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2010 Senate Elections

Old 11-11-09, 11:01 AM
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2010 Senate Elections

Never too early to start speculating...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29343.html


After struggling for two consecutive cycles on the Senate battlefield, Republicans seem poised to make a comeback in 2010. With 37 seats up for grabs — and Democrats defending 19 of them — the GOP is flexing its muscles in Democratic-leaning states like Delaware, Connecticut and Illinois. Recruiting coups by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas are one big reason Republicans feel a new sense of confidence. Democrats, meanwhile, are taking on an increasingly defensive crouch as the party in power, which must defend President Barack Obama’s ambitious — and expensive — agenda.

Without further ado, here is POLITICO’s list of the 10 best pickup opportunities among next year’s Senate contests.

Delaware

Republicans turned Delaware into their top pickup target when they nabbed Rep. Mike Castle, the state’s nine-term moderate congressman, to run for the open seat. Delaware remains a deeply Democratic state, with Vice President Joe Biden — the former occupant of the seat in question — as the state’s political godfather. But Democrats and Republicans agree that Castle is the only Republican in the state who could make this a real race. Now all eyes are on Biden’s son, Democratic Attorney General Beau Biden, who is said to be leaning toward a run.

Connecticut

Republicans would typically have no business contesting a Senate seat in deeply blue Connecticut, but given Chris Dodd’s still-tenuous political standing in his home state, Republicans see a possible pickup. Dodd has seen his approval ratings dip well below 50 percent as he has come under scrutiny for his ties to Countywide Financial. Former Rep. Rob Simmons once seemed to be the obvious GOP contender, but Simmons now faces an increasingly difficult primary against former Ambassador Tom Foley, anti-tax activist Peter Schiff and deep-pocketed former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon.

Colorado

The White House and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are circling the wagons around appointed Sen. Michael Bennet — a clear sign that the Washington Democratic establishment views former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s potentially divisive primary challenge as a threat to the party’s hold on the seat. Even with the support, Bennet might now be forced to move to the left on a series of tough votes — starting with health care — that could put him at a disadvantage in a tough general election campaign. Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is the likely GOP nominee, but she faces a contested primary.

Nevada

Republicans missed out when Rep. Dean Heller and former Rep. Jon Porter — two potential contenders who could have put a serious scare into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — passed on the race. The GOP is left with former state Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden, a less-than-perfect nominee who is certain to come under a hail of fire from Reid, who has nearly $9 million in his campaign bank account. It’s Reid, more than any other 2010 incumbent, whose fortunes are tied to the national political environment, and his reelection will be viewed as a referendum on the Democratic majority and Obama.

Illinois

While Democrats failed in their efforts to woo state Attorney General Lisa Madigan into the race, Republicans scored a major recruiting coup when they signed up Rep. Mark Kirk, a mammoth fundraiser known for his success in holding a tough suburban Chicago House seat. Both sides agree that Kirk will make the race for a Democratic seat competitive. Democrats, meanwhile, have struggled to find a candidate they are comfortable with — state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has emerged as the front-runner in the Democratic primary field, though his background in banking may provide fodder for opponents.

Pennsylvania

Former GOP Rep. Pat Toomey, once regarded as an unelectable conservative in an increasingly Democratic state, is emerging as a strong contender. Toomey has raised a cool $3 million and has pulled even with or ahead of Sen. Arlen Specter in polls. Specter faces an uncertain path to the Democratic nomination, however, as he and Rep. Joe Sestak are headed for the kind of tough, expensive primary that always makes party higher-ups nervous.

Ohio

With Ohio trending Democratic in recent years, the state has emerged as the top Democratic pickup opportunity in the country. Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher is the all-but-certain Democratic nominee in the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. George Voinovich, though Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has stubbornly remained in the race despite raising less than $600,000. Former White House Budget Director Rob Portman, poised to run on the GOP side, has already raised more than $6 million for the contest — a hefty sum that has Democrats on edge about Fisher’s less-than-stellar cash figures.

Missouri

The race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Kit Bond offers Democrats one of their strongest pickup targets, as Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is almost certainly the strongest Democratic recruit of the cycle. Carnahan — the daughter of former Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan — has already taken in more than $3 million for the contest. Rep. Roy Blunt, a former House GOP whip, avoided a tough primary against former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, but he still faces an uphill general election battle.

Kentucky

The increasingly competitive GOP primary between Rand Paul, son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and Secretary of State Trey Grayson has created an opening for Democrats to compete in this Republican-friendly state. Paul is tapping into the base of anti-tax, conservative activists his father cultivated during his failed presidential bid to pad his campaign bank account, while national Republicans have lined up behind Grayson. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, who gave retiring Sen. Jim Bunning a scare in 2004, are locked in an increasingly bitter primary of their own.

New Hampshire

Though Democrats are rallying around Rep. Paul Hodes in the race for the seat of departing GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, the second-term congressman has yet to establish himself as strong contender. Hodes has just over $1 million in his campaign bank account and came under fire over the summer for avoiding health care town halls. National Republicans, meanwhile, are placing their hopes on Kelly Ayotte, a former state attorney general. While Ayotte has revealed little about her platform, Democrats hope that the prospect of a primary battle with former State Board of Education Chairman Ovide Lamontagne and Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney, among others, could force her to the right.

I think it is too early to tell for a few seats like NV. Like politico says, it'll be a partial referendum on where the country is.

KY looks interesting. A Paul in the Senate could be fun.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:08 AM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

I'm surprised California was left out. Boxer may have met her match with someone politically acceptable to a majority of Californians -- Carly Fiorina.

Of course if there's any touch of something that can have a scandal made of it in Fiorina's past, it will become the predominant issue the last week of the campaign. Boxer doesn't count on winning on the issues.

This might figure into things...

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Old 11-11-09, 11:28 AM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

There's still a long way to go between now and next Nov and many things can change... not sure its really worth speculating at this point, but I'm sure the campaigning is going to start soon
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Old 11-11-09, 12:40 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

The Ballad of Rand Paul

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Old 11-11-09, 12:44 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Sestak in '10
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Old 11-11-09, 01:20 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Will Sestak get support in a primary being pro-life?
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Old 11-11-09, 01:36 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by X View Post
Of course if there's any touch of something that can have a scandal made of it in Fiorina's past, it will become the predominant issue the last week of the campaign.
I guess the fact that she was completely incompetent when she was at HP doesn't matter to you then?
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Old 11-11-09, 01:57 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

I think the Democrats do have some serious vulnerabilities. However, I think the Republicans are in too much disarray to really capitalize. We may be seeing the Owens/Hoffman/Scozzafava fight replayed in a variety of races around the country to the benefit of the Democrats.

When the dust settles, I see the Republicans picking up a net of two seats, give or take.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:13 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Will Sestak get support in a primary being pro-life?
"Representative Sestak is fully pro-choice and received a 100% pro-choice rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2007."

But to answer your question, our Senator Bob Casey (D) is Pro-Life. I voted for him.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:14 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I think the Democrats do have some serious vulnerabilities. However, I think the Republicans are in too much disarray to really capitalize. We may be seeing the Owens/Hoffman/Scozzafava fight replayed in a variety of races around the country to the benefit of the Democrats.


http://www.championnews.net/article.php?sid=1987
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Old 11-11-09, 03:20 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
"Representative Sestak is fully pro-choice and received a 100% pro-choice rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2007."

But to answer your question, our Senator Bob Casey (D) is Pro-Life. I voted for him.
Ha. Guess I read wrong. Sounds like it wouldnt have been an issue anyway
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Old 11-11-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

That's Exhibit A. Rep. Kirk is probably the only Republican who stands a chance of being elected in a statewide election in Illinois in 2010; the more he's forced to move to the right, the more that chance will get correspondingly smaller.

Exhibit B is in Florida, where conservatives are backing Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist. I'm interested to see if similar movements develop in other states.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:47 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by MrX View Post
Some of our amateur homosexuals could learn a thing or two from this guy.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:31 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

And yet at the same time there are rumblings about a primary challenge to Snowe, which would either result in a Democratic senator from Maine or an independent Snowe remaining in the Senate.

Of course, she's not up for reelection until 2012.

Oh, and Mike Castle is a douchebag. And he looks like like a muppet.
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Old 11-11-09, 05:57 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I think the Democrats do have some serious vulnerabilities. However, I think the Republicans are in too much disarray to really capitalize. We may be seeing the Owens/Hoffman/Scozzafava fight replayed in a variety of races around the country to the benefit of the Democrats.

When the dust settles, I see the Republicans picking up a net of two seats, give or take.
Disarray? Hmm!

I do believe the House offers the best chance for serious Repub gains in 2010.
I don't see a repeat of 1994, but I think the Democratic margin in the House will be signficantly reduced.
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Old 11-11-09, 07:24 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by dork View Post
Some of our amateur homosexuals could learn a thing or two from this guy.
No one told it was possible to get paid for this
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Old 11-11-09, 08:56 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
KY looks interesting. A Paul in the Senate could be fun.
You can be sure that the GOP establishment is going to throw in a ton of money against him.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:29 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
You can be sure that the GOP establishment is going to throw in a ton of money against him.
The GOP has an establishment left?
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Old 11-11-09, 11:11 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I think the Democrats do have some serious vulnerabilities. However, I think the Republicans are in too much disarray to really capitalize.
I agree with this. However, I expect that liberals will find a way to dismiss the number of seats they lose and forget how they have been talking about the Republicans being in disarray for years. To acknowledge it will be to acknowledge the majority of the nation not loving the debt loving Obama.
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Old 11-12-09, 02:25 AM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I agree with this. However, I expect that liberals will find a way to dismiss the number of seats they lose and forget how they have been talking about the Republicans being in disarray for years. To acknowledge it will be to acknowledge the majority of the nation not loving the debt loving Obama.
Damn those liberals pre-emptively for the spin I assume they will make, unlike conservatives, who will be forthright and objective in their assessments of the electoral outcome. Let's get the whining started a year ahead of time so we can build up a good head of steam by November 2010.

In any event, the states where the Democrats are likely to lose seats have relatively little to do with Obama and much more to do with the Senatorial candidates in those states. I know you like to paint everything as a referendum on Obama (some leaves fell off the tree in my yard today -- they don't want to live in Obama's America any more!), but the only people who seem to think he is the alpha and omega are his opponents. The rest of us have some perspective, and recognize that if Mike Castle wins, it will be in large part because he is extraordinarily popular in his own right in Delaware, and if Christopher Dodd loses, it will be in large part because of Mr. Dodd's own unpopularity, not Mr. Obama's.
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Old 11-12-09, 02:57 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by X View Post
I'm surprised California was left out. Boxer may have met her match with someone politically acceptable to a majority of Californians -- Carly Fiorina.

Of course if there's any touch of something that can have a scandal made of it in Fiorina's past, it will become the predominant issue the last week of the campaign. Boxer doesn't count on winning on the issues.

This might figure into things...

Boxer runs on the core Democratic issues (education, social issues, health care and the environment) in a Democratic leaning state.
Boxer beat Fong and Jones on the issues as they were too conservative for California. There were no last minute scandals in those two races... she just took them apart with her negative ads. Only her first election to the Senate was decided by a last minute scandal by her opponent. Fiorina could be acceptable to the electorate but she will need to get by a conservative challenger in the Republican primary. She isn't off to a good start with her lack of voting in past elections and removal from the McCain campaign for off script remarks and the terrible website. Republicans always want to write Boxer's obituary but she has proven to be a tough, tough campaigner so I would never bet against her.
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Old 11-12-09, 04:21 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

If Harry Reid should lose, who do you believe would be the Majority Leader?

I believe Durbin would receive a challenge in the caucus.
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Old 11-12-09, 04:25 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
The GOP has an establishment left?
If they don't, they'll re-establish to ensure that Paul loses the primary.
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Old 11-12-09, 04:30 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
If they don't, they'll re-establish to ensure that Paul loses the primary.
Don't bet on it. Michael Steele is too busy making twitters and facebooking peeps to worry about the collapse of the Republican Party.
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Old 11-12-09, 04:33 PM
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Re: 2010 Senate Elections

Do you seriously believe the Republican Party is collapsing?

I can remember, and it's not that long ago, when people were saying the same thing about the Democratic Party.
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