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Daily Kos Elections is pleased to announce our first set of Senate race ratings for the 2013-14 election cycle. Democrats are defending 20 seats (including one in a special election next week), while 15 Republican seats are up for re-election. The overall playing field favors the GOP, though they need to net five seats in order to take control of the chamber.

Our full chart rating the competitiveness of each contest is below (with Democratic seats shaded in blue and Republican seats in red), along with a description of our ratings categories and an explanation for why we've rated each race the way we have.

Courtesy Stephen Wolf, we've also put our ratings into map form, with lighter colors representing more competitive races (gray states don't have Senate races this cycle):
United States map shaded to show Daily Kos Elections' initial Senate race ratings for 2013-14
Here's how we define our ratings categories:
Safe: Barring unforeseeable developments, one party is certain to win.

Race to Watch: A foreseeable but as-yet unrealized development has the chance to make an otherwise "Safe" race potentially competitive (such as an incumbent retirement), or an incumbent faces a potentially competitive primary.

Likely: One party has a strong advantage and is likely to win, though the race has the potential to become more competitive.

Lean: One party has an identifiable advantage, but an upset victory is possible for the other party.

Tossup: Both (or all) parties have a strong (though not necessarily perfectly equal) chance of winning.

Below the fold are brief explanations of our initial ratings, grouped by category of competitiveness and following our chart from left to right and then downward.

Likely D:

Colorado — Mark Udall (D): Republicans keep coming up empty when it comes to finding someone willing to take on Udall, a freshman who won a comfortable open seat victory in 2008. Democrats seem to have cracked the Colorado nut, turning a red state light blue and winning in both good years and bad. Udall will be hard to unseat, and the national GOP is likely to focus its attention elsewhere.

Massachusetts — OPEN (D): While Democratic Rep. Ed Markey hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his campaign to fill John Kerry's seat, Massachusetts remains a very blue state—and Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez is no Scott Brown. Republicans caught lightning in a bottle the last time the Bay State held a Senate special election, but there are far more differences than similarities between this race and that one.

Suffice it to say that not a single public poll has shown Gomez with a lead; indeed, surveys have consistently found Markey ahead 7 to 12 points. The NRSC must be seeing similar stuff in their internals, since they haven't lifted a finger to aid their candidate. Markey, meanwhile, has badly outraised and outspent his opponent, and national Democratic groups have added seven figures in TV ad spending that looks like an insurance policy, not a sign of weakness. A Gomez upset here next week would be extraordinary, to say the least.

(NB: This election is for the final year-and-a-half of Kerry's term. Another election for the full term will be held in 2014. Our rating applies only to the special election.)

Minnesota — Al Franken (D): After he beat Norm Coleman by just 312 votes in 2008, who'd have imagined we'd be slotting Franken in at Likely D? Yet here we are. Franken seems to have confounded Republicans, who expected the clown they remember from his long-ago Saturday Night Live days and never seemed to understand that he'd transformed himself into a serious political figure long before he ran for Senate. And taking a page from Hillary Clinton, he's embraced the workhorse-not-showhorse approach.

It's paid dividends back home, where he's earned solid approval ratings and has healthy leads over a wide array of top-tier GOP challengers. So far, most notable contender to emerge is financier Mike McFadden, who is rich but anonymous. The NRSC undoubtedly likes the fact that McFadden can probably self-fund, but with juicier targets in other states, they aren't likely to help him out. Franken certainly won't lack for money; combined with his work ethic and Minnesota's blue hue, he's in great shape for re-election.

New Hampshire — Jeanne Shaheen (D): If we were forced to pick which Likely D race had the greatest potential to be competitive, we might pick New Hampshire, but that's really not saying much. Shaheen's strongest potential opponent, ex-Sen. John Sununu, declined a rematch, and while several other Republicans have expressed interest, none can be considered top tier, and none have taken the plunge. Polls have shown Shaheen beating them all handily anyway, even former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. Rather, it's New Hampshire's notorious volatility in recent years that could put it in play (Democrats won the state House in 2008, lost it in 2010, then won it back in 2012, for instance). But there's no evidence that the Granite State's pendulum is swinging back to the GOP in 2014, so Shaheen looks solid.

Oregon — Jeff Merkley (D): Merkley may not have been a household name when he was recruited to run in 2008, but he benefited from a wave election in which Oregon finally decided it was truly a blue state and didn't want a Republican senator anymore. Since then, Merkley's proven himself as a senator (becoming a hero to many progressives along the way), and Oregon's GOP bench has just gotten thinner and thinner. There are no Republicans officially in the race, and it's simply hard to see Merkley losing.

Lean D:

Iowa — OPEN (D): One important thing to bear in mind with all race ratings is that just because two races appear in the same category, that doesn't mean their chances of flipping are equal. That's especially true as you get closer to the center of the board, though the Lean D section offers a good illustration as well. After Tom Harkin announced his retirement, Democrats quickly coalesced around Rep. Bruce Braley, and he faces no opposition for his party's nomination.

Republicans, meanwhile, have suffered the exact opposite fate. They'd have had a decent pickup shot had Rep. Tom Latham decided to go for it, but he—and then just about every other top-tier Republican—said no. The GOP is now down to around Plan G or H, with Paulist former U.S Attorney Matt Whitaker and former Chuck Grassley chief of staff David Young the most prominent candidates so far, though more may join. Braley will have a good long time to raise (and hoard) campaign funds while the Republican JV squad squabbles its way to the primary, putting this race closer to the "Likely D" column.

Michigan — OPEN (D): As in Iowa, Michigan Democrats rallied around a highly capable congressman, Rep. Gary Peters, almost as soon Sen. Carl Levin said he'd retire. Peters defeated an incumbent in a swingy suburban district in 2008, held on against very tough headwinds in 2010, and then, after Republicans eviscerated his seat in redistricting, pivoted to a resounding win in a Democratic primary in a majority-black district in Detroit last year. (Peters is white.) That evidenced some pretty considerable political skill and an ability to appeal to a broad range of voters.

Republicans didn't have an obvious choice like Peters (and their top choice, Rep. Mike Rogers, declined), though they did ultimately land a decent candidate in former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. But secretaries of state seldom win Senate races, and Land hasn't been on the ballot since 2006. A recent PPP poll showed Peters 5 points ahead of Land, despite her greater name recognition, a reflection of the fact that Michigan is simply a reliably blue state. That demographic reality is going to be hard for Land to overcome.

North Carolina — Kay Hagan (D): At the other end of the "Lean D" spectrum is North Carolina, which brushes right up against the Tossup column. Later this cycle, we may borrow the Rothenberg Political Report's in-between rating of "Tilt D" (and "Tilt R"), which they've graciously given us their blessing to adopt. But almost a year-and-a-half away from Election Day, we're reluctant to slice the apple that thin, particularly since it'll be a while yet before the GOP settles on a candidate, so we've chosen to keep things simple and start Hagan off at Lean D for now.

Indeed, those Republican recruitment problems are a key reason why we've made that decision. The GOP lacks any obvious superstar recruits, and so far, their only declared candidate is state House Speaker Thom Tillis. Tillis had been unofficially running for this seat for some time, but he barely registers in hypothetical primary polls. What's more, the Republican legislature in North Carolina is deeply disliked, and if Tillis is the nominee, Hagan will be able to saddle him with every unpopular piece of legislation they've ever touched. Other candidates may yet get in, but none are especially imposing on paper, and at least one (Virginia Foxx) is the kind Democrats dream of.

North Carolina is also no longer the red state it once was. After narrowly winning it in 2008, Obama lost it by just 2 percent last year, putting it firmly in a separate category from the Democrats' most difficult turf in the Tossup aisle. Demographics trending in the right direction and an unimpressive roster of potential opponents are just enough to give Democrats a slight edge heading into 2014.

Tossup:

Alaska — Mark Begich (D): Had the late Sen. Ted Stevens not been convicted of ethical wrongdoing shortly before the 2008 elections (a conviction that was later overturned), it's hard to imagine that Begich, despite running a flawless campaign, would have won. He hasn't made any glaring mistakes during his tenure as senator, and there's no reason to believe he can't spearhead another flawless effort, but even that may not be enough for Begich in deep red Alaska.

However, he does have some advantages. For one, the GOP field has been slow to form and could potentially yield up the despised Joe Miller. For another, Sarah Palin won't be at the top of the ticket; her presence in the VP slot likely exerted some downward pressure on Alaska Democrats that year. And finally, Alaska was actually one of just six states last year where Obama bettered his 2008 performance; in fact, it was his most-improved state. Again, that may have had something to do with the Palin effect, but it was the largest share of the votes a Democratic presidential candidate had taken in the state since 1968, suggesting there might be a slight blueward trend here.

Begich will need all the help he can get, though. He's a good fundraiser (not easy to do in Alaska) and an excellent campaigner. But he can't bank on Miller earning the Republican nod. Someone much closer to Generic R, like Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell or former state AG Dan Sullivan, is likely to be his opponent. A Begich win in 2014 would be just as impressive as his win in 2008 was, but if anyone can pull it off, he can.

Arkansas — Mark Pryor (D): Pryor, remarkably, was unopposed in 2008, but this time, he's one of the GOP's top targets. He's also one of Mike Bloomberg's top targets, too, for his vote against expanded background checks for gun buyers. That means Pryor is in the unenviable position of getting hit from both the left and the right, and he can ill afford to lose any votes in the first place. As recently as 2010, Democrats still maintained a lock on Arkansas politics, holding three of four House seats and the legislature. They've since lost all of those, and may lose the governorship next year, too.

It's against the backdrop of a state that's belatedly playing catch-up with its Southern neighbors that Pryor now seeks re-election. He's a capable fundraiser, and the DSCC will surely go to bat to save him. He's also fortunate that he doesn't have a real opponent yet, with freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, the establishment GOP choice, frustrating his party by taking his time to decide. And Bloomberg's intervention has given Pryor the chance to go up with ads of his own, playing the "I won't let coastal elites tell me what to do" card. But he has a tough needle to thread, and the eye is only growing tighter.

Louisiana — Mary Landrieu (D): When Mary Landrieu was first elected senator in 1996, she was one of eight Democratic statewide elected officials in Louisiana. Now she's the last one standing. The 2008 wave protected her the last time she ran for re-election, but she won by a narrower-than-expected 6 points and has never taken over 52 percent of the vote. Unlike Pryor, she didn't court Bloomberg's wrath (and his billions), voting in favor of background checks. But also unlike Pryor, she has a top-tier opponent in Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Indeed, Louisiana is one of the few states where the GOP got its man and got him quickly. What's more, while Louisiana doesn't conduct primaries as such, it appears that Cassidy has a clear shot to take on Landrieu one-on-one; Democrats were undoubtedly hoping for a messy intra-party battle. Republicans have gotten cocky in the Pelican State before, particularly when Karl Rove haughtily dubbed his expected rub out of Landrieu "Operation Icing on the Cake" in the 2002 runoff. She won, and it would be a mistake to count her out. But after many tough races, this one is likely to be her toughest yet.

Montana — OPEN (D): If ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer decides to make the race, then Democrats may be lucky that Sen. Max Baucus decided to retire, since his long service in D.C., and especially his central role in dragging out the Affordable Care Act negotiations, damaged his reputation at home. Indeed, with Schweitzer, Democrats might even have a slight advantage, thanks to his iconoclastic profile.

But no one knows what he'll do, which is why everyone on both sides seems to be waiting on his decision. If Schweitzer gets in, this race will definitely stay at Tossup for the foreseeable future. If he doesn't, Democrats will have to drop down to their B Team, though Republicans don't really have any killer candidates themselves, unless ex-Gov. Marc Racicot tries for a political comeback. But even if both sides field second-string candidates, the advantage will lie with the GOP, just thanks to Montana's clear red lean. For now, though, we wait.

Likely R:

Georgia — OPEN (R): In a year with very slim pickings, Georgia right now looks like the Democrats' best pickup opportunity. Saxby Chambliss's retirement has created a free-for-all GOP primary with no obvious frontrunner and a number of very flawed candidates (and one outright Democratic dream in Rep. Paul Broun). If things get bloody—and they look like they will—Republicans could be left with a weakened nominee in a state that slowly but surely is trending against them.

The problem for Democrats is recruitment. Rep. John Barrow and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the two most prominent Democratic officials in the Peach State, have both taken a pass. One intriguing possibility is non-profit founder Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, though she hasn't publicly announced any plans to make a bid yet. Nunn's never run for office before and would have a lot to prove, but she does have a famous last name and lots of connections. If she turns out to be a capable candidate, and the GOP primary turns into a grenade-swallowing contest, this race could move into the Lean R column.

Kentucky — Mitch McConnell (R): Thanks to his unhappy role as Senate minority leader, McConnell's job approval ratings back home have been consistently miserable for some time. And despite Kentucky's strong Republican predilection, he even appears vulnerable in head-to-head-polling. Once again, though, Democrats lack a candidate, with all eyes still on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes has been cagey about whether she'll run, but given her young age and bright prospects, she'd be taking a real risk going after McConnell.

What's more, McConnell has amassed an enormous war chest and will have, for all intents and purposes, unlimited funds. One advantage for Grimes, though, is that because Kentucky elects statewide officials in odd-numbered years, she wouldn't have to give up her current job to run. If she does get in, this contest could also turn into a Lean R affair, and if she can land real blows against McConnell, anything is possible. But without her, Democrats' options get very thin very quickly.

Nebraska — OPEN (R): Our general policy with open seats in odd-numbered years is to rate them as Likely D or Likely R, even if we strongly suspect that one party or the other has a near-lock on victory. That's pretty much the case with Nebraska, where Mike Johanns's unexpected retirement has created a vacancy. Democrats would need something close to a miracle to prevail here, and this will almost certainly wind up in the Safe R column before long. But for now, we'll play it safe. The GOP primary here ought to be interesting, though, with Gov. Dave Heinemann, who would have cleared the field, declining to run.

South Dakota — OPEN (D): Democrats really only had a bench of two notable potential candidates, ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson. But both opted against running, leaving the party with attorney Rick Weiland, who badly lost an open seat House race in 1996. Republicans, meanwhile, landed their dream candidate, ex-Gov. Mike Rounds, and they also avoided a contentious primary when Rep. Kristi Noem said she wouldn't run. To hold this seat, Democrats needed a nominee as good as Heidi Heitkamp and an opponent as flawed as Rick Berg. They got neither. This one is already very close to being solidly in the GOP column.

West Virginia — OPEN (D): Republicans signaled their intention to pursue West Virginia very seriously right after last year's elections, when Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, their best possible recruit, announced a challenge to Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Not long thereafter, he opted to retire. Yet despite the fact that Democrats still run the show politically in West Virginia, none have been eager to jump into the race, and that perhaps is the most troubling sign of all. In fact, several notable possibilities (including Rep. Nick Rahall and attorneys Nick Preservati and Ralph Baxter) have already said no.

There are still other potential candidates out there, such as Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. And despite the state's sharp march rightward in recent years, Democrats have continued to notch important wins. (No Barack Obama on the ballot in 2014 should also help.) But this may be the beginning of the end for one of the last Democratic redoubts south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Races to Watch:

Hawaii — Brian Schatz (D): While this seat isn't at risk of going to the Republicans, the newly appointed Schatz faces a stiff primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. (Gov. Neil Abercrombie tapped Schatz to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dan Inouye, who had expressed a deathbed wish that Hanabusa serve as his successor.) The battle lines aren't entirely clear yet, but it seems like Schatz starts off to Hanabusa's left. So far, he's the only Senate incumbent to face a legitimate primary, making this contest a Race to Watch.

(NB: This election is for the final two years of Inouye's term. An election for the next full term will be held in 2016.)

Illinois — Dick Durbin (D): Durbin's only on this list because he still hasn't confirmed whether he'll seek re-election, though stories relying on unnamed sources back in March said that he would. If he does go for another term, this seat will remain Safe D. If he retires, the Democratic primary should be interesting, as Durbin has no clear successor. In that scenario, Republicans may try to contest it, but they'll be at a serious disadvantage.

Maine — Susan Collins (R): Like Durbin, Collins has yet to formally announce that she'll run for another term, saying only she "intends" to do so. If she follows in Olympia Snowe's footsteps and decides to hang it up, this seat will instantly become the top Democratic pickup opportunity of 2014. But even if she runs again, Collins could potentially face a primary challenge from her right.

Mississippi — Thad Cochran (R): Cochran, 75 years old and a six-term veteran, has steadfastly refused to announce whether or not he'll retire, saying only that he'll make up his mind at some point later in the cycle. Mississippi hasn't had an open Senate seat in a while, so if Cochran bails, the Republican primary ought to attract a lot of names. But either way, this seat is a lock for the GOP.

Wyoming — Mike Enzi (R): Enzi's been oddly cagey about his re-election plans. He reportedly told a gathering of Republicans earlier this year that he'd seek another term, but then his staff refused to explicitly confirm that decision on the record. What's more, rumors abound that Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick, might be interested in a primary challenge. For both of these reasons, Enzi wins a spot on the Races to Watch list.

Safe D:

Delaware — Chris Coons (D): In 2010, Coons lucked out incredibly when Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell beat moderate Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary. That allowed Coons to ride to a comfortable win for the final four years of Joe Biden's term. Now he's up for a full six-year hitch, and the Delaware GOP has no bench to speak of.

New Jersey — OPEN (R): Not that the GOP ever had much of a chance of picking up a Senate seat in New Jersey (where they haven't won one since 1972), but Gov. Chris Christie screwed his party as hard as possible by scheduling the special election to fill the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat this October. Had he waited until November of 2014, a Republican appointee would have had 18 months to build up a profile and might have had a fighting chance.

Instead, with just four months until the special, Jersey Republicans have all but given up, with only the very conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor, reporting for duty. Newark Mayor Cory Booker looks set to cruise in the August primary, and polls already show him crushing Lonegan.

(NB: This election is for the final year-plus of Lautenberg's term. Another election for the full term will be held in 2014. Our rating applies only to the special election.)

New Mexico — Tom Udall (D): Udall won a dominant victory in 2008 when this seat became open, and very few Republicans have even suggested they might want to take him on next year. Udall's strengths as a campaigner, New Mexico's blue hue, and its weak GOP bench place this seat firmly in the Safe D column.

Rhode Island — Jack Reed (D): Rhode Island's nickname is the Ocean State, and demographically, it's just as blue. Reed's fellow senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, won by 30 points last year. Reed should be similarly invulnerable.

Virginia — Mark Warner (D): Virginia is a swing state, and last year's open seat contest certainly attracted plenty of Republican money, as well as a top-tier (if flawed) candidate in George Allen. So on paper, you'd expect this seat to be competitive... but it definitely isn't shaping up that way. Warner is personally popular, hugely wealthy, and a solid campaigner who won an utter blowout in his first race in 2008. He's also led top-tier opponents in hypothetical polling matchups, leading all three GOP statewide officials to take a pass. Perhaps some random rich guy will get in, flood the airwaves, and start to make things look closer at some point. But for now, Republicans seem to be abandoning the Old Dominion altogether—a truly remarkable state of affairs, when you consider how red the state was until quite recently.

Safe R:

Alabama — Jeff Sessions (R): Though it held the legislature (and three of seven congressional seats) as recently as 2010, the Alabama Democratic Party was living on borrowed time. It has since fallen apart and is now utterly a shambles. Sessions is safe.

Idaho — Jim Risch (R): Idaho was the fourth reddest state in the nation going by the 2012 presidential election results. Risch is untouchable.

Kansas — Pat Roberts (R): Kansas hasn't elected a Democratic senator since 1932. That won't change this cycle.

Oklahoma — Jim Inhofe (R): Oklahoma is another implacably red state. The last time it had a contested Senate election was 2004, and even then, Democrats still lost 53-41.

South Carolina-A — Lindsey Graham (R): If Graham were going to fear anything this cycle, it would have been a challenge from the right, due to his various conservative apostasies. But despite some chatter earlier in the year, no such challenge has materialized. If someone does emerge, and the Club for Growth decides to go after Graham hammer-and-tongs, this seat could wind up on our Races to Watch list, but that's not looking likely.

South Carolina-B — Tim Scott (R): Scott is running for the final two years of Jim DeMint's term; if he wants a full term, he'll have to run again in 2016. Despite being an appointee, Scott's impeccable conservative credentials, combined with his history-making profile as the first black senator in South Carolina's history, make him a lock.

Tennessee — Lamar Alexander (R): Television's Judge Joe Brown was actually once a real judge, in his home state of Tennessee. With his show now off the air, Brown has, believe it or not, entertained the notion of running for Senate. In the unlikely event he goes through with it, his wealth and celebrity could make the race entertaining. But Alexander should be just fine no matter whom he faces.

Texas — John Cornyn (R): Democrats tried to challenge Cornyn in 2008, but Rick Noriega proved unable to raise the Texas-sized sums needed to be competitive. It wasn't entirely his fault, though: Texas simply isn't ready to elect a Democrat senator. One day it will, but not today.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  is an Orange to Blue list coming soon? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, TomP, ER Doc
  •  I think you over-rate the strength of Hanabusa (8+ / 0-)

    I have no polls to quote and I know Hawaii is notoriously difficult to pol but Schatz has picked up every major endorsement he has sought and it hasn't even been a close call wi most of the unions. He now has the endorsement of the building trades and all the public sector unions in the islands.

  •  Can't say I disagree with these too much (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Matt Z, Zack from the SFV

    Though mine are a bit more dem friendly, that's largely because I have all your Likely D as Safe aside from Franken, though I've written off SD as safe R. Anyway all the tossups are the same except I'm not waiting for Schweitzer to declare to rate that Lean D since all of the signs point to him running.

  •  My only disagreements are that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod, TomP, Inkpen, SaoMagnifico

    I think Georgia and Louisiana they should be lean for the respective parties. Iowa and Michigan should probably be likely Dem.

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:09:06 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Zack from the SFV

      I'd put MI at likely D as well.  Peters is a strong candidate, as mentioned.  Also, Land has never run a federal race, and may end up being a horrible candidate for a senate race.

      Having said that, I agree with just about everything else in this article.

      •  I doubt Land makes it through an R primary (0+ / 0-)

        She was never primaried during her SoS runs.  I suspect once the Rethugs get wind that she's "moderate", the Tea Partiers, the Club for Growth Klan, etc. will push Justin Amash or some other dipshit wingnut over the top.    

    •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      I realize that they were very careful to say that just because races are in the same category that that doesn't mean they are the same, but I definitely see Michigan in a tier above either Iowa and especially North Carolina.  I just think that there is enough historical presedence and enough "known knowns" (i.e. Dem-leaning indies, Spencer Abraham serving a single term, etc...) to say that Michigan is a "Likely D" especially given the Republicans losing their best chance for the seat who was still running behind Peters.

    •  ITA (0+ / 0-)

      Only changes I would make as well. Although putting Nebraska and Kentucky in the same column seems odd as well -- but Secy. Grimes hasn't announced yet.

  •  I think these are great (9+ / 0-)

    non-hackish ratings based upon the current information we have from each race.

  •  Are there rumors of Durbin retiring? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure why he would, considering he's probably next in line to be  Leader if Reid retires in 2016.

    •  The other line of thought is that Schumer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, HoosierD42

      has the stronger chance of being majority leader, what with chairing the DSCC when we elected 15+ members. Plus he's younger and will be around longer than Durbin, so there's the outside chance that Durbin calls it quits though I highly doubt it. We'll know in a few months given Illinois' ridiculously early primaries (Februrary/March I think).

    •  Yeah, I don't understand why (0+ / 0-)

      it keeps getting mentioned that Durbin might retire.  He won't be that old next year, by Senate standards, and I haven't heard anything about him having health issues.  Nor does he seem to have given any indication that he's considering retirement.  So I'm not sure why this keeps getting brought up.

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      There was one columnist in Chicago who kept reporting "rumors" that Durbin would retire. Those were probably planted by someone who wants the seat for themself. Durbin finally put an end to that by saying he was likely to run again but hasn't formally announced anything.

  •  Excellent (8+ / 0-)

    The only thing I disagree with is that when Schweitzer gets in 'the race will stay at toss up for the foreseeable future.' There's a reason everyone on both sides of the aisle is waiting on his decision.  

    CA-12, (-5.50, -6.77), originally CA-46

    by Jacques Kallis on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:10:28 AM PDT

  •  NJ-SEN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    Is that rating for the 2013 special only (as with MA-SEN), or for the 2014 general as well?  

    (Not that I can imagine which NJ Republican who wasn't interested in the free race this time who could beat an incumbent Sen. Booker/Pallone/Holt next year.)

  •  Not bad for our prospects (8+ / 0-)

    Our goal in 2014 is to survive.

    If we lose WV, SD and half the tossups, that's 51 Democrats in the Senate (50 would still retain Dem control with Biden breaking the tie).

    If we maintain control in 2014, then in 2016 we surely get 60 seats when our chance comes to reverse the wave of 2010.  That year, we will have solid shots in NH, PA, OH, WI, MO, IN, IL, NC, KY, FL, and with likely retirements, IA and AZ as well.

    Now let's see if we can move some of those tossups to the Lean-D category...

    Cover me, Melvert! I gotta leave the Sovrin Independent Free Market Collective of Fortress Libertopia to go get our disability checks!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:52:07 AM PDT

    •  I think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod, TomP

      Landrieu and Schweitzer (MT) will hold on. AR and AK look worse but still, tossups.

      If we only lose SD and WV and maybe win GA or KY (ME if Collins retires), things should be looking good.

    •  Don't think we'd have a shot in KY or IN (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody

      Otherwise agreed.

      •  there's a good chance IN will be open (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea

        and Rand Paul may be the presidential nominee.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:31:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think out of any in that list we don't have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca

        a shot at it would be Missouri by a mile. Roy Blunt is neither popular nor unpopular, but there's zero chance we beat a non-offensive incumbent in a presidential year while his party's ticket carries the state by 10%. At least with Coats he might retire or get primaried or with Kentucky Paul is the wrong sort of Republican in a state that typically is 50/50 in downballot elections, though I don't see us taking either of those under present expected circumstances.

        I think our best shot is at any state we win presidentially whether open or otherwise plus Arizona and Florida if we don't win it but Rubio doesn't run. Otherwise all the low info straight ticket voters who come out of the woodwork for a presidential election would put some of those Republicans over the top.

        Currently I think we're favored in Wisconsin and Illinois with a good shot at New Hampshire then Pennsylvania. Then we have Arizona, Florida, and Iowa if they're open, and North Carolina if our pres nominee wins it and Ohio if we win it by more than a point or two. So at best that's 8-9 at best but at this stage just 2 of those seem outright probable. But unless Paul makes an utter ass of himself in the presidential race, there's nothing in the polling data that suggests he'll be all that vulnerable while our presidential nominee gets utterly demolished in the state. Indiana would take a retirement and/or another Richard Mourdock type buffoon.

         photo Senate2016_zps7f5dc073.png

        Here's what I've got so far with pink being Lean R. I've assumed that McCain, Coats, Grassley, and Reid all retire leaving Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, and Nevada open. Paul seems intent on putting a big target on his back, but at the end of the day it's going to be incredibly hard to defeat him as will it be Burr if we don't win NC, and Potman and Rubio in Ohio and Florida if we don't win by more than a few points given the sorry state of our bench in those states. It would literally take a Paul nomination and our nominee to get within a point or so in Missouri for Blunt to lose short of a massive wave which neither of which are likely.

        Now to answer James below, if Paul were the pres nominee that would be the equivalent of Barry Goldwater 2.0 so who knows what the hell might happen, but I don't see that happening.

        •  What if we can convince Nixon to run? (0+ / 0-)

          In Missouri. He ran before so he has obviously had Senate ambitions in the past.

          23/Male/ D/Native of OH-16, Now NC-04

          by liberal intellectual on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:31:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would be a big game changer. But I think he'd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jncca

            ultimately lose given everything I've ever learned about American elections, barring a Rand Paul nomination where we win the state or Roy Blunt goes seriously wacko and is despised by election day.

            To give you a recent example, we only barely defeated John Aschcroft, a non-offensive incumbent, with the sympathy vote of the recently deceased sitting governor in 2000 while Gore lost the state by 3. Why would that be any easier with a living governor in a more partisan age while we're losing the state by 10+ in 2016? All three of those factors to me seemed to have made a big difference and all three are much more favorable to the GOP in 2016. Our chance to win seems to me to have been if 2010 hadn't been a GOP year as polls showed us up early in the cycle. Otherwise the state reverts to its natural lean and that's in an open seat, let alone with a neutrally regarded incumbent.

          •  I think MO-Sen completely hinges (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, SaoMagnifico

            on whether Nixon makes a go of it, and I've seen nothing that makes me believe he isn't at least thinking about it. He's run for Senate twice before, will only be 60, and is term-limited.

            If Nixon does run, there's no way the race starts Likely R, and I don't even think it starts Lean R. It's a tossup at worst. I don't really believe Blunt is all that popular here - he ran in a fantastic Republican year against one of the worst campaigns I've ever seen and only managed to pull 54%, or just half a point ahead of Romney.

            Blunt would be favored against anyone else we could put up against him. AG Chris Koster would be a solid candidate but appears to have his sights on the Governor's mansion.

            26, male, Dem, born and raised in MO-08, currently living in MO-04.

            by ModernDayWarrior on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:23:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely - the coattail effect is stronger than (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Illinois IRV

          ever. Which is why Hillary Clinton has the potential to be such a strong candidate. Taking a look at the (thin on the ground) data indicates that she - unlike Biden - makes a lot of "safe" Republican states competitive (see: Kentucky) or outright dominates in them (see: Georgia).

          And that could make all the difference to generating a wave  big enough to flip the bird to the GOP's gerrymandering, which is something I think every Kossack can agree is a good outcome.

          "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

          by Australian2 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:12:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me the diary is looking at a 49-54 range (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, SaoMagnifico

    for Democrats after the 2014 election. I'm not too sure Kentucky or Georgia won't flip (esp. if a teabagger wins a primary), so I'd say more likely 50-55 range. Joe Biden could have an interesting last 2 years as Senate tiebreaker. Of course wild cards are---for GOP an offyear election, for Democrats probably better poll numbers.

    "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 Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:59:13 AM PDT

    •  Right now, if I were to guess... (0+ / 0-)

      I'd say we lose Arkansas, South Dakota, and West Virginia, and pick up Georgia.

      •  Although picking up Georgia... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        Is just a guess -- not a forecast, as if Handel or Rep. Kingston wins the Republican nomination, we won't.

        •  Georgia a long shot. (0+ / 0-)

          I live in GA. My guess:

          * If the Dems nominate a white male, we lose. We cannot out-white-male the GOP.

          * If the GOP nominates anyone who is not raging crazy, they win.

          * Even if we nominate a woman or minority, and the GOP nominates a nutbag, we'll still need to get a little lucky. Perhaps the GOP candidate will say something like, "Even fertile Latinos who are part of the taking 47% don't get pregnant in legitimate rape." We can hope.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:30:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Paul Broun (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            It looks like Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn is going to run for us.  
            Here are the ratings based on who the GOP nominates:
            Paul Broun: Tossup (maybe even Lean D); He's that crazy.
            Phil Gingrey: Likely R; He's pretty ridiculous but not any more than Saxby Chambliss.  Democrats who think he gives us a chance to win are deluding themselves.  Our only chance is if he continues to go above and beyond the stuff he has already said, which is possible and explains why I rate it Likely R, rather than Safe R.
            Jack Kingston or Karen Handel: Safe R; Kingston wins no problem, while Handel is not nearly as toxic as she's made out to be.  As a Senior VP of the Komen Foundation, she cut off the organization's funding to Planned Parenthood.  Quite a despicable move policy wise imo, but she is able to cast herself as typical, generic pro-life Republican.  Remember that plenty of House Republicans in swingy or light blue house districts voted to defund PP and won re-election, so its certainly not going to be an issue in Georgia.

            •  I think our chances are better than that... (0+ / 0-)

              With Rep. Gingrey. He's very nearly as Froot Loops as Rep. Broun. I'd call it Lean D with Broun and Lean R with Gingrey, probably Likely R with either Rep. Kingston or Karen Handel.

              It's very likely going to be a single-digit race either way -- that's the thing. Hell, Jim Martin was just over three percentage points away from knocking off Sen. Chambliss as an incumbent. Granted, that was in 2008, but Martin was hardly an ideal candidate, Chambliss was a sitting senator, and that was going on six years ago in a rapidly diversifying state. Martin did worse in the runoff, but that's because he was out of money, Democrats didn't bother showing up, and Republicans poured everything they had left into the contest out of determination to claim it as a consolation prize in the wake of their drubbing at the hands of then-Sen. Barack Obama.

              •  I dunno. Gingrey manages not to seem crazy. (0+ / 0-)

                I know he's crazy. But he manages to avoid saying anything like 47% are takers, evolution is a lie from the pit of hell, etc.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:12:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  At the risk of generating links over there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les

    Red State's version of you is here

    He actually does a pretty good analysis. You and he agree pretty much down the line. Of course, his analysis is a bit stale as he published a while back, but you might enjoy seeing how the other side chews the numbers. He's got the Governorships analyzed, too.

  •  Tossup with Schweitzer in? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmojo, Matt Z

    http://www.buonoforgovernor.com/

    by Paleo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

    •  Schweitzer is great (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramesh, Berliozian, Odysseus, bythesea

      But he's not god. He won his first gubernatorial election by 3, and of course Tester and Bullock both only won very narrowly last year, and that was with libertarians pulling spoiler-sized vote shares in both races.

      In PPP's poll earlier this year, he trailed Racicot by 1 and led Daines by only 3. He was under 50 against everyone but Champ Edmunds, who I can't imagine will be the nominee. I don't know how those numbers augur for anything other than a tossup.

      Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

      by David Nir on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:00:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Harper at the end of April (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        had him up by 10 over Daines.

        http://thehill.com/...

        I'd have at least lean D.

        http://www.buonoforgovernor.com/

        by Paleo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:32:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kleinburger, skibum59, Stephen Wolf

          Already near-discredited GOP pollster has +10, widely respected Democratic pollster has it +3. How is thats "at least Lean D"? I'm not sure I understand your rationale.

          I'm also not willing to say, "Well, even a Republican pollster showed him up 10." Harper has no track record and a lot of their polling simply hasn't made sense. For instance, their MA-Sen poll that had Markey +12 over gomez also had Obama at a 43-45 approval rating. Not only are those Obama numbers impossible for Massachusetts, it's also impossible to have Markey +12 and Obama -2.

          Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

          by David Nir on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:41:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Likely D with Schweitzer in (0+ / 0-)

      Tossup until he declares.

  •  Loves me that deep, deep blue NM (5+ / 0-)

    And not only is Tom Udall a sure bet in this cycle ...  I also have good feelings that our OTHER Senate seat, so long held by Republican Pete Domenici, will stay safely D and safely in Heinrich's hands for many years to come.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:46:34 PM PDT

    •  yes, it's strange to remember that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      that Udall had to be coaxed to try for the upper chamber.

      A Republican is a person who says we need to rebuild Iraq but not New Orleans. - Temple Stark

      by Christopher Walker on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:23:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He was so attached to his senior committee (0+ / 0-)

        assignments in the House.  But thank heavens the state party talked him into it.  I think he will serve as long in the Senate as Bingamen, and even better.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:24:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are the tossups in order? (0+ / 0-)

    If that is the case, I find it a bit odd that Begich is more likely D than MT-Open. Otherwise, I practically agree with all the ratings.

    Of course, at least one of these will be hilarious in hindsight. And that's why politics is fun!

    19/Sweden/Wonk. Prefers discussing opinions to having them. Learning by doing.

    by Tayya on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:51:57 PM PDT

  •  alas, since the House will remain Repug, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, ColoTim

    we'll have nothing but more gridlock no matter what.  (shrug)

    But we do need to lay groundwork for the future. The GOP doesn't have much longer to live as an effective political party, I think. It is happily shooting itself in the head.

    •  Democrats Suck (0+ / 0-)

      All their BS about obstruction blaming Republicans, and indeed the Republicans are totally misrepresenting their constituents, but Democrats won't get out there and confront their voters with the truth. They only need a couple dozen seats out of all 435 to control all 3 elected bodies again, and for the last quarter of Obama's administration. Also few if any serious primaries to replace Conservative Democrats with ones who represent their constituents on the issues.

      Democrats turn our "adversarial" party election system into a Republican gimme every time.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 07:37:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They don't 'need' 5 seats (4+ / 0-)

    They control the chamber now.  They may be in the minority, but still they control what goes on in the chamber.

  •  Map? (0+ / 0-)

    So what do the colors on the map mean?

  •  Nicely done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Nir, bythesea

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

    by TomP on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:14:24 PM PDT

  •  Yep, and historically, Lives have been LOST (0+ / 0-)

    due to surveillance

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:41:02 PM PDT

  •  Begich can hold Alaska ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Byblis, SaoMagnifico

    I think Begich can hold Alaska. He has proven himself a competent Senator. With the advantage of incumbency and Alaskan's tendency more toward individual than party line voting I think he holds his seat.

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:07:04 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't Weatherdude live in Alabama? (0+ / 0-)

    And the former governor Siegelman could run, with Obama giving him a presidential pardon along with copies of the documents passed between Rove and the federal prosecutors who hounded him into prison so he can publish those and clear his name..

    Well, I can dream.  Either way they're better than Sessions.

  •  Nice overview of race ratings, and thanks! (0+ / 0-)

    One bit o' news from your diary that makes me want to retch is this:

    "... rumors abound that Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick, might be interested in a primary challenge."

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:14:11 PM PDT

  •  Louisiana Should Be Lean D (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    By almost every measure including reputable polls (PPP), the money trail, historical performance and recent trends Landrieu should win just as easily as she has in the past. She polls as the single most popular politician statewide always significantly above 50%. She has an uninspiring hand picked opponent that is nondescript and is virtually  unknown to the statewide electorate outside his district. She has a much larger campaign war chest than her opponent. She has the two biggest Republican fundraisers in state history (including a former Republican Party Chair)  publicly pledged to support her. She has repeatedly proven over the decades that she has the best on the ground turn out operation this state has seen in more than 50 years and she does nothing but consistently win every time. In her 30+ years as a politician she has never proven more demonstrably popular than she is right now.  What exactly does the conventional wisdom expect to fundamentally change between now and election time that would cause her to lose? This is a tossup simply because Republicans say so.  After hearing this claim every election for several decades  you would think that it wouldn't be taken so seriously.

  •  PLease (0+ / 0-)

    add a number so we can see it change over time
    if the election were held today
    # of seats:
    Dems
    Reps

    Tired of hearing crazy voices? turn off FOX News. Single Payer: healthcare for all of God's living creatures in America.

    by ca democrat on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:58:54 PM PDT

  •  Great to hear, let' enter the arena and watch (0+ / 0-)

    the original non-killing blood sport:  politics.

  •  Maine as race to watch? (0+ / 0-)

    How did you ever determine that?

    Unless Susan Collins decides NOT to run for re-election, she will cruise to victory again in 2014. Please, tell us the name of a Democrat that will provide a serious challenge to her in the general election?

    Truly now - provide a name.

    Will Collins face a primary challenge? She may, but it will only be someone looking to earn name recognition for future use. The only Republican with the resources and ego to provide a serious challenge to her is Bruce Poliquin, the former State Treasurer. But Collins would brush him aside like ash from a woodstove.

    I'd love to see a Democrat win this seat, but I'm also a realist - it ain't gonna happen in 2014.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 02:55:08 PM PDT

    •  Same reason as Durbin (0+ / 0-)

      Races to watch only because the incumbent might not run for reelection.  Neither one of those two are going to lose.  But they might not be on the ballot.

      "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

      by libdevil on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:21:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be perfectly honest, (0+ / 0-)

    the ongoing scrabbling of the IA GOP to find even a second-tier candidate would prompt me to shift the Iowa Senate race to a "Likely D" rating from its present "Lean D".

    Here are the four (presently) declared GOP candidates:

     - Sam Clovis, some no-name right-wing shock jock;
     - Paul Lunde, whose only experience is losing two races 20+ years ago;
     - Matt Whittaker, who lost the IA Treasurer' race 11 years ago; and
     - David Young, Farmer Chuck's chief of staff. He announced nearly a month ago and doesn't even have a website yet!

    The Republican's best hope - 3rd-district Rep. Tom Latham - was trailing Braley, and their current poor set of choices won't even get within reach of him absent an earthquake.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:02:42 PM PDT

  •  Look on the bright side (0+ / 0-)

    After 2014, we won't have to deal with those pesky filibusters keeping the Senate majority from passing legislation.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:07:31 PM PDT

  •  Durbin will run, Durbin will win (0+ / 0-)

    Durbin will run, Durbin will win

    The Tribune, for reasons passing understanding, will once again rip him to shreds in the editorials leading up to the election, at which point he will win 70+% of the vote.

    If he doesn't run for some otherworldy weird-ass reason, then one of the 50+ strong Democrats in the state will.

    GOP, no chance at this seat. No chance.

    In re: ideological purity-- We can't govern if we don't win-Toby Ziegler

    by ChicagoCillen on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:12:17 PM PDT

  •  Markey will beat him by more than 12 points as the (0+ / 0-)

    latest poll shows.  He is taking no chances and is on his game in his own way as a seasoned guy with a great record.

    •  "Beat Him Like a Gong" (0+ / 0-)

      I believe the phrase is Markey will "beat him like a gong". If only Markey could parade this hubristic killer bankster through the streets in a cage after victory.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 07:42:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No thanks! No third world theatrics. Beating him (0+ / 0-)

        at the polls is more than enough, except for beating him twice, when Markey must defend his seat in about one and one-half years.  And girls and  boys, this Navy Seal will be back to fight again.  I like him, I just wish he would grow up and make a real case for Capitalism so we could discuss it in a total way and decide if we wish to continue it or make major changes to it's core which may happen anyway just by weight of offenses perpetrated and ofcourse the lopesided way money is distributed and circulated.  Libertarians are our natural allies.  Stay tuned, Rand Paul will be reaching out and we must decide if we can do business with his proposal.

        •  You Like Him? (0+ / 0-)

          He's taken his military experience and attitude, which puts the privileged American on the safe end of the most devastating weapons aimed at anyone else, and brought it next to the even more murderous finance industry, aimed at Americans and is now banging on the door of the US Senate with ever more ruthless plans.

          He's a corporate anarchist "Libertarian".He's your natural enemy.

          You might not want to see him in a cage (me neither - not literally, I was speaking rhetorically), but he'll have you in one, in a 3rd World he helps launch from your home state. And on that I'm not speaking rhetorically. He will have you and yours in cages, whether jails or private ones, if he gets his way, along with his fellow corporate anarchists.

          "Libertarian" voters mostly can maybe vote for Democrats, because they have been recruited by talk of "universal freedoms", but mostly they're narcissists who can't imagine that "universal" means anyone who isn't themself or look like themself.

          I've been a tech developer for about 35 years; on the Internet since 1981. I've been in finance, in Midtown and elsewhere (including Boston economists) many years during that stint. "Libertarians" are mostly liars, mostly narcissists, mostly just interested in taking without sharing because they don't know how. The Republican "libertarianism" works for them; the Democratic "liberty" doesn't. And Gomes is a storm trooper for all that.

          Beat him like a gong - at the polls.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 06:21:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Probably 52D:48R, Maybe (0+ / 0-)

    Rs need 5 net
    2D are Likely R
    4 Tossup means likely 2D are R
    5 Races to Watch are 2D:3R, so net 1R switches to D
    --------------
    3D to R net

    But 2 more Tossup means 50:50, and 1 lucky R means Senate Majority Leader McConnell. Plus all the DINOs to vote with Rs once elections are safely over.

    However, Democrats have outperformed Republicans in the last 4 Senate elections. So possibly Likely R 2Ds stay D, and 4 Tossup all wind up D (+2D) and all 5 Races to Watch wind up D (+3D), for net +5D. Democrats have a chance to maximize at 59D.

    Which would keep us at the same dysfunctional Reid D Senate (with nearly all the same dysfunctional senators). And with 59Ds, Reid will not kill the filibuster, saying "I can get 1 R any day" (though he can't). And the filibuster too will continue.

    Just like the 2012 election that kept us stuck in the broken government allocation.

    "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve." - originally written about Russia's post-Tsar kleptocracy.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 07:31:45 PM PDT

  •  Oregon (0+ / 0-)

    Just curious, what factors in to rating Merkley "likely" rather than safe?  Haven't heard a peep from the R's as far as challengers and, really, can't think of any who could make a dent in Jeff's high approvals and the big Dem edge in the Willamette valley.  But maybe you have some info I don't?

  •  IL (0+ / 0-)

    The only things that can stop Durbin is death or retirement.

    That said, if he does retire, the other IL senate seat has an interesting history.
    It has gone Democratic in presidential years and Republican in mid-term years for several iterations -- long enough, because of the length of senatorial terms, that persons born since it began are now eligible to vote.

    If Durbin wants to quit, '20 would be a better year.

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