Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 11/03/12 12:17
by Dave Mindeman
A year ago, I would have given the Democrats about a 20% chance of holding onto the US Senate...and that would have been generous. The numbers were just against them....too many Dems would be up for reelection.
Republicans will still turn some seats over. Nebraska was always high on the list - Ben Nelson's retirement had the GOP salivating. North Dakota looked like a lock and in Missouri, Claire McCaskill was primed for a big loss. And in Virgina, Jim Webb's retirement opened another door. Throw in Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida and the Republicans were off to the races.
But the game plan changed. Olympia Snowe decided to step down and a popular independent, Angus King, vaulted into frontrunner status. He is going to win and probably caucus with the Democrats.
Scott Brown in Massachusetts found himself on the defensive with a strong woman candidate and strong fundraiser, Elizabeth Warren. Even Brown's Wall Street money doesn't appear to be saving him.
Then Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock happened. Backed by the Tea Party, these GOP primary winners in the reddest of states have imploded via their extreme social conservative views.
Suddenly we have 3 potential GOP turnovers and a Dem hold no one expected. And besides all that, the Democratic incumbents are all overperforming, while Virginia's Kaine and North Dakota's Heitkamp are confounding the experts with highly competitive campaigns.
The conventional wisdom now favors the Democrats with holding onto the Senate....maybe even holding the same margin they have now.
So even if Mitch McConnell would realize his "dream" of making Obama a one-term President, he would still be a minority leader and would have to watch Harry Reid possibly take on the reins of thwarting a Presidential agenda.
And so it goes.