Sunday, May 24, 2009

Predictions: Senate Races 2012

Most recent updates: 11/1: IN, NE, VA
Current Senate: 53 Democrats, 47 Republicans.

Current 2012 election prediction: 55 Democrats, 45 Republicans.
Democrats to pickup AZ, IN, MA, ME and NV.
Republicans to pickup MT, NE and ND.

(5/1/10) As of this writing, Democrats control the U.S. Senate 59 seats to 41. They will lose some seats in 2010, so if they fare poorly in 2012, Republicans will gain control of the Senate. There are two big questions for 2012. First, how strong will Obama be at the top of the ticket? If he remains popular and beats his GOP opponent by a wide margin, Democratic candidates down the ballot will get a lot of help. Second, how many Democrats will retire? In the past several elections, the Republicans have had no luck in picking off Democrats incumbents, but better luck in picking up seats where the Democratic incumbent has retired or passed away. Of the 33 seats up for election, Democrats hold 24 while Republicans hold only 9. The blue team will be playing a lot of defense.

Races are categorized as either likely or unlikely to be competitive. This post will be updated continuously until election day.

Likely to be competitive:

Arizona
Rating: Leans Democratic takeover
Republican: Congressman Jeff Flake
Democrat: Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona
Overview: (2/19/11) This open seat race will turn on two things. Number one: which Arizona voters show up at the polls. Will it be the electorate who gave Barack Obama 45% in 2008 despite having fellow Arizonan John McCain on the ticket, or will it be the electorate who gave insane xenophobe Governor Jan Brewer a comfortable victory in 2010? Number two, will Democrats be able to recruit a top-tier candidate? That's something they haven't been able to do in any high-profile statewide race in Arizona in many years. The blue team's dream candidate is Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who's recovering from her attempted assassination.
(11/03/11) A recent poll gives Obama a 5-point lead over Romney in Arizona. C'mon Democrats, find a candidate already!
(11/12/11) Thanks for listening, Arizona. Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General for G.W. Bush, is a shrewd choice for the blue team. Arizona is more or less evenly divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents. Carmona has appeal for independents. The question is, does he also have the kind of political skills needed to win a Senate race?
(6/2/12) Flake has a comfortable lead. Unless his campaign implodes, he will win.
(8/10/12) The most recent PPP poll shows this race tied(!) Unfortunately the same poll shows Romney leading Obama by 11. So for Carmona to win, he'd have to get the vote of quite a few Romney supporters. Not likely. Of course if Romney's candidacy continues to implode, Carmona has a real shot.
(9/14/12) Another PPP poll shows Romney leading in Arizona by 9, but Flake by only 1. This race is begging for Democrats to make a serious commitment.
(9/21/12) A Republican poll shows Carmona leading 44-39. No, not a misprint. Obama has cut Romney's lead here to 3. If the GOP doesn't stop the bleeding now, Flake loses.
(10/16/12) I'm switching this to Dem pickup. There have been two polls of this race in October, both showing Carmona ahead. Flake's campaign, seems, well, flaky. Yes I went there. Combine that with the fact that Obama may be LEADING in Arizona, and this is looking like the sleeper race of the year.

Connecticut
Rating: Likely Democratic hold
Democrat: Congressman Chris Murphy (Joe Lieberman retiring)
Republican: Businesswoman Linda McMahon or former Congressman Chris Shays
Overview: (1/25/11) So long, Joe Lieberman. No one will miss you very much. Republicans aren't likely to get a big name into this open seat race. Obama carried Connecticut by 23 points in 2008, and the Democrats are clearly going to get a top-tier nominee.
(9/12/11) In 2010, a year when Republicans won everywhere, Linda McMahon spent $50 million to lose Connecticut's Senate race by 12 points. Guess what, she's running again! Hooray!
(6/2/12) Neither party knows for sure who will be nominated in this race. But Linda McMahon is the likely Republican nominee, and I'm very confident she cannot win.
(8/29/12) The Democrats' effort to retain control of the Senate is like a boat that keeps springing new leaks. McMahon has outspent Murphy 4-to-1, and apparently it's paying off: a new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama leading 52 to 45, and McMahon leading 49 to 46. Who the heck are these supposed Obama-McMahon voters?! But it's not time to panic yet. Today's PPP poll shows Murphy ahead 48 to 44. And Nate Silver of the New York Times is still projecting a 10-point spread for Obama.
(9/28/12) Murphy's ahead in the polls, and McMahon is trying to do damage control over remarks that she'd like to "sunset" social security. Game over.

Florida
Rating: Leans Democratic hold 
Democrat: Bill Nelson (incumbent)
Republican: Congressman Connie Mack (likely)
Overview: (5/24/09) Nelson won reelection easily in 2006, but is likely to be a GOP target in purple-state Florida. Republicans will need to find a top-tier recruit to beat Nelson.
(5/1/10) Nelson's path to reelection is getting easier. Popular Governor Crist's defection from the GOP demonstrates that the Florida GOP is in disarray. Registered Democrats also now outnumber Republicans by 700,000.
(3/26/11) Congressman Connie Mack has decided not to run. Things are looking up for Nelson.
(7/3/11) Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott has a 29% approval rating, so he's not doing his party any favors heading into 2012. State Senate President Mike Haridopolos will definitely give Nelson a run for his money, but Democrats still have the edge in this one.
(11/3/11) So Connie Mack is running. He brings a lot of name recognition to the race, but his political acumen seems a little shaky.
(11/12/11) Mack is doing well out of the gate, trailing Nelson by only 2.
(4/2/12) Mack hasn't caught Nelson in the polls, and Obama appears to be leading here by around 7, the same margin by which he defeated McCain.
(6/2/12) The polls show this race more or less tied, and Romney is giving Obama a run for his money is Florida. I'm almost ready to change my rating on this one to Toss Up. But not quite yet.
(9/14/12) NBC/WSJ/Marist poll shows Obama ahead by 5 here, Nelson ahead by 14. Feeling pretty good about this one.

Hawai'i
Rating: Likely Democratic hold
Democrat: Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (Dan Akaka retiring)
Republican: Former Governor Linda Lingle
Overview (3/26/11) Even in an open seat race, this one should be about as safe as it gets for Democrats. Any Hawai'ian Republican who is thinking about running for office in 2012 has to consider that three-quarters of the voters there will start their ballot by voting for local boy made good Barack Obama.
(10/13/11) The GOP got its dream candidate today. If former Governor Lingle were running for an open Senate seat in any year other than 2012, she'd be a good bet to win. But to claim victory next November, she'll need about one out of every three Obama supporters to split their ticket. Possible, but not likely.
(9/14/12) Hirono worked hard for this nomination and will win in November.

Indiana
Rating: Leans Democratic takeover
Republican: State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (incumbent Richard Lugar defeated in primary)
Democrat: Congressman Joe Donnelly
Libertarian: Clinical researcher Andrew Horning
Overview: (5/8/11) Once upon a time, no one even considered the possibility that a six-term incumbent Republican Senator would face a serious primary challenge for reelection. Even when the Senator in question is considered to be something of a sell-out to conservative principles. But that was before the Tea Party decided that they'd rather be right than win elections. As Indiana state Treasurer, Richard Mourdock endeared himself to America's kookiest by filing a lawsuit to stop the TARP bailout of Chrysler Corporation. So, America is better off if the auto industry in this country ceases to exist? Apparently, this makes sense to enough people that Mourdock is considered a serious threat to Indiana institution Dick Lugar. The prospect of a Mourdock victory has prompted a top-tier Democrat to jump into the race in the person of Congressman Joe Donnelly. With Indiana sure to be a swing state in 2012, this race should be a good one. Also, "Mourdock" sounds like the villain in a Disney movie.
(4/2/12) The Lugar vs. Mourdock race for the GOP bid is very close. One of the biggest surprises of 2008 was Obama's 50 to 49 victory over John McCain in Indiana. A recent CNN poll shows Obama leading Romney by a whopping 11 points here. So whichever Republican gets the nod, he may have to overcome both the lack of general enthusiasm for his candidacy among his party's voters and the fact that his party's Presidential nominee is running behind.
(5/16/12) "Bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view." "To me, the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else with a microphone or in front of a camera." - Richard Mourdock. Donnelly's internal poll shows this race a tie. Let's hope so.
(9/14/12) There are no recent polls here, but I think Donnelly has a shot. Obama outperformed the polls in Indiana in 2008.
(9/21/12) A Donnelly internal poll has him ahead by 3. I really can't say any more about this race until someone polls the Presidential race in Indiana. If Romney is ahead by double digits, Mourdock should win. If Obama has closed the gap, it's looking good for Donnelly.
(9/28/12) The Howey/DePauw poll shows Romney leading by 12, but Donnelly leading Mourdock by 2. That's some major crossover support for Donnelly among Republicans. I also don't believe that Romney can beat Obama by 12 here.
(10/16/12) There was a debate today between Donnelly, Mourdock and Libetarian Andrew Horning. Just what the GOP did not need in this race: an intelligent third-party conservative who provides an attractive alternative to the odious Mourdock. Horning is polling as high as 7%; if he gets half of that, Mourdock is doomed.
(11/1/12) Who looks at Todd Akin's comments on rape and says, "Yes! What a great strategy!"? Mourdock might still win this, but not if Donnelly's internals are anywhere near accurate.

Maine
Rating: Leans Independent takeover (who will likely join the Democratic caucus)
Independent: Former Governor Angus King
Republican: ? (incumbent Olympia Snowe retiring)
Democrat: Former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap?
(1/5/10) Snowe is preceived as the most liberal Republican Senator. Conceivably she could lose the Republican primary to a right-wing challenger, or possibly she could just get fed up with attacks on her by conservative activists and retire. If Snowe is not the GOP nominee, this race leans Democratic pickup.
(9/19/10) Snowe and the Tea Party are on a collision course. Tea Party activists flexed their muscle by nominating one of their own in the gubernatorial race in moderate Maine this year. Snowe meanwhile is drawing a huge target on her back by criticizing the movement, saying, "Ideological purity at 100 percent is a utopian world and I don’t know who lives in utopia. I’ve never lived in utopia." This is going to be a fight to remember.
(1/15/11) Alas, the Tea Party can't seem to find anyone to take on Snowe in the GOP primary. If Snow is renominated, she wins this race.
(2/29/12) Hey, Olympia Snowe and I have something in common: neither of us can stand today's Republican party. I don't know who the nominees in this race will be, but I do know that President Obama carried Maine by 17 points in 2008, giving Democrats the inside track to elect Snowe's replacement.
(4/2/12) Former Governor King's entry into this race as an independent seems to have scared off the top-tier potential nominees for both the Democrats and the GOP. There's widespread assumption that King will join the Democratic caucus. (Hey, the GOP is already attacking him.)

Massachusetts
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Republican: Scott Brown (incumbent)
Democrat: Professor Elizabeth Warren
Overview: (12/09/10) A new poll shows Brown with (53/29) favorability ratings, and good polling numbers against potential Democratic opponents. Ok, maybe there are enough ticket-splitters Massachusetts for him to win a full term.
(1/15/11) Some Massachusetts Democrats are now saying they don't think Brown can be beaten. One possible solution: nominate a Kennedy.
(7/28/11) Does Brown really have a 62% approval rating? If so, he'll win. Elizabeth Warren would give Brown a run for his money, but this race is looking more and more like an uphill climb for the blue team.
(9/12/11) This poll suggests Warren trails Brown by only 9. If she can get around to declaring her candidacy, there's hope.
(11/3/11) This race is now a dead heat, despite the fact that Warren has fairly low name recognition. This suggests Brown is in trouble.
(12/4/11) Warren now leads according to a recent poll. More bad news for Brown: MA Republicans can't be as excited about Newt Gingrich at the top of the ticket as they would have been about their former Governor, the now fading fast Mitt Romney.
(6/2/12) The polls show this race as a dead heat. However, Obama leads Romney by 20. With that kind of spread, it's just gonna be hard for Brown to win.
(8/22/12) A new PPP poll shows Brown ahead by 5. Not good. But then we are in that convention-time stretch when the Romney ticket is getting a little bump. Warren will have an important role at the Democratic convention, and I think this race will be decided late.
(9/21/21) Watched the Warren-Brown debate last night. Wow, Scott Brown is a complete jerk. Things are looking up for Warren. She's running a strong campaign. Another important point: a month ago, Obama was leading here by around 16; now it's more like 23. That's enough to overcome a lot Obama-Brown crossover votes.


Michigan
Rating: Leans Democratic hold 
Democrat: Debbie Stabenow (incumbent)
Republican: Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra
Overview: (1/5/10) Michigan's economy is in tatters, and its incumbent politicians are getting the blame.
(12/18/10) Considering that Michigan moved hard to the right in the 2010 election, Stabenow is polling remarkably well. No reason to panic yet.
(11/3/11) Wow, almost a year since I commented on this one. Considering how successful the GOP was in Michigan in 2010, you'd think they'd be trying harder to make this one competitive. Yet Stabenow still leads her most likely opponent, Pete Hoekstra, by 15 points.
(08/29/12) Hey, I finally have something to say about this one. Polling has been all over the place in Michigan. A couple of recent polls show Romney tied with Obama here, and Hoesktra tied with Stabenow as well. If Nate Silver of the New York Times is to be believed (and he pretty much always is) the recent polls showing good news for Romney are under-polling the minority vote. Right now Nate's projected Obama to win Michigan by five, which should be enough for Stabenow to win as well. But this race has turned into yet another headache for the blue team.
(9/21/12) High tide seems to have passed for Hoekstra (and the Republican ticket in general). Stabenow leads comfortably.

Missouri
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Democrat: Claire McCaskill (incumbent)
Republican: Congressman Todd Akin
Overview: (1/5/10) Missouri is the perpetual swing state. This fact keeps every politician there at least somewhat vulnerable all the time. A strong challenge to McCaskill is within the realm of possibility.
(6/30/10) Gad. Apparently Jim Talent wants to run against McCaskill in 2012. Talent lost a statewide election in 2000, then lost against McCaskill in the 2006 race for this same Senate seat. Missouri's got a lot Republicans, can't they find anybody new?
(11/3/11) Seems like state Senator Sarah Steelman is McCaskill's most likely opponent. I'm inclined to say that as an incumbent Senator, McCaskill is likely to have enough money and organization to win. On the other hand, President Obama is none too popular in this part of the country. Also consider the way incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln got stomped next door in Arkansas in 2010.
(6/2/12) McCaskill is blessed by the fact that the GOP race is currently a three-way tie. So on the one hand, McCaskill can expect to face a weak opponent. On the other hand, she'd better hope that the Obama campaign doesn't falter (a recent PPP poll shows him leading by 1% here), because she has little margin of error.
(7/30/12) Yikes! These are some ugly poll numbers for McCaskill. This is the one part of the country where Democratic prospects have really diminished. I'm still in shock that Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas could only get 37% of the vote as an incumbent Senator in 2010. Sorry, Claire but I now think you're going to lose. Please prove me wrong.
(8/10/12) McCaskill lucked out; Akin is the weakest, most extreme candidate. I also hear he's low on funds. But this race stays 'Leans Republican takeover' until I see some better polling numbers for McCaskill.
(8/22/12) Akin has dominated the recent new cycle by making some outrageous comments on rape, reproduction and abortion. And by "outrageous" I mean "entirely consistent with the beliefs of other Republicans." Anyway, it looks like a badly wounded Akin is staying in the race. If the conservative Rasmussen organization thinks Akin is 10 points behind McCaskill, that means he's really down by at least 15 points. The blue team has caught a huge break.
(9/28/12) Akin continues to make stupid remarks, and won't get any funding from the Republican party. But make no mistake, Akin's not out of this. McCaskill hasn't been able to build any kind of polling lead on Akin, and Nate Silver is only showing a 67% chance of her winning.

Montana
Rating: Leans Republican takeover
Democrat: Jon Tester (incumbent)
Republican: Congressman Denny Rehberg
Libertarian: Dan Cox
Overview: (5/24/09) Tester squeaked into office in 2006 with only 49.7% of the vote against an unpopular incumbent in a strongly Democratic year. That said, I still think he’s a good bet for reelection.
(12/18/10) Jon Tester has voted to support the Republican filibuster of the DREAM Act, which would have provided path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. The progressive netroots who worked hard to elect Tester in 2006 are having some serious misgivings. An ominous development, but until a major Republican challenger emerges, there's no way to know just how much trouble Tester is in.
(1/19/11) The GOP has gotten their strongest possible candidate in the person of the state's lone U.S. House member, Denny Rehberg. This race is trending against incumbent Jon Tester.
(7/3/11) Tester polling and job approval numbers are ok but not great. One thing's for sure, he's not trying to build his street cred with progressive Democrats.
(5/16/12) The most recent PPP poll shows Tester ahead by five. Maybe he knows what he's doing.
(9/14/12) Rehberg's candidacy is being crippled by the Libertarian candidate, Dan Cox. According to PPP, Tester leads Rehberg and Cox 45-43-8. The same poll shows Romney leading by only 5, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock also leading by 5 to win the open seat. If the Romney-Ryan ticket gets any weaker, we'll be looking at a Democratic sweep in Montana.
(9/28/12) The most recent poll of this race shows Rehberg ahead by 3. I'm getting a bad feeling about this one. In the past few weeks, Democratic Senate candidates have been getting a boost all over the map as the Romney campaign has floundered. So why isn't Tester putting up better numbers?
(10/16/12) The only poll of this race in October shows Tester ahead by 2 with Libertarian Cox at 8%. I may need to flip a coin on this one, but it's beginning to look like one of several races where the Libertarian party will play spoiler and save the day for blue team.

Nebraska
Rating: Likely Republican takeover
Democrat: Former Senator Bob Kerrey
Republican: State Senator Deb Fischer
Overview: (2/8/10) Up until 2009, Nelson was considered to be one of the most politically astute members of Congress, maintaining high approval ratings and winning reelection by large margins in red-state Nebraska. In 2010 however, his approval rating stands at only 42%. He's fallen to earth principally because of his votes on health care reform. He should draw a strong challenge in 2012, but he's still got plenty of time to improve his standing and win another term. Nebraska isn’t as red as it used to be; Obama won an electoral vote in 2008 by carrying Nebraska's 2nd congressional district.
(2/28/10) In 2006, Nelson had the highest approval rating of all 100 Senators. I mention this fact for the following reason. Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have been the three Senators most determined to derail their own party's health care reform proposals. Now all three have seen their approval ratings crash and burn. This is not a coincidence. Get with the program, Ben.
(1/15/11) Barring some dramatic new development, Nelson is going to lose. His best hope in this race was for the GOP to nominate a Tea Party nut job, but that's clearly not going to happen. Attorney General Jon Bruning is already in the race, and if he's not the nominee, some other top-tier candidate will be.
(11/3/11) PPP has an interesting poll on this race. Nelson doesn't trail by much, and he's picking up the support of 1 in 5 Republican voters. So he's not finished. But let's not kid ourselves, he's still likely to lose.
(12/27/11) According to Politico, Nelson's retirement is "a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold on to the majority in the chamber next November." Uh, well, no, actually. Nelson was going to lose anyway.
(2/29/12) So former Senator Kerrey may run after all, giving us a at least a a shot in this one. I saw Kerrey speak during his Presidential run in 1992. Man, was he dull. Oh well.
(4/1/12) This race is not competitive. Bruning will win. OOPS
(5/16/12) Congratulations Deb Fischer. The Senate needs more women.
11/1/12) Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is endorsing Kerrey. The most recent poll shows Fischer leading by only 3. A miracle in the making?

Nevada
Rating: Leans Democratic takeover
Republican: Dean Heller (appointed incumbent) (incumbent John Ensign resigned 5/3/11)
Democrat: Congresswoman Shelley Berkley
Overview: (3/26/11) Senator John Ensign confessed to an affair with the wife of a member of his own staff, then was kind enough to set the staffer up with a lobbying job and use his influence to get corporate friends to give the guy lobbying work. Gee, what a nice guy. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not legal, and Ensign is retiring. Hopefully, we'll get a top-tier recruit for the blue team: Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Obama carried Nevada by a whopping 12.5% in 2008. If he puts up similar numbers in 2012, the GOP will need a pretty substantial crossover vote from Democrats to survive. Right now, that seems unlikely.
(4/24/11) With Ensign's resignation, Heller now gets to run as an incumbent. As Nate Silver points out however, there's no reason to believe this gives Heller any particular advantage.
(7/3/11) A new Republican poll shows Berkley leading Heller by 3. I think Berkley now has the edge.
(6/2/12) Obama leads Romney only narrowly here, and the Berkley campaign has been ok but not great so far. So how can I argue that Berkley's going to win? Well, Nevada Democrats have a record, at least recently, of out-performing the polls. Going into election day 2010, Sharron Angle had about a 4% lead in the polls over Harry Reid, yet (as this web site predicted) Reid triumphed on election day. Quite comfortably as it turned out.
(9/28/12) PPP currently has Obama ahead by 11, and Berkley ahead by 4. NBC/WSJ/Marist has Obama ahead by 2, and Heller ahead by 4. This race is all about turnout. Berkley just needs Obama to win by around 7 points, and she'll be able to overcome the Obama-Heller crossover votes.
(10/16/12) I'm not the only one pointing out that Nevada Democrats have been outperforming the polls. Similar stories here and here.

New Jersey
Rating: Likely Democratic hold
Democrat: Bob Menendez (incumbent)
Republican: State Senator John Kyrillos
Overview: (5/24/09) State-wide races in New Jersey are always sort of competitive, but I don’t think Menendez will be in any trouble.
(5/17/10) New Jersey never seems to like its public officials very much. Just six months after he was elected, Republican Governor Chris Christy has an approval rating of only 33% according to one poll. Another current poll shows Bob Menendez tied with Tom Kean Jr. (his 2006 opponent) should Kean choose to run again in 2012. The good news for Menendez is that he's running in the same year as Barack Obama, who crushed John McCain by 15.5% in New Jersey and who is still popular there today. The Republican who is eventually nominated to run against Menendez will likely need a huge crossover vote from Obama supporters to win. That is not likely to happen.
(6/02/12) The GOP has failed to secure a top-tier candidate. Menendez has nothing to worry about.

New Mexico
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Democrat: Congressman Martin Heinrich (incumbent Jeff Bingaman retiring)
Republican: Congresswoman Heather Wilson
Overview: (2/19/11) "Pure downside for Democrats" is how pundits are describing the retirement of popular incumbent Jeff Bingaman. Well, let's look on the bright side. President Obama carried New Mexico by a staggering 15.1% in 2008. If he can give the Democratic ticket that kind of advantage again in 2012, the GOP will have a hard time catching up.
(4/24/11) The blue team will definitely get a top-tier nominee in this race.
(7/3/11) State auditor Hector Balderas beat his Republican opponent by more than ten points in that most Republican of years, 2010, and currently leads in a new poll for the 2012 Senate race.
(4/2/12) Polls of this race have consistently showed a small race for Heinrich. With Obama holding a huge lead over Romney here, Wilson faces long odds.
(8/10/12) Wilson has been polling within 5% of Heinrich, but the devil is in the details. How is she going to win if Romney loses? Well, women don't like Romney. If Obama carries New Mexico by five points or less, there a chance that Wilson can get enough crossover votes from women supporting Obama to win. But Heinrich still has the inside track.

North Dakota
Rating: Leans Republican takeover
Democrat: Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp
Republican: Congressman Rick Berg
Overview: (11/15/10) North Dakota politics are a little different. The state has no voter registration; just show up and vote. In Presidential elections it's a reliable red state, yet for many years it has elected Democrats, and fairly liberal ones, to its two Senate seats and lone House seat. Democrats with seniority in Congress are good at bringing home federal dollars. In 2010 however, the writing is on the wall for North Dakota Democrats. They've just lost Byron Dorgan's Senate seat and the House seat long held by Earl Pomeroy. That means Kent Conrad is in trouble too. It's not hopeless however. A curious thing about President Obama: in 2008 he spent an inordinate amount of time campaigning on the northern plains. I recall seeing polls from Montana and North Dakota actually showing his race against John McCain within the margin of error in those states. An Obama rally in Grand Forks, ND was the largest political rally in North Dakota since an FDR visit in 1934. So it's possible Obama can give Conrad a boost in 2012.
(1/25/11) Conrad is out. Ok, so Obama will probably lose North Dakota in 2012 by 8 points or so. That means for the Democrats to win, their candidate, who will not be someone who currently holds statewide office, will have to get crossover votes from people voting Republican at the Presidential level, because for some reason they don't like the GOP's Senate nominee, even though that nominee is very likely someone who already holds statewide office in North Dakota. Not much chance of that.
(12/4/11) Well this is welcome news: Heitkamp leads Berg in a recent poll. As I mentioned earlier, Heitkamp will need to get Republican crossover support to win. But she's done that twice before. In both 1992 and 1996, she received nearly two-thirds of the vote in winning election as state Attorney General, despite the fact that Bill Clinton lost North Dakota by 12% in '92 and by 6% in '96.
(7/12/12) At long last, a major-league pollster has looked at this race, and found Heitkamp ahead 47 to 46. But the same poll shows Romney ahead by 13. Not sure if Heitkamp can get enough crossover voters to beat that.
(9/28/12) The Heitkamp team keeps releasing internal polls showing her ahead. But let's not kid ourselves. The fundamentals favor Berg in a big way. Given Romney's sagging campaign, I can see a path to victory for Heitkamp, but well... let's say she has a 1 in 4 chance of winning.

Ohio
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Democrat: Sherrod Brown (incumbent)
Republican: State Treasurer Josh Mandel
Overview: (5/24/09) The heart of Ohio is still conservative, and Brown is not a conservative Democrat, so this one could become competitive.
(11/3/10) The rust belt went Republican big time in yesterday's mid-terms. Look out, Mr. Brown.
(12/8/10) Brown's approval numbers are very weak. If he gets a top-tier Republican challenger, or if Democrats fail to win back the confidence of the upper midwest in 2012, odds are Brown will lose.
(11/3/11) Similar to Michigan, we have a race where the Republicans should have a good chance, but can't seem to get started. Brown leads comfortably.
(4/2/12) So far, Mandel isn't catching on. With Obama leading Romney here as well, Brown is looking good.
(8/29/12) As if the Democrats didn't have enough problems trying to hold onto the Senate, we have our first non-Rasmussen poll showing Mandel tied with Brown. On the other hand, this is Republican convention week. Polls conducted around GOP convention time in 2008 suggested that McCain could actually beat Obama, and we all now how that turned out.
(9/21/12) Five different polls conducted this month in Ohio each show Brown ahead by at least 6. The GOP has spent a fortune in Ohio on their "rising star" Mandel. Seems like the star isn't rising quite high enough.

Pennsylvania
Rating: Likely Democratic hold
Democrat: Bob Casey, Jr. (incumbent)
Republican: Businessman Tom Smith
Overview: (2/28/10) As of early 2010, Pennsylvania appears to be trending Republican. Casey however is a moderate who has maintained a high approval rating among Democrats, and pretty decent numbers among Republicans as well.
(1/15/11) Casey continues to poll well against potential GOP opponents.
(11/3/11) Anyone in the Republican party want this nomination? Hello? Is this thing on?
(4/2/12) Looks like this one's in the bag. Casey has a huge lead over all potential opponents, and Pennsylvania Republicans may by unenthused this November when Mitt Romney rather than hometown boy made bad Rick Santorum will bethe GOP standard bearer.
(8/10/12) Tom Smith is as anonymous a guy named "Tom Smith."

Texas
Rating: Guaranteed Republican hold
Republican: Former state Solicitor General Tex Cruz (Kay Bailey Hutchison retiring)
Democrat: Former state Representative Paul Sadler
Overview: (1/15/11) Hutchison had actually promised to resign this seat early, but reneged, saying, "My experience will be better used fighting this effort by the president and the Congress to do so much to take away the essence of America." She wants to protect our essence? Hey, she's turned into General Ripper from Dr. Strangelove! The only way Democrats are going to win this race is if the GOP nominates a completely unpalatable tea bagger ala Christine O'Donnell from Delaware or Sharron Angle from Nevada, who gave away the Senate races in those states to Democrats in 2010.
(4/24/11) Democrats would like to stitch together a coalition of latino voters (who represent about 38% percent of Texas' electorate), veterans and other persons tired of business as usual in Texas to elect former General Ricardo Sanchez. Texas is drifting slowly from red to purple state, but I'm not sure it's moving quickly enough for Democrats to start winning statewide in 2012.
(8/10/12) Ted Cruz is an interesting guy. Any way, we'd better get used to him. He'll be part of the national political scene for the next four or five decades. Democrats are probably lucky he can't run for President.

Utah
Rating: Guaranteed Republican hold
Republican: Orrin Hatch (incumbent)
Democrat: State Senator Scott Howell
Overview: (5/24/09) Hatch will be 78 in 2012. Might he retire? Would an open seat race be competitive in uber-conservative Utah? Dare to dream.
(5/12/10) Hatch is undoubtedly not amused by the easy way party activists ended the career of fellow Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett this month by failing to renominate him at the state convention. Hatch might see himself as the next target and choose to retire, or he might just lose the race for the GOP bid the same as Bennett.
(12/18/10) Rumors of Hatch's retirement abound. In an open seat race in Utah, the chances of a Democrat winning are slim and none, and slim has already left town. So what about a scenario where the electorate is split between a Democrat, a Republican, and some sort of Tea Bagger independent conservative? Even then, it would take a miracle for the blue team to win. Consider what happened in Alaska in 2010. There were two Republicans and one Democrat on the ballot, and the Democrat still only got 23% of the vote.
(7/28/11) A recent poll shows Matheson could actually defeat Hatch. Hmm. It's fun having this contest on my "competitive races" list, but really, a Democrat is about as likely to win a statewide race in Utah as it is likely that it will rain White Castle cheeseburgers here in Seattle. (The nearest White Castle is 1,000 miles from Seattle you see.)
(11/3/11) The Teabaggers say they want to defeat Hatch, but they can't find a candidate. Try harder guys.
(6/2/12) I was hoping for some fun here, but no luck. Howell's a smart guy. Too bad he doesn't have a prayer.
(9/21/12) Forget anything positive I said about Howell, he's a complete jackass.

Virginia
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Democrat: Former Governor Tim Kaine (incumbent Jim Webb retiring)
Republican: Former Senator George Allen
Overview: (5/24/09) There’s no way Democrats are going to get a free pass in purple-state Virginia, but I think Webb is another good bet for reelection.
(11/3/10) Apparently, Webb doesn't want to be a Senator any more. He isn't fundraising. Calling Tim Kaine? Oh yeah, George Allen, the guy Webb defeated in 2006, wants his job back.
(1/25/11) Allen is in. Will he win his seat back? It depends on whether he can behave himself this time. The reason Allen lost his seat in 2006 wasn't just that he made a racial slur at a campaign rally, it's that he kept making the same kind of mistakes, and seemed incapable of learning from them. First he kept changing his story about the racial slur, as if the public wasn't capable of noticing that even if one of his stories about the slur was true, that meant all the other explanations he gave about it were lies. Then his campaign staff beat up a blogger. Allen might win this election, but given his record, it will only take one major mistake to sink his candidacy.
(4/24/11) Democrats' first choice is in: former Governor Kaine. He's probably has the edge in this race.
(7/3/11) Kaine leads by one in a new poll. Allen needs to hope that the GOP can find a Presidential nominee who can generate more interest in the upper south than John McCain did in 2008.
(4/2/12) This NBC/Marist poll suggests that Obama is leading Romney by 17% in Virginia. What a minute... 17%?! Hey, that's a lot of punctuation. Kaine appears to be leading as well. I think Virginians have already made up there mind about George Allen.
(9/21/12) A month ago, polls showed that Romney could carry Virginia. Today, Obama's ahead by about 5. Kaine's lead over Allen mirrors this.
(11/1/12) Kaine is leading in some, but not all polls. President Obama however seems to have pulled back into the lead here after trailing by a point or two. And again, there's no such thing as an Obama-Allen crossover vote.

West Virginia
Rating: Likely Democratic hold
Democrat: Governor Joe Manchin (incumbent)
Republican: Perennial candidate John Raese
Overview: (6/30/10) Senator Robert Byrd will be deeply missed by the progressive community. Democrats have recently fared quite poorly when one of their Senate seats has suddenly become vacant. Ted Kennedy's seat has already been lost, Joe Biden's seat will be lost this November and both Barack Obama's seat in Illinois and Ken Salazar's seat in Colorado might also go Republican this fall. Conventional wisdom suggests that very popular Governor Manchin will appoint a placeholder to this seat and then run for it himself in 2012. Since President Obama will probably lose West Virginia by a substantial margin in 2012, Manchin will need some crossover support to win. This will probably not be a problem; in 2004 Manchin beat his Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race by 30 points even though Bush beat Kerry by 13 at the top of the ticket. Manchin is far more conservative than Byrd, but I guess that's life.
(11/3/10) Manchin won yesterday, but he ran a fairly lackluster campaign. In 2012, he's going to need crossover support from Republican voters to hold his seat, because President Obama will probably lose West Virginia by a substantial margin.
(12/18/10) Senator Manchin is quickly establishing himself as a very conservative Democratic, and kind of a strange person. I hope he knows what he's doing.
(8/10/12) Wow, 2012 will be the fourth time Republicans have nominated John Raese and lost. It's baffling to me that a state with such a strong conservative base can't come up with any new candidates.

Wisconsin
Rating: Leans Democratic hold
Democrat: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (incumbent Herb Kohl retiring)
Republican: Former Governor Tommy Thompson
Overview: (7/28/11) Heading into 2010, I started hearing that Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold was in trouble in his reelection battle. Ha, I said, that's ridiculous. Wisconsin has been trending steadily Democratic for years. Besides, not one Democratic incumbent Senator lost in 2006 or 2008. Feingold lost by 5 points. Ok, so I won't underestimate Wisconsin Republicans again. I have to say though, the GOP will not have an easy time winning this open seat. Obama will probably carry Wisconsin by a substantial margin, and the voters of Wisconsin are showing some serious buyer's remorse over the Republican state government they elected in 2010.
(4/2/12) Polls show this race as a tossup. I think Baldwin has the edge. Romney is going to beat Santorum in the Wisconsin primary this Tuesday, but not by as much as he should. And Thompson is exactly the kind of non-hyper-crazy Republican that Santorum supporters will find it difficult to support in November.
(7/12/12) So Tommy Thompson's days of tepid support as the default candidate are over. According to polls from PPP and Marquette, businessman Eric Hovde is at least competitive with, or actually leading Thompson. Seems to me that Hovde, as the more conservative candidate, has the edge. According to those same two polls, Tammy Baldwin is either tied with or leading Hovde in the general election. On balance, this seems like good news for Baldwin, as she has consistently trailed Thompson in the polls. There is however an argument that suggests that more conservatives will ultimately be inspired to vote on election day when there's a more conservative nominee on the ballot.
(7/30/12) Yep, Baldwin is benefiting from the shake up on the GOP side. She now leads both contenders. The GOP lost two or three Senate races they could have easily won in 2010 thanks to the teabaggers push for more conservative candidates. It looks like we may see the same in Wisconsin this year.
(8/10/12) Quite the horse race here. Last week’s PPP poll had it Hovde 27, Thompson 25, Neumann 24. The previous week’s Marquette poll had it Thompson 28, Hovde 20, Neumann 18. Baldwin still has to hope she doesn’t get Thompson; the most recent Quinnipiac poll shows her tied with Thompson but leading the others.
(8/22/12) Wisconsin Republicans seem to catch every break. In 2010, it was narrow victories in their gubernatorial and senate races. In 2011, their Governor survived a recall vote. Mitt Romney has chosen a VP candidate from Wisconsin. And now the bitterly contested 2012 senate primary has been won by their strongest candidate, Tommy Thompson. Three new polls show Thompson leading Baldwin by between 5 and 9 points. Unless something changes in this race, Thompson will win.
(9/21/12) Baldwin leads in the last four polls of this race. A lot's changed in a month. First, the wind has gone out of the GOP's sails in Wisconsin. In August, Romney and favorite son Paul Ryan led by 1 in the PPP poll, now they trail Obama by 7. Second, the Baldwin campaign seems to be hitting on all cylinders. Third, something is clearly wrong with the Thompson campaign. Seeing his candidacy falter, Thompson is, "blaming his financial disadvantage and partly blaming Mitt Romney for his standing." I suspect that Thompson's team has feet of clay. It reminds me of Elizabeth Dole's failed reelection campaign in 2008. Seeing their candidate fall behind in the polls, Dole's campaign consultants confided, "We don't want to do campaigns anymore... We're old men, and this is a young man's game." 
(9/28/12) Thompson wants to "do away with Medicaid and Medicare." Yeah, that should go over real big. Baldwin leads in every poll.

Unlikely to be competitive:

California: Dianne Feinstein (D) may not run for reelection, but California is likely to stay blue.

Delaware: Tom Carper (D). With Delawarean Vice President Joe Biden on the ticket, Democrats will win easily in The First State.

Maryland: Ben Cardin (D). (2/28/10) How useless is the Maryland GOP? The Democratic-controlled state legislature gerrymandered the state's 8 congressional seats so 6 would be guaranteed to go Democratic, with Republican voters all shoved into the remaining 2 districts. And in 2008, the GOP managed to lose one of those 2 seats. Cardin has nothing to worry about.

Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar (D). (1/5/10) Strong approval ratings protect Klobuchar from vulnerability.

Mississippi: Roger Wicker (R). (2/28/10) As I noted in a post in 2008, here's how voting works in Mississippi in statewide races: white people vote Republican, black people vote Democratic. The population demographics needed for a serious challenge to Wicker just aren't there.

New York: Kirsten Gillibrand (D). Gillibrand won the special election for the last two years of Hilary Clinton’s term in 2010 and has to run again in 2012. Although Republicans did quite well against Democratic US House incumbents in 2010, I just don’t see the GOP winning a state-wide race in New York in the next cycle.

Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (D). (2/28/10) Once upon a time, deep-blue Rhode Island actually had a couple of popular Republicans: Senator Lincoln Chafee and Governor Don Carcieri. In 2006, Chafee lost his job to Whitehouse. In 2008 the GOP lost 8 of its meager 18 seats in the 113-seat state House of Representatives. And in 2011 Carcieri will be leaving office with an approval rating in the cellar. Whitehouse has nothing to worry about.

Tennessee: Bob Corker (R). (1/5/10) Tennessee does not like President Obama. Freshman Corker can sleepwalk to reelection. (2/19/11) A new poll shows that if former Governor Phil Bredesen jumps into this race, he could defeat Corker. If Bredesen does have any interest in such a contest, he hasn't said anything.

Vermont: Bernie Sanders (I, member of the Democratic caucus). (2/28/10) Sanders beat his last opponent 2-to-1. The Republican party just doesn't have much of a presence in Vermont, usually the best they can hope for is that the voters will elect a GOP Governor as a balance to the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature.

Washington: Maria Cantwell (D). (2/28/10) There have been bold predictions in the last couple of years of a Republican resurgence in my home state, but Democrats ran the table on the GOP in 2008 and again in King County in 2009.

Wyoming: John Barrasso (R). (2/28/10) Watching paint dry will be more interesting than this race.

143 comments:

Joseph said...

I'll be the first one to admit that Hawaii is the most liberal state in our great nation. That being said...Linda Lingle is probably one of the most popular governors in her home state, and she is a republican. If she decides to run and the Akaka retires, this seat may turn to the Republicans. Like I said...she is VERY popular. She entered with Hawaii in a deficit and will leave with a surplus of money.

John said...

Joseph, the Democrats will keep the Hawaii Senate seat in 2012 due to Obama's STRONG coattails.

Lingle on the other hand, will likely get a cabinet spot in a GOP administration by 2013 if Obama falls to Romney.

Jim said...

The item that let's me know that this blog is completely out of touch with reality is that it shows Ben Nelson holding on to his seat in Nebraska in 2012.
No way! No how!

Mark said...

These predictions are utterly worthless given the way the 2010 mid-term elections are shaping up. If the Democrats stage a comeback (unlikely given they have only 4 weeks until the election) they are going to suffer severely. Given the ratio of 24 Democrats up for re-election versus 9 Republicans, if the Republicans don't capture the Senate this years odds favor them doing so in 2012. (Don't count on any coat tails from President Obama).

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Mark calls my predictions "utterly worthless," but he doesn't offer any specific criticisms on anything I've said. Put up or shut up, big shot.

Jim, I agree that Nelson is in trouble. In fact, I said so directly. Am I supposed to announce that an incumbent Senator is likely to loose, even before we know if he's going to get a good challenger? That's not how I roll.

Clyde said...

"...Am I supposed to announce that an incumbent Senator is likely to loose, even before we know if he's going to get a good challenger? That's not how I roll..."

Au contraire...that's exactly how you roll...see your Massachusett's prediction above.

BTW, it's 'lose', not 'loose'

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

In Massachusetts, I GUARANTEE that Brown will get a top-quality challenger. In Nebraska, we're more likely to see a no-chance Tea Bagger like the ones who just blew the GOP's chances in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada.

Hang loose, Clyde.

Scott said...

Am I the only one that hates it when people correct your spelling in posts? You're thinking about the subject not your spelling and then someone gets everyone's mind off the freaking subject by correcting your freaking spelling. Holy Crfap!!

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." - Mark Twain

Finally, a positive comment. Thanks Scott!

Joseph said...

*clears throat*

look at what you said about Wisconsin!

*chuckle, chuckle*

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Joseph, I like to give credit where credit is due. The GOP has made much stronger inroads in the rust belt that I would have thought possible.

So to review, Obama personally saves GM and Chrysler, and thus the backbone of the Michigan economy, by making the TARP loans to keep them out of liquidation...and the voters of Michigan pay him back by going 100% Republican. What the !@#$% are these people thinking?

Anyway, I've now called 105 of the last 106 Senate races correctly (sorry, Giannoulias). I beat Nate Silver this year! He gave up Reid and Bennet for dead. I also called Gov. Quinn for Illinois. Maybe my ability to pick House races will improve, someday.

mark said...

Ben Nelson will likely switch parties for 2012. Mark

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Mark, I doubt Nelson will switch parties. His chances of winning the Republican primary are negligible.

Fr. J. said...

Does it bother anyone else that Blogger comment time stamp doesn't include the date? It sure makes reading comments written over the course of weeks and months almost impossible to read in context.

Anyway, just a not on Lugar in IN. I would be surprised if he ran, though anything is possible. If he doesn't run, I would put IN firmly in the R column. Indiana politically can be considered the northernmost Southern State with a few rustbelt blue sections along the northern border and the deeper urban blue in the capital. As there has been a purge of old Southern Dems in the old South in 2010, so has there been one in IN. Unless there is a credible outreach to moderate/conservative Dems by the Dem Party, I cant imagine a comeback any time soon in IN or the South. In other words, the realignment of the South and Indiana that began in the 60's seems to be complete as of 2010.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi Fr. J,
Why Dick Lugar wants to still be in the Senate in his 80s and surrounded by Tea Baggers who hate him, I don't know. I think he's too powerful for the tea party to knock off, but I thought the same thing about Mike Castle. As you say, it's unlikely this one will be competitive.

Joseph said...

I understand that you are not fond of Governor Jan Brewer. However, simply because she is doing the right thing in attempting to keep the illegal immigrants out of our country does not make her xenophobic. If anything, I would call her a true American for trying to keep our borders safe.

And if I remember correctly, you live in Washington. It is not the same world where you or I live as it is in Arizona. So for you or I to judge something like her new law as "wrong" is wrong in and of itself.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Gov. Brewer believes that most illegal immigrants are "drug mules". That is a crazy, hateful thing to believe. The idea that police should have the power to approach anyone and say, "You look suspicious, show me your papers" is something we used to criticize as belonging only to the world of our fascist and communist enemies. The law is very, very wrong.

Joseph said...

In your opinion...

but that doesn't really matter considering the majority of arizona (...ites?) approve of the law and are encouraging it.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

The majority of "Christian conservatives" in America believe that there's no such thing as evolution, and that homosexuality is a mental defect. That doesn't influence my views on those issues. Those people are ignorant and prejudiced.

Joseph said...

says you! You have a tendency to be very ignorant sometimes. Any time you don't agree with something all you do is slam the people who do!

I'm certainly not an advocate of gay marriage, but I don't go around calling every homosexual person bad names! Political discourse derives from comments like some of yours. (not to say it doesn't come from both sides though) but that type of discourse is what your buddy...the worst president for a long time...Obummer, just warned the country about!

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Sez me? Evolution of the human species is a fact.
Most Republicans disbelieve evolution.
Conclusions: Most Republicans are ignorant or prejudiced.

Homosexuality is a genetic predisposition,
not a choice or mental defect.
Most Republicans believe that gays should not be allowed to teach school.
Conclusions: Most Republicans are ignorant or prejudiced.

Buddy, the basis of critical thinking is being able to draw conclusions based on the facts.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hey Joseph, thank you for a spirited discussion. No matter what words pass between us, remember, I like you.

If your "evolution" theory is true, then where did the very first living things come from?

In natural science, abiogenesis or biopoesis is the study of how life arises from inorganic matter through natural processes, and the method by which life on Earth arose. Most amino acids, often called "the building blocks of life", can form via natural chemical reactions unrelated to life, as demonstrated in the Miller–Urey experiment and similar experiments that involved simulating some of the conditions of the early Earth in a laboratory. In all living things, these amino acids are organized into proteins, and the construction of these proteins is mediated by nucleic acids, that are themselves synthesized through biochemical pathways catalysed by proteins. Which of these organic molecules first arose and how they formed the first life is the focus of abiogenesis.

More to the point, there is no debate among the scientific community that human beings evolved from a lower order of species over many millions of years. The number of scientific studies suggesting otherwise is zero. It is true that nearly half of Americans BELIEVE otherwise, but they do so on a purely superstitious basis, not on an empriical one. If a lot of people want to believe something that isn't factually accurate, that's their problem. This whole business reminds me of the same discussion in Charlie Pierce's great book, Idiot America.:

"The rise of Idiot America, though, is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of the intellectual elites...although both of these things are part of it. The rise of idiot America reflects -for profit, mainly, but also, more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power- the breakdown of the consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people we should trust the least are the people who know best what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a scientist, or a preacher, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.

This is how idiot America engages itself. It decides, en masse, with a million keystrokes and clicks of the remote control, that because there are two sides to every question, they both must be right, or at least not wrong. And the words of an obscure biologist carry no more weight on the subject of biology than do the thunderations of some turkeyneck preacher out of the Church of Christ's Own Parking Structure in DeLand, Florida. Less weight, in fact, because our scientist is an "expert" and, therefore, an "elitist."


DADT: "If men and women aren't allowed to sleep in the same bunks...
News flash: married couples are allowed to sleep in the same bed on military bases.
"Why is it so necessary to be "out" for those in the military, because it then just opens up new problems." The only "problem" I see is that some people are afraid of gays. The military also rooted out and dismissed a lot of gays who did not in fact "tell." Senator Inhofe gave a speech in Congress explaining that gays should not be allowed in the military because "most of the soldiers he knows" believe that being gay is immoral. Sorry Senator, your bigotry has no place in this country.

Joseph said...

Believe it or not, I enjoy spirited debate as well.

The theory that you described resembles that of the spontaneous generation theory, which was disproved in the 1800's. It is generally accepted in the scientific community that life only comes from other life. While Im not a scientist, nor do I believe that we were once bugs in the ocean, the theory of spntaneous generation is ludicrous and hasn't been supported since the experiment involvin gravy in a swan necked flask which didn't allow oxygen into the flask which prevented bacteria from growing. (I don't remember who preformed this experiment)

As far as DADT, last time I checked, the VAST majority of men and women do NOT sleep togetheR in the military. And this is for the very reason I states above.

Joseph said...

Lieberman is retiring, probably one hold for the blue team. Conrad is retiring, probably on gain for the red.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Joseph, you are correct. Next update will say the same. Only chance for Democrats to hold the Senate is for Obama to win by a huge margin, and even that probably won't do it.

hale2thevictor said...

Take A look at Republican Eric LaMont Gregory for US Senate in the state of Ohio. He is a GREAT speaker with GREAT ideas. His web site is www.theoxfordscientist.com.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Re Eric LaMont Gregory:
I don't see much about Mr. Gregory's views, but what I do see I don't like. Mr. Gregory favors flat tax, which is a terrible idea. For the past 50 years, we been gradually shifting the tax burden away from those with ability to pay and onto the backs of the poor. Flat tax would just accelerate the process.

charles said...

Do you still believe Republicans will take the Senate? Ryan and Walker have killed any chance for a change in the Senate. My republicans have shot themselves in the foot. Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin will all vote democrat on every level. They feel they have been betrayed.... and the culprits are the Republicans. Done and done! Strategy guys, strategy.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi Charles. Good question. Watch for update.

abodger1 said...

vry innacurae here are my predictions.
AZ. flake is agood candidate and giffods probably wont run easy r hold
CT. if susan bysweicz wins the dem primry and simmons runs this could be interesting
FL. nelson is way to liberal for florida and once we get the canidate picked out,its on nelson
HI. if duke aiona runs thats the only way we have a chnce
IN. goodbye lugar hellow mourdock dems dont really have a chance here
ME. bye bye mrs. rino we should hold this seat
MA. dnt really like brown but also dont really have a choice
MI.Stabenow is very very vulnerable
Mo. mccaskill is dne especially with her scandal
Ne. as if nelson even has any chance
NV. heller is popular and should hold this seat
Nj. ifkean jr. runs menendez is toast
ND. certain r takeover
OH. brown is way too liberal for ohio
Tx. wow the dems are really desperate
Ut. the shouldnt even try here
va. love allen hate kane
WV. be very careful what you vote for mr manchin
Wi. if feingold doent run which thats what its looking like and tohmmy thompson runs propable takeover
WY. hey i agree with you on this one
TOTAL REPUBLICAN GAINS 9

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi abodger1,
I'm intrigued by your idea that Republican Senate candidates will get a huge crossover vote from Obama supporters in blue states. For instance, you suggest that Olympia Snowe will lose her primary to a right-wing challenge, and then that challenger will be so popular that he or she will win despite the fact that Obama carried Maine by 17 points in 2008. And Kean will beat Menendez in NJ, despite the fact that Menendez beat Kean by 9 in 2006, and Obama carried NJ by 15 points in 2008? Tell you what, if your prediction turn out more accurate than mine, I'll get out of the business.

abodger1 said...

i think yourmissing the point that these are sperate races how did mark kirk winn ron johnson dino rossi almost wonn in these blues states

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

A Republican can win in any state in a Republican year. A Democrat can win in any state in a Democratic year (well, not Utah). Are you suggesting that Obama will not win Maine and NJ by 15+ points in 2012 as he did in 2008? If not, you're suggesting a huge crossover vote for Republican Senate candidates by Obama voters. That's just not very likely.

abodger1 said...

lets say for some reason a convicted felon is running in a senate election just because obama is on the same ticket doesnt mean anything thats my point the senate races and presidential races are two different things joe

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi abodger1,
You seem genuinely interested in my opinion on your posts. I appreciate that.
"lets say for some reason a convicted felon is running in a senate election"
All right, let's look at that scenario. Alvin Greene, a man facing a felony indictment, captured the Democratic Senate nomination in South Carolina in 2010. But he only did so because that race was considered so hopeless that no legitimate candidate would run. That of course would never happen in any of the 2012 races and scenarios we've been discussing: races in which a conservative, non-incumbent Republican is running in a blue state. You can dream, if you want, that a Tea Bagger will defeat Olympia Snowe in the primary and then go onto to win the election even though Obama carries Maine by 17 points, because the Democrats nominate a convicted felon. But it's not going to happen. On the contrary, as we've observed, Tea Party challenges actually make it MORE likely that Democrats will win Senate races because Tea Partiers are easier to beat than more moderate Republicans. Just look at Delaware and Nevada in 2010. Regards, Joe

abodger1 said...

oh the contrary joe polls show that the tea party candidate beating jon tester and ben nelson more than the teaparty candidate winning more than the moderate candidate. and joe if the dem is unpopular enough and people are still pissed about liberal policies then a gop candidate can win in any state e.g. scott brown

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

"polls show that the tea party candidate beating jon tester and ben nelson more than the teaparty candidate winning more than the moderate candidate."
Don't know what you're talking about in Montana; Rehberg's the only announced Republican. As for Nebraska, is Stenberg really more moderate than Bruning? How can you tell? Ok, look at it this way. In a red state, yes, the more conservative Republican may win. But in blue and purple states, the record clearly demonstrates that the Tea Party is a disaster in terms of electability.
"a gop candidate can win in any state e.g. scott brown" I never said they couldn't. What I do say is that to expect Tea Party candidates to win in blue states in 2012 is nonsense, because in that election Democrats will turn out in big numbers. Which is something they did not do in the special election in Massachusetts. How do you think Democrats won that the House seat in that very conservative NY district a few days ago? Republicans stayed home.

abodger1 said...

i do know what im talking about in montana marc racicot is mulling abid hesmuch more conservative than rehberg and he is leading tester way more than rehberg and in nebraska the tea party express already endorsed jon bruning. a for ny the only reason corwin lost is because she firstendorsed paul ryans plan then went back on it. people want these teapartiers no matter what you say

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hey, at last we agree! Yes, the Republicans should nominate a Tea Party candidate in every race.

Stephen said...

Hey, I'd say this is a good, well-thought out analysis of the races, but I have to disagree on Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin and I think that race will be one of the closest of the night. Only one candidate has announced so far, a no-name Republican. I think the senate candidates here in WI are tied to how Obama does. As of now, Wisconsin is about the brightest purple state out there. If Obama wins WI, Dems hold, if he loses WI, GOP picks it up. I think it is going to be a nail biter. Wisconsin defiantly isn't as blue as the Dems thought it was after 2008, and became a complete train wreck for them. Now it's as purple as Missouri was in the 90's and could go either way if the Presidental election were held today.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi Stephen. You're right of course. I haven't updated Wisconsin in a while. While I expect Obama to carry Wisconsin and give the Democratic nominee for Senate race a boost, I recognize we just watched Feingold lose by 5%. So yes, anything goes!

larry said...

i think it is very possible dems take back the House - what is your opinion?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi Larry. I'd give the Democratic Party a little better than even chance of taking back the House. The number of seats being gerrymandered in favor of each party since the last census is about equal. But the GOP grabbed a lot of swing seats in 2010 that may go the other way this time, especially if Obama wins comfortably. Consider NY. The GOP grabbed 4 seats there in 2010. They aren't likely to keep them if Obama beats his next opponent there by nearly 2-to-1 the way he did to McCain in '08.

Stephen said...

I still think Wisconsin ought to be considered tossup. Look at the recall elections last night. Sure, Dems knocked off Kapanke, but he was from a liberal area (La Crosse), and Hopper. But Hopper had marital issues and lived outside his district, and still only lost by 2 points. Not to mention that the dems thought they were going to win three or four seats and only won two. They also thought they'd knock off David Prosser, and didn't. So there is some buyer's remorse, but I don't think the majority has turned against Walker, that's just the liberals in Madison making alot more noise than everyone else in the state. Wisconsin appears to be trending R and I would actually be surprised if Obama carried Wisconsin the way things are going here.

What doesn't help is that no big-name candidate has announced yet. Feingold may run, but the climate in Wisconsin isn't exactly progressive at this point, and while a recall race for Walker would be close, Wisconsin conservatives (particullarly the Fox Valley and Milwaukee Suburbs) are fired up by Walker's actions and come out BIG TIME in support of him, so much so they cancel out the Madison Left. Wisconsin isn't as blue as it once was.

Honestly it bugs me that alot of Democrats think Wisconsin is still a safe D state when in fact it is not. Wisconsin is a bright purple. I'll give credit where credit is due, however. You do acknowledge that. So I disagree on Wisconsin, but that's it. As someone who lives in Wisconsin, I see things from a different perspective than most outsiders.

But if I were to rate them, I'd say MT, ND, IN, MA, and NE all lean R, MO, VA, NV, OH, and WI are tossups, PA, FL, NM, MI, and NJ all lean D,
UT is interesting to see in a competetive races chart, but the real action is definantly in the primary here. TX isn't going blue. It's as red as NY is blue. AZ could go blue if Giffords runs, but in other circumstances will probably remain red, and is a Likely R for me unless Giffords announces a bid. All the rest are safe.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi Stephen. I can't publish all your comments if they're going to be real long. But most of the conservatives I get just post, "Joe you dummy don't you realize the GOP is gonna win every competitive race?" So some thoughts on your thoughts. The special election. 6 districts that went GOP by 12 on average in 2010 went GOP by 5 instead. I'm not reading much into it. 6 in 10 WI voters disapprove of Walker. Re 2012: take a look at the latest generic ballot from PPP. Democrats with a big leg up. Polls everywhere show that people want the opposite of what the Tea Party is advocating. On the other hand, the way the Democrats just keep giving the tea baggers everything they demand, it's just possible that Democrats will be too mad to support the ticket in 2012. They showed signs of that in 2010.

Stephen said...

I understand on the comments. I'll watch that in the future. :)

I will say that I for one acknowledge the GOP won't win every competetive race. If I were to predict the races, this is what I'd say: (I forgot to mention a few races in my previous post, oops...)

SAFE D: HI, CA, VT, CT, NY, MD, DE, MN, RH

COMPETETIVE D, BUT HELD: WV, NJ, WA, PA, FL, NM

PURE TOSSUP D: WI, VA, OH, MI, MO

R GAIN FROM D: ND, NE, MT

SAFE R: UT, TX, MS, TN, WY

COMPETETIVE R, BUT HELD: MA, ME, AZ, IN

PURE TOSSUP R: NV

Joseph said...

Dear Joe,

I haven't posted in a while! I've looked at your recent posts and don't have many dissents! That being said...I do have some :-)

I think you are spot on with your R pickups! Well done! As far as the D pickup in NV...I don't think it's surefire. Heller has done a relatively decent job with seperating himself with corrupt Ensign. As long as he can overcome the tremendous crossover he needs...he has a shot. I'd say it's a tossup at this point.

As far as your...well...WISHFUL pickups, I'd say that they're a pretty far cry. I highly doubt Giffords runs...and she's the only Dem with a shot at winning. Lugar attracts moderates and many of the very conservative votes (probably just due to seniority)....I don't think he'll lose the primary, and he HAS to if the Dems want to have even a chance. Brown is such a phenomenon in his own right...he came out of NOWHERE and won a very liberal seat at the last second. He's polling remarkably well...even in a presidential election year I think he wins. (not that I like him terribly...but at least he's a red seat) To be perfectly honest...I highly doubt that the Dems will even come close in Texas...there's never much crossover there and it's a presidential election year. Plus...I HIGHLY doubt that Obama will have the turnout that he did in 2008...there's not as much enthusiasm.

I'd say that you are right to call Ohio and Missouri tossups...at least until top-teir candidates are declared (I think Taylor would be a good Ohio candidate). However, I'd put VA in the R pickup column...2008 was a freak year where Obama won VA...I don't think it will happen again. George Allen is coming back for his seat...Webb only beat him by .6% in a blue year. Add Webb's retirement and Im cautiously optimistic about the Republicans chances here. I also wouldn't count out FL or PA just yet. 2010 was bad for PA dems...and I don't think 2012 will be too much better. Plus, Casey is the first and only Dem to serve a full term in I believe like 30+years. Nelson is in some hot water which could boil over if the likes of LeMieux gets into the mix for the red team. Also...watch out in WV. Remember...it's a presidential election year.(although Manchin is fairly conservative).

As always...thanks for the blog. It's great! (as usual) :-)
Sincerely,
Joe

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Joseph, I'm impressed. Your analysis is really, really good. NV: Agree. Dem prospects in NV aren't looking that great right now. If they don't improve, I'll change that one. Brown, well if Warren can poll within 9 before even declaring, I expect a close race though Brown has a great chance of winning. TX: competitive on paper only. Someday, A Dem will win statewide again.

Don't agree on VA and FLA. Allen isn't well liked, Kaine is. And in FL the GOP (strangely) doesn't look ready to field a great candidate.

Now all that said, I'm starting to agree with those such as yourself who see Obama as a very weak candidate next year. On the other hand, just look at the competition...

Joseph said...

Dear Joe,

Thanks for the compliment! :-) As far as the presidential election next year, I agree with the poor candidate choice. My boss actually was talking to me about Paul and I have to say...I like him! But he will never win the primary. It's down to Bachmann, Perry and Romney. Of those three...I personally would hope that my first vote next november doesn't have to be cast for Romney...he doesn't appeal to me at all. Of the two left...Id rather vote for Bachmann. What do you think about the R primary? I think it would be cool if you tried your luck at predicting the electoral college for this coming election! :-)

Sincerely,
Joe

nflmockdraft100 said...

AZ: GOP Hold Flake wins
CA: Gavin Newsom wins DiFi retires
CT: tossup Btwn Shays and Murphy d hold
DE: carper wins unoppozed
FL: Nelson wins under 2 points to Lemieux
HI: Lingle vs. Case. Case wins bc of Obama
ME: Emily cain beats snowe who is liberal
MY: Eric wargotz gets tea party back barely loses to Cardin
MA: Brown beats Warren by under 2pts
MI: hoekstra gives stabenow run for money loses
MN: Klouchbar vs. Severson d hold
Ms: wicker goes unoppozed
MO: McCaskill loses by over 5 to Akin
MT: Rehberg beats Tester by under 2 points
NE: t party backed Bruning beats Nelson
NJ: Menendez beats guadagno by under 5
NM: Heinrich beats heather Wilson by over 5
NY: Diane Taylor-Bloomberg comes very close to Gillibran
ND: T party backed Rick Berg beats Tracy Potter
OH: Sherrod Brown crushes Josh Mandel
PN: Charlie dent upsets Bob Casey (BIG PREDICT)
RI: Douglas beats White house by over 5 points
TN: Lincoln Davis upsets Unpopular Corker
TX: Dewhurst beets Sanchez
UT: hatch wins unoppozed
VT: sanders wins unoppozed
VA: kaine beets Allen
WA: Cantwell beets Reichert
WS: Thompson beets Baldwin
WV: Manchin goes unoppozed
WY: Barrasso goes unoppozed

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Joseph - Of course I predict the electoral college. Look at my old posts. In 2008, I called Indiana for Obama. Not even Nate Silver got that one. Of course last year he called the Senate races in CO and NV wrong, but I got those right too.

nflmockdraft100 - Some interesting predictions. Olympia Snowe is not going to lose if she's the nominee. But what do you know about Sheldon Whitehouse that I don't? In 2006, the last NBC poll showed Chafee would beat him, Whitehouse won by 12. In 2012, Obama will probably beat his opponent by nearly 2 to 1. I don't get it. Is Romney popular there or something? Hey, you remind me of that Pink Floyd song. "Hey you, White House. Ha ha, charade you are!"

nflmockdraft100 said...

I truly love listening to bleeding heart liberals like you Joe.. Jim Douglas is one of the most popular governors the state has had since the fifties.. If he runs and Romney is the nominee, Douglas wins.. On Maine, conservatives like me hate her to no end.. She is a liberal.. I think that Andrew Ian Dodge could bring in a strong third party and Emily Cain could prosper from that..

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

n- Yes, Sanders vs. Douglas would be a fascinating race. And some of my predictions for New England (esp. MA Senate) may tilt on whether Romney is the nominee.

Charles said...

I would that that you need to update MA. With Warren in the race and the rising tide created by the OWS folks she beats Mr. Brown pretty handily.

By the way great site one of my favorites to send to people.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Thank you Charles. I am reluctant to say that Warren is a shoe-in for two reasons. One, Brown does have a strong base, and two, it now looks like Romney will be the GOP nominee, possibly giving the Republicans a boost as he is (sort of) a candidate from Massachusetts. But I do like Warren's chance.

Charles said...

I agree that Romney will be the candidate for the Republicans. Where I differ is that I think Romney running will be one of the best things that could happen for the Democrats. He has had 25% of the party support as his ceiling for a number of years now. The Tea Party/hard right hate the guy. If he is the Republican nominee then you can expect a low republican turn out in 2012. Hence an even greater upside for what should be a blue election year.

There is also another variable that is shaping up to effect change. OWS. As of this moment they are still not much of a group, but their approval ratings poll higher than the Tea Party ever had. While they are neophyte still there is a strong chance they will as be an effective political force for 2012, they have already begun to change the conversation. And it is highly likely they will invigorate the left in a way that Obama has lost the chance to do.

When you combine low republican turn out with a suddenly enthused liberal base you get to some interesting numbers.

In some places it may or may not be the deciding factor, for instance in MO it will make the race a toss up on what could have been a republican pick up. In the closer races it bodes well for the dems.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Charles, I agree with your basic assessment on Romney. It seems no Republican Presidential nominee is going to get the evangelical Christian base to turnout unless he is one of them. On the other hand, I'm afraid that the fact that Romney is not a southern-fried super-christian means he can get the votes of moderates who are fed up with the bad economy in places like Michigan.

Charles said...

With the results in Ohio I think we see two interesting meta trends that will effect the 2012 races.

1) The Progressive and Labor wings of the Democratic party are finally playing on the same team and walking in lock step on a message of jobs for the middle class.

2) The Democrats are going to be able to paint the Republicans as the "anti-middle class" "anti-jobs" party and harness much of the systemic anger about the economy as a result. They will use the Republican Governors as the foil for this.

These two trends are powerful indicators of results in close races and for swing states.

While the "Obamacare" message in Ohio was overwhelmingly anti the new health care law, labor was able to take that same anit-Obamacare electorate and paint the Republican's as anti jobs, anti middle class.

If the 2012 election is about jobs and not about health care the Republicans losses will be historic, look for the house to go back to Dem control. Look for many of the Senate races that are toss ups in swing states to go Dem, not all assuredly, but I'd say over half at this point in time.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Charles, you make me glad I didn't turn off the comments on this blog a couple of years ago when I was getting nothing but insults.

Consider Michigan Republican U.S. Senatorial candidate Clark Durant on the income gap, "I think it should be wider." Or consider Romney's position on the housing crisis: We should speed up foreclosures so that wealthy speculators can become slumlords for now impoverished former homeowners.

If the Republicans have their way, America will become like 1950s South America: 1% will be permanently rich by owning everything, there will be a small middle class of necessary, highly-skilled professionals, and everyone else will live in perpetual poverty.

And yet it's not the country that's becoming impoverished. Far from it. Corporate profit margins are at an all-time high, and taxes are lower than they've been in nearly a century. It's only America's workforce, which is one of the most productive in the world, that's becoming impoverished thanks to corporate greed and Republican mismanagement of the government.

Your comments suggest that maybe voters are waking up to this. I hope you're right.

Charles said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/tom-coburn-30-billion-millionaires-tax-breaks_n_1092692.html

If the UBERconservitive Corburn is issuing these types of statements look for the Republican­s to pivot hard to sound like the OWS crowd, they aren't idiots, they will tach to the prevailing winds as assuredly as a pirates gallon.

In Ohio this last election between the anti-Obama­care legislatio­n and the union busting vote the meta trend that was uncovered was that the anti-Obama­care people (ie republican base voters) were even more solidly behind unions and and the 99 percenters than they were upset about Obamacare et al. The Republican­s have to pivot now or they lose historical­ly in 2012

LexiconNinja said...

Heidi Heitkamp is running for the Democratic nomination in the North Dakota Senate race for 2012. An early poll has her 5 points ahead of Berg. This one (like Montana) could be a good one to watch. The Dems may yet hold the Senate!

Joseph said...

Ive heard some interesting things in Florida which have caused me to think harder about GOP prospects. Through the grapvine, I have heard that the GOP establishment is considering a move to put Rubio on the Presidential ticket ad the Vice-President. Should this happen, the GOP turnout in Florida should increase greatly, helping GOP down the ticket. If this happens, Im putting Florida in the GOP pickup section of my site.

Joseph said...

Ive heard some interesting things in Florida which have caused me to think harder about GOP prospects. Through the grapvine, I have heard that the GOP establishment is considering a move to put Rubio on the Presidential ticket ad the Vice-President. Should this happen, the GOP turnout in Florida should increase greatly, helping GOP down the ticket. If this happens, Im putting Florida in the GOP pickup section of my site.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Re Florida: Obama currently leads Gingrich by 12 in the Sunshine state. Does Rubio really want to be first mate on the Titanic?

LexiconNinja said...

A new Mass Insight poll shows Brown leading Warren in the Mass. Senate race. Makes me wonder how long that lead will hold up. Romney is the likely GOP Presidential nominee, but Obama's coattails may prove to be Brown's undoing. I am actually surprised Warren isn't doing much better by now.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Re MA insight poll. Well, it's not the only poll to show Brown in front. It's a close race.

LexiconNinja said...

Not sure if you heard: Angus King is running for the open Senate seat in Maine. Looks like it won't be a cakewalk for Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree afterall. Hopefully they don't split the progressive vote and give the seat to a Republican. I hear that if King did win, it is likely he'd caucus with the Democrats.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

To LexiconNinja - Yes, a good observation. Nothing can be taken for granted in ticket-splitting Maine. Obama could win with a 25-point spread and the GOP could still win the Senate race.

abodger1 said...

Wow Joe you are in complete denial! There is a 90% chance the Republicans will win the senate. I find it funny that you have dems winning 3 republican seats. I agree Angus King will probably win Maine but besides that the Republicans keep all their seats.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Hi abodger1. Right now the generic ballot polls (except for Rasmussen) shows Democrats with a slight edge, and polls show Obama with a comfortable lead in the swing states. For the GOP to win the Senate, they pretty much have to win all the races that can arguably be called toss ups. Tell me, why do you think this will happen? PPP is pretty much the most reliable pollster, they show Warren beating Brown. It now looks like Mourdock will beat Lugar in Indiana. What do you think?

abodger1 said...

Well joe i think the only reason u dont see republicans better in some states is because of name recognition. Josh mandel and connie mack are perfect examples. they are down about 10 points right now but i believe they will end up winning. as for mourdock even if he beats lugar (which i hope he does) the dems dont really have a chance i ate to tell ya. i also have to say right at the exact same time ppp showed warren leading there was 5 more showing brown leading.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

3 non-Rasmussen polls show Mandel down by double-digits. I'm not delusional, I'm optimistic. Just like you. I see you've been thinking of writing your own political blog. I hope you do. I think you'll find it helps coalesce your ideas.

abodger1 said...

the 3 non Rasmussen polls were registered and not likely voters

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Mm. The polling average in Ohio is Obama by 5.3%. Doubtful there's a lot of crossover support among Obama voters for Handel. Connie Mack's pretty far behind. Are you counting on a Romney-Rubio ticket to put Mack over the top? Rubio's is smart and a big asset for the GOP, I'll give you that. And yeah, Mourdock would probably have to screw up pretty bad to lose. One the one hand, I can see a scenario where Obama narrowly carries Indiana again, and Lugar voters stay home. On the other hand, I heard Obama won't try to compete in IN this year.

abodger1 said...

he shouldnt compete hes down 9 points to start. for connie mack Rasmussen actually had him up by 7 a while back, so he really doesnt have any catching up to do. yes obama has consistently been up about 5 points but again most of the polls are registered not likely. another observation is that obamas level of support has pretty much been static in his numbers in ohio with only Romney's numbers fluctuating. but i say whoever wins Ohio it will be within 2 points probably closer..

LexiconNinja said...

The American Action Network, a Republican-backing outside group, is pulling its ads in support of Dick Lugar off the air as of today. Looks like the GOP may be relenting to the fact that Mourdock may win the Republican nomination for Indiana's Senate seat this cycle. This is good news for the Democrats' Senate prospects, however the race could still be competitive as Mourdock is no Christine O'Donnell, however he has far right leanings which could turn off some voters in a general election. Either way though, Lugar losing his bid is more good news for the Democrats (at least in the short run).

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Lex -
A good analysis. Big question is, will Obama fight for Indiana this year?

Charles said...

If Mourdock is the candidate then the Democrats have to throw some money in the state. The pick up of the Senate seat is worth it irrespective of presidential outcomes.

Additionally Obama is so far ahead in the electoral vote count they can afford to play in a state they may not win.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Good point Charles. If it looks like Obama will cruise to victory, we should be pouring our resources into these toss ups. In 2008, Obama spent a lot of time in the northern plains, and actually brought polls in those states within the margin of error before giving up on them late in the game. For example, Obama held an event in North Dakota that turned out to be the largest political rally in that state since FDR's last visit. Soon after, I saw him polling nearly even with McCain there.

LexiconNinja said...

Mourdock ousted Lugar tonight in the Republican Indiana Senate primary. Obviously anything can happen between now and November, but with recent polling for Obama and Mittens at the top of their respective tickets, I think the Dems keep the Senate in November by approximately the same margin they have now. If Romney really implodes, they might actually gain a seat or two, but can the Democrats get THAT lucky?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Kos just made the same prediction I have: GOP to net +1 this year.

LexiconNinja said...

Joe, do you think Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer's win tonight affects the chances the Democrats have to win in Nebraska? I still think no, but I also do not know much about this candidate or what kind of campaign she'll run. I thought for sure it would be Bruning.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

The only way Fischer could lose would be due to the emergence of some kind of major-league scandal. Looking at her background, the phrase "squeaky-clean" comes to mind. You know I went to see Bob Kerrey speak in 1992. He could be the spokesperson for Nytol.

ukrises said...

A few comments regarding IN,OH and NM.
A more conservative candidate down ticket in IN assures Obama a loss here. Romney would have trouble getting conservatives out to vote as we dont really care for him, and Lugar was not gonna help the situation.
After hearing some big backers of Mandel last year I learned that he is a relentless campainer. As such he was always gonna make this a competative race,but I didn't expect it quite this soon, because his name recognition has had enough time to be devolped. Or so I thought.
My brother had a chance to hear Wilson(NM) in person a few weeks ago and he was impressed. There are not many real conservatives out there that can articulate their position well. Appearantly Wilson is such a person. Not sure how much that helps in NM, but any time conservative ideas can be well communicated reasonable people will listen(and find themselves agreeing).

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

ukrises - thank you for your comments. You may be correct in every respect; I recognize that some red-meat conservatives may turn out in Indiana this fall who would otherwise have looked at Romney and Lugar and said, "meh, I'm staying home."

ukrises said...

Hey Joe, just a heads up on a potetial major development. I work in a coal realated field and we are seeing some mines that are acting like they are getting ready to shut down. These are very active mines with 50+ years of good coal left. If this becomes a reality and goes nationally that would be BIG. Impact in states like VA, CO, PA, NC, OH would be hard to overstate.

Zach C-M said...

joe,
great blog
could you check out my blog and see what you think about my predictions

http://borderlinepolitics.blogspot.com/

thank

ukrises said...

had to start laying people off today

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Sorry to hear you're having a tough time uk. Boy, it's starting to look like Tommy Thompson's gonna win.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Looks like 50/50 split after election, especially after another weak jobs report. My question going back to ukrises issue is how much longer does Manchin keep the D behind his name if Obama wins, would be tough to support this admin as a senator from WV.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

I'm not sure that the jobs report is the magic elixir that Republicans all seem to think it is. This year's GOP campaign is a Seinfeld episode - it's about nothing. Other than Romney's bold promise to shift the tax burden ever more onto the backs of the working class to create more tax cuts for the 1%. A party switch by Manchin to give the GOP control of the Senate wouldn't shock me. Jim Jeffords did it right after an election. But keep your shirt on, the GOP will control both houses by 2014.

ukrises said...

Don't really see Manchin switching. He does not have any reason to. Maybe if it put him in a better position to serve WV ie a sweet commity position. I get the sense he is a true believer in the dem party, he just has an outdated view of it. I actually know a lot of people like this.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Ukrises.. that is my point on Manchin, he is, to use a term from the house a "Blue Dog" democrat, many of whom did not survive the 2010 election as the position(s) of the current administration did not much there districts.
If President Obama wins reelection , his policies (Mainly Executive Orders) will not sit well in WV, and may eventually force Manchin to drop his party affilation and cacacus(sp?) with the R's as an independent.

LexiconNinja said...

Although I am not from West Virginia, I am inclined to disagree with Rookie7Marlins. Manchin actually has more leeway after he wins re-election this year to promote the Democratic platform (at least in part). He has certainly taken conservative positions in the recent past, but he is a Democrat at heart. He would never caucus with a party whose goal is to privatize social security.

When the Health Care Bill is in full effect (2014), West Virginians stand to gain a lot from it - mostly because they are a relatively poor state. This will likely benefit Democrats more so than Republicans in the state (regardless of who supported it). I also believe that Manchin has even higher aspirations of office than just Senator. Switching parties will not help him attain those goals in the near future. After he wins this fall, he is not up for re-election until 2016 so he has a long time to support his party before he would have to answer for it. And if Hillary runs in 2016, it would be better for him to stay on the (D) side of the ballot.

ukrises said...

Man Joe, I think you must have gottem a little excited with the ACA ruling. You seem to have gone overboard in your enthusiasm and become a bit over confident in the dems chances. A net gain of 1 for the republicans seems to be wishful thinking and not at all in line with your own previous postings. I cannot imagine the ACA ruling working in dems favor. This is the one issue that all republicans can hammer on non stop. This is sort of thing that could inspire some 2nd ammendment protests. This is a big F-ing deal. There are 10 states up for grabs right now MA, MO,NV,MT, ND, WI,VA, FL, NM,OH

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

I think you're over-reaching uk.
Bloomberg Poll Shows 58% Oppose Repeal Of Health Care Reform

ukrises said...

You are gonna site Bloomberg? Really? Anyway. I'll bett you dollars to doughnuts those opposing have a little fire in their guts than those supporting it. This will get the vote out a heck of a lot more than anything Romney could do. Those opposing know that they must win the senate and do it now.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

uk, you gotta put a little more on the table. This "the polls are all wrong" stuff doesn't wash with me.

Rookie7Marlins said...

My question on the health law is... if it is such a great law... why were items that could be considered negative such as increased taxes and restrictions on medical savings accounts only implemented after this election?

Rookie7Marlins said...

That being said about the health care law... this election is about Jobs. President Obama has 3 months to hope the economy starts to turn back in the right direction.. if it does, he wins relection and holds the Senate probably because V-President Biden is the tie breaking vote.

ukrises said...

New polls on ACA
CBS/NYT 36 to 50 oppose
NPR 43 to 48 oppose

Just sayin.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Now wait a minute. You just told me this law was so hated as to threaten armed revolution. A July 2004 CBS poll showed only 45% support for the war in Iraq, but that didn't stop a certain brain-dead Texan from being reelected.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Joe, what is the basis for including IN and AZ in possible democratic pickups, while not including VA and FL in possible Republican pickups? RCP has both VA and FL as toss ups, whereas IN and AZ both in the lean/likely republican columnn? Understand that it is your site and your opinion, just looking for some insight from the other side of the aisle. Thanks.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Rook - looking at the most recent polling, I guess you're right about Florida. Maybe I'll change that one in my next update. But I genuinely believe that George Allen has very little chance of winning. I expect Obama to carry VA, and there's no way Allen gets any crossover votes.

ukrises said...

Bloomberg endorses Brown and Boston wants to ban chick-fil-a.
One thing for sure, Mass knows how to keep a senate race interesting.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Joseph,

Would not count VA in either column, all recent polling shows the race is a coin flip. VA will go the way of the economy if the #'s improve President Obama wins if the #'s slide Govenor Romney wins... If they stay the same flip a coin.

Do agree that if Romney carries the state by less than <1% Kaine can still win.

That being said in my opinion this race is a toss-up.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

"Do agree that if Romney carries the state by less than <1% Kaine can still win." This is a good question that speaks to my take on this race. I think Allen's against-all-odds loss in 2006 shows that the voters don't care for him, and won't choose him over a top-tier candidate like Kaine. As for the state of the electorate in VA, I'll take the most accurate pollster, PPP, who shows Obama comfortably ahead.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Joseph,

What does the (D) next to the PPP polls mean?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

When you see the (D) or (R) after a poll, it normally means that it's an "internal" poll conducted by the candidate or his or her party. PPP is not a partisan poll, but it was founded by someone with a background in Democratic internal polls. So some sources include the (D) even though it's not appropriate according to the convention.

Rookie7Marlins said...

Joesph,

Thanks for the clarification on the (D)... what makes the PPP polls more accurate than Quinnipiac or Rassmussen. Do they use different methodology?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

I think this will answer some of your questions. While PPP wasn't the most accurate in 2010, it was the least biased toward either party. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/rasmussen-polls-were-biased-and-inaccurate-quinnipiac-surveyusa-performed-strongly/
I also found this note funny. It refers to PPP's record for accuracy, but calls it 'Democratic-leaning.' Well hey, compared to Rasmussen, every poll is 'Democratic-leaning.' http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0711/PPPs_accuracy.html

Rookie7Marlins said...

Thanks this was helpful info. I will take both Rasmussen and PPP polls with a grain a salt in the the future.

FYI... the latest Quinnipiac poll shows the presidential race a tie in VA and Allen with a 2 point lead.

ukrises said...

In Wis Hovde has actually been polling better vs baldwin than thompson has.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Re Wisconsin. What? Thompson led Baldwin in every poll, often by a substantial margin, conducted between late Feb and early July. Baldwin's ahead of Hovde in the last 2 polls. Thompson could expect some crossover support from Obama voters, Hovde can't.

ukrises said...

Rasmussen Reports 7/25

Baldwin 45-Hovde 42

Baldwin +3

Baldwin 48-Thompson 41

Baldwin +7

PPP 7/8

Baldwin 44-Hovde 45

Hovde +1

Baldwin 45-Thomspon 45

Tie

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Ok Uk, why exactly are you quoting me rasmussen polls?

LexiconNinja said...

Akin won the GOP Senate primary tonight. He's supposedly the most conservative option for the electorate. McCaskill probably wanted this option for an adversary. This fall we'll see how far into red turf the Missouri people are willing to go. McCaskill still has a chance if Romney can't get the Christians out in force for him. Maybe when Akin starts talking about what he'll do to Medicare and Social Security (if elected), Missourians will find their moderate streak again.

ukrises said...

For the same reason I put up the PPP pole. To support my position that Hovde has been running better against Baldwin than Thompson has. Althouh the new CBS polls shows Thompson doing better, but after that last round of CBS polls you might want to take this one with a grain of salt.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Uk, you're wrong. Go look at all the polls for this race on wikipedia. Thompson has polled ahead of Baldwin all year, while Hovde has polled consistently behind her, occasionally tied. The single outlier poll you cited from the unreliable Rasmussen organization also happens to have been taken at the peak of the 'Hovde surge' when he was starting to look like the front runner for the nomination- a time when he would naturally see his support increase in polls for the general election. Ok, it's my blog and I'm closing this argument. If Hovde becomes the next Senator from Wisconsin, you can leave a comment taunting me and I promise to publish it.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Lexicon - yes, a good summary. I also hear Akin doesn't have any money. I'm still not feeling good about this one, but maybe the next round of polls will look better.

LexiconNinja said...

Akin is a dead man walking. Insiders say he will quit tomorrow. Too bad this firestorm didn't come two weeks before the election. I read that the establishment Republicans in Missouri will pick his replacement in the Senate race. Interesting development since Missourians will be voting on a GOP rep not nominated by a majority of primary voters.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Akin says he will stay in (as of Monday evening). I make predictions, but I can't predict what Akin is thinking. Insiders say he will quit? Who are we talking about?

LexiconNinja said...

A blogger at Immizen.com who apparently knew Paul Ryan was the VP pick two days before the announcement. Not sure how "legitimate" that is...apparently a poll was taken tonight between 6-8pm and Akin is still beating Claire by 1 point, but the political fall-out is relatively fresh. It may yet soak in further to the public perception. The Republican leadership has got to be losing it.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Lex - yes I've seen more than one instant poll that suggests that Akin isn't actually losing. Scary what this says about certain voters. Anyway, the NRC has already said they'll pull Akin's funding. If Akin's still in the race, will they eventually be pressured to put the money back on the table? Here's hoping this story dominates the news cycle till election day.

LexiconNinja said...

Well, 5PM CST has come and gone, looks like Akin is here to stay (at least until the GOP assassinates him). McCaskill must be thrilled. Despite polls still showing him in the lead, the political rot of this controversy is probably going to stick around for awhile, and might even be amplified by the Republican Convention in Tampa next week. I think the Missouri Senate race is officially a toss-up, at least for now.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

And on the same day when the RNC announced that "This is the platform of the Republican Party; this is not the platform of Mitt Romney" regarding the party's official policy platform ratifying a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Crazy.

LexiconNinja said...

I agree with your updates to MA and WI. I still can't believe Warren hasn't broken away. She seems likeable and her agenda is about 99% in alignment with liberal Massachusetts. If Scott Brown gets his 6 years of security, he's just going to vote with his Republican block most of the time. I can't believe a majority of people in that state would agree with him on most issues.

I hope Thompson makes some kind of mistake in WI, but I doubt he will. He's too seasoned to mess that race up. It's a shame too as it would've been cool to see a Midwestern state send its first openly gay female Senator to D.C.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Special comment for ukrises. Uk, you were right and I was wrong: Hovde would have been the better candidate in Wisconsin. When I suggested Thompson was the better nominee, I had no idea he would mount the most pathetic campaign this side of Dukakis.

LexiconNinja said...

Thompson is blowing it big time in WI. I am certainly not unhappy about it. Welcome to the age of YouTube where anything you say can and will be used against you. Carmona is gaining steam in Arizona too. Do you think McConnell will lose his roost as minority leader after (yet another) Senate take-over debacle?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Lex, I'll tell you why McConnell's power has grown. After the 2008 election, behind closed doors some Republicans were saying, "we'd better go along with some of what Obama wants." It was McConnell who insisted on the strategy of 'all filibusters all the time.' And politically he was successful. He also didn't choose the GOP's terrible candidates this year. So he's pretty safe. We almost beat him in 2008 with a third-tier candidate. We missed our chance.

LexiconNinja said...

I wonder if that strategy will work for McConnell in a second Obama term? Do you think Reid would use the nuclear option on the filibuster and make the limit 51 Senators or something? It's just a Senate rule which can be changed at the start of a new session. Although, I am not sure it will matter much if the Republicans control the House anyway.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Lex, rumor is that the all-filibuster-all-the-time game for Republicans won't be in force during an Obama 2nd term. The #1 reason for using that was to keep him from getting reelected.

ukrises said...

Looks like coal just might be turning this election. Coal miners are as sure a dem voting block as there is, but not this time. Seems to be having a greater impact on the Pres. race than the senate though, but if things continue to trend the way they have been recently that MAY change. The 3 states where coal is making a big difference right now are VA, PA and OH. King Coal lives!

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Thanks Uk. It's an interesting point. I thought Romney would Romney would be looking more toward the rust belt, but maybe it's the coal belt. This thing isn't over. Hope you noticed I said you were right about Hovde and Thompson.

ukrises said...

How the heck is Akin still alive? If Romney wins MO by 10+ does that mean Akin could actually win too?

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

Nate Silver gives Akin only a 12% chance of winning. He's got more chance than that. Romney will win big here (you might say he has the big mo in MO) and McCaskill's approval is still terrible. It's enough to keep this race close. BTW, what's the deal with Mourdock? I mean, who looks at the Akin campaign and says, "me too!" ???

ukrises said...

What Mourdock said was not really anywhere near what Akin said. He could have said it better, but he idea that something good can come from something bad is very mainstream. The idea that all life comes from God, even life as a result of rape, and should be respected as such is very mainstream. But in this post Akin climate you must be very clear with what you are saying and how you say it.

ukrises said...

Based on the polls this cycle, which suck through and through, I would like to offer up some predictions.
Romney wins with over 300 EV.
R pick up 5 or 6 net seats in the Senate. MT, NE, ND, WI,MO,VA,OH,(PA?)
D pick up MA, ME
Again, this is just based on a complete reading of the polls.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

I may not agree with uk, but never stop speaking your mind.

ukrises said...

In all honesty, I would hate to put my reputation, or money, on the line predicting any of these races based on the polls alone. Polls with such laughable internals are not much good for anything. Gonna be interesting.

M. Joseph Goodfriend said...

I would not have called AZ for Carmona if I had seen the new PPP poll. Oh well.

ukrises said...

Well, I guess a Romney victory would have only delayed the inevitable anyways. Now we can begin having the serious discussions on how to move foward post United States.
I am continually reminded these days of Romans 1:18-32 and in particular 28-32 which says, "28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
I pray that some day, a people somewhere, will remember the great promise under which this nation was founded and have a great desire to see it established again. A promise that we are all created equal and that we are given certain rights and freedoms by God and that governments have been established on this earth to protect these rights and freedoms.
Sorry if I have said too much.