News from the Votemaster
In principle, 2014 looks like a very good year for Senate Republicans. They have only 14 seats up for releection to the Democrats' 21, and 13 of the 14 Republican-held seats are in deep red states. In contrast, the Democrats have to defend incumbents in states like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. The Democrats are also defending open seats in Iowa, South Dakota, and West Virginia, which, although not lost causes, are at least competitive.
The Democrats' fundamental problem is that weak Democrats rode to victory in 2008--a Democratic wave year--on President Obama's coattails. That option is not available in 2014, so many of these Democrats are going to have to fight for their political lives. If the Republicans can pick up five seats, the current 55-45 Democratic majority will vanish and Vice President Joe Biden will get a day job as President of the Senate. If the Republicans can pick off six seats, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will become majority leader.
So far, the picture looks pretty rosy for the Republicans, but there's a catch. In 2012, many observers expected the Democrats to lose their 53-47 majority in the Senate because they had to defend 23 seats to the Republicans 10. It didn't happen. The Democrats ended up with a gain of two seats, largely because the Republicans fielded poor candidates. That could happen again in 2014. A battle is brewing already, basically about whether the Republicans want to nominate moderates, who can win the general election, but who are regarded as RINOs by the tea party, or extremely conservative candidates who can win the Republican primary but not the general election.
Two cases in point. In West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), daughter of former governor and felon Arch Moore, is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). She is a moderate and could probably win. However, the Club for Growth is looking for someone to run against her in the Republican primary. Similarly, popular former governor Mike Rounds (R) is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), but former senator Jim DeMint, now head of the conservative Heritage Foundation, doesn't think he is conservative enough and is looking for someone to take him on in a primary.
However, the establishment is fighting back. Karl Rove, has created a Conservative Victory Project expressly for the purpose of helping candidates the Club for Growth, DeMint, and other very conservative outside groups oppose. This could lead to fireworks, as high-profile, well-funded, Republican groups duke it out. The Washington Post has a good article today about the coming fratricide. For a run down of all 2014 Senate races, click on the "Senate candidates" link in the blue bar at the top of this page.Email a link to a friend or share:
Mar19 Head of the Republican Party Excoriates the Republican Party
Mar01 Latham Declines to Run for Harkin's Senate Seat in Iowa
Feb15 Democrats Avoid Bruising Senatorial Primary in New Jersey
Feb08 Braley Starts Running for Harkin's Seat
Feb02 Scott Brown Will Not Run in Masssachusetts Special Election
Jan27 Tom Harkin to Retire in 2015
Jan27 Rick Hasen: Republicans Won't Gerrymander the Electoral College
Jan27 Poll: Brown Leads Markey by 20 Points in Massachusetts Special Election
Jan26 Saxby Chambliss Won't Seek Reelection
Jan25 Republican-Controlled Blue States Considering Electoral-College Changes
Jan25 Are Robopollsters Cheating?
Jan22 Biden Inaugurated as Vice President Again
Jan22 Virginia Republicans Redistrict While Civil Rights Leader Attends Inauguration
Jan14 New Front Page for 2013-2014
Jan14 Seats Most Likely to Flip
Jan11 Sen. Jay Rockefeller Will Not Run for Reelection in 2014
Dec20 Senate Races 2014 - Part 2
Nov30 Senate Races 2014
Nov23 How Well Did the Pollsters Do?
Nov23 The Season's Almost Over
Nov22 Happy Thanksgiving
Nov21 Iowa Governor Wants to Kill the Ames Straw Poll
Nov21 Jim Messina Tells How Obama Won
Nov21 Massachusetts Democrats Panicking over a Special Election
Nov20 Conservative Republicans Fight Back
Nov20 Saxby Chambliss May Face a Primary Challenge
Nov20 West Tosses in the Towel
Nov20 Eliminating Loopholes Won't Get Us Off the Fiscal Hill
Nov19 Obama's Pollster Dumps on Gallup
Nov19 Rural White Voters Having Trouble Understanding the Election
Nov19 Republicans Want to Avoid More Bitter Primaries
Nov19 Republicans Are Attacking Charlie Crist Already
Nov19 Even after Recount, Allen West Refuses to Concede
Nov19 The End is Near
Nov18 Marco Rubio Now Campaigning in Iowa
Nov18 Republicans Are Warming to Immigration Reform
Nov17 Republican Attacks on Romney Continue Unabated
Nov17 Obama Campaign Was Data Driven
Nov17 Final House Results Are Coming In
Nov17 Congressional Gender Gap Grows
Nov16 Republicans Condemn Romney's Remarks about Gifts
Nov16 What Kind of Candidates Will Jerry Moran Recruit in 2014?
Nov16 Bennet May Take Over DSCC Chairmanship from Patty Murray
Nov16 How Did the Democrats Make Gains in the Senate?
Nov16 Five House Races Still Undecided
Nov15 Senate Republicans: Candidates Matter
Nov15 House Republicans Elect a Woman to Leadership Position
Nov15 Polling Cell phones Is Increasingly a Problem
Nov15 Results of the Poll Taken Here on Nov. 5