Much has been written about which party will control the US Senate in the next Congress and, with seven pure toss-up races on the political board, there’s plenty of room for conjecture on both sides of the ideological aisle.
Let’s take a look at the aggregate Senate campaign picture, remembering that the Republicans must retain all of the seats they currently possess (15 in this election cycle) and convert six Democratic states just to reach the minimum majority level. Democrats will maintain control if the two parties deadlock at 50-50 (including the Independents who will caucus with one party or the other). The Dems hold power in such a situation because Vice President Joe Biden (D), the constitutional Senate president, will break any tie vote in his party’s favor.
The model also assumes Republican conversion victories in three Democratic retirement seats, Montana (Sen. John Walsh), South Dakota (Sen. Tim Johnson), and West Virginia (Sen. Jay Rockefeller). A three-way contest in South Dakota could Continue reading >
Freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford), a Tea Party favorite tabbed as an “accidental congressman” when he was elected in 2012 – after then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia) was disqualified from the ballot – lost his bid for renomination last night, as predicted. Attorney David Trott, brandishing endorsements from virtually all key state Republican leaders and overwhelming the incumbent in fundraising, won a huge 66-34 percent win in the 11th District that ended Bentivolio’s ill-conceived congressional career. Trott now faces former State Department official Bobby McKenzie, who barely won (671 vote margin) the Democratic primary against three opponents. Trott is the clear favorite to carry the open seat in November.
In the other incumbent challenge, controversial Tea Party-backed Rep. Justin Continue reading >
Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R), who was elected in a November special election in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District to replace resigned Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) but then quickly became embroiled in an extra-marital scandal, announced yesterday that he will not seek a full term this November. He will serve the balance of the current term, however.
Due to his short stint in Congress and his upset of the party establishment candidate, McAllister did not have the internal district support to withstand a scandal. His announcement means that 45 seats will now be open in the 2014 election cycle, though one – the 19th District of Florida – will be filled in a June special election. In addition to the 45 members leaving the House, seven more vacancies, including this Louisiana seat, have been filled in special elections since the beginning of this Congress.
In the special election, McAllister defeated 11 other Republican candidates. Some, such as former Rep. Clyde Holloway (R-LA-8) and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, already Continue reading >
Karl Rove’s right-of-center American Crossroads 527 political organization commissioned Harper Polling surveys in five US Senate campaigns, releasing the data at the end of last week. Though sample sizes and the surveying periods are not available, the ballot tests all appear to be in a range that are consistent with other published results.
In Arkansas, despite several other surveys projecting incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) to be holding a slight lead, Harper shows the two candidates tied at 39 percent.
The Colorado numbers are consistent with virtually all other data that has come into the public domain. Harper posts a two-point race between Sen. Mark Udall (D) and newly nominated Republican Cory Gardner, the 4th District congressman. This poll gives Sen. Udall a 45-43 percent lead.
Though the Louisiana numbers have been close for some time, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) typically leading but in the low 40s, the Harper data is the first to show Continue reading >
The Michigan Senate race is in flux. When Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) announced his retirement early last year, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-14) very quickly solidified himself as the consensus Democratic candidate with the help of the outgoing incumbent and his brother, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI-9). The early maneuverings provided the Detroit congressman a favorite’s aura for the general election.
Initially, during Levin’s retirement announcement period, Republicans were making no secret of their inability to recruit a contender who they could proclaim as a top-flight candidate. When former two-term Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land came forward, the state and national party leaders continued to search for someone they felt would be stronger. Now, a fourth consecutive poll has forecast Land to be holding a small edge over Rep. Peters, thereby justifying the GOP’s renewed interest in making the Wolverine State a top Senatorial target.
With the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee now distributing fundraising materials quoting MSNBC as saying that the Republicans “now have the advantage” in capturing the Senate majority this year, it’s a good time to examine the total national picture.
Recent polling does suggest that the Republicans have greatly improved their chances of converting the six Democratic seats they need to claim majority status. In fact, GOP candidates are now either leading or within the margin of error in nine states, while maintaining a slight advantage in their own two competitive seats (Kentucky and Georgia).
Isolating the various states, we begin with the three open Democratic seats from places that have generally yielded a Republican voting pattern since 2000. Currently, the Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia Continue reading >
A new poll was just released for the Arkansas Senate race, the results of which give challenger Rep. Tom Cotton (R) a discernible seven-point lead over incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D). According to The Polling Company, Inc./Woman Trend for the Citizens United Political Victory Fund (Dec. 6-7; 400 registered Arkansas voters) Rep. Cotton projects to a 48-41 percent advantage. In an early race that features both candidates already airing television ads, this poll is the first to give either man a significant lead beyond the margin of error.
The Arkansas Senate race so far is performing relative to the national swing. When the Democrats were soaring during the government shutdown, Pryor took the lead. Now that Republicans are rebounding nationally, Cotton has likewise come back to erase his previous deficit and move significantly past the incumbent.