Peters but I suspect that given that Synder could be a drag on everything downballot and Michigan's history of rarely electing Republicans to Senate, I'd say that Peters is in great shape.   Cook and Sabato have this as a Lean D, Nate Silver says Likely D and Rothenberg says Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Lean Democratic(with Rogers).  Democratic hold.

MN-Sen:  The Minnesota GOP is in terrible shape and it seems like they will double down on social issues.   Among the GOP potentials are Michele Bachmann and John Kline who Franken should be able to crush.   Franken polls with at least 49 in a January PPP poll so I am not worried about this state.   Cook and Sabato have this as Lean, Nate Silver as Likely D and Rothenberg as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic hold.

MT-Sen:  PPP released a poll in February the week after I had posted my concerns about his poll numbers, and I am further worried that Max Baucus is in deep trouble.  Baucus now have two declared opponents,  State Rep Champ Edwards and former State Senator Corey Stapleton.   Stapleton polls against Baucus better with Baucus only getting 45 to Stapleton's 38%(Baucus does slightly better with Edwards 47-37).   Baucus's approval numbers suck and Brian Schweitzer would both wipe the floor with Baucus in a primary and Schweitzer beats Edwards handily and gets to 49% against Stapleton.   The polls don't lie here:  Baucus is the most endangered Democratic incumbent and Schweitzer puts this race almost out of the GOP's reach.   Cook, Sabato and Rothenberg have this as Lean D and Nate Silver has it as a Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Republican(with Baucus),  Lean Democratic(with Schweitzer).  [Republican pickup if Baucus is the nominee, Senate makeup after 2014: 54D, 46R]

NE-Sen:  Mike Johanns's retirement gives Democrats a very small window for victory in this race.   Gov. Dave Heinemen would be a strong Republican candidate and it would extremely difficult for any Democrat to challenge him.   Many of the same potential Democratic candidates are also mentioned for the gubernatorial race.   Cook, Nate Silver and Rothenberg have this as Safe R while Sabato says Likely R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(may change back to Safe R with Heinemen).   Republican hold.

NH-Sen:  Not much change here.  Jeanne Shaheen still in great position against Sununu or Frank Guinta.   The GOP anti-choice obsession and likely meltdown over marriage equality spreading won't help them in the Granite State.   Cook, Nate Silver and Rothenberg all have this as Likely D while Sabato says Lean D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic hold.

NJ-Sen:  Lautenberg's retirement came a day after I posted my first diary on the 2014 picture.   Personally, Cory Booker is too pro-corporate for my tastes so he's likely to get along with Blue Dog-enabler Mendenez.  A new Fairleigh Dickenson poll shows that Booker has majority support of the Democratic primary voters(he got 50%) so Pallone or Holt will likely stay in their House seats.   Other polls found a strong plurality support(48% for Booker).   Booker crushes two Republicans(the only ones tested in head to head) the Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno 52-29 and noted Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera by 59-23 according to Quinnipiac and 52-21.   Those are election winning numbers so Booker has a clear path to becoming New Jersey's next Senator.  Cook, Nate Silver and Sabato say Likely D and Rothenberg says Safe D.

Prediction:  Safe Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

NC-Sen:  Kay Hagen still has net positive approval and had good-sized leads against every Republican.   There is no clear choice yet with the Republicans and so far two Some Dudes are the only Republicans declared.   Hagan has over 50% against those two so if they end up the nominee, I am not going to worry about Hagen to much.  Hagen's toughest opponent looks like it would be Sue Myrick.   Among the three most likely to run, she is weakest against Renee Ellmers 49-36(although Hagan is trending towards higher numbers to beat her).   She gets at least 50% against Berger and Tillis.  Cook and Rothenberg say Lean D while Nate Silver and Sabato say Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

OR-Sen:  Jeff Merkley is in great shape.   His only potential Republican opponent is Some Dude named Rick Miller and the Oregon GOP sucks.  PPP last did a poll in December 2012 with Merkley keeping close leads over Gordon Smith or Greg Walden.   Everyone else he crushes and gets over 50%.  Nate Silver and Sabato say Likely D and Cook and Rothenberg says Safe D.

Prediction:  Safe Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

SC-Sen(B):  Not much change here.   Would be a tough seat to get, but Nikki Haley could be a drag on this race so there is still a chance.   Cook calls it a Likely R and Nate Silver, Sabato and Rothenberg say Safe R.

Prediction:  Likely Republican.    Republican Hold.

SD-Sen:  Since almost all of the Senators the DSCC didn't want to retire have wound up annoucing their retirements,  I believe that Tim Johnson will be the last of the Democrats to announce his retirement.  Brendan Johnson and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin are both potential Democrats who could get the nomination if there is a retirement.   Both are strong on Native American issues.   On the GOP side,  Mike Rounds is the strongest candidate and he's in.   There could be other Republicans that want to jump in because they think Rounds is too moderate or too establishment.   One of those is SD-AL Congreswoman Kristi Noem who voted against VAWA.   Rounds would be tough to beat but his weakness on Native American issues could help us.   A messy primary would also help us and Noem would be easier to knock out.   South Dakota is a consensus Tossup.

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt R.   Lean Republican(with Rounds as clear GOP nominee), Tilt D to Lean D(if Noem).

VA-Sen:  Nothing new here.   Mark Warner still in great shape and his closest Republican opponent,  Bob McDonnell he'd beat 52-42.  Cook and Sabato say Likely D and Nate Silver and Rothenberg say Safe D.

Prediction:   Safe Democratic.    Democratic Hold.

WV-Sen:  Since David McKinley won't run against Shelly Moore Capito, that's one less Republican that Capito will have to worry about primarying her.   Capito appears to be in great position as far as general elections go.   Rahall looks like he's not running(which helps keep that House seat) and West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant could make things interesting.   Cook and Rothenberg say Tossup, Sabato says Lean R and Nate Silver says Likely R.

Prediction:  Lean Republican.   Tossup/Tilt D(if Capito loses a primary).    Republican pickup[will pencil in 2014 projection as 53D-47R now].

Now for the Consensus same seats:

Safe Democratic:
Delaware
New Mexico
Rhode Island

Safe Republican:
Alabama
Idaho
Kansas
Mississippi
Oklahoma
South Carolina(A)
Tennessee
Texas
Wyoming

Conclusions:   The 2014 Senate map is still going to be a tough thing but right now Montana and West Virginia stand out as danger zones for us.   South Dakota may very well join that list but the prospect of a GOP primary there(and in West Virginia) improves our odds.   Unusually a Democratic primary in Montana could be our key to keeping that seat.   Georgia, Kentucky and Maine remain our best opportunities although Nebraska and the South Carolina special election also hold a slight chance for us too.  The GOP is looking very likely to let a winnable race for them in Iowa slip out of their hands with Steve King.  

Current Senate: 53 Democrats, 2 Independents, 45 Republicans(55D, 45R)
Projected Senate after 2014: 51 Democrats, 2 Independents, 47 Republicans(53D, 47R)
GOP Pickups: MT, WV

Below the Fleur de Kos are the House races.

Poll

Democratic change in the House with the 2014 elections?

5%16 votes
1%5 votes
1%5 votes
3%9 votes
6%19 votes
11%32 votes
3%9 votes
2%6 votes
1%4 votes
3%10 votes
1%4 votes
5%15 votes
28%80 votes
9%27 votes
13%37 votes

| 278 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis has endorsed Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in her run for Congress in the South Carolina 1st Congressional District.  Talking Points Memo has the quote;

“Elizabeth Colbert Busch is my friend and my sister. I am endorsing her in the Special Election for South Carolina’s First District. The Colbert family has always been a strong advocate for all the people of South Carolina. I have visited the First District and know they need a powerful voice in Washington; Elizabeth can be that voice. I know she will be a hard working and dedicated Member of Congress who speaks up and speaks out for the people she serves. She has never been afraid to get in the way. Elizabeth Colbert Busch deserves the help and support of all the people of the Lowcountry.”
In light of yesterday's attention on the Voting Rights Act, it is worth remembering that Lewis helped lead the Selma marches that protested for ensuring voting rights for everyone and those marches led to Voting Rights Act.   And as such, this is a very strong endorsement to me.

In the most recent House race ratings, Charlie Cook has this race as a Lean R.   This is a winnable seat for Democrats,and if Colbert-Busch wins, we have another vote for wind energy and Democrats would only need to gain 16 seats to regain the majority.  

Below are links for action and information:
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch for Congress
Contribute to Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
Volunteer for Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(ActBlue)

Remember, the Democratic primary is on March 19th and the special election itself is on May 7th.

South Carolina Voter Registration info

The deadline to vote to register in the primary has already passed, but the deadline to register to vote in the special election is April 6th. .   This is the first major election in South Carolina that will require a Photo ID.  To find Your Polling Place, use this link.

Discuss

I swear that sometimes I wonder if Club for Growth isn't a secretly Democratic organization run by James Carville on the down low.   As the Hill reports, the Club for Growth is targeting nine Republican congresspeople for not being conservative enough for them.   At least four of those districts could be won by Democrats if the Republican incumbant loses a primary.    I'll briefly look at the districts that are part of this effort.

AL-02: Martha Roby.  This is an R+18 district and Romney won 63% of the vote here(McCain also won 63% here in 2008).   This southeastern Alabama district was Bobby Bright's district from 2009-2011 and Bright only narrowly lost in 2010(Robey won it 51.1% to 48.9%).   This would be a tough district for the Democrats to win, but Bright could make things interesting.

AR-01: Rick Crawford.   This is an R+7 district and Romney won 61% of the vote in this northeastern Arkansas district.   This district has been tilting more Republican in recent years as McCain got 58% in 2008.  It is a very agricultural district so the GOP refusal to do a real Farm Bill could hurt the GOP here, and it does have some manufacturing there too.   Arkansas State Rep. Marshall Wright, a Democrat is considering a run in this district.   I imagine the DCCC will be watching this race if Crawford gets a Tea Party challenger.

ID-02:  Mike Simpson.  This is an R+17 district, and Romney won 64% in this eastern and southern Idaho district.   This district includes most of the capitol Boise and is a district that has strong Mormon influence.   McCain won 61% of the vote in 2008.   Simpson has been in this seat since 1999(the Democrat who had this seat until 1993 ran again Simpson and lost).   Obviously this district should be contested but I am not sure a Democrat has much of a chance there.

IL-16: Adam Kinzinger.  It's an R+4 district and Romney won 53% of the vote of this district that includes some exurbs of Chicago and it forms a ring that goes from the Indiana border to the Wisconsin border.   I am sure the DCCC would love to take a shot at an open seat here, and perhaps Debbie Halvorson might take a look at running in this district since it does include part of Will County.   This district should be targeted with the most electable Democrat possible and in Club for Growth manages to make this an open seat with an extreme candidate, then I like our chances.

IL-18: Aaron Schock.   This is an R+10 district, and Romney got 61% of the vote in this Peoria and Springfield district.  Schock is looking at running for governor in Illinois and I suppose this could make him jump into that.   Schock's own ethics issues(like improper use of campaign funds) would make him vulnerable anyway.   Obviously this seat should be contested by a fairly strong Democrat.

IN-08: Larry Bucshon.   This is an R+8 district, and Romney won 58% of this Southwestern Indiana district often called "The Bloody 8th".   For reference, Donnelly won this district with 50%.   In 2012, Bucshon only won reelection with 53% of the vote to Dave Crooks winning 43%.   The DCCC is likely going to watch this district too, and I have written on Bucshon's anti-choice views as I did a IN-08 diarybefore the 2012 election

MS-04: Steve Palazzo.   Apparently you always have to be a dick about hurricane relief for some in this R+20 district that Romney won 68% of the vote in this southeastern Mississippi district that include cities that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.   This also was Gene Taylor's seat.   I really hope the GOP does do attack ads on Palazzo for voting for a hurricane relief bill.   Please proceed Republicans so we can give something to do show to voters in New Jersey and New York so they can see that the GOP is for dickish on hurricane relief(and maybe rid NJ of a few GOP congresspeople).

NC-02: Renee Ellmers.   This is an R+11 district where Romney won 57% of the vote.  Ellmers was elected in the Tea Party wave where she very narrowly beat a Democratic incumbant named Bob Etheridge.   If Club for Growth gets a primary opponent to Ellmers, perhaps Etheridge can work with the inevitable souring on the Tea Party.   If nothing else, this needs to be contested by a Democrat.

OK-03:  Frank Lucas.  It's blood-red Oklahoma where Romney won every county.   This is a R+24 and 74% Romney district that has the Oklahoma panhandle and other counties in Western and Northern Oklahoma.   A Democrat hasn't represented this district since 1997, and I doubt any Democrat will in the near future.

From the looks of things, the Illinois 16th is the most winnable district for Democrats and I believe that the Arkansas 1st and the Indiana 8th could be won if the GOP unseats the incumbant in a primary and there is a strong Democratic challenger.   The North Carolina 2nd would need a Democratic wave but strong voter registration efforts and strong turnout efforts could really help.  The Illinois 18th should be contested but I am not expecting much. The Alabama 2nd could be interesting if Bright wants to try again.

Discuss

PPP(contains PDF) looked the 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial picture, and found that Scott Walker's approval is 48/49 and that Russ Feingold would have a 2 point lead over him if Feingold ran for Governor.  1,7999 Wisconsin voters were surveyed by PPP from Feb. 21 to 24th and the Margin of Error is 2.3%.   It was 52% female, 48% male with 31D, 30R and 39I.  Age groups were 12% 18-29, 24% 30-45, 44% 46-65 and 20% 65+.

Walker's approval and disapproval are predictably lopsided among Democrats and Republicans.  Walker is underwater in his approval among Independents 45-51, and I suspect that he may move even more underwater as he tries to build his 2016 cred to Republican primary voters.  Walker's disapproval is strongest among young voters(18-29) which is 56%.   Walker's strongest approval ratio comes from those 30-45 where he has 52/47 and has a barely positive approval among the oldest voters(65+) 49/48.   Walker is underwater with the 46-65 crowd 48/50.   Also interesting that Walker has solidly underwater among those who call themselves "moderates"  35/61.

PPP found that former Senator Russ Feingold would have a 49-47 lead over Walker.   Walker pulls 46-48% of the vote against 5 other Democrats.   Walker only has a 4 point lead over Congressman Ron Kind 46-42 and he leads Peter Barca and Jon Erpenbach by similar margins(48-43, 48-42).   Barca and Erpenbach are not that well-known statewide but they would be the type of Democrats that would energize progressives to vote.   Kind is a "new Democrat" so his DLC ways would likely not excite Democratic voters in Milwaukee and Madison.  

This race will be on of the ones that I will be watching in 2014.   Derailing Walker's 2016 Presidential hopes would be a very nice bonus on top of removing his brand of Republicanism from office

Discuss

The best Democratic candidate for the South Carolina 1st special election is Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(she pronounces Colbert as "Coal-Bert"), and one of the main issues that she brings upis wind energy.  Her "Why Elizabeth page" has this to say:

I am a business professional, integral in bringing the world’s largest wind turbine testing facility and thousands of wind energy jobs to the region.
Colbert-Busch has also been endorsed by Congressman Jim Clyburn and has Lawrence O'Donnell's support as he interviewed her on last night's Last Word.  

The Charleston City Paper notes that in 2008, Obama won 54% of the vote in Charleston County and a Democrat came within 4 points of unseating a Republican in Congress.   If former Gov. Mark Sanford emerges as the winner in a 16 Republican pileup....er primary, there will likely be some energized Democrats and some very dispirited Republicans, and Colbert-Busch would have a serious shot at winning this seat.

Let's do what we can for her at Daily Kos:
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch for Congress
Contribute to Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
Volunter for Elizabth Colbert-Busch
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(ActBlue)

Remember, the Democratic primary is on March 19th and the special election itself is on May 7th.

South Carolina Voter Registration info

The deadline to vote to register in the primary has already passed, but the deadline to register to vote in the special election is April 6th. .   This is the first major election in South Carolina that will require a Photo ID.  To find Your Polling Place, use this link.

Discuss

As promised, I will look at the 36(there are two other ones in territories) gubernatorial elections in 2014.   The Republicans dominated this last cycle in 2010, but 2014 looks good for the Democrats on the gubernatorial level.  This is the first in a monthly(closer to the elections it will become biweekly) series, and as the election becomes closer, my predictions(and hopefully my analysis) will become more accurate.  I should state as I should have stated when I looked at the Senate and the House that this is merely a very early look and conditions are very likely to change.

Alabama(Current Gov: Robert Bentley-R)
It is Alabama after all, and Gov Bentley was elected by the biggest margin that a Republican has ever gotten for an open seat.   Democrats don't really have much of a bench in Alabama.   Two of Bentley's 2010 primary opponents have no ruled out a run against him.   Cook calls this as as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Alaska(Current Gov: Sean Parnell-R)
Alaska is a quirky state that Hillary Clinton may be able to contest in 2016.   However, Parnell is a popular governor and it looks like he will run for re-election.  Parnell polls ahead of all Democrats that PPP put head-to-head to him.   At least if Parnell runs for re-election, Sen. Begich has an easier path to keep his Senate seat.   Cook says Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(will move to Safe R when Parnell officially makes it known he's running for re-election)

Arizona(Current Gov: Jan Brewer-R)
Brewer is term-limited, but she might try her luck to fight that law.   Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican is exploring a run for 2014.   Arizona had quite a few close races in 2012 including its Senator race.   An open seat would likely drive up turnout, and the state is trending more Democratic thanks to more Hispanic voters(who trend liberal on all issues).   A Republican block of immigration reform is likely to reignite passions for both parties in this state.   There are a bunch of potential Democratic candidates including 2012 Senate runnerup Richard Carmona.   cook has this as Likely R

Prediction: Lean Republican(I think the AZ-Gov Republican primary will likely be nasty and I hope Arizona Democrats continue to register voters and pumpup up turnout so it can match 2012 levels if not exceed them).

Arkansas(Current Gov: Mike Beebe-D)
Beebe, a Democrat, will be term-limited in 2014.   Arkansas is trending redder, and I don't think Hillary can count on Arkansas's electoral votes in a general election in 2016.  Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, a good Democrat, has declared that he is running for governor.  A couple of Republicans have already declared themselves candidates.  One was a Republican candidate who lost out to Boozer in the 2010 Senate primary named Curtis Coleman, and the other is a former Congressman and former candidate for Governor named Asa Hutchinson.   Republican Lt. Gov Mark Darr isn't running for Governor and may challenge Sen. Mark Pryor in the AR-Sen race in 2014.   Cook ranks it as a Tossup.   I have always liked Bill Halter, and I think he can fight the red tide in that state.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt R (if the Tea Party has some nobody win the primary, I would be inclined towards Lean D).   GOP pickup opportunity.

California(Current Gov: Jerry Brown-D)
Brown is 74 and will be 76 in in 2014 so it's unclear if Brown will run for re-election.   If Brown declines to run, there is a deep bench of Democrats in California:  California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, outgoing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.   I would cheer on a Harris campaign or a Solis campaign.   So far the only declared Republican is an anti-immigration zealot named Tim Donnelly.  Cook has this as a Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Colorado(Current Gov: John Hickenlooper-D)
Hickenlooper is has bipartisan appeal, and is fairly popular and he's running for re-election.   There are quite a few potential GOP opponents, but no real frontrunner so far.   This is still a purple-ish state that is trending bluer.   It remains to be seen what effect gun safety will have on Colorado elections in 2014.   This could energize the Tea Party, but it could also energize the Hispanic voters who generally support gun safety measures.   Cook has it as a Safe D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic

Connecticut(Current Gov: Dan Malloy-D)

Malloy won a close vote in 2010.  However, the way he handled Superstorm Sandy and the aftermath of the Newtown shooting may make any Republican challenge to him tough.  The Republican that Malloy had beaten in 2010, Tom Foley, has announced that he is running again.  PPP has Malloy beating a generic Republican by 9 points as of November 2012.  Cook ranks this as Likely D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic (Very inclined to say Safe Democratic)

Florida(Current Gov: Rick Scott-R)

Scott is a deeply unpopular Republican, and former Governor Charlie Crist is ver likely running against Scott as a Demcorat.   Crist is still very well regarded by Flordians.   Nan Rich is also a declared candidate for the Demcorats.   In polling, Crist smashes Scott(a January PPP has him winning 53-39).  and Scott only leads Rich by 4: 41-37.  Scott is clearly feeling the Pressure and Cook has this as a Leans R.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D(could be Lean D once Crist is offfically the nominee).   Possible Democratic pickup.

Georgia(Current Gov: Nathan Deal-R).

Deal has some mediocre approval numbers 36/41 but in a poll that PPP released as I was writing this says, Deal enjoys solid leads over all Democrats polled against him.  He leads Jason Carter 46-38 and would lead over John Barrow and Kasim Reed 48-38.  Looks like all of the action could be on the Georgia Senate side of things.  Cook says this is a Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Hawaii(Current Gov: Neil Abercrombie-D)

Abercrombie is a fairly progressive Democrat, and would likely win against any Republican.   The only question is whether Colleen Hanabusa or another Hawaii Democrat wants to take Abercrombie to task for appointing Schwatz to the Senate against Inouye's dying wish.   Overall, I'd say that Abercrombie has a very good chance of surviving any primary.  Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Idaho(Current Gov: Butch Otter-R)

Otter has indictated that he wants to run for a third term, and Republican Congressman Raul Labrador is considering a run for Governor too.  Otter would be a tough candidate for any Democrat to beat but this race obviously should be contested as Idaho could potentially turn purplish someday.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(Safe R if Otter.  Labrador could give Dems a chance but it would still be ver much uphill)

Illinois(Current Gov: Pat Quinn-D)

Quinn is toast.  He will likely run for re-election, but he'd get beat in a primary against Lisa Madigan.   Madigan would be a strong candidate, and she beats Quinn in every head to head poll and she beats every Republican.   On the Republican side, Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady will both run for governor.   Quinn loses the head-to-head to Dillard(Brady wasn't polled by PPP in November 2012).   Cook has this as Leans D.  Since Shiela Simon has baled on Quinn, odds are very strong that he loses the primary.

Prediction: Leans Democratic(will change to Likely D for Madigan).

Iowa(Current Gov: Terry Branstad-R)

Branstad polls well against most Democrats.   He basically ties in a head-to-head with Tom Vilsack, who is stayiing in Washington as Agriculure Secretary.   I wonder what numbers that Christie Vilsack would do agaisnt Branstad.   Going into 2014, Branstad's chance remain good of reelection.   Cook has this as a Likely R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Kansas(Current Gov: Sam Brownback-R)

Basically this race is a snoozer if Brownback runs for reelection.   Cook has this a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Maine(Current Gov: Paul LePage-R)

LePage is an obnoxious Tea Party Republican who snuck in on a three-way race in 2010.   The bad news is that 2014 will be another three-way race because 2010 loser Eliot Cutler wants another shot at running.   There are a lot of names on the Democratic side including outgoing SBA head Karen Mills.   In polling, LePage loses in two-way races, but wins a plurarity in three-way races.   This could be a very frustrating race.   Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(on the account of the douchebag Cutler.  Leans D without Cutler)

Maryland(Current Gov: Martin O'Malley-D)

O'Malley is term-limited, and Maryland is a very blue state.  Among the potentials on the Democratic side are Lt. Gov.  Anthony Brown and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.   Brown and Gansler both seem to have strong progressive bona fides.  The Republicans have the Frederick County Board of Commissioners president Blaine Young as a declared candidate and have a few potential also-rans like the Republican that lost to Ben Cardin in 2012 and Michael Steele.   Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic.

Massachusetts(Current Gov: Deval Patrick)

My Governor, Deval Patrick has said that he is not running for re-election.  Of course the field is probably wide open on both sides since Massachusetts has a history of electing "moderate" Republican governors.   Some Dude named Joseph Avellone has already declared on the Democratic side, which includes potentials like Massachusetts Auditor Susanne Bump(a progressive), Congressman Michael Capuano(another progressive), Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman(a moderate Democrat with longstanding ties to Howard Dean) and a few Mayors(Setti Warren of Newton, an African-American with ties to John Kerry and Bill Clinton.  I personally don't like him but he would be a strong candidate.   Also Joseph Curtatone of Somerville).   There is also faux-Democrat Stephen Pagliuca among that field too.   On the Republcan side, there is 2010 loser Charlie Baker who ran a very negative campaign.   There is also Scott Brown who seems to be happier at Fox News than in office.   There is also Karyn Polito, the 2010 candidate for Treasurer who lost in part due to ethics issues(there was a bit of a scandal involving her and her friend snatching up Red Sox plates).   Richard Tisei has the kind of profile that would be good for a Republican candidate in Massachusetts, so if Tisei can stay positive, he has got a good shot.   Cook ranks this as Safe D.

Prediction: Leans Democratic

Michigan(Current Gov: Rick Snyder-R)

Snyder could be in for a strong challenge in 2014 due various actions the Michigan Republicans have taken.   There are quite a few names on the Democratic side and in a December 2012 PPP poll, Snyder loses the head-to-head against Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero(38-49), Congressman Gary Peters(39-47) and former Congressman Mark Schauer(39-44).  I imagine that Michigan Democrats are not going to take this race for granted.  Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Lean Republican (could move up to Tossup once Democratic field is better known).

Minnesota(Current Gov: Mark Dayton-D)

Dayton is running for re-election and crushes every Republican in a January 2013 PPP poll.   The Republican field is wide open.   Cook ranks this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Nebraska(Current Gov: Dave Heineman-R)

Heineman is term-limited, and one of the frontrunners to replace him had to resign as Lt. Gov due to a personal scandal.  On the Republican side, a state Senator named Charlie Janssen has declared and there could be quite a few Republicans running for this or the open Nebraska Senate seat.   There are four Democrats named as potential candidates for NE-Gov:  Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, former U of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook and a couple of State Senators(Annette Dubas and Steve Lathrop.)   Cook had this as Safe R but I believe it's become more open in light of the field being wide open and there is also the Nebraska Senate seat.   This is a red state though.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Nevada(Current Gov: Brian Sandoval-R)

Sandoval is in a good position in the purple state that is becoming bluer.   He has sizable leads against a generic Democrat and all named Democrats.  Sandoval is running for re-election and barring some Paulist/Teabag primary challenge, beating him may be an uphill fight.  Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

New Hampshire(Current Gov: Maggie Hassan-D)

Hassan was elected in 2012 and her potential Republican opponents include Frank Guinta, who got defeated by Carol Shea-Porter in 2012 and Jeb Bradley, a former Congresman and currently the Majority Leader of the State Senate.  New Hampshire tends to be more Republican in midterms but the Republicans are certainly making it tough for themselves in the Granite State.   I will have to watch this one.   Cook has this as Likely Democratic.

Prediction: Leans Democratic

New Mexico(Current Gov: Susanna Martinez-R)

Martinez hasn't stated wheither she is running for re-election, but her state is becoming more and more of a blue state.   On the Democratic side, New Mexico Attorney General Gar King has delcared himself a candidate.  King is the son of a former Governor and a former state Rep.   I would love to see some polling from PPP.  Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

New York(Current Gov: Andrew Cuomo-D)

Cuomo seems ready to run for re-election and he has good approval numbers which took a dip after gun safety got passed but are still in the high 50s.   His handling of Superstorm Sandy still probably helps him a lot.   There aren't that many potential Republican opponents yet, a state Senator and a former publisher of High Times.   At the moment, I am not betting against Cuomo.   Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic

Ohio(Current Gov: John Kasich-R)

Kasich won a close election in 2010, and certainly hasn't endeared himself to his state in the last few years.   A couple of potential Democratic challengers include CFPB head Richard Cordray, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and Congresman Tim Ryan.  Cordray, Sutton and Ryan are all progressive and Cordray had basically tied with Kasich when PPP polled in June 2012.  Kasich when last polled against Ryan had a 41-33 lead.   I believe that Kasich is still vulnerable.   Cook has this as a Leans R

Prediction: Lean Republican

Oklahoma(Current Gov:  Mary Fallin-R)

It's Oklahoma, a blood-red state and there isn't much action anywhere in the OK-Gov race.   Looks like a snoozer.   Cook has this as Safe R

Prediction: Safe Republican

Oregon(Current Gov: John Kitzhaber-D)

Not much action here either.  Kitzhaber hasn't made any annoucements yet, and Allen Alley is the only potential Republican opponent thus far.   Oregon is a blue state and looks to keep being blue.  Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Pennsylvania(Current Gov: Tom Corbett-R)

Corbett has practically admitted that he is running for re-election and there is a chance that he could be teabagged in a Republican primary.  A few Democrats have already declared, a former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection named John Hanger(Oh the jokes that could be made with that) and some dude named Max Myers.  Two of the big-name potential candidates on the Democratic side are former Congresman and known Honey Badger Joe Sestak and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.   Corbett only has a 41-37 lead over Mr. Hanger(you could say that Corbett is hanging over a cliff if he's polling at 41.  Rimshot.).  Schwartz has a few polls.  A January PPP poll that has Corbett with a 41-34 lead and there is a poll by somebody called Beneneson Strategy Group that has Schwartz getting 50-42 over Corbett.  Corbett only has a 42-36 lead over Sestak.   I prefer Schwartz for PA-Gov and Sestak or somebody else for the 2016 PA-Sen race.   Cook has this as Lean R.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D.   Possible Democratic pickup.  

Rhode Island(Current Gov: Lincoln Chafee-I)

Chafee is a Democrat all but in name.  On the official Democratic side, a former state Auditor named Ernie Almonte has declared and there are other Democrats that could run.  The Republicans have three declared candidates: Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, 2012 RI-01 candidate Brendan Doherty and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.  It could possibly be a four-way race and Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo,a Democrat tends to lead in a lot of polls.  Chafee polled as a Democrat doesn't fare too well in head-to-heads with Republicans.   So things don't look good for Chafee, but look good overall for Democrats.  Cook has this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D(could become a Lean or Likely D)

South Carolina(Current Gov: Nikki Haley-R)

Haley could find herself on the wrong end of a Republican primary challenge.   A few potential Democratic candidates are Mel Ott, Minority Leader of the SC House and South Carolina State Senator Vincent Shaheen, who was beating Haley 46-44 in a December 2012 PPP poll.   Maybe Shaheen could give this another shot.   Cook has this as Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(could be Lean if things go right).

South Dakota(Current Gov: Dennis Daugaard-R)

Not much action here, and Democrats would likely find this race a big challenge.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Tennessee(Current Gov: Bill Haslam-R)

Haslam would likely have a strong showing.   A potential Democratic candidate is Craig Fitzhugh, minority leader in the TN House.   The TN Democratic Paryt itself is not very strong.   Cook ranks this as Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Texas(Current Gov: Rick Perry-R)

Governor Goodhair seems likely to run for re-election.  There will be a Republican Primary but Goodhair could pull off winning it.  A January PPP poll had him only leading Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by 3 in a GOP Primary.   No really big names on the Democratic side, and it would be nice to see a good Democratic challenge in a state that will become a swing state soon.   Former Houston Mayor Bill White, a Democrat polls well, he beats Perry by 3 in a PPP poll(47-44) and only trails Abbott by 7(Abbott 46- White 39).   Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Likely Republican(would be nice to put up a good fight against Goodhair)

Vermont(Current Gov: Peter Shumlin-D)

Not much action here so far and this is a very blue state.   Cook has this as a Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Wisconsin(Current Gov: Scott Walker-R)

Walker survived a recall election but Wisconsin Democrats should be motivated in 2014.   Lots of potential Democrats including former Senator Russ Feingold, Congressman Ron Kind, and Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca.   PPP's WI-Gov poll that should come out next week should shed more light on this race.   Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Lean Republican (I think Walker is vulnerable)

Wyoming(Current Gov: Matt Mead).

This is a very red state and likely all the action would be on the Republican side.  Another Republican, Cindy Hill who is the State Superintendant of Public Instruction has declared herself a candidate.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican.

Conclusions:  This is still very early but Florida, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all present opportunities for Democratic gain and Michigan could become one too while Arkansas could a Republican pickup.  Overall, this cycle right now would seem to favor Democrats in spite of lower expected turnout than 2012.   One factor in Democrats favor is that the Tea Party has become toxic, so it's unlikely that 2014 will be another 2010 as far as the gubernatorial races go.   I cannot yet project any net change but I have a strong feeling that Democrats will make a net gain in governorships.

Please feel free to comment and correct me

Poll

Best chance for Democratic pickup?

0%0 votes
42%18 votes
4%2 votes
4%2 votes
28%12 votes
4%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
14%6 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

The Denver Post reports that the Colorado House of Representatives passed four gun safety bills.   One of the bills was House Bill 1226 which would ban concealed carry of weapons on college campuses.  It passed 34-31 with three Democrats joining the Republicans to vote no.  

The Post also reported that

House Bill 1228, which requires gun buyers to pay the cost of their state background checks with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, cleared the House on a 33-32 vote. Four Democrats voted against the bill.

The fee would range from $5 to $12.

....

The vote on the fee for background checks was the third of four recorded votes being taken on a package of gun bills. Earlier in the day, House Bill 1229, to require background checks on private sales and transfers, passed on a 36-29 vote, with one Democrat voting against, while House Bill 1224, limiting gun magazines to 15 rounds, on a 34-31 vote, with three Democrats voting against it.

That seems to be a pattern that universal background checks themselves are more popular than banning guns on college campuses or limiting gun magazines.  The bills now go the Colorado Senate which the Democrats have a 20-15 majority.   Personally, a 15-round magazine limit is the right amount for a federal ban and I suspect that Colorado may be a microcosm of how gun safety will fare.
Discuss

If there was any doubt that Debbie Halvorson is not a real Democrat, and cares about the NRA more than people, then those have been put to rest as Halvorson went to Fox News to get gun nuts to vote for her.

http://www.youtube.com/...

I would like to take this opportunity to ask the National Rifle Association(the NRA) to please put me, PistolSO, on their enemies list.   I also wholehearted endorse Robin Kelly for Congress.  Kelly is a proven progressive who is more than qualified to take her rightful place in Congress.   She also will take on the NRA, with her F rating from them.   In this election, where the frontrunners are two progressives who differ on a single issue(guns) and a Fox News Democrat who proudly calls her a Blue Dog, the choice is clear:  Robin Kelly.  

To those who back Toi Hutchison, I like her progressive record over all.  But she is entirely too gun friendly, and right now we need as many progressive voices as we can get to Shut Down the NRA.

Robin Kelly's campaign website
Contribute to Robin Kelly
Get Involved with Robin Kelly's campaign
Daily Kos for Robin Kelly(ActBlue)

Discuss

In which I look at the overall Senate and House picture(I will do the Governor's race picture next week) and use various polling and other tools to make a guess at how the 2014 picture is looking.   I will do these monthly, and obviously as we get close to the 2014 election itself, things will be become more clear and hopefully for me more accurate.

The U.S Senate.
Currently U.S Senate's makeup is 53 Democrats, 2 Independents(both caucus with the Democrats) and 45 Republicans.

AK-Sen:  Mark Begich has decent approval numbers(49/39) and good numbers among Independents(54/32) according to the recent PPP poll (warning: contains PDF).   Against the GOP's strongest candidate, Gov. Sean Parnell, Begich polls even 48-48(Republican leaning pollster Harper has Parnell over Begich by 46-40).  Parnell may just run for re-election however.   Against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is exploring a run, Begich polls under 50(which is always concerning for a Senator), however Begich has a good sized lead in both PPP and Harper polls(PPP:47-39, Harper: 44-34).   Against Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, PPP found Begich with a 47-41 advantage.   Cook and Rothenberg currently rank this seat as Lean D.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic(Tossup/Tilt R with Parnell).    Democratic Hold.

AR-Sen:  Mark Pryor will be running for his third term.   I am sure that the Clintons will campaign hard for him.  His potential opponents including two Republican Congressmen(Cotton, Womack) and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.   Pryor hasn't really faced a tough re-election fight since in office.   Cotton is a freshman House member and Womack is in a strongly Republican district.   Without any polling, it is hard to get a clear picture of this race.   Since Arkansas is trending more red, Pryor may be in a very tough fight.   Cook ranks it as Lean D, Rothenberg as a Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic.  Democratic Hold.

CO-Sen:  Mark Udall won 53% of the vote when he was elected in 2008.   Colorado is trending bluer in Presidential years due to increasing Hispanic turnout.   The most recent poll of this race was in June 2012, where Udall hovered around 50%.   I can imagine that a Tea Party Republican of the likes of Ken Buck winning their primary.   If the Democrats can pump up turnout(and especially Hispanic turnout), Udall has a very good path to re-election.   Cook ranks this a Likely D, and Rothenberg as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

GA-Sen:  This is an open seat since Republican Saxby Chambliss was pushed out by the Tea Party.   Republican Congressman Paul Broun is the only declared candidate so far, and he's been known to spout off outrageous statements like his imfamous "evolution....lies from the pit of Hell" and saying that Obama is a communist and a Nazi.  Broun is very likely to pull a Todd Akin or a Richard Mourdock and he has a good shot at being the GOP nominee.   There are a few strong moderate to conservative Democrats who could run(although the Democratic primary picture is still very cloudy).  Georgia will become a swing state by the end of this decade, but Presidental years remain our best chance at doing well in the Peach State.  Cook says its Likely R and Rothenberg says it's Safe R.

Prediction:  Leans Republican(with Broun).   Republican hold.   Broun 53- Democratic nominee 47.

HI-Sen(special)-  Brian Schatz is progressive enough for the Democratic base, and I don't see him being unseated.  The Republicans only have the likes of Djou(who snuck into a House seat briefly due to Hawaii's election rules) and Linda Lingle who got stomped in the 2012 election.   Cook says Likely Democratic and Rothenberg says Safe Democraitc.

Prediction:  Safe Democratic.   Democratic hold.

IA-Sen: Tom Harkin is retiring and Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley has declared himself a candidate.   Braley is solidly progressive and polls well against Republicans.  In the recent PPP poll, (warning: contains PDF), Braley's toughest opponent is Republican Congressman Tom Latham(Braley only has a 3 point advantage, 44-41).   Republican-leaning pollster Harper has Latham with a 3 point advantage 36-33.  PPP has the Steve King as the GOP winner in various polls of the GOP field and he crushes Latham.   Steve King is very prone to outrageous statements and policy positions.  He wants dogfighting to be legal and is very anti-choice.   He's Iowa's Todd Akin only dumber.   PPP has Braley with a good lead over King 49-38 and Harper is a little closer 39-34.   King will likely be the most embarassing GOP candidate in 2014.  Cook has this as a Tossup and Rothenberg as a Lean D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic(with King), Leans D(with Latham).   Democratic Hold.   Braley 56- King 43,  Braley 52 - Latham 47

KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell has never been that popular in Kentucky, and there is always the chance of him being teabagged.   He(and Karl Rove) are acting very scared about an Ashley Judd campaign.  The only declared candidate on the Democratic side is Ed Marksberry, who lost badly to a Republican in a 2010 House election.   Marksberry ran in 2010 on a shoestring budget and I doubt he'd be able to fundraise beyond Some Dude status.  Ashley Judd polls the best out of any potential Democratic candidate against McConnell according to a December PPP poll(McConnell only has a 47-43 advantage).  Loiusville Mayor Greg Fischer and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergren Grimes also poll fairly well against Yurtle the Turtle with McConnell 46-41 against Fischer and McConnell 47-40 against Grimes.   The consensus is that this is Likely Republican.

Prediction:  Leans Republican (Tossup/Tilt D with Judd).   Republican Hold.

LA-Sen:  Mary Landrieu will be in for another tough fight.   She has a history of winning squeakers and this being a 2014 race certainly doesn't help her.   A few of her potential opponents were elected to the House after 2008(Cassidy and Fleming) and a former Congressman(Landry).   It will be interesting to see if Big Oil stays out or if they actively try to unseat Landrieu.   Cook says its Lean D and Rothenberg says it's a Tossup.

As I was in the process of writing this, PPP did a poll of Louisiana(contains PDF), and Landrieu has healthy leads over the three that I named above, and her numbers are close to 50 with a net positive 47/45 approval rating.  I originally had this as a Tilt R before the poll

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D   Democratic Hold.

ME-Sen: Basically PPP has the best picture of this race:  If Susan Collins stays in and isn't teabagged, Collins crushes her opponents.   If Collins is teabagged, the Democrats crush the Republicans.   Cook and Rotherbeg both currently have this race as Likely R.

Prediction:  Safe Republican(if Collins is nominee), Likely Democratic(if Collins retires/primaried out).

MA-Sen:  Most likely picture has Ed Markey winning the special election.   Republicans would face a very tough fight in 2014 if Markey becomes Senator.   The GOP would still face a tough fight if somehow their third-tier(or fourth-tier nominee) won the special.   Cook has this as Leans D and Rothenberg as a tossup.

Prediction:  Since I believe Markey will become the next Senator, Likely Democratic.   Democratic hold.

MN-Sen: Al Franken won a very close election to win this seat.   However, I believe that 2014 will be a less close race.  Franken polls well against the top 3 of his potential opponents(all Congresscritters: Bachmann, Kline, Paulsen) and Franken has a great lead on Bachmann 54-40(according to the latest PPP poll).   Against Kline, he's up 49-41 and against Paulsen he's up 50-39.    Cook ranks this as Lean D and Rothenberg as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic,  Safe Democratic(against Bachmann).

MT-Sen: Max Baucus is likely in for his toughest re-election race since 1996 where he beat Denny Rehberg by 5 points.  Baucus is already somewhat unpopular with Democratic base over his handling of health care reform. On the Republican side, Former State Senator Corey Stapleton has declared himself to challenge Baucus.  Stapleton has some experience in organizing Republicans to win, so he seems like a formidable opponent.   With a November PPP poll that has Baucus only beating a Generic Republican by 3(45-42), this is concerning.    There is still some speculation that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer may primary Baucus from the left and he could possibly beat him(PPP has consistently had Schweitzer beating Baucus in a primary).  Schweitzer also polls at 50-42 against a generic Republican.  The consensus is that it Leans D.

Prediction:   Tossup/Tilt R(with Baucus), Leans Democratic(with Schweitzer).  Possible Republican pickup(will write Senate makeup after 2014 as 54-46 due to uncertainity)

NH-Sen: Jeanne Shaheen won a close race in 2008 and she has somewhat low fundraising numbers.   New Hampshire itself is a very purple state, but if the GOP keeps up its anti-choice crap, then New Hampshire will likely trend blue in how they vote even though New Hampshire tends to vote red in "off years".   Shaheen's potential opponents are the Republican she beat John Sununu the Younger and former Congressman Frank Guinta.  Shaheen polls well against Generic Republican(51-42 according to an August PPP poll) and is polled against Sununu 53-42 in a November PPP poll.  Cook and Rothenberg have this as Likely D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

NC-Sen: Kay Hagan won 53% of the vote in 2008(in a year that Obama won the state).  North Carolina is still very much a purple state.   Hagan polls under 50 against all Republicans(a bad sign) but she still has good leads over the likes of batcrap crazy Congresscritter Virginia Foxx(47-40 in a January PPP poll) and North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis(47-37).   Hagan's toughest opponent appears to be former Congresswoman Sue Myrick (whom Hagan has a very narrow lead: 45-44).   Pumping up turnout and voter registrations will help Hagan against the Tea Party onslaught(and they have a deep bench).  Cook and Rothenberg have this as Leans D.

Prediction:  Leans Democratic(against most GOP),  Tossup/Tilt R(if Myrick).  Democratic hold.

SC-Sen-B:  Tim Scott holds a structural advantage in this special election.   A former Governor(Hodges) and a few state Reps are listed as potential opponents.   Without any polling, it will be tough to gauge this race.  Hodges sounds like a moderate to Conservative Democrat and could potentially at least keep it close for Scott.   A voter registration effort and high turnout could help fight for this seat.   Cook has this as Likely R and Rothenberg as Safe R

Prediction: Likely Republican.   Republican hold.

SD-Sen:  Tim Johnson was won squeakers before(he won in 2002 by 524 votes and he won a close one in 1996).   Johnson's health might make a tough re-election fight against former Gov. Mike Rounds(who has declared himself a candidate) too tough for him.   Rounds will be a formidable opponent, but if South Dakota Democrats remind voters of Rounds extreme anti-choice actions and if the Democrats work towards high Native American turnout, our odds are still good.   The consensus is that this is a Tossup race.  If Tim Johnson decides not to run, the Democrats might look at U.S Attorney Brendan Johnson(who is a son of the current Senator).   The younger Johnson also is very strong on Native American issues.   Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is also a consideration.

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt D(if Johnson stays in), Lean Republican(if Johnson retires).   Possible Democratic hold.

VA-Sen:  Mark Warner is a popular incumbant, and polls above 50 against all Republicans and has a very good lead over Gov. Bob McDonnell(who is term-limited in 2013) 52-42 according a January PPP poll.  Cook and Rothenberg rank this a Likely D

Prediction: Likely Democratic(might move to Safe Democratic depending on opponent).

WV-Sen:  This is an open seat since Jay Rockefeller is retiring.   Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has declared herself as a Republican candidate and Capito polls above 50 against the top 3 Democrats who could run and Capito crushes them as far as leads.   Capito could be teabagged as Club for Growth doesn't like her.   Consensus has this as a Tossup.   This will be a difficult seat to keep even with a teabagger.

Prediction: Likely Republican, Tossup/Tilt D if Capito is teabagged.   Republican pickup(if Capito).  (Senate makeup after 2014: 53-47)

Safe Democratic(consensus):
Delaware
Illinois
Michigan
New Mexico
Oregon
Rhode Island

Safe Republican(consensus)
Alabama
Idaho
Kansas
Mississippi
Nebraska
Oklahoma
South Carolina(A seat)
Tennessee
Texas
Wyoming.

Conclusions:   Currently the 2014 Senate map is tough for Democrats with opportunities in Georgia, Kentucky and Maine if the Tea Party knocks out the more establishment Republicans and the Democratic nominee is a strong one.   The Democrats have potential to lose in Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.   Montana and West Virginia at the moment seems like the toughest holds but Johnson retiring in South Dakota opens that up for a Republican pickup too.

Current Senate: 53 Democrats, 2 Independents, 45 Republicans(55D 45 R)
Projected Senate after 2014: 51 Democrats, 2 Independents, 47 Republicans(53D 47R)
GOP Pickups: WV, MT

Below the orange squiggle are select House races including predictions on all open seats in 2014 and the Governor races.

Poll

Democratic change in the House after 2014?

7%11 votes
3%6 votes
3%6 votes
9%15 votes
11%18 votes
2%4 votes
3%6 votes
7%11 votes
3%5 votes
18%28 votes
9%15 votes
1%3 votes
0%1 votes
11%17 votes
4%7 votes

| 153 votes | Vote | Results

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