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Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski
Both Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich will feature prominently in the next two election cycles.
The 2014 Senate picture looks even worse than it did (on paper) in 2012, but if we survive that, look out, because 2016 will be wondrous! Follow me below the fold for the details.

2014

2014 Senate map
Republicans are defending 13 seats, Democrats 20. But the seats the GOP is defending are nearly all in their territory: ID, WY, NE, KS, OK, TX, AL, MI, GA, SC, TN, and KY. Only Maine is being defended on Blue territory.

Meanwhile, Democrats must defend tough seats in (among other places) AK, CO, MT, SD, IA, AR, LA, NC, WV, and NH—either Red or swing states.

Democratic pickup opportunities are currently severely limited. Maine is obviously top of the list, but only if Susan Collins follows her former colleague Olympia Snowe into retirement. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is surprisingly unpopular in Kentucky, providing an outside chance of a race. American Crossroads is clearly spooked at a Ashley Judd candidacy, already hitting her with this web ad. And then there's the open seat in Georgia, a state that is demographically moving in our direction. The threat of a teabagger challenge chased Saxby Chambliss into retirement, giving us the best chance to replicate Indiana next year.

Republican prospects are much rosier, even if "rosy" is relative when it comes to the modern broken GOP (remember, things were pretty darn rosy for Republicans in 2012, and they still ended up losing two net seats to the Democrats).

Mark Begich in Alaska is holding his own in the early polling, but it'll be close. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Tim Johnson in South Dakota, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina should all face serious and difficult reelection bids. Democratic retirements in Iowa and West Virginia will also be tough holds. Slot in Colorado and New Hampshire as GOP longshots, but they're on the map. Finally, Montana Democrats have been able to buck their state's Red lean during Senate races, and Max Baucus would have the slight edge, though Brian Schweitzer could lock it down (whether via primary challenge, or after a Baucus retirement).

What that all means is that Republicans are well within reach of the six seats they would need to control the Senate. The math makes that obvious. If there's a silver lining here, it's that the Red-state Dems on that list don't have to run with President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, and won't have to contend with presidential-year turnout which would undoubtedly hurt most of them.

2016

2016 Senate map
But here's where it gets good. First of all, if a Democrat survived 2010 they can survive anything. That means their seats in CA, CO, CT, HI, MD, NV, NY, OR, VT, and WA are all safe. There's not a good GOP opportunity in that lot, even if retirements were to take place (and none are expected at this time).

Republicans, on the other hand, have to defend (in addition to their safe seats) FL, IL, IA, NH, NC, OH, PA, and WI. Furthermore, AZ, GA, and MO could be competitive if there were retirements, scandal, or teabagger primary victories.

Yes, Marco Rubio is the darling of the GOP and media establishments, but his Florida numbers are average at best. And in any case, he may be on the presidential ticket anyway. Mark Kirk in Illinois is toast. Iowa's Chuck Grassley will be 83 on Election Day 2016. Republicans are praying he doesn't retire.

As long as base turnout doesn't plummet, a la 2010, New Hampshire freshman GOPer Kelly Ayotte will face a tough re-election battle. North Carolina's Richard Burr is a longshot, but still on the map.

But the most fun will be teabagger troika in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, particularly in a presidential year when base turnout will be maximized: Scuttlebutt out of Wisconsin is that Russ Feingold wants a rematch against the joker Ron Johnson representing his state in the Senate. Pat Toomey won the Keystone State by just two points in a year when the Democratic base sat out. And while Rob Portman won his seat convincingly in the Buckeye State, again it was with depressed Democratic turnout.

Put Hillary Clinton on our presidential ticket, and you might even see Republican-held seats in Arkansas and Kentucky under pressure. And finally, Alaska presents an interesting scenario: Lisa Murkowski already lost a Republican primary and won election as a write-in independent. She would likely face a similar situation in 2016, and against another split field, a Democrat might be able to succeed (or push Murkowski out of the GOP).

Obviously, 2016 is a long way away, and much can and will happen before then. But no matter how bleak 2014 looks for us on paper, just remember that 2016 will be our reward for holding strong and limiting GOP gains next year.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well, there you have it (32+ / 0-)
    Meanwhile, Democrats must defend tough seats in (among other places) AK, CO, MT, SD, IA, AR, LA, NC, WV, and NH—either Red or swing states.
    no way an AWB gets past the senate, not with those vulnerabilities.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:18:21 AM PST

    •  Right. (6+ / 0-)

      So the tactical move is to settle for background checks now — which many think are more important anyhow — and revisit more robust reform in 2017.

    •  AWB? Define, please... thanks! n/t (8+ / 0-)

      "Please don't dominate the rap Jack, if you got nothing new to say." - Robert Hunter

      by WSComn on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:31:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why negotiate it away before the negotiations? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, llywrch

      Obama can trade the AWB for registration and background checks if that's what it comes down to. Seems ridiculous to pre-emptivily fold on the AWB, particularly when these a majority of the country - even in Texas - approves of these hobbyist guns being banned.

      •  yes and no (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GayHillbilly

        trading the AWB for background checks requires that one advocate for the AWB. the optics of that are horrible, though; it fulfills every paranoid fantasy about gun-grabbing dems.

        guess it comes down to risk analysis:  is the blowback from even just pretending to pursue the AWB worth it?

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:31:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Assuming there is blowback. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          akmk, VirginiaBlue, llywrch

          You have to completely ignore the polling on the AWB to figure that there would be a huge blowback against Dems on this. Anyone who bought into the Democrats are gungrabbers meme stopped voting Democrat a long time ago.

          I've never seen pre-mature capitulation work. I think pursuing the AWB is worth it simply because you're probably not going to get registration and background checks without trading something for them in this congress.  But I'm sure RKBA folks already know that and want the whole package of gun reforms to quietly go away, starting with AWB getting tossed out as "unrealistic".

          •  Some don't look at polls... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            conniptionfit

            they look to their guts based on what happened between 1980-2005.  Run from any fight, at any chance, if there is the slightest chance you may lose.

            The real question is when do folks figure out the stupidity of this strategy.

            "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

            by justmy2 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:55:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I suspect RKBA folks are looking at the polls (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alain2112

              and are just concern trolling as a way of fighting anti-gun sentiment at DK and depress activism against an AWB.

              •  this kind of comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                annieli

                is exactly what this debate doesn't need.  quit accusing people who disagree with of nefarious intent.  it's rather emblematic of the bigger picture gun debate; keep it up and you will achieve nothing but alienating those who could otherwise be allies.  and make a bad impression, of course.


                anyhoo, polls, schmolls.

                a)  they rarely, if ever, define "assault weapons ban," so who knows what people think they are supporting.

                b) national polls mean fuck all when looking at state-level campaigns. they're influenced by blue state participants and red state participants, whereas a senatorial campaign in MT is vulnerable on guns just as sure the sun will set in the west tonight.  no matter how much you dislike such a fact, there it is.

                Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:15:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe this debate requires honesty (0+ / 0-)

                  And when RKBA is making an obviously coordinated attempt to depress AWB, background check, and registration support, but then pretends to be an "ally" of gun reform (totally devoid of reforms) I call b.s. It's no secret that the only serious gun reforms RKBA wants are no reforms, so why even pretend to looking out for the Democratic Party's chances in 2014 by suggesting they nix the AWB when your primary concern is that no restrictions pass? Be honest.

                  a) I think when commercials show an AR-15, explain that it shoots 45 rounds a minute, and call it an Assault Weapon most people will agree with that definition. If you want chime in and say that all semi-auto's shoot 45 rounds a minute I don't think that will do much to support your case.

                  b) The damage is already done and there is already an AWB bill out there. Republicans are already going to call every Dem a gungrabber in 2014. They've already cut the commercials, so why run away from the fight now and get nothing from it?

                  •  i have not seen one single person (0+ / 0-)

                    "attempt to depress" strengthening background checks.

                    and i'd bet dollars to doughnuts that "attempt to depress AWB" is any effort to point out the realities of the situation.  

                    there are uphill battles, and then there's pickett's charge.  look at the graphics in this diary.

                    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                    by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:03:20 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You've now seen one single person (0+ / 0-)

                      You just needed to look for one. Hasn't even fallen off the recent diaries list yet.

                      Again, your view of reality read like the handwringing of someone worries that an AWB could potentially pass, not that we'd lose seats over it. Considering an AWB is more popular than Obama in conservative Texas and Independent New Hampshire we may even gain seats. This isn't 1994 and guns are concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, meaning fewer voters care about them.

                      We'd need to political capital to save Social Security that's currently solvent for another 20 years? lol. Try selling that to someone who has bought into the Republican hype. Like I said, if the AWB doesn't pass it will be used to pass something else. The only reason anyone would want to ditch it right now is if they didn't want to see Dems have that bargaining chip in and attempt to achieve stronger reforms. And my guess is that person would be someone who was opposed to registration and background checks. Know anybody like that?

                      “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

                      by Jason Hackman on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:57:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  okay, one, one who opposes it (0+ / 0-)

                        because he believes it will require gun registration.

                        he's against Y, which is part of X, so he's against X. see how that works?

                        anyhoo...enough with the personal commentary and ascribing beliefs and motives to people you don't know from shinola.  it's quite puerile.  

                        as to your first link, again:

                        NATIONAL POLLING MEANS BUPKIS IN STATE RACES.

                        the senate isn't won nationally, dig?  nobody in MT cares what people in MA think, okay?

                        as to your texas link, again:

                        THE POLL DOESN"T DEFINE "ASSAULT WEAPON."

                        so who knows what the whopping 500 texans who responded thought they were supporting in expressing the opinion of favoring a gun ban.

                        please address those two points if you're going to reply
                        .

                        and beyond that, that texas poll does you no favors:

                        Texas voters do like the NRA. 46% view it favorably to 40% with an unfavorable opinion. 47% of voters support its proposal to put armed police officers in every school in the country, to 39% who oppose it. Even 41% of Democrats support that initiative.

                        Overall on the issue of guns Texans say they trust the NRA over President Obama by a 47/43 margin.

                        And despite all of that 49% of Texas voters support an assault weapons ban to just 41% opposed to it. Most Democrats support it, independents favor it by a 53/34 margin, and even among Republicans 23% support it.

                        so much for whatever you thought your point about texas was; support for an AWB, whatever AW means, doesn't even break 50% and isn't but two points higher than putting armed guards in every damn school. yeah, that's gonna happen...

                        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                        by Cedwyn on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:35:04 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. AWB may supported by more folks than one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jason Hackman

            thinks.  It's folly to think anyone clinging to their assault weapons would vote for anyone other than a right-wing Republican anyway.

      •  because that's what Dems do (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orlbucfan, Jason Hackman, akmk, Eddie L

        Our very best negotiating is ALWAYS the "negotiating" we do with ourselves.

        (sigh)

    •  That is the evaluation criteria? (0+ / 0-)

      Wait until a year with no tough seats?

      So glad Dems seem to be ignoring this poll-driven focused strategy that seems to continue to be pushed for some reason after it failed miserably in 2009-2010.

      So happy...

      It may not pass, but that is no reason for not moving the Overton window at this key moment is history.

      smh

      "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

      by justmy2 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:53:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd enjoy a Braley win in 2014 and Vilsack 2016 in (17+ / 0-)

    Iowa.  That would be very nice...and within reason.

  •  So far it seems to me 2014 is shaping up less of a (18+ / 0-)

    negative then it seemed. Georgia, Kentucky, and maybe even SC may be somewhat in play, largely thanks to teabaggers. And Alaska and Iowa are looking more holdable then was thought. The prospects of Democrats holding the senate in 2014 have, i think, improved enough to be well over 50%. Perhaps even 53-55 seats.

    Yes, 2016 looks like a pickup opportunity of at least 6 seats 9 esp. given it's a presidential year). If Democrats can hold near 55 this year President Clinton could have a filibuster proof road for various judicial and other appointments.

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:23:56 AM PST

  •  Given that, barring a miracle in 2014 (12+ / 0-)

    nothing major can happen from a progressive pov during Obama's second term (he squandered that opportunity during his first two years with his Kumbaya fixation), the next four years, and especially 2014, will be about holding down the fort and preventing much slideback, and 2016 is the earliest that we can realistically hope to push forward a major progressive agenda (2017, actually).

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:24:30 AM PST

    •  Correction. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      play jurist, llywrch

      You say, "([Obama] squandered that opportunity during his first two years with his Kumbaya fixation)".

      I disagree.  A lot was accomplished in 2009.

      But by Oct 2010, there were 420 bills that passed the House but were held up by the Senate.

      And that's because Scott Brown was elected, seated February 4th, 2010.  We no longer had 60 in the Senate.

      It was after Brown's election that the Kumbaya started hurting progress.

      http://thehill.com/...

      http://mediamatters.org/...

      http://www.thepeoplesview.net/...

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  I call it Kumbaya (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, GayHillbilly

        But obviously that's on oversimplification. I think that in many ways Obama wanted it to look like Kumbaya when it was actually Kabuki. I.e. he didn't want bills that were much more progressive, or realized they were not possible, but hid behind Kumbaya to make it look like he was willing to try, but not by being overly partisan. But I really do believe that he botched HCR by punting the drafting and whipping of it to Baucus and Fowler, and we got the crappier than it should and could have been bill that we got as a result. Brown's election just shut the door on anything more progressive at that point, that I believe could have been done earlier had Obama run the process from the WH.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:34:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hell, the moment the 2014 bunch gets sworn in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raboof

      we're looking at two years worth of impeachment hearings.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:10:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt the American people would stand for (0+ / 0-)

        two years of impeachment hearings, if given the chance.

        So that should be the message to voters in 2014: vote Republican, get 2 years of impeachment hearings; vote Democrat, & get something done.

  •  Mo in 2016 could be competitive (18+ / 0-)

    even  without a teabagger or retirement.  Gov. Jay Nixon finished his second term that year and is then term limited.  Senator Blunt won against a weak candidate in 2010, but if Gov. Nixon runs, he might well be the favorite.  Nixon is very popular among both Dems and independents.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:25:00 AM PST

    •  Has Nixon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, JBraden

      suggested he'd be interested in a Senate race? He'd be about the only person who could make it interesting in a state that has been sliding backwards for us.

    •  Carnahan was not a weak candidate (6+ / 0-)

      The Carnahan name is (was?) political royalty in Mizzou, and Robin was a relatively popular Secretary of State.

      She was more a casualty of the 2010 teabagger political reality of riled up angry old whites and stay-at-home Dems.

      The world is kinda cold and the rhythm is your blanket, wrap yourself up in it, if you love it then you'll thank it.

      by Ajax the Greater on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:42:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I voted for her, (0+ / 0-)

        but I think the Carnhan name is not what it was.  Mel's support has not really been all that transferrable.  Weak or not, she lost big.  I don't think Blunt could do the same with Nixon.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:02:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly -and it is said because I like the Carnahans (0+ / 0-)

        The electoral fortunes of the Carnahan family have been in decline over the past decade

        Jean Carnahan lost a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband's term in 2002. Robin Carnahan lost her 2010 senate race and Russ Carnahan got redistricted out and lost a primary in 2012

        Now you can legitimately argue that there were extenuating circumstances in all three cases. Jean Carnahan lost in the lead up to the Iraq War and the post 9-11 political environment. Robin Carnahan lost in a wave election year and Russell Carnahan was redistricted out and then committed political hara-kiri by contesting a primary against an entrenched incumbent where the odds were overwhelmingly against him. But the fact still remains that the Carnahans haven't been doing very well in terms of national politics (although Robin, I believe, did win one or two elections for statewide office in the last decade).

  •  Now we see why fillibuster reform didn't happen (4+ / 0-)

    2014 could be a real disaster.  Should the disaster happen (i.e. repugs gain control of the senate), then the fillibuster will be needed by us!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:25:52 AM PST

  •  I have to disagree with you abt. Kirk, kos (5+ / 0-)

    A moderate North Shore Republican in Illinois with that length of service in the House and a term in the Senate will be tough to beat.

    Sure, Michelle Obama could beat I don't think that FLOTUS wants anything to do with electoral politics.

    Lisa Madigan could beat him...but in this state right now, that might be it.

  •  Okay so I'm bummed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, wishingwell, akmk

    We actually have the chance to LOSE seats next year? Damn! Won't the electorate ever wake up?

  •  Personally, I'm not getting the impression (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, llywrch

    that Landrieu and Johnson are in a situation any different from what they usually face and so I'm not losing my cool on them.

    Hagen, I believe, really is toast.  As a true conservadem, she hasn't given me much hope of keeping that seat.  Barring a McCaskill-type situation (i.e., gross GOP incompetence), she's gone.

    Begich strikes me as being reasonably solid.

  •  Filibuster Reform?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath

    Maybe or probably this explains why Harry Reid didn't want to go all-out on filibuster reform last month. He obviously read the tea-leaves and saw the very real chance of Republicans controlling the Senate in 2015. And, along with a likely Republican House, didn't want to make it easy for them.

  •  Guess it depends on the luck of the draw (6+ / 0-)

    and how many pro-rape candidates the GOP (inexplicably) nominates next time around . .. .

  •  Unless we can get to 60 in 2016, seems to me it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229, mconvente, llywrch

    doesn't matter whether we have 50 seats or 59.  GOP will continue to filibuster everything in sight so Democratic agenda doesn't move forward in any meaningful way.  Unless of course Harry/Dems grow a pair and reform filibuster.

  •  So if the Republicans take the Senate (0+ / 0-)

    for those 2 years, what?  Lots of vetoes?  Democrats play the filibuster game (don't have high hopes there)?  

    As long as Republicans are determined to stop any progress it seems that the next 4 years are a battle and/or dead air any way you look at it.

    •  I'd say the chances that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, charliehall2

      the GOP will control both chambers in the 114th Congress is well north of 50%...if conviction didn't take 67 votes, they'd impeach Obama. At any rate, whatever's on his agenda that doesn't get done in 2013 is likely dead.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:46:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I must say I'd have lost my bet. (0+ / 0-)
        if conviction didn't take 67 votes, they'd impeach Obama
        After the 2010 elections, I'd have bet money the Republican't House would impeach PBO w/in 6 months--I never figured the Senate would go along (or even achieve a simple majority), but I sure figured the teabaggers would try it--over the "birther" issue if nothing else.

        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

        by bartcopfan on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:33:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The goal for 2014 is no more than two losses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betelgeux

    WV is probably gone, as Jay Rockefeller is retiring.  Besides that, I think we can hold the majority of the other red/tossup states.

    I think that Landrieu and Begich are our next most vulnerable seats. I would hope that we can keep at least one of those.

    I think Kay Hagan will likely win re-election.

  •  An argument for Hillary (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that after her rest and speeches and book that there will be those around Hillary who will point out that 2016 could be a HUGE year for the Democrats if she is at the top of the ticket.

    If we can see our base turn out in 2014, 2016 could be huge for us.  Christie and Rubio are not going to do it for the GOP and we have no idea who screwed up the demented wing will do it for them.

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:35:03 AM PST

  •  rape, rape, rape, rape, illegals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    I'm just waiting for the first mention of the "n" word. I think a Senate candidate will do it in 2014. My other prediction, the Dems hold the Senate by one.


    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:37:44 AM PST

  •  GOP looking at this map and feeling bullish (0+ / 0-)

    ems gotta fight on their hands in 14'

  •  2014 would be a lot better if dems made an effort (4+ / 0-)

    to know what lies were being spread about their candidates on local RW radio stations and challenge them in real time.

    those often university endorsed radio stations dominate politics in most red and swing states and dems have lost many issues and elections because their is still no organized opposition to their and coordinated messaging dominance.

    if you're in an 'unsafe' state where dems could lose or gain seats in senate or congress those stations are going to make a difference and they work at it all year long with targeted scripted crap right out of the think tanks.

    how many activist/volunteer hours and donations are going down the drain thanks to a few ignored blowhards with big microphones standing on soapboxes endorsed with state university sports programs?

    ignoring RW radio by the dem party and the major left orgs continues as the biggest blunder in US political history.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:39:20 AM PST

  •  MS for Mississippi, not MI (7+ / 0-)

    Typo above:

    Republicans are defending 13 seats, Democrats 20. But the seats the GOP is defending are nearly all in their territory: ID, WY, NE, KS, OK, TX, AL, MI, GA, SC, TN, and KY. Only Maine is being defended on Blue territory.
    Definitely just a slip, but just wanted to point it out.

    It is done. Four More Years.

    by mconvente on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:40:38 AM PST

  •  I think you meant MS not MI (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, saluda, askew, MRA NY

    in your first list of states.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:41:08 AM PST

  •  PA-SEN 2016 (4+ / 0-)

    Believe me, folks are already working through the possibilities here.  We had assumed that Rep. Allyson Schwartz was looking to the race, but now it seems very likely she'll seek the governor's office in 2014 instead.  

    First question is whether that bumps anyone looking at that race (Sestak, McCord) into 2016 instead; second is whether it means folks who might otherwise be waiting for 2018 (MontCo Commissioner Josh Shapiro comes immediately to mind) are now going to run against Toomey instead.

  •  Picking up 2 seats in 2012 was incredibly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    important as it seems likely we'll lose 3-4 seats in 2014. That (4) is the difference between retaining a majority and losing the Senate.

    Given the Republicans current problems I wouldn't be surprised if we hold serve in 2016 but I don't expect it. I think we are in trouble in SD, AR, LA, WV and NC. While IA and AK might be at risk I don't currently think we'll lose them.

    Maine, Georgia and Kentucky seem our only possible pick-up opportunities... though I suppose the teabaggers could cause one of the South Carolina seats to become a possibility. But I have to agree that at the moment only Maine seems realistic and that only if Collins steps down.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:49:30 AM PST

  •  2016 strikes me as much, much better (7+ / 0-)

    a Presidential year in which

    a) none of our incumbents are likely to be in danger.

    b) IL, WI, and NH are very likely pick-ups

    c) FL and PA are very possible pick-ups

    d) OH, IA, KY, AZ strike me as possible pick-ups

    e) NC, GA, SC, ND, SD, AK, and MO aren't out of the realm of possibility as pick-ups

    If we can hold ground in 2014 or only lose a seat or two then reaching 60 in 2016 is a very real possibility

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:55:27 AM PST

  •  Does this line up with Election Genius Nate Silver (0+ / 0-)

    predictions and analysis?

    •  nate was a bit off when it came to Senate ratings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan

      He had North Dakota as a 92% chance that Berg would win, instead we narrowly won it.

      He also gave Republicans in a 65% of winning Montana, But Tester won in the end.

      ( I think we can chalk it up to limited polling in senate races)

      In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

      by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:15:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is Mark Kirk toast? (0+ / 0-)

    I guess his stroke leaves him open to health concerns, but I didn't get the impression that he was all that unpopular, and Illinois isn't any bluer today than it was in 2010.

    We're not a very friendly place for Republican Senators, but the state remains a major mess in Democratic hands.  I'd expect that to help Kirk a bit.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:00:08 AM PST

    •  Still he'll be up in a presidential year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente

      Blue turnout will be way higher than it was in 2010, which is a built in disadvantage for him. If his health is still poor in 3 years, he may even just bow out.

      •  I can see that if the next four years go well. (0+ / 0-)

        Four years like the last four will require another terrible GOP candidate at the top of the ticket.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:44:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if Michelle (0+ / 0-)

        can pull a Hillary there?

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:48:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She could (0+ / 0-)

          But I'm not sure she would want to. It would be rather unusual for her to jump into a Senate race while her husband is the sitting president, even though they wouldn't be serving together if she won. But I could see her making a go of it sometime in the future.

          •  Hillary ran in 2000 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam B

            when Bill was a sitting president/

            "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

            by TLS66 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:04:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OTOH (0+ / 0-)

              I do think she sucked up a lot of needed oxygen from Gore. Donations that might have ordinarily gone to Gore instead went to Hillary's senate run, and Gore made quite a few appearances in NY for Hillary when he would have been better off campaigning in swing states such as Ohio, NH, and (of course) Florida.

              "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

              by TLS66 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:10:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  So, Republicans WOULD have an opportunity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, orlbucfan

    if they wanted to pursue it, but that would take an actual commitment to:

    1. Stop being stupid instead of merely talking about it.
    2. Consider the electorate to be their constituency instead of a handful of money guys.

    That number 2's a biggie, because I think the GOP has more or less abandoned all conservatives who are neither rich nor uneducated.

    That's a  lot of people to turn your back on.

    Not a good way to court the independents they need to overcome the large advantage Democrats have in number of people claiming a party affiliation.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:03:11 AM PST

  •  We can win Georgia, if (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, wishingwell, llywrch, betelgeux

    the Dems can coalesce behind a candidate early.  Trouble is, I don't know that there is a likely one right now.

    There is not one human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. - Gore Vidal

    by southdem on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:04:31 AM PST

    •  and if The GOP nominates Broun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betelgeux

      In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

      by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:16:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i like that scuttlebut out of WI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, Sandy on Signal

    eom

  •  I feel like a damn tbagger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, orlbucfan

    because I feel that if the dems had a better message the GOP WOULD BE HISTORY!

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:17:43 AM PST

  •  This is exactly why we need... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, mconvente, llywrch

    To keep our campaign fight & GOTV efforts going...

    The elections are never over!

    We've got to get going preparing for the 2014 & 2016 elections, and at the same time we have to work on every elected position even at the state, county, & local levels.

    Republicans are unfit to serve at any level, never turn your back on one...

    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
    I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
    ~John F. Kennedy~

    -7.5,-5.8

    by Oldestsonofasailor on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:24:08 AM PST

  •  Absolutley disagree on NC-Sen in '16 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, askew

    Richard Burr is not a "long shot" and is very much capable of being vulnerable Markos. Pat McCrory and the Republicans in the state legislature will be very toxic and voters will be feed up with them in 4 yrs time. That will have a major effect down ticket. Burr only got saved because 2010 was a wave year. Plus he could probably get teabbaged.

    Plus NC is a legitimate swing state, Obama only lost the state by two points. With Hillary on top of the ticket that will be a plus. Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper will run for Gov. and Treasurer Janet Cowell will run for Senate, and I think they'll both win. God willing.

    Moderate Progressive, Born in Cairo, Raised in NY-9 (Clarke), Living in NJ-10 (Payne Jr).

    by BKGyptian89 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:28:53 AM PST

  •  WWe Need Good People! (0+ / 0-)

    "Put Hillary Clinton on our presidential ticket, and you might even see Republican-held seats in Arkansas and Kentucky under pressure."

    But Hillary can't carry the whole load all by herself.  We need good quality candidates if we are going to keep our seats in 2016.  Of course, there are the doctrinaire people who would vote for Donald Duck -- or Donald Trump -- simply because he is their party's candidate.  But thinking people look at the quality of the whole person.  I believe that this axiom is part of why people voted for Obama last November.  There are some dullards in both parties who should be voted out.  (Frankly, I would love to see a new Majority Leader in the Senate.)  But the key to success in 2014, 2016, or ANY election year is to run quality candidates.  Put good people on the tickets, and who knows what might happen?

  •  push her out of the GOP and into the Dems . . . ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan
    or push Murkowski out of the GOP
    Why the hell would we want her?

    Let her fix her own damn party and take it back from the nutters, instead of helping the Dems become even more like Eisenhower Republicans.

    •  She may be the best we can get there (0+ / 0-)

      Remember that Begich was elected under very unusual circumstances.

      •  well maybe it's just me, but (0+ / 0-)

        I think "let's have a tent that is so big we can even bring our own enemies into it", is a really stoopid idea.

        Let the goppers fix their own tent, and stay the hell out of ours.

        •  I think you forget that this is Alaska (0+ / 0-)

          we're talking about, look every state has different politics. I could probably take a Democrat from Arkansas and bring him CA and there he might lean more with GOP

          Similarly I could take a Republican from CA and put him in Mississippi and there he'd probably fit in better with the Democrats.

          In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

          by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:13:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  we'll its not like Alaska Dems really have a bench (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

      by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:17:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so how does it help us to re-elect her again, but (0+ / 0-)

        this time with a D after her name instead of an R . . . ?

        What's the damn point?

        If we wanna elect Republicans, then why not just elect real ones instead of fake ones?

        •  because fake ones can break GOP fillibusters (0+ / 0-)

          and occassionally vote for Dem appointees, end DADT, etc.

          Murkowski will probably get another R primary challenge.

          She won back in 2010 thanks to her popularity as incumbent that and Joe Miller was bat sh*t crazy.

          So if the real Republican turns out to be another crazy Tea bagger I'll take Murkowski.

          In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

          by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:11:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  if she switched parties (0+ / 0-)

          It would be inevitable that her positions would become more liberal.  Would she end up more liberal than say Ben Nelson was?  It's hard to say, but I don't think it is impossible.

  •  Wait? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch

    Why do we believe this is the case?

    If there's a silver lining here, it's that the Red-state Dems on that list don't have to run with President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, and won't have to contend with presidential-year turnout which would undoubtedly hurt most of them.
    We won MO, MT, VA, OH, ND, WI, and IN.  With President Obama on top of the ticket.  Don't we think Obama helped in all of those state except MT and MO?  We got blown out when he wasn't on the top of the ticket.  Granted, VA, OH, WI are blue, but they were still tossups pre-election.

    We now have two overperform elections in the Senate with Obama at top of ticket, and one underperform without him.

    Is this conventional wisdom, or does polling show he hurt red state Dems (regardless of what TV says).

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:49:34 AM PST

    •  it just means the Dems in uber red states (0+ / 0-)

      won't have to rely so heavily on ticket splitting. I mean some of them will have to overperform Obama as much as 15 to 20 points to win (assuming they were running in a presidential year)

      In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

      by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:18:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't sleep on MN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2

    Al Franken is hated by the GOP and he was in an incredibly close election (went to a recount and dragged on for months).  While he won he also had the Obama voters helping him.  If Dem votes are down in an off year, he could easily lose.  The scuttlebutt is that MN Rep Paulsen, who represents some of the richest areas in MN, will run against him.  He's not a moderate but he's been a big name in MN politics for years

    •  franken's not going to lose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal, JBraden, betelgeux

      just so you know

    •  you forget that the MN GOP wasted nearly (0+ / 0-)

      all its funds fighting for recount for the 2010 Gov race, the state party is still rather broke and so far I don't think they really have anyone has decided to run against him.

      Paulsen is on the fence he keeps saying I'm not running or I haven't decided yet

      In fact, the occasional victory for the GOP cannot hide the fact that this country is fast heading into another era, not of two-party democracy, but a party-and-a-half system. And the GOP is the half a party- Larry Sabato

      by lordpet8 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:20:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the knock on Franken (0+ / 0-)

      was that he wasn't qualified and/or didn't have the pedigree to be a senator.  How do you make that argument against an incumbent?  That alone plus the normal benefits of incumbency would suggest to me that he is closer to a 10 point favorite than a toss up.

    •  The (0+ / 0-)

      Minnesota GOP has imploded. If someone were to write a script to destroy the Republican party in Minnesota they could not have come up with anything much better than what has actually happened.

      Ron Paul disciples came in and took over the caucuses and got Mr. Bills (that is his real name) nominated for the senate challenge to Klobuchar, and he got crushed.

      Kravvick got blasted out of Oberstar's old seat, Obama crushed Romney, and both houses flipped Blue. Michele "batshit crazy" Bachmann got millions in out of state money and managed to just barely hold on.

      Meanwhile....

      Senate Majority leader Amy Koch was banging her chief of staff, former internet gadfly Michael Brodkorb. When the news broke she was forced to resign her post (though she did fill out her term). Brodkorb was fired, and promptly sued for wrongful termination. The Senate has run up more than $100,000 in legal bills, and the people are not happy. And Brodkorb was just in a serious alcohol related traffic accident.

      And....

      The state GOP was caught cooking the books. They created fake companies to illegally channel money to fund the election recount challenge to Dayton's gubernatorial win. And they owe tens of thousands more to the feds for missed FEC filings and improper audit reports, and are more than a million in the hole besides. And people don't want to give them anymore money because they got damn near nothing done in the last two years. And they picked "Enron" Pat Shortridge as their new head. He was Enron's man inside Dick Cheney's secret energy meetings.

      Right now the Minnesota GOP stink on ice. The people hate them for their over reach, arrogance, and phony values. Most of their rising stars flamed out in the last couple of years. Their bench from which to choose Franken's challenger is really thin. In fact there is no front runner.

      So Franken is sitting OK, but he is so hated by the GOP as a whole (especially at the national level) that who ever he faces will have tens of millions to fight with.

  •  Sen. Begich is a good person and well worth (0+ / 0-)

    helping out in Alaska.

    •  Ahhh, he's a Blue Dog (0+ / 0-)

      He has aligned himself with the Blue Dogs.  He reneged on his campaign pledge to support single payer.  He sucks up to lobbyists.  He defends the oil industry even when they screw up big time, objecting to the fines levied on BP in the Gulf oil spill.

      Nah, sorry, but he ain't dancing with them that brung him.  His father (for whose campaigns I worked) would be very upset by Mark's opportunism and cozying up to lobbyists and corporations.

      I'd support Scott McAdams in a primary against him without hesitation.

      "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

      by HarpboyAK on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:37:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2014 is a long way off and we will not lose much (3+ / 0-)

    The GOP still hasn't learned much from last November's loss.  They truly think that if they keep the same views, but are just quieter about it, then all will be fine.  They are so arrogant and out of touch with reality.

    In Louisiana, given that Vitter is the other US Senator, they wouldn't want to throw Landrieu away, she is their only voice of sanity.

    Alaska and Iowa look good too.  South Dakota is going to be a challenge, but, just get a clone of Heidi Heitkamp in there.

    I do think we should find a way to primary Lindseed Graham.  While anyone that replaces him will also be a right winger, Graham is just so obnoxious.  I remember just a few years ago, he was flying back from Asia, with Hillary Clinton, and they were seen as having a great time hanging out together, because he is such a suck up, yet now, he would trash her anyway he had to if he could benefit from it.

    Now, of course he is against anyone that President Obama nominates, just to suck up to his base, but, at some point, they will tire of him too.  He is such an embarrassment.  Tim Scott and Graham will probably vote the same just about all of the time, but, temperamentally, Graham is far down the food chain.

  •  Cheer up (0+ / 0-)

    The re-pubicAns are dying, I would wager Al Gores take from Current TV that we pick up additional seats.  
    Rubio is like Doogie Howser, can anyone take him for real.  He isn't even an American, love to see his birth certificate. GOP = growing old party.  

  •  2014 (0+ / 0-)

    There is an easy way for us to survive 2014-tell the Obama Administration to stop being so conservative.

  •  Wow! I agree with Kos! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch

    On most of this, anyway...  And this may be the first time I've ever seen Kos say anything even semi-nice about one of the Clintons.  

    I don't think the seat in Iowa will be that hard to hold onto, especially if Steve King is the nominee; a good candidate would be either one of the two House Dems.  

    "Optimism is better than despair." --Jack Layton, the late Canadian MP, liberal, and Christian.

    by lungfish on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:17:06 AM PST

  •  a good start (0+ / 0-)
    Republicans, on the other hand, have to defend (in addition to their safe seats) FL, IL, IA, NH, NC, OH, PA, and WI. Furthermore, AZ, GA, and MO could be competitive if there were retirements, scandal, or teabagger primary victories

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:35:14 AM PST

  •  Ok so are we supporting the Conservadems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch

    or not?

    Hagan, Landreau, Pryor.... These are precisely the kinds of Blue Dogs that Kossacks love to hate. Time to decide, folks -- you want to support them or you want a Republican Senate?

  •  Please fix the 2016 map. VA Eastern Shore miscolor (0+ / 0-)

    The 2016 map has both the Maryland portion and the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula colored Blue. Only the Maryland portion of the Delmarva should be colored Blue, the Virginia portion should be colored Gray like the rest of the State.

  •  GOTV everyday everyday (0+ / 0-)

    I drop little comments at every cash register, to ppl in line, neighbors.  Little comments tailored to peak a sore spot.

    Example:  To young mom w kids in line "Gee, this air pollution is tough on kids.  maybe it's time for a change?  Republicans have been in control for decades and the air just keeps getting worse.  Do you vote?"

    The worker at gas station "I can't believe the crazy tax on food can you?  damn Republicans"

    Just little comments designed to get ppl thinking IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE in this red state.

    GOTV EVERYDAY EVERYWHERE!

    btw, it would be nice to move away from dynastic family candidates, IMO.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:54:57 PM PST

  •  I think Rand Paul's (0+ / 0-)

    not quite as safe as you think he is.  There are probably a lot of Republicans (not Tea Party denizens, but more standard-issue Republicans) who don't like Paul too much.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:01:38 PM PST

  •  Happy to see (0+ / 0-)

    Markos mentioning Hillary 2 times in the last month in a positive way. :D

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