The Republicans will Take Over the Senate
By: Craig Chamberlain
There are two things that the GOP needs to accomplish in the elections this November: they need to win the Senate, and they need to defeat President Obama. I’ll save defeating President Obama for another time. The Senate races are lining up in the GOP’s favor this year, without the Senate and the Presidency the GOP should consider the election a failure. We need the Senate to pass the repeal of Obama’s agenda, and we need the Presidency to sign the repeal. It’s a chicken and the egg argument of which is more important. But if the Democrats have any power in Washington after November then it’s going to be impossible to get anything done and get the country back to normal. Fortunately it looks as if taking the Senate will be fairly easy(we won’t be able to say the same thing about taking the White House). Here are the races where the GOP has a reasonable, or better than reasonable, chance of winning.
North Dakota- Senator Conrad has decided to retire. There aren’t too many states more Republican than the Dakotas. Whoever the GOP nominee is should start calling themselves Senator right now. This one is in the bag.
Nebraska- Senator Ben Nelson committed career suicide when he voted for Obamacare, and took a kickback hoping that it would make it more popular for the good people of Nebraska. It didn’t. Now the Senator has decided that it’s time to retire into the sunset, and probably into a lobbying career, than face the voters again. This one is another pickup for the GOP.
Montana- Senator John Tester is facing his first reelection bid, and it’s not looking good. Congressman Rehberg is the likely GOP nominee and will most likely defeat Senator Tester in November. This one is also looking good for the GOP.
Missouri-Senator McCaskill is facing a tough reelection in the Show Me State. Missouri is a state that leans Republican, and the anti incumbent mood won’t help the Senator. This one is another probable win for the GOP.
Florida- Senator Bill Nelson should be a sitting duck, but so far the polls show this a close race. So far former Senator George Lemieux and Congressman Connie Mack IV have announced that they will enter the race. But this one will be close one way or the other.
Virginia- Senator Webb will not seek a second term. This race is going to be former Governor Tim Kaine against former Governor and Senator George Allen. Allen lost by a few hundred votes, questionable votes at that, in 2006. Kaine is a staunch liberal, and the former head of the DNC. It won’t be too hard to tie him to President Obama in a state where the President isn’t all that popular, and has been trending Republican since he took office. If Allen avoids stupid gaffes that plagued him in 2006 he should be getting a return trip to the Senate.
Ohio- The ever important swing state will be holding a Senate race this November as Senator Sherrod Brown seeks reelection. The likely GOP nominee is State Treasurer Josh Mandel. As goes Ohio, so goes the country. Brown is neither powerful or popular this is a possible pick up for the GOP.
Michigan- Senator Debbie Stabbenow has never faced a serious challenge. This year could be an exception. The Senator will likely face Congressman Pete Hoekstra, an opponent with a real chance of unseating her. Still Michigan is a state that leans Democrat, so this will probably be a pick up if the GOP is having an exceptionally good night. But this one might be a surprise.
Wisconsin- Senator Herb Kohl, a non entity in a chamber of non entities, is retiring. Several prominent Republicans, including Former Governor and HHS secretary Tommy Thompson have thrown their hat into the ring. This is a key battleground state that Obama won handily last time, and union activists have been fighting like drowning men to get rid of the Republican government in Madison. It’s unlikely that Obama will do as well in the badger state this time around, and being an open seat puts things on even ground. This is another possible win.
Minnesota- Senator Klochubar is running fro reelection. So far though no prominent Republicans have entered the race, and this state is stubbornly in the Democrat column. A win here isn’t too likely.
Pennsylvania- Senator Casey won election in 2006 be crushing Senator Santorum. Having the Casey name doesn’t hurt him, and the fact that prominent Republicans with the money and name recognition have stayed away from this race means that the Senator will probably be reelected.
New Mexico- Senator Jeff Bingaman has decided to retire. The likely GOP nominee is either going to be former Congressman Heather Wilson, or Lt. Governor John Sanchez. The only reason the GOP has a chance here is because it is an open race. It’s hard to say who would make the better nominee for the party. But this one is still a race that leans in the Democrats favor.
The Republicans need 4 seats to claim the majority in the Senate. They are likely to get wins in ND, MT, MO, OH, and VA. That would take them to 52 seats, throw in possible victories in FL, and WI and you’re up to 54 seats, and outside chances in NM, and MI, and that gets you to a possibility of 56 seats, but that’s if all goes well. Still, all things considered, it looks like we will be talking about Harry Reid as minority leader come November.