• Strongly Dem (45)
  • Likely Dem (0)
  • Barely Dem (3)
  • Exactly tied (2)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (2)
  • Strongly GOP (44)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls:  
Dem pickups : GA
GOP pickups : AK AR CO LA MT SD WV

News from the Votemaster

Colorado and 2016

Colorado has two competitive statewide races this year, one for senator and one for governor, and these could be bellwethers for 2016. Republicans have been shut out of statewide victories in Colorado for 10 years. If Colorado is a purple state, it is a bluish purple one. Still, the state is split between urban and rural, progressive and conservative. It supported legalizing marijuana but is also a strong gun-rights state. The state has many young voters and Latino voters. It also has a new vote-by-mail system being used this year for the first time.

All these factors considered, if the Republicans manage to win either the senatorial race or gubernatorial race, it will give them a huge morale boost. If they lose both of them, Colorado may be out of reach in 2016, and without Colorado, the presidency will be a steep climb.

2014 Is the Year of the Independent

Americans are so fed up with both parties that independents are having quite a good year. Greg Orman is leading Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) in many polls in Kansas. Former senator Larry Pressler has a decent shot at getting back his old job in South Dakota. An independent candidate for governor in Alaska, Bill Walker, has a good chance, oddly enough with the backing of former governor Sarah Palin, who dislikes the current Republican governor, Sean Parnell (R-AK), who is running for reelection. And in Maine, there is a three-way race for governor, with independent Eliot Cutler unlikely to win but well positioned to play the role of spoiler.

Armies of Poll Watchers Are Being Mobilized for Election Day

Liberal groups are forming groups to monitor the polls on election day to watch for voter suppression. Conservatives are forming groups to look out for voter fraud. Many states have passed new voter ID laws, but the courts have invalidated or suspended some of them. In addition to confusion by voters, these vigilante groups could end up battling each other at polling places all over the country on election day.

A GOP Senate Would Lead to Endless Battles on Many Issues

If the Republicans take the Senate, they would try to pass legislation to repeal the ACA, approve the Keystone XL pipeline, lower tax rates, and investigate the administration on many fronts. Assuming the rules about filibusters were not changed, the Senate Democrats would block all of this, leading to more gridlock.

Another important effect of a Republican takeover would be changes in key committee chairmanships. These would include

Committee Old chairman New chairman
Foreign relations Robert Menendez Bob Corker
Intelligence Diane Feinstein Richard Burr
Judiciary Pat Leahy Charles Grassley
Appropriations Barbara Mikulsky Thad Cochran or Richard Shelby
Armed Services Carl Levin John McCain or James Inhofe
Health, Education and Labor Tim Johnson Mike Crapo

Many issues would come up. On health care, it is possible the Senate might take a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer to the ACA, for example by repealing the excise tax on medical devices. However, doing only that would disappoint House Republicans.

A Republican Congress would probably lead to a budget for the first time in years. However, the budget is nonbinding and serves only as a guide for appropriations bills, many of which Obama would veto.

The Republicans would likely try to repeal or weaken the Dodd-Frank Act, but the Democrats would certainly filibuster any attempt to remove the few restrictions the law placed on the banks. Knowing that, the chair of the Senate Banking Committee might try for small changes that could actually pass.

Another complication is that three Republican senators, Sen Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are all likely to run for President in 2016 and all would want to play a major role in the Senate. They might well end up in conflict with one another in various areas.

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster
Oct25 Republican Pollster Gives Begich Massive Lead in Alaska
Oct25 Joni Ernst Skips Meeting with the Des Moines Register
Oct25 Could Michelle Nunn Actually Win in Georgia?
Oct25 Angus King Might Switch Parties
Oct25 Conservative Group Tries to Get North Carolina Democrats to Vote for Libertarian
Oct24 Wasserman Schultz Says Obama is Campaigning, but Is Unable to Say Where
Oct24 Is 2014 a Wave Year?
Oct24 Hillary Clinton Tries Out Populist Theme
Oct23 Does the Ground Game Really Matter?
Oct23 Who Is Being Attacked Most?
Oct23 Koch Brothers Soften Their Ads
Oct23 DSCC Spending Again in Kentucky
Oct23 Takeaways from the final Scott-Crist Debate in Florida
Oct23 Judges Make Rulings with an Eye to Future Attack Ads
Oct23 Political Animosity Exceeds Racial Hostility
Oct22 Republicans Doing Well in Early Voting
Oct22 Pew Study Examines Media Habits by Political Persuasion
Oct22 Republican Attacks on Illegal Immigration Could Help in 2014, Hurt in 2016
Oct22 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race Could Impact 2016
Oct22 Battle for the NRSC Chairmanship Has Already Started
Oct22 Jeb Bush Could Tolerate Tax Increases as Part of a Deal
Oct21 Obama Voted Yesterday
Oct21 Michelle Obama Hits the Campaign Trail
Oct21 Republicans Are Improving Their Ground Game
Oct21 Republicans Are More Skeptical About Ebola Response than Democrats
Oct21 Tiny Island Near Russia Could Determine Control of the Senate
Oct21 More on Voter ID Laws
Oct21 Ted Cruz Announces His 2016 Platform
Oct20 Gubernatorial Races Hotter than Senate Races
Oct20 Obama Finally Hits the Campaign Trail
Oct20 Warren Campaigns in Colorado
Oct20 The Most Polarized Voters Are Also the Most Likely Vote
Oct20 Holding Local Elections in Even-numbered Years Could Increase Turnout
Oct20 Romney Leading the 2016 Republican Polls
Oct19 Supreme Court Says Texas May Enforce Voter ID Law in November
Oct19 In Final Stretch, No Pattern is Emerging
Oct19 Black Turnout Could Be the Deciding Factor in Many Races
Oct19 Many Transgender Americans May Lose the Right to Vote Due to ID Laws
Oct19 Hillary Clinton Tests 2016 Themes
Oct18 Pollster Who Worked for Romney Reflects on What He Learned in 2012
Oct18 Bill Clinton Is Trying to Save Pryor
Oct18 Republicans Attack New Ebola Czar
Oct18 Wife of Gov. Christie Earned Half a Million on Wall Street
Oct17 Only 25% of Registered Voters Have Been Contacted
Oct17 Democrats Trying to Paint David Perdue as a Mini-Mitt
Oct17 Ebola Has Been Hugely Politicized
Oct17 Braley and Ernst Battle about Ebola in Debate
Oct17 Races for Secretary of State Become Fiery
Oct17 "Fangate" Heats Up Florida Gubernatorial Race
Oct16 Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law