A race-by-race analysis of the Senate, in fact, suggests that Republicans might now be close to even-money to win control of the chamber after next year’s elections. Our best guess, after assigning probabilities of the likelihood of a G.O.P. pickup in each state, is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority.
He’s got a state-by-state analysis so please feel free to find what he missed.
Nate is very emphatic to point out he IS guessing and that events in the next 15-16 months will have an impact one way or the other. He is, in effect, saying, “here’s the conventional wisdom among people who are not dopes.”
Lets wait and see what freak shows the Tea Party primaries vomit forth. The Democrats were going to lose Delaware, Indiana, Missouri and Virginia at one point, too. Maybe some mouth breathing yahoo will knock off Susan Collins.
I suspect as Nate does that despite this initial prediction of 50-51, what we’re most likely to see as an end result is one party with a 53-54 seat majority in the Senate. One party will probably win most of the toss ups and could eek out 1-2 additional wins in less favorable states. We’ll need to wait until the actual candidates are chosen, the actual campaigns are in full swing and actual head to head polls are published to begin to assess which party that is likely to be.
Too early to freak out ?
Nice timing on the filibuster, Harry Reid.
@Hawes: I’m sure the Tea Party will, indeed, vomit forth some big freaky chunks. You’re right about that. But I’m angry enough at this point that I’m not willing to just “wait and see.” There are plenty of things we can and should be doing right now in terms of organizing our registration and GOTV operations, as well as identifying, recruiting, and running our own candidates.
Yup. That demographic shift towards the Democrats everyone’s been talking about should be kicking in any day now, right?
@cvstoner: it isn’t happening in the senate, for obvious reasons.
Big whoop. Nothing gets done in the Senate now anyway. As long as Obama’s president, the Repubs can’t do too much damage.
Jesus, somebody wake me up when this Teabagger shit is over.
@mr.peabody: That only presumes Obama actually has the balls to use his veto pen. Based on his current record that is not necessarily a given. A GOP House and a GOP Senate is a nightmare we don’t want to endure.
It is likely that the GOP will gain 4-6 Senate seats in the 2014 midterm elections. But the victory could just as likely be short lived. In 2016, of the 34 seats up for re-election, slightly over 2/3 are Republicans and many are in states that lean blue. Rubio, Mark Kirk, Ayotte, Portman, Toomey, Ron Johnson. So what the GOP gains in 2014 could be easily lost just 2 years down the road.
Gee, Captain Cynicism, thanks for your useless and ignorant contribution.
Why do you bother getting out of bed in the morning?
A lot will depend on that national ‘mood’ Nate always talks about, which is just another way of saying GOTV.
It’s a given that the NC legislature will produce some sort of vote-suppression effort before then, but LA and AR might not. If you want to help, biting the bullet and donating to Landrieu and Pryor would be a good place to start.
I’d be more worried if the Tea Party hadn’t completed flushed away at least two Senate seats in both of the last two election cycles.
What worries me is the GOP’s current tendency of grabbing everything they can as soon as they’re in control of something, regardless of whether it’s what anyone else wants. It’s deeply anti-democracy and absolute over-reach, but it won’t stop them from doing impossible damage. If they get the Senate, Obama gets impeached in the first two minutes, abortion gets banned in the first four, and voting rights get trimmed to only wealthy white Republican men in the first ten. And it won’t be as easy to roll all that back as we might think.
@Skippy-san: Why would he work with them on anything? He’s made every good-faith gesture you could imagine over the last 5 years, and they’ve done nothing but spit in his face.
He’s not perfect, but he’s no fool, either.
@cvstoner: It already did kick in. The President is a black Democrat, who got reelected in a weak economy; that could never have happened without the demographic trends Ruy Texeira has been talking about for over a decade.
But it’s a long-term, gradual change, which short-term variations like the Tea Party, the effects of scandals, contest-by-contest details, etc., are layered on top of. And the trend effect is smaller in midterm elections, because they’re lower-turnout and you can get old white people to vote reliably. The Republican Party isn’t just going to die overnight.
I personally suspect that 2014 is going to be a fairly Republican year, and they probably will take the Senate. I also suspect they’ll have a rough time getting the Presidency in 2016, though it’s entirely possible if the Democrats screw up in some way. I do worry about what they’ll do to lock in what will eventually be white-minority power if they manage both.
@Scott S.: I don’t think it’s possible for the Republicans to get the Senate supermajority that would be necessary to actually convict Obama in an impeachment trial without some Democratic votes. I recall checking a while back; even if every single contested Senate seat goes their way, they’d be one or two votes short.
You want to know what legislation will be like if the Republicans take the Senate next year (no way they are losing the House of course)? Just look at the abomination of a farm bill that the “austerity” goons of the House pushed through last week. Increased corporate welfare for agri-business and abolition of SNAP for hungry poor people. They are not even dissimulating any more. These fuckers mean business and are completely dedicated to class warfare; funnelling every last cent to the rich and serfdom for the rest.
The States under ALEC control are a petri dish of what to expect at the Federal level with a unified legislature: voting rights restrictions, reproductive rights restrictions, bargaining rights restrictions, repeal or at least nullification of the ACA, repeal of gun control laws, a Federal SYG law.
Forget about the filibuster as a last line of defence. They will abolish it in a heartbeat if it gets in the way of any part of their agenda.
Get out the vote – your position as stakeholders in the United States is genuinely under threat.
The next election is almost 16 months away. I think we should wait at least another 8-10 months before panicking. If we’re lucky the Mainstream Republicans ™ will freak out people badly enough to keep Dems in the majority.
@Skippy-san: what legislation exactly were the thugs able to pass in the last 5 years with obummer’s complicity? Volunteer for cornell west for prezinent. You would fit right in there.
@montanareddog: Presidential veto is the last line of defense. Of course, we don’t want to rely on a last line of defense.
But I suspect that the reason Reid hasn’t been more hardline on filibuster reform is that he thinks he might lose his majority in a little over a year.
What? And insult Mayor Purist Bloomberg by helping a less than perfect Dem hold his seat in a state that otherwise would definitely be all GOP?
Get me my fainting pills, Quick!
I’m not completely sure of that. It doesn’t really help the GOP in the next term, since Obama will presumably veto most of the Republican agenda anyway.
Of course, come 2017, if we have a Democratic President and a Teabagger Senate, then the GOP will get rid of the filibuster in a heartbeat.
The Senate was supposed to flip a couple of times in the last few years. Then at the last minute, the GOP ran far-right dumbass candidates who blew it. I’ll panic when it’s actually 2014.
All the more reason to take back the House.
It kicked in at the end of 2012. Republicans lost the popular vote for the Presidency, the Senate, and the House. The only way they retained the House was through extensive and extreme gerrymandering.
It’s telling that two of their major wins in this milennia were both with a minority of the vote: the 2000 Presidency and the 2012 House. In other words, the GOP is a corrupt party who have corrupted the democratic process.
I’ll panic now because I don’t believe in being conservative with my panic. On top of the Zimmerman aquittal I don’t have any reserves of calm to draw on. I’m just in a rage and panicked all the time.
Sarah Palin has suggested that she might run for the Senate, but she’s too lazy to actually do so. She’s said it to keep the donations coming into her personal slush fund, er, PAC. However, I do hope that she inserts herself in enough Senate races next year, like she did in 2010, to keep the Senate from flipping to the gop.
OH FUCK NO.
I’ll make time for activism and it’ll be like a presidential election year and we at BJ will yell at each other and anybody who thinks just donating money is enough and we will STOP that.
NO more Republicans, much less teabaggers. What, do you think this is a joke or a game?
All right, that last post embarrassed me. Here’s a little uplift:
Step by step the longest march can be won, can be won
Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none
And by union what we will can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none singly none
Water from Another Time: a Retrospective
Water From Another Time
Being surprised at this is like being surprised at the Zimmerman verdict. Of course the GOP is going to make big gains in 2014 — the combination of the Republicans’ effective shutdown of the government and Obama’s timidity when faced when certain enemies (banksters, national-security hawks) means that, for all our delusional talk about the imminent death of the GOP, the Democratic Party is struggling to retain voter loyalty. Dems can’t deliver on jobs or helping underwater mortgagees or student loans, and that’s a combination of the GOP’s fault and their own, but under those circumstances, why the hell should we expect good results in 2014? Especially when Democrats seem to be truly excellent at only one thing: winning the popular vote in presidential elections.
At the risk of sounding like the Unskewed Polls guy, there’s no analysis here beyond assuming that the three red state shitholes with seats held by Democrats will flip to the GOP next year.
That is, of course, a good guess, but the assumption/implication that it’s on the same level as Silver’s 2012 presidential election work is vastly overselling it.
Both optimistic and fretful pessimistic Democrats, the latter being far, far more numerous, ignore one basic fact of American politics. Both parties are extremely unpopular, introducing a volatility that makes elections more difficult to predict, setting aside the fact that Nate has said predictions this far out are guesses anyway. The party that won the election in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 was repudiated in the next. Voters would love to repudiate both parties at the same time, but they don’t have means of doing so.
@SteveM: Actually, I am surprised. Many Democrats were upset that Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress didn’t include the public option in HCR, and failed to make the changes promised soon enough. Fair enough – I was disappointed too, but knew things would be worse with gop majorities, so voted in 2010. Many Democrats didn’t, so we’ve teabaggers controlling Congress (yes, the Senate too, with their abuse of the filibuster). The same mistake shouldn’t be made in 2014
With 1000 signatures – much twittering and telling the truth to a literary agent – one person organized enough support to stop Juror B37 thinking about – let alone writing – a book about the killing of Trayvon Martin.
That is what positive action can do – and folks on here are already talking about giving the senate to the GOP in 2014.
There should not not be one woman or one non-white person who considers that an option – so I assume most of the posters with this view of life are white males – who will not be impacted by the spread of the GOP hate laws across the 50 states.
That’s great, that you did that. I’m curious about that juror, because I didn’t watch the trial, I listened. Is she the juror that media were fawning over because she took such extensive notes?
Puts note-taking in a whole new light, if she’s the writer.
@JMG: Yeah. Let’s not be dopes, let’s work our asses off. GOTV is going to be very, very important this time.
@amk: Very little legislation of course. Health care primarily and on that I submit to you, he erred by leaving it up to Congress to design the bill.
But don’t kid yourself, the GOP smear machine will kick into overdrive-and that is where I wish Obama would be more public about calling them the useless thugs they are. Long and Loudly. The upcoming debt ceiling fight will be a harbinger of things to come.
Charles Pierce summed it up well: What I do know is that, if you do away with the filibuster, and the Republicans do get the Senate in 2014 — which is the way Nate Silver’s betting at the moment, by the way — so little will get done that whoever the Democratic nominee is will start off in a hole as defined by the notion that it’s better to have real majority control of the government because then things will get done.
(The sub rosa argument will be, OK, go ahead and elect a Democratic president. We’ll nuke his agenda, too. We’ve gerrymandered a permanent majority in the House, and the Senate’s ours, too. Nice little democracy you got there. Shame if anything happened to it.)
If you don’t have the votes to demolish the filibuster entirely, then don’t bother with futile attempts to do it piecemeal. They’re a bad idea.
I have been barely hanging on by a thread lately as it is. I have tried to avoid most of the blogs because I just can’t deal with it any more. This would be it. What we need now more than anything is to have the GOP back in control completely with the spineless weak-ass Democratic ass-lickers guarding their flanks so they can complete their mission of turning this nation into a feudal shit hole.
Maybe we really do deserve the ass fucking we are getting if enough of the nation is this fucking stupid. We sure don’t deserve to survive as a nation under these conditions
Another Halocene Human
@Matt McIrvin: It already did kick in. The President is a black Democrat, who got reelected in a weak economy; that could never have happened without the demographic trends Ruy Texeira has been talking about for over a decade.
Fuck yeah! I picked the winning side!
lol, I’ve been so used to losing that it now seems morally wrong to win… sort of like how my Red Sox enthusiasm waned after the second World Series win. I mean, what is this, Yankees II? Meh.
Another Halocene Human
Nice. Well said.
Another Halocene Human
@aimai: I find this helps, aimai:
that and warm baths with epsom salts. the magnesium helps your muscles unclench (yes, you do absorb the mineral through your skin… often more effectively than through pills or food, oddly enough)
Tea Party Cat adds: “unless they open their mouths.”
Another Halocene Human
@Applejinx: I’ll make time for activism and it’ll be like a presidential election year and we at BJ will yell at each other and anybody who thinks just donating money is enough and we will STOP that.
I hope dKos becomes useful again for networking or that something else takes its place. I volunteer locally, donate nationally. More and better Democrats, more and better voters!!
We should get ahold of every turdbuffer who spent the final weeks of the Presidential Election cycle insisting Nate Silver was an immodest hack with a Gandalf complex and ask what they think of predicting a GOP senate.
Or at least, that’d be a good idea if it didn’t mean talking to those people. No amount of further revealing Dylan Byers as the talentless envious hack he is could be worth actually interacting with him.
@amk: No, I’m freaking out already. That’s horrific. I can’t imagine them holding the House and the Senate. Poor us!!
Please someone explain to me why I keep hearing about the death of the GOP, and yet they keep f***//g winning elections.
@dan: bedwetters abound
Although it will be a Hellish two years between 2014-2016 if the GOP does win a slender Senate majority in 2014, it will be the GOP facing a huge uphill battle to hold it in 2016, since it is they who will be trying to defend a significantly disproportionate number os seats in 2016 which were won in 2010 (many by relatively slim margins) in as favorable a tide that year as they’ll likely ever experience. And the GOP cannot gerrymander state lines.
If the dems can hang on to even the slimmest of Senate control after 2014, things look up from there.
Freak out, maybe. Getting the vote out? ALWAYS.
GET THE GODDAMN VOTE OUT, DEMOCRATS.
Because the GOP keeps confusing enough low-informed voters to vote against their best interests, because the 2014 cycle has a good number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats, and because moderates for some godforsaken reason tune out the midterms, which pisses this moderate off to no end because goddammit EVERY VOTE COUNTS.
I don’t post often, since I suspect that every other post I make here comes out kind of stupid, so, you’re all welcome to shoot this post down if it’s really dumb…
If the Republicans take over the Senate next year, wouldn’t it be really bad for Obama’s legacy, if basically, the only real achievements he will have made were only before January 2011? I mean, that will mean he really got anything major passed in his first two years of office. Can’t we do better?
@raven: No, the GOP stands a better than even chance of taking the Senate and holding the house. I want to know when this “death of the GOP” is supposed to happen.
Giving it a little thought, 51 Republican Senators might be the best outcome for Democrats in 2014 short of the Republicans scoring some major own goals and giving the Democrats 60 seats. With 51 Republicans, you’re probably going to see the death of the filibuster, impeachment proceedings and Obama vetoing all the unfiltered crazy that reaches his desk. When Obama actually has to veto the 50th attempt to repeal the ACA and other nonsense, instead of it just dying in the Senate, the media might actually cover it.
That would probably put the Democrats in the best position to keep the Presidency and recapture the House and Senate in 2016.
@Another Halocene Human:
Nah, that’s just part of being a liberal. We don’t actually like winning for very long, because we’re big on principles and our dudes always, always disappoint us somehow. Lose, and it rips your guts out but at least you can rail from the peanut gallery in righteousness.
Conservatives are the same way about losing, but when they win they mostly fall in line behind their guy, even at the expense of logic and their own declared principles. So-called Obots have nothing on them.
Making them own their own craziness has its appeal, I’ll grant you. But what would happen to the budget?
@SteveM: So why should we reward the jokers who do nothing but obstruct legislation? What positive legislation will they put in place if they control the Senate and the House? I am very motivated to vote in 2014 to keep out the GOP. I’m not much of a fan of Reid, but he’s much better than McConnell by a long shot.
Higgs Boson's Mate
We haven’t managed to elect two Democratic presidents back to back since 1964. We haven’t ever elected Democrats back to back for two full terms each. Even if we are able to buck history continued Republican control of the House will ensure a Democratic successor to Obama of fuck-all in terms of legislative accomplishments. Unless there’s a sea change in the balance of the Senate that Democrat can also forget about changing the balance in the SCOTUS. Republican nihilists will be perfectly happy to leave a seat on that court vacant rather than confirm any justice to the left of Scalia.
The people who run the party fiddled while the Republicans took over enough state leges to make certain that they can derail anything that looks like progress to the rest of us for decades. It took a long time to get into this situation. It will take a long time to get out of it. At this point I believe that if the necessary changes are accomplished it will be despite the party leadership, not because of it.
@weaselone: The perennial “it might be better to lose this election” argument almost always has some kind of counterintuitive appeal, but is essentially never true. Winning is better than losing, and even if things turn out well in the long term there’s so much damage that can happen in the short term.
@Linda Binda: There is a reason many predident’s concentrate on foreign affairs – it is the area where they have the most freedom to act. Obama will have wound down two wars by the end of his presidency; this is no small achievement.
Does nobody else read Nate Cohn at TNR? He disagrees with Silver on this saying Dems are more likely to hold on to the majority than not. Incumbency effect should protect at least one or two of the vulnerable red staters unless it turns into a wave election which so far doesn’t look the case.
@Baud: Instead of swearing at him, demolish his thesis with counter information.
To the topic: We need to work like crazy at the state level.
1) In the face of voter ID laws which now will stick, we much create the infrastruc to get people registered and make sure the registered have IDs. I am trying to lay the groundwork in my neighborhood to gather like-minded souls who can give hourly workers a ride to the ID offices which usually have limited office hours and are seldom adjacent to poorer communities.
2) We need more Democrats in state government. The crazy-assed right wing of the GOP is not that crazy when one considers how much long term power they have accumulated by the hand-to-hand combat they have engaged in to be able to dominate so many state legislatures.
3) We must fight. Those who are aggressively confident as they (wirth a smile) do battle create their own atmosphere. Humans are hard-wired to crave being led and to join in with a greater group. The GOP used this. We haven’t in quite a while.
It’s no accident that the people advocating the scorched earth approach are typically people who expect their privilege will keep them well away from the fire. It’s the little people who will have to carry the burden in the short term for the glory of the purity pony.
Silver is working with the best numbers he has right now, but we are pretty far out from the 2014 elections. Use this as a call to action, not as a reason to panic or despair.
None at all—that’s the point. “That government is best which governs not at all” might as well be the mantra of the modern GOP/Tea Party. Don’t forget that the Tea Baggers are just running dogs for the Kochs and other 1%ers.
“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” (H.L.Mencken)
@Matt McIrvin: This. What’s happening in my poor, benighted North Carolina right now is a case in point.
@PaulW: Damn right!
The Republican is either under your heel or at your throat. Do not. Let them. Off the mat. Ever! GET OUT THE VOTE.
That’s true. You’re right that many of Obama’s biggest achievements were in foreign policy (getting bin Laden — HELLO! ;D), but…
I don’t know why we can’t just do more to get more domestic items passed. I’m a 29 year old black woman in Georgia (Atlanta metro, specifically — Clayton County area.. meh). I mean, I’ve been working as a temporary mail handler for the Post Office since last year, the first job I’ve had in years, and I’ve been thinking of going back to school for a while now. I haven’t been back to finish my bachelor’s in three years. I can’t plan on taking student loans — apparently, I no longer qualify for financial aid — too many attempted hours, been in school too long. Regardless, right now, they let the student loan interest rate double back up, and I’m almost certain at this point that the Republicans would let it stay there if they could. The biggest problem of this whole administration has been the incompetence of Congress. Why can’t we do more on our own end? I dunno.
@Linda Binda: That’s not dumb. It is a real concern that many others have intelligently written about.
Personally, I need Obama to do well, still I do not give a fig about his “legacy” as a sentimental construct. Obama is just another functionary, a politician who won a position of temporary leadership – a means to an end. There are certain big debates that this society needs to have, and needs to achieve some progress on, if we are going to be able to keep our community from unraveling. The measure of how much effort Obama has put into these urgently needed and clarifying debates will be a part of how his accomplishments are evaluated.
Don’t freak out, organize!
This is my new motto because the Republicans just want to burn everything to the ground. They are not responsible enough to serve in public office.
I feel like it is life or death.
It’s really strange that Silver would suggest this because…..
we’ve had ample evidence of the state of affairs for the last four years now… R’s simply don’t legislate without the culture wars in mind. To whit the greatest hits:
War on Women
School Loan Debacle
Voting Rights Act
That’s a winning hand there as the R’s have staked out the “unpopular” position on each of these, effectively fucking over women, minorities, the poor, the young, the kids and the sane. Plus they keep going after the entitlements of the oldsters while we’re at it. They’re doing the heavy lifting of building the Dem’s coalition for them. Took me less than five minutes to compile this, I would hope that the DNC would be able to muster that kind of competency to generate an ad campaign around the accomplishments of the R’s to date.
If there were a couple of coincidences and mistakes that somehow resulted in another +2 net gain for the Democrats like in 2012, then 2016 will lead to another supermajority…it’s really frightening how close triumph is to failure. I think…that the Democrats are going to end up with 51 or 52 seats in 2014. But yes, three seats are lost at least. Alaska should be fine, Landrieu in Louisiana is tough to defeat, Arkansas is a black hole…I think Mark Pryor is a relatively strong politician, but the partisan lean is scary. I hear that the republican candidates in North Carolina are weak. It’s scary that the most vulnerable republican senator is the majority leader. But stranger things have happened…
I think the seats in Iowa and Michigan are safe.
Why, to piss off assholes like you! That’s what I live for.
The “banksters” were behind Obama in 2008.*
How and why they turned on him in 2009 and 2010 would be something interesting to figure out, especially in light of what their expectations were about what government would do after the 2008 financial collapse.
*They supported him. He was one of their guys. Ivy League educated lawyer type. They weren’t inherently an enemy of this President.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when progressives concentrate in the coastal states to be around like-minded people. They leave the conservatives behind to wreck the electoral college.
@gene108: The banksters turned on Obama because of butthurt, basically (at least according to reporting at the time). Obama said some not-so-nice things about them, and supported the fairly feeble Dodd-Frank bill. They reacted with outrage.
Indeed. And, unfortunately, it seems to be working.
Obama would still have to approve the final budget, but I would expect any budget approved would be painful to a large portion of the electorate. I’m just not sure how much worse it would be than if the Senate were still in the hands of Democrats in 2014. The Republicans have been upping the ante anyway as demonstrated by decoupling of SNAP from the farm bill, but as demonstrated at the state level the true descent into madness starts when they get all three branches. The extra pain inflicted by a Republican Senate in 2014 would be nothing compared to all three branches going Republican in 2016 and the US being turned into a macro version of North Carolina.
Um, that leads to the same conclusion as Silver. There are 3 open seats in red states without strong Dem candidates, and 4 incumbents in red states. If two incumbents survive, the Dems will have 50 seats and a majority; if one survives, the Dems have 49 and the Repubs have the majority.
That said, as mentioned above, wave elections are the norm in the Senate. Every election since 1998 has been a wave election with one party winning almost all the close elections plus often a surprise or two. So Senate control will probably go to whichever party is more liked by the public in a year or so.
@Baud: What’d he say that you disagree with?
This doesn’t mean shit until we know who the actual nominees are.
If it’s late September and Nate’s still saying 50-51 GOP, then I’ll be worried.
AHH onna Droid
Heh, the best thing is that a good racial morality play and old fashioned war on women is easier to grasp and rally around for Dem voters than economic issues where one industries gain is anothers loss and you’ve made a coalition of no hs diploma plus multiple grad studies. @Baud:
This, exactly, and as a “Call to Action” I’m grateful that Nate Silver has released/publicized his predictions now.
A lot of commenters on this thread have rightly emphasized how crucial GOTV efforts will be for the 2014 mid-term elections. The best single source I know for information on voting rights, laws and advocacy and the relentless efforts by Neo-Confederate (GOP) Neo-Feudalist (ALEC) groups to restrict these rights is the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. Here is the link to its “Voting Rights and Elections” infomation:
Or one could always read (and email) Kay.
It’s worth noting that Democrats find themselves in this predicament of maintaining their Senate majority in no small part because of the regrettable/baffling/disgustingly selfish retirement decisions of electorally safe and senior members such as Baucus, Harkin, Levin, and Rockefeller.
@MomSense: (or any other Mainer)
What are the chances of a Teahadist primary challenge to Susan Collins?
But when you break down the bankster money there were some large donations but there were a hell of a lot of people who work as tellers, bank managers, etc who all have to check off banking/financial industry on their FEC forms.
@cvstoner: If anything, though, the trends have been the opposite of progressives concentrating in blue states. Sure, a fair number of privileged white progressives have done that. But you also have the “reverse Great Migration” of black Americans, especially better-off ones, moving to Southern cities like Atlanta, and the continuing demographic inertia in the Southwest from the great waves of Mexican and Latin American immigration some years back, and liberal-leaning white professionals moving to places like Northern Virginia and the Raleigh-Durham area.
The thing is, those demographic changes only benefit Republicans (by increasing red-state populations) up to the threshold where Democratic voters can actually take over a state. They’ve done it with Virginia and Florida in presidential elections, but not to a decisive degree at the state level. NC flipped in 2008, flipped back in 2012 and is currently being abused by Republicans run amok. The reaction from conservative whites can be a hell of a thing.
Tone in DC
According to MENSA candidates like you, OvenMitt was cruising to victory last summer; at that time, the Senate already was the g00pers for the taking.
Then those winger brain donors let their freak flag fly (as they always do these days), and they lost seats in both chambers. And BHO beat Willard like he stole something.
Try to keep the facts straight. Make the attempt, at least.
Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage)
Too early, as Nate points out.
I said this yesterday, but Nate’s putting too much emphasis on how red the state is and not looking at individual factors impacting these races. He’s wrong to call NC and LA toss-ups. Hagan and Landrieu are both leading in polls, have big war chests and should win comfortably. Hagan is going to be helped by voters disgust with the GOP governor and legislature who are polling horribly as well. These two states are Lean Dem.
Nate is right that SD is likely republican but WV should be a toss-up until we see if Tennant gets in the race for Dems. AR is a toss-up as well as Pryor has won tough re-elects before and is polling decently in the state.
KY should be a toss-up not Lean GOP. McConnell has the worst approval rating of any senator in the country right now and Grimes is a great candidate. GA will move to toss-up if Michelle Nunn gets in the race.
Overall, it is way too early for these rankings because we don’t have all of the candidates in the race yet and won’t until the end of the year at the earliest. The only thing these rankings do is give Dems the vapors and depresses turnout.
That is her seat for as long as she wants it–and we just might lose our CD2 Congressional seat while clawing our way through a 3-way contest for Governor. Good times for those of us who do the campaign grunt work here.
Not for nuthin’, but are there any local issues that we can run on in the supposedly ‘safe’ republican seats? The one thing that Teahadists do well is pick off entrenched Repubs, and they do it by tying their supposed advantage (money, incumbency) to something their voters hate (“establishment Washington”). I remember that some House candidates, who still don’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance, have done the same, although substituting “all Government is bad” to “Repub Incumbent only cares about his own Washington career, he voted against the local farm bill and is ignoring the bridge in the middle of town!” It works better than expected. It also dulls their only knife, that of the ‘out of touch tax-and-spend Democrat’. Making them use up the effectiveness of that argument helps in future cycles.
The thing is, yeah we won’t probably pick any up but if you don’t put up a good fight, then don’t expect to change any minds. Most of these places don’t even have real party infrastructure in place, and that’s a shame. Try to get any gain you can when losing, and then be pleasantly surprised, either now or in the future.
AHH onna Droid
@Linda Binda: Some local govt jobs pay for your college classes. If your work history at usps is solid I think that would be a plus for entry level govt full time.
Mostly your post makes me feel sad about the chances ive had that you’ve been denied. :(
Hell, I have to constantly fight this tendency in myself. When I’ve stayed up too late reading dismaying things about politics I sometimes think it would feel good to bang out some nihilistic crap about cleansing the country with fire, but suppose somebody actually acts on it? Someone who is already worse off than me would probably pay. I’m not even actually fantasizing about becoming a revolutionary superninja, I’m fantasizing about fantasizing about being Revolutionary Superninja, which is even more useless.
Yeah, but the GOP wins the Senate next year, and then wins the presidency in 2016 (I expect that to happen for no other reason that we will have had 8 years of a Democratic president, so America at large will decide it’s the other party’s turn now). What’s stopping the damage then?
Davis X. Machina
Because the GOP keeps confusing enough low-informed voters to vote against their best economic interests,
You can define ‘self-interest’ in lots of different ways. People forget that.
Forum Transmitted Disease
If – IF this happens, it will be because Democrats have, for decades, put all their energy and money into getting the presidency. The presidency is to be sure a nice prize, but in order to get there they’ve surrendered putting energy and money into state, Congressional and Senatorial races.
That has to stop. We’re being treated to a real-time lesson in that the presidency doesn’t count for shit if the House has the discipline and determination to stop that president from doing anything.
@SiubhanDuinne: Dems in Georgia have a real opportunity to put someone up for Chambliss’ seat, given who’s decided to run in the GOP primary. Yet, thus far, there’s no one with even a vestige of name recognition who’s been mentioned. The state party is in shambles right now. and is having a very contentious election for State Party Chair on Labor Day weekend. Also, too, the party is broke. One would think, given that the state is a likely purple one over the next few elections, that the national party would offer up some support and some monies. I have hope that they will field a viable candidate. Gotta start sooner rather than later.
I have faith that Republicans will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
I also have confidence that Democrats who are paying attention realize what a Senate victory would mean and will be working very hard to GOTV to make sure the next two years aren’t the impeachment trial of Barack Obama over Benghazi or the IRS or whatever BS scandal they try to whip up. I know I’ll be volunteering.
@askew: Sorry, I didn’t read all the comments before posting mine.
How interesting would that be if Michelle is the Democrat nominee verus the GOP’s Karen Handel, she who was instrumental in the Komen Foundation’s move against Planned Parenthood.
Jockey Full of Malbec
The newly minted Left Flank of Shame-Based Moral Purity that’s been opening up since November doesn’t help matters.
The GOP plays politics as bloodsport. As long as so many Dems refuse to admit that it’s even a team sport, they will continue to get trounced in the battlefields that matter.
That said, too early. I’ll save my bitter contempt for the GOP-voting poor until the morning after election day.
@askew: Too many long shots in that analysis. No way we win Georgia unless Paul Broun says something even crazier than he already has that would offend the sensibilities of the backwater rednecks.
That would be a dream match-up. Handel pissed off so many women with her move against PP.
Aarrgghh. I was dismayed to learn that Mike Michaud had decided to enter the gubernatorial race rather than seek Congressional re-election. LePage must be as happy as a pig in shit.
“From away,” I can’t understand Eliot Cutler’s game. Spoiler? I don’t believe he’s ever held elected office nor would I imagine he holds appeal state-wide. Is he a preening “independent” whose personal wealth is his major qualification and denotes his political acumen?
Jockey Full of Malbec
If we could get these two sentences burned into more ordinary people’s heads, our political process just might start working again.
@Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage):
Also too, even if they get to 50 seats, Joe Biden is the tie-breaking vote.
Only 1 longshot in my post and that is GA.
The Dem incumbent is leading in polls in AK, AR, LA, and NC. We hold those and only lose WV and SD and we still have majority. We are more likely to pick-up KY than lose LA or NC. It is hard to knock off an incumbent but McConnell is so incredibly unpopular that I could see it happening.
I will panic when the Republicans nominate centrist, reasonable-sounding candidates in their primaries in those purple states rather than another pack of Sharron Angles and Christine O’Donnells. Does anyone here actually think that the teabaggers learned their lesson and will back centrist candidates, or do you think they’re going to double down on the crazy?
Me, I’m pretty fucking sure they’re going to double down on the crazy. If you have evidence otherwise, please present it.
@askew: From all I have read so far, ALG’s rollout has been akin to amateur hour. McConnell may not win by a landslide, but I would be shocked if it’s as close as the 2008 election (he won by 6 against a no-name former Republican businessman).
@Mnemosyne: The trouble is they actually still get the majority of votes WITH those crazies way to often.
Davis X. Machina
@handsmile: Maine loves politicians who aren’t politicians. Ask Angus KIng. Or former governor Jim Longley.
No one outside of political junkies gives a shit about her rollout. ALG has lined up a dream team of Dem staffers to help her going forward. She’s been elected statewide already, has good name recognition and will raise a ton of money. It will be much closer than the 8 point win for McConnell in 2008 and she stands a good chance of winning.
I just now got a call asking for $100-200 to elect Sarah Palin to the senate. The robotic message said, We need more teapartiers to keep Obama from turning us to socialism. The message said to stay on the line to donate and sign the petition.
Of course I stayed on the line. When the person came on, and gave the spiel again, I said I didn’t have $100-200. She says neither does she, but it’s so important, and can I give $50-75 at least. I said I was disabled and thus could not afford anything, but I SO SO wanted Sarah to run! Could I at least be on the petition? I said I was really worried about my disability and medicare being taken away by Obama, because he wants everything run by the government, and would take my money and give it to cities to increase their vote. She agreed heartily with all this.
FFS. Anyway I wasted her time going on and on and on about keeping gov’t out of my medicare, and how it’s shameful that poor white people in the countryside can’t get a free scooter, those urban people get subways, they don’t need to walk a long way, what am I supposed to do? etc. I kept getting more and more ridiculous, waiting to see if there was any point where she would demur. Of course there was not.
I said lots of god-ish stuff, tea party stuff and racist stuff. I raved about my love for Sarah, and how she is the only one to “get it”. I kept that woman on the line for 15 minutes. Most fun I’ve had all week.
I said I would try to get out and sell my engagement ring soon, so they should call me again later. I loled and loled when I was through.
@Forum Transmitted Disease: You just hit the nail on the head, or whatever that metaphor is.
And to all of you who say not to panic for another year, your heads are completely in the sand. We have to organise right now and GOTV. That is the most important thing we can do. To the poster up thread who talked about getting ID’s for minority voters who are most hit by these new voter ID rules, that’s one of the things we can do.
But we have to start by acknowledging that the REPUBLICAN PARTY is NOT dead on the local, state and congressional level. Oh, maybe they won’t take the presidency again, but for all those who are dancing on the grave of Republicanism, you’re simply wrong.
We Democrats are partly to blame because we didn’t GOTV in 2010. We let the Republicans define ACA and other Democratic initiatives and stayed home, thinking that the future had been won in the election of 2008. Well, it hadn’t been; we needed at least two more elections to get and keep Democrats in place.
Let’s go back to the wave elections of 2006 and 2008. Why did we do so well? In 2006 we were able to mobilise our base to vote against the Bush Republicans. In 2008, Dems were motivated by Obama. I say we take the lessons of 2006 to heart and start motivating our base by CLEARLY POINTING OUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF/WHEN THE REPUBLICANS REGAIN THE SENATE AND KEEP THE HOUSE. And we have to keep saying what is happening and will continue to happen on the states’ level as Republican office holders continue to chip away at our rights. We have the results right in front of us. What is stopping the Democratic base by saying over and over what things will be life if we fail.
As one of the up thread posters said, we cannot count on Democratic party leadership to help with GOTV. They’re still spouting the old and untrue meme about the “Republican Party is dead”. Well, they are NOT dead to the millions living under growing draconian Republican rule on a local and state level.
If we don’t think about this and panic a little, then we’re passive while the Republicans are active and we’ll lose rights most of marched for thirty, forty, and fifty years ago
While being a Silver Fan, he might be a bit early in reading the 2014 tea leaves. We really don’t know what state the world or our country will be in in 2014. Will there be any right winger having an Akin-like tantrums in late October? It will depend on who actually goes to the polls on election day, which at this point is unknowable.
Yes, he is a preening candidate who earned his money in business and was an outsourcer before outsourcing was cool. Labor Unions are pissed. I’m just disgusted by this whole thing.
I really wanted Michaud to just defend his seat which would free us up to work on the Governor’s race and keeping the legislature. The issue with Michaud is that he is conservative enough to win CD 2 but in a statewide election–he is not a great candidate. Most of the money for these campaigns comes from CD1 and we also provide significant volunteer resources and we now have a blue dog candidate who is not exactly great on reproductive rights.
Swinging the presidential election is a good thing. But, as we know, gerrymandering has locked in a more-or-less permanent Republican majority in the House that seems to be outrage proof. Not sure how to fix that until demographics start to swing the state-houses as well.
@phoebes-in-santa fe: There is a difference between concern and panic. Panic is currently unwarranted; concern is not.
@Tone in DC:
Why, thanks! But since I live in a reality-based world view, my noted superior intellect had already informed me that an obvious robot like Romney had a (thankfully) snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected.
But, hopefully, it doesn’t take a recognized genius like me to see that all the hoped-for demographic shifts in the world are meaningless when the minority party can gerrymander their way into a permanent majority.
You can go back to your pretty little demographic charts and dream blissfully about the beautiful world that will eventually be unleashed as the progressive-loving masses take over, but while you are doing that, the Republicans will be busy using every tool at their disposal to negate it. The only thing that will prevent that, short or outright revolution, is the bloody, hard fought, never ending war of the trenches.
I’ve been praying to the FSM that the President will nominate Collins to run Homeland Security.
I’ve got an opposite take. I could totally be wrong, but I think Michaud has enough clout to settle the 3 way race issue early, as opposed to some generic Dem candidate. I’d put odds of Michaud winning the Governor’s race at 80%.
Now, I do agree that his congressional seat will probably flip. Don’t know what Dem has enough pull in the generally conservative part of the state to win.
@MomSense: Collins would be silly to accept that nomination, as that would flip the Senate seat to D. Also, running a department is hard work – playing “moderate” Senator is pretty easy and probably a lot of fun. Good grifting too.
@Omnes Omnibus: I disagree in this case. “Panic” might actually prompt something to be done. “Concern” means waiting around and seeing if it gets worse.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
Others have commented on this, but I’m remembering that the Democrats were supposed to be vulnerable for the 2012 Senate elections with 24 Dem seats at stake to the GOP’s 9, and the GOP fucked it up. I don’t see their propensity to nominate loons as having attenuated, plus their supposed reachout to minorities has never transpired, and they’ve alienated more women with their forced birth state laws. So, while Nate is right to sound concerned, Generic Republican will always do better in polling than Specific Barking Mad Republican.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
Euro crisis is ebbing, U.S. economy appears to be (slowly) recovering, so the GOP will be running predominantly on social issues in 2014. Not much appeal outside the base.
@phoebes-in-santa fe: I guess we disagree then. To me, panic almost always generates poorly thought out, knee-jerk actions. Not what we need. Planning, hard work, and levelheadedness are what are called for.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger: I agree but has any of that dented the outlook of people in general? Most still assume we’re minutes from collapse. I just get that feeling. The problem is that has to change quickly to make a difference for 2014.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
Well, the reason for hope is in the first paragraph – at this point in the last election cycle it looked like Mitt Romney would be President and the Republicans would win the Senate. That didn’t happen.
Also, with regard to the filibuster – they could just reform the rules so you actually had to filibuster to filibuster. You think any of those lazy old farts in the Senate actually want to get up and talk for hours on end? Hell no. If they did that, it would only be used for actual important issues rather than a tool for constant obstruction.
@Omnes Omnibus: I agree. Let’s start planning NOW.
This to all 3 of your points.
The Democrats always needed to plan for a post-Obama landscape. Having to do it in the mid-terms is better than trying to figure it out as its happening in 2016.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
I’m meaning that in 2014 the deficit will be narrower, and unemployment maybe around 6.5%. ACA will have been introduced successfully in blue states, or at least where the GOP hasn’t been able to actively sabotage it. So I’d see the country’s mood being more upbeat in 2014 than in 2012 or now.