Skip to main content

U.S. Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes addresses the crowd during a campaign stop with Former President Bill Clinton (not pictured) at campaign event in Louisville, Kentucky February 25, 2014. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Mitch McConnell won't be Senate Majority Leader after November. And thanks to Alison Lundergan Grimes, he won't even be in the Senate.
The media and Republicans are already claiming victory this November. The reality? With Republicans all-but-guaranteed pickups in West Virginia and South Dakota, the race will come down to the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

Some people have tried to make Virginia into something, but really, it's not. Neither is New Hampshire. Or Iowa.

So to win back the majority, Republicans have to win those two seats in WV and SD, and four more from Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, and North Carolina. All the while, they must hold their two endangered seats in Kentucky and Georgia. That's called "running the board."

Head below the fold for a closer look at the GOP's actual chances of victory.

McConnell's numbers in Kentucky are abysmal, so our chances there are surprisingly good. Democratic chances in Georgia are predicated in large part on base voter turnout, but we're in the game.

Even if Republicans hold those two, they have to win four of the remaining six battlegrounds. One of them is Michigan, where current polling shows a tight race. But Michigan is the New Jersey of the midwest, often giving Republicans false hope only to see them dashed on Election Day. Past performance is no indicator of future results, of course, but Republicans are fighting the state's partisan lean.

Luckily for Republicans, the other five battlegrounds are being fought in Red territory.

There hasn't been much polling out of Montana, but that certainly appears to be a top Republican opportunity. Democrats in the state are hopeful that Democratic-appointed Sen. John Walsh's background as head of the state's National Guard will play nicely contrasted with Republican Steve Daines' extreme tea party conservatism. We'll know more soon enough.

Arkansas has been trending Red for several cycles, and incumbent Dem Mark Pryor is the most endangered of the cycle (not including Walsh, who was just appointed to his seat). However, four straight polls have now shown Pryor with the lead, and his Republican challenger is begging for multiple debates—never a sign of strength.

Louisiana certainly looks tough, not just the tied polls, but Landrieu's numbers in the mid-40s. Her state has a jungle primary in November, which means we'll have a December runoff with control of the Senate possibly at stake. That would be epic.

There's North Carolina, where Dem incumbent Kay Hagan is holding a slim lead but also stuck in the mid-40s, dangerous territory for an incumbent, but not out.

And finally, Alaska (which I forgot to add in the original writeup). It's neck-and-neck in the current polling composite with Begich in the low 40s.

So we have Republicans with two, probably three solid pickup chances. Then there are four five neck-and-neck races, three of which the Republicans have to win for the majority, but only if Dems don't capitalize on their own chances in Georgia and Kentucky. And this is the GOP's supposed surefire November Senate pickup? The fat lady hasn't sang, and frankly, neither has the GOP's crazy crop of candidates. Who will be this cycle's Richard Murdock and Todd Akin?

No, this game ain't over.

Counterintuitive but true: In HuffPollster's averages, GOP not leading in a single Senate race: http://t.co/...
@ThePlumLineGS
Update: Oops, how embarrassing I forgot Alaska. Content above rewritten to reflect that.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site