Apparently Indiana GOP Sen. Dan Coats is not running in 2016, meaning there’s an open seat in a Midwest state where Democrats can win a statewide race (the Hoosier State’s other senator is Democrat Joe Donnelly). That’s the good news.
“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States Senate,” Coats said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision. While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.”
Coats’s decision to retire may set off a Republican scramble for the open seat. While the GOP would seem to have the early edge, it is now another state they must defend in a presidential year where they’re almost entirely playing defense to protect their new Senate majority.
Potential Republican candidates include Reps. Todd Young and Susan Brooks, both of whom have long been viewed as having statewide ambitions, as well as Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Reps. Todd Rokita, Jackie Walorski and Marlin Stutzman.
An aide to Rep. Luke Messer told The Hill he wouldn’t seek the Senate seat.
The bad news: Democrats need somebody moderate enough to win in Indiana, with name recognition, and enough cash on hand to run for Senate. Guess who that means might be back?
Their best recruit would likely be former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who chose to retire rather than facing a tough race in 2010 and still has close to $10 million in the bank for a potential return to politics. Bayh has ruled out a run for governor but hasn’t closed the door on a Senate run.
Ahh yes, Mr. No Labels himself. Boy howdy it’ll be fun rooting for him in order to try to get the Dems back in power.
Excuse me while I go find a bucket to puke in.
A Dem, regardless of the flavor, will vote for President Clinton’s SC nominee after Scalia suffers a massive fatal heart attack. A Repub will filly the nommy instead. It’s all about the makeup of SCOTUS if this country is to survive.
Inasmuch as having two Democratic Senators from Indiana would be nice and all…it would be nice if both were actually DEMOCRATS when it matters.
I’d put that at $5 will get you $7 odds on Bayh doing that.
Yes, preferable to a GOP’s 100% sucker bet.
Some background reading on ex-Senator Bayh:
Yes, there is no doubt having a DINO in this seat rather than a Tea Party nut job will be somewhat advantageous, but forget about any progressive legislation or even protecting what little progressive laws on the books exist with Senators like this.
Chapter One Billion and five in the book of “Why the US can’t have Nice Things”.
After reading Klein’s piece about Bayh, I feel a need to gargle with some mouthwash to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth. If I lived in Indiana (I don’t think I’ve ever committed a sin so great that I would deserve that as a punishment), I would hold my nose and vote for Bayh.
You take what you can get. But damn I don’t have to like that son of a bitch.
No screw it. A majority in the Senate isn’t worth it. Maybe we can get Ben Nelson to move to Indiana and run?
Google ads on this site are killing my browsers. Same problem on both Firefox and Safari and yes they’re all up to date and no I don’t want Chrome.
Yes, it’s driving me crazy.
Indiana is well on its way to sharia law, minus the pork taboo. I’ve recently had to spend some time there and just let me say it was hard to tell some of the people apart from the livestock.
@SenyorDave: Or as Pete king said, you can jump off that bridge when you come to it
@gogol’s wife: :-) on the other hand I can still read (and comment) on my phone.
@the Conster: Ad Muncher works for me
Remember, kids, this is the best you can ever get, so there’s no hope in running someone as liberal as Joe Donnelly in this state. Take your Bayh and remember that if you complain too loudly, you’ll automatically be voting in Satan.
If he’s what gets through the primary, we’ll take him. He really is a DINO, on board with attempts to divert votes away from the Democratic Party and to declare Republican partisan policies bi-partisan. Still, half a turd is better than a whole turd. It takes less shoveling. Again, hope we get a better nominee, vote for one in the primaries if we can, but if he’s what we’re stuck with, so be it.
Help urgently needed from NON-TENNESSEANS: our Legislature is currently “debating” a rash of gun-friendly bills which would basically allows guns everywhere. The one that looks likely to pass would allow people to carry guns in our public parks (many of which are used by schools), even if a local municipality objects. This includes some of our most beautiful state parks and state natural areas that are popular with tourists.
If you have a minute, please call Gov. Haslam’s office and tell whoever answers that you and your family will not vacation in Tenn. as long as guns are allowed in parks. Be polite.
FOR TENNESSEANS: Please call the governor and urge him to veto the guns in parks bill. Be courteous.
PHONE #: 615-741-2001
I will always be a little proud that through our GOTV efforts, the third baseman, other Illinoisans and I played a part in turning Indiana blue in a presidential election for the first time since 1964. I particularly remember driving out of town the Friday night before the election. We passed Grant Park, where they were constructing the Obama celebration stage under a starry sky. When we came back Sunday night, dog tired but feeling like we’d accomplished something, it was shining under the floodlights all ready for the Obamas’ triumphal appearance.
Nothing like that will happen in Indiana again any time soon. Bayh it is — the Supreme Court alone is worth it, and if you can’t see that, you’ve been living in a cave the past few years.
Bayh has stated that he’s not interested in the seat. He might change, but right now it looks like he’s out.
Pence’s favorabilities are low enough, and his public fight with the Sec of Education has been detrimental enough that Dems are actually considering running a winning campaign against him. It was shaping up to be a bruising primary battle between former state speaker John Gregg and former Congressman Baron Hill.
Now, with two races, Hill will most likely go after the Senate seat. A lot of people don’t like Hill because of his Blue Dog credentials. But the man came from the deep south part of Indiana in God, guns and coal country. I watched him vote as liberal as he could while still retaining his seat. In the end, he voted against coal and for ACES–a vote which cost him his job.
I’ll be supporting Baron if he runs, and while he’s not perfect I’d much rather have him than Bayh.
A similar scenario is unfolding in Florida, where Patrick Murphy is looking like the likely Democrat to fight for Marco Rubio’s seat. He’s got a real chance, but he’s as DINO as they come – he only voted in support of Obama’s positions 49 percent of the time in 2014, and supported Romney for president in 2008.
Hold your nose and hope for victory.
@Neil Hudelson: My husband has family in that part of Indiana. Except for the accents, it really is West Virginia.
From your keyboard to FSM’s noodly appendage. Unless it chooses to hurry things up by substituting “Obama” for “Clinton”, “Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito” for “Scalia”, and “circular firing squad” for “heart attack”.
Whassa matter Indiana? Couldn’t you talk Joe Lieberman into running?
It’s where I grew up. It’s g-ddamn beautiful area, and it has the weirdest mix of the staunchest conservatives and absolute hippies. In southern Indiana we have the people’s republic of Bloomington as well as the former headquarters of the KKK. There’s abject poverty, and then there’s the West Baden Dome, considered possibly the most beautiful hotel in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Baden_Springs_Hotel).
It’s a land of contradictions. It’s America.
@Roger Moore: Let’s not urge death on anyone. Let’s just wish they’d suddenly feel a need to spend more time with their corporations.
@Neil Hudelson: Ah, the spouse’s people are from Clark County, a bit different, but with many similarities.
@Zandar: Interesting, someone just sent me this story and it seems relevant to this post.
TPM Lesser Evilism
@MattF: That’s an informative (though rather depressing) read; thanks for posting the link. I’d like to think it could be a practically useful information source as well, but if Bayh’s cash-filled war chest and the political dynamics in Indiana don’t permit any viable Dem primary opposition to him, then (sadly) the information will only be of potential use to whatever looney-tune GOP candidate runs against him.
Statement reminds me of his dad, who defeated not one but two consecutive Nixon nominations to the Supreme Court. They were not impressive judges [*] and the second one was an out-and-out racist, and both were supported by many Southern Democrats in the Senate. Birch had to rally numerous Republicans in order to defeat the two nominations, and he did.
And he did a lot of other good things, too.
[*] It was the second of the two nominations that Senator Roman Hruska (R.-Neb.) most memorably defended:
With friends like this …
@Southern Beale: i called.
@TaMara (BHF): Damn, that ought to be required reading. Great piece.
Thanks for posting that. People really do forget that the president hires hundreds of people and it really does matter who is the head of, say, the enforcement division of the EPA and lots of other lesser-known bureaucrats.
I sometimes really wonder how Birch Bayh feels about Evan’s politics. It’s like the Bush situation, minus the incompetence.
ETA: Or the Romney situation, for that matter. Old George had to have been spinning like a top in the ground in Michigan throughout 2011/2012…
Indiana is about to attempt to make it legal to deny the women the right to buy a car without her husband if it goes against the saleman’s religious beliefs (one logical conclusion of the law that is about to be signed). Right now, I’d take anyone whose only vote is for Reid as majority leader.
I live in Texas, so I completely understand. My problem right now is the only Democrats that will run are progressive enough they’ll never get elected.
OT: BBC DG sacks JC from TG.
I actually know someone this happened to around 20 years ago in Salt Lake City. The Mormon salesman could not be budged: come back and bring your husband with you, or just send your husband. So she left, went to another dealership, had the same situation with another Mormon salesman, and repeated the whole thing once more before going to Colorado to buy a car.
About 10 years ago, I noticed that the KKK was still VERY active through those parts, particularly in the areas I deem the non-productive ruralities (too hilly to professionally farm, no real mineral or energy extraction on an industrial basis). Beautiful terrain, lousy people.
OT: A case dismissed because the government says so. But not even a case against the government. Against some other private actor ( not really, but in title).
@Currants: This site occasionally kills my browser, depriving the world of my wisdom, and it happened before and after I got Adblock. There’s gotta be an inherent flaw in this site. I’m on Chrome, if it matters.
Clark County is a veritable progressive utopia compared to Harrison and Crawford counties.
From your link, it looks like an example of failed Communism architecture – soulless, grim and drab. Is Stalin buried under the Christmas tree?
Good. I cannot stand that pompous, scrotum-chinned, hippy-punching, faux ‘Man of the People’ windbag.
Which isn’t to say he won’t be back on British TV faster than Stig in a sportscar. Top Gear’s viewership figures pretty much guarantee a nice fat paycheck for that waste of skin. Hopefully he’ll celebrate with a drunken joy-ride through a nature reserve and a squirrel will become fatally lodged in his gas-spout.
@Amir Khalid: It’ll be interesting to see what happens. He’s threatening to sue as a co-creater. I wonder if May and Hammond stay. Their contracts were up from what my wife was saying and I’m pretty sure they dealt with Clarkson because they knew the show worked with all three of them.
@Neil Hudelson: Just like we learned in Hoosier school: “Indiana, the Crossroads of America”
@Amir Khalid: huzzah.
@@gogol’s wife: Currants: I use Firefox and get no ads. I use Ghostery, AdBlock and NoScript.
@Amir Khalid: John Cole worked for BBC? I didn’t know that. What did he do to get fired? Build an altar to worshipTunch?
@mak: Well, if I lived there, I’d be standing at the crossroads tryin’ to flag a ride.
@Amir Khalid: @Tony J:
Now THAT’s a surprise! Loathsome as Jeremy Clarkson may be, most of the press I’ve seen on his punch-out incident has focused on his (curiously enduring) popularity with audiences – and, tangentially*, how much cash Top Gear pulls in for the Beeb every year. Supposedly a petition calling for his reinstatement got 750,000+ “signatures”: it’s quite unusual to see a major media company actually Do The Right Thing for the Right Reasons (*cough* Brian Williams *cough*)
*well, maybe not so tangential
I’m not sure you’ve seen communist architecture, but sure.
Here’s two better examples: http://www.sj-r.com/storyimage/LS/20141102/UNKNOWN/141109992/AR/0/AR-141109992.jpg
OT: BBC DG XS TG’S JC.
The GOTea has run so close to the wingnut edge that nearly any election these days is a choice between the at-least-marginally competent and the b#tsh!t-crazy. That said, though, folks like Bayh aren’t helping much.
@Southern Beale: Yikes. Hitting the phone at lunchtime.
@Amir Khalid: Not surprising. For all it’s politically-incorrect vibe, TG does a decent job of doing the right thing. Clarkson will be missed – but mainly because his arrogance and opinionated bloviating drove a lot of the show’s dynamic. Maybe they can enlist Mark Addy or Nick Frost: I can see either of them pulling off the same kind of energy without running into the same trouble.
@shortstop: Another common refrain amongst us ex-Hoosiers: It’s a nice place to come from (read: leave).
@Currants: I didn’t either until Firefox and Safari crapped out on me. Now I won’t use anything else. My games play and I can do banking, two things which the latest version of Firefox botched up big time. I couldn’t even purchase things on a lot of website I like to buy things from. I’d used Firefox since it first came out but no more.
As for Bayh, I will hold my nose and vote for him and hold his feet to the bloody fire as well.
I thought BW is taking a six month break? Has he been officially canned? I think I would have noticed.
@schrodinger’s cat: Thanks, and thanks to others who made suggestions. Will noodle around a bit.
mai naem mobile
@kindness: you got your I states.mixed up. Joe Lieberman already represents the State of Israel. He’s not interested in representing the State of Indiana. He’s not interested in representing Indians.
@Neil Hudelson: Yes, those images are certainly much more flattering than those on the link.
Amusing (blerrggg) too how the usual defenders of real authentic un-PC un-pussified Traditional
BritishEnglish! Masculinity are bemoning the days when a Real Man could berate and beat up a lesser individual (for daring to serve a cold lunch) without comment or repercussions!
I’m not sure if Clarkson has much of a case if he sues. He was fired for cause: he didn’t get a steak dinner he wanted, so he got mad and hit a guy who wasn’t to blame. He was already on a final warning after a string of objectionable utterances. The BBC had no alternative.
You are so much better with the acronyms than I.
Who got fired from Throbbing Gristle?
what a team player.
Exactly. I suspect that the BBC are trying to innoculate themselves against any possibility of Clarkson taking legal action by carefully including this damning assertion in their statement:
So unless Clarkson can successfully challenge that statement – and he would be unwise to try unless it is egregiously false – I can’t see that he’s got any wiggle room.
@scav: When part of an entertainer’s shtick is being an entitled ars#h0le, seeing him get sacked for continuing that behavior off-camera is a bit of a jolt. Not that it isn’t welcome – just that in a way he’s being let go for what he was cast to do. I think part of the reaction is the realization that JC on TG wasn’t a role for the show, and that he is the same pr!ck in real life.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Ah, the new spin off of Downton Abbey. The Dowager Countess returns to her home village to open a finishing school and finds love with an irascible gardner played by Sean Connery. Coming this fall, on your PBS
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I am so not watching that.
@boatboy_srq: I beg to differ, there do seem to be a faction of his fan base that knew he was an arrogent jerk in real life, reveled in it, and are merely stunned that his being a cash cow meant he wouldn’t continue to skate as so many of his ilk do. They may be a little stunned that it was over beating up a fellow staff member over a lunch not to his liking (which is tacky, common-world and likely resonnates as we’ve all had crap bosses) rather than the “amusing” verbal crap and disdain to foreigners, women and those unlike himself.
Personally, I think the red-ness of Indiana is overstated. If one felt like being optimistic, one would note that the fastest-growing areas of the state are the metro areas around Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend, none of which are, shall we say, openly hostile to Democrats. Fort Wayne and South Bend, I think, even have Democratic mayors. The second largest metro area, Northwest Indiana, is largely, if not majority, Democratic (depending on which of the 4 or 5 counties you’re talking about). And while most of its population growth is in suburbs, rather than Gary or Hammond, much of that growth is also from the expansion of Chicagoland, thus not born and bread Hoosier republican. It was this area which put Obama over the top in 2008.
So, assuming decent presidential-year turnout, whoever the Dem nominee is should have at least a decent shot. While Bayh is unquestionably a douche, he still has a 60+% favorability in the state, and would most likely win (and wtf else is he going to do with the $10 million he’s been sitting on? I think he’s waiting to be asked – okay, begged – nicely).
My personal choice for Dem nom would be Glenda Ritz, the Secty of Education who won state-wide election but has since seen her office stripped of power by the a-hole legislature. That drawn out episode of bald power grabbing has given her quite a bit of exposure across the state, and she appears to be no shrinking violet.
site occasionally kills my browser
It’s not the ads; it’s the third-party scripting that presents them.
Firefox + noscript is your friend (although something of a nuisance at first).
@scav: Hadn’t encountered that segment of the fan base. In hindsight I suppose it’s not surprising. Still a bit surprising here, though.
I wonder how much fandom of such assholes is wish fulfillment. Assholes see somebody getting away with behaving the way they wish they were allowed to behave, and dream that when they’re that successful (which they totally know they will be because they’re so awesome) they’ll be allowed to do the same. Seeing him get his comeuppance has to be a double shock, both because it suggests they won’t be able to get away with being assholes, even if they’re as successful as he is, and because it shows that success is transitory.
Back to the subject of the post for a moment, I know the Common Wisdom is that Republicans have a lot of seats to defend and that spells trouble for them to keep their majority, blah, blah, blah. But has anyone really looked at those seats? There are a lot of solid red seats that won’t be in play. Right now our best chances are in Wisconsin where there may be a rematch with Finegold, Illinois, where Kirk is very vulnerable (don’t be surprised if he also retires given his health issues) Pennsylvania, where Sestak is already in for a rematch, and Florida, where the seat will be vacant because the empty suit named Rubio really does think he has a shot at the nomination for President. Beyond that it gets a little tougher. No. Carolina, where Burr could be taken out, especially if Kay Hagan runs. And now Indiana. Note that even if Dems won all six of those seats it would only give them a 52 seat majority, not exactly overwhelming. Factor in that Harry Reid is up in Nevada, and given his recent health problems, that could also be an open seat that Dems have to defend. It is not going to be a cakewalk, and if HRC is the victor in November 2016 we better hope she has very long coattails. So yes, by all means, Evan, run.
Miss Kitka's Comrade Wayne
@Amir Khalid: BBC 2 JC: UNJOB
A while back, Jeremy Clarkson got himself a dog. It’s a black dog so he named it Didier Dogba, after the football player Didier Drogba.
Dude, it’s Indiana. I can’t believe Obama carried the state in 2008. I’ve seen more loud and proud racism there than in any other state. Including Alabama.
@feebog: yeah, this. Open seats mean jack shit if we can’t find candidates. I’d actually be surprised if Bayh even runs.
@scav: He reminds me, both physically and in the mean nature, of Bill O’Reilly. Probably got to be main bully at 12 for being bigger than the other kids, and just kept on with it as a career.
@Bobby Thomson: Yes, but in that way, Indiana is like Pennsylvania, where, as they say, there is Philly at one end, Pittsburgh at the other, and everything in between is Alabama (or, if you prefer, Pennsyltucky). In state-wide elections, as with national elections, if a decent Dem candidate can win Indy, NW Indiana and the next few largest cities, she can win the state.
Sure you could win with a candidate marginally to his left, and quite a bit less on the douche-bag scale, but his $10 million is $10 million the DSCC would have to spend elsewhere.
@mak: no, I’ve lived in both states and Indiana is nothing like Pennsylvania.
Better a conservadem who votes with us 60% of the time than a teabagger who never will.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Bobby Thomson: I wonder to what degree Bayh is (still?) a Clintonite. I believe the rumor in 08 was he was a front runner for Hillary’s Veep spot. He could be a true believer like Ed Rendell, or maybe thought he was (would have been) doing her a favor. If the former, maybe Bubba could put an ego-boosting wind in his sails.
Kirk and Toomey are obviously the lowest hanging fruit, but I think Ayotte’s seat in New Hampshire is also fairly winnable with a good candidate.
I’ve also seen that there have been rumblings about Russ Feingold stepping up for a rematch with Ron Johnson. Then there is Burr in North Carolina, as you mentioned, and open seats in Florida and Indiana, and also possibly Rand Paul’s seat in Kentucky, as KY law doesn’t permit him to run both for Senate and POTUS.
When it matters is when they cast the vote to make Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader. Supreme Court justice confirmations would be nice too.
Everything else is lagniappe.
@Amir Khalid: And that is the end of Top Gear.
The very same qualities that made Clarkson such an asshole are what made the show a success. It will stagger on for a while, maybe two seasons, but they’re done.
Too bad he couldn’t keep his idiocy under control.
@Amir Khalid: Was not aware. Well, it will kill the show, but they really had no choice; if my CEO punched an employee she’d be fired the same day.
@mak: Except Democrats concentrated in a few districts doesn’t necessarily mean the state will be blue, especially if Republicans turn out to vote more often. Redistricting is one way Republicans make up for lagging numbers.
Also, too: @NorthLeft12:
It’s Indiana. Progressive legislation is already off the table.
We already start out at a disadvantage thanks to gerrymandering and the overconcentration of Democratic votes in cities. If we want to take back majorites in the House and Senate, we will need to win seats like this one. Because as repulsive as he is, even Evan Bayh isn’t an option in Wyoming and South Carolina and probably about a dozen other states. We can’t afford to get picky about the red states where we can win.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: According to this post, he verbally abused him for 20 minutes and then physically for 30 seconds. More than just throwing a punch.
I don’t foresee Top Gear ending just because Clarkson got fired, even if the show loses Hammond and May as well. It existed before they came along, after all. The BBC has made the show over before, and says it will again. It’s not going to be easy, as the DG has said, but it has the rest of this year to do so.
This is just … Some people have no sense.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
as groundskeeper Willie.
Bookkeeper has three consecutive sets of double letters.
@feebog: yes, I’ve been noting this for a while. Very few of those 20-something GOP seats are even remotely competitive. If we manage it, it will be because it’s a presidential year.
@Bobby Thomson: A friend of mine was canvassing in Indiana after McCain picked Palin and he suspended his campaign and said that stupid thing about the economy being fine.
My friend got to one house and the fellow who answered the door said, “I guess I’m gonna have to vote for the n*gger”.
So Indiana may be red, but even that total racist could see that Barack Obama was better than McCain.
Nice though it is to speculate about the chance to have a wavering half-hearted Democrat take the open Senate seat in Indiana, I’m as, if not more interested in who has the best chance to oust Rod Portman. Which would make the Buckeye state all blue in the upper chamber.
@Bobby Thomson: Disagree. I, currently live in PA, but grew up in Indiana, where mom and bro still live and I visit frequently, and the racists I’ve met in Bradford or Schuylkill County (and South Philly) are every bit as ignorant as folks I’ve meet in Southern Indiana. In both cases, all that matters is the number of civilized people that turn out on election day.
From what I understand the Kentucky Republican party is going to do a workaround by nominating by caucus rather than by a primary. That would keep Paul’s name from appearing on the ballot twice. Of course that could be challenged in court, as the clear intent of the law is to keep a candidate from running for two offices in the same election. But Kentucky, so who knows.
The only other race that I would consider potentially competitive would be Portman’s seat in Ohio. There are rumblings that exGov Strickland may jump in, but I question if he is the right candidate.
@Belafon: Nobody’s talking about the legislature or the Congressional delegation going blue; but if the pattern of presidential year turnout holds, Dems stand a real chance with any decent Dem candidate. And if Bayh runs, I’d give him a better than 60% chance of winning, especially given the relative no-names being bandied about for the Rs right now.
didn’t they see how this worked out for Georgia?
One telling detail that is omitted from many of these stories, but which appeared in several of the first ones, is that Clarkson didn’t get his hot meal because he kept everyone waiting for several hours while he drank in a pub, and the hotel kitchen closed in the interim.
From the Daily Mail:
From the Telegraph:
Davis X. Machina
No enemies to the right! ¡Venceremos!
As does “sweet-toothed.”
At last, something!
@Davis X. Machina:
You jest, and more power to you, really — jesting is good! — but the word alone, never mind the song, still brings tears to my eyes.
Which only makes Clarkson’s behaviour look even worse. Was he really expecting the hotel’s kitchen staff to wait up while he, Hammond and May got drunk?
I agree. My subtext is that the stories omitting that detail could lead to a (false) impression of a hard-working host being unjustly denied a hot meal after a long day on the job by a producer’s incompetence. Who wouldn’t be outraged at that?
Why not Andre Carson?
Davis X. Machina
@Cervantes: Y yo, también
If Maggie Hassan runs (or Lynch, but he has said he’s not running a bunch of times), New Hampshire is in play too. I’d love to see Kelly Ayotte go down. After that there’s a bunch of seats that could be in play if Clinton is able to put a historic beatdown on her opponent and has coattails.
Georgia (gradually trending blue, we came close in 2008 with an unknown candidate – I wish Michelle Nunn had waited for a presidential year and hope she considers running again anyway)
Ohio (Portman will be tough, but not invincible with Hillary carrying the state by 5+ points, which she can unless Kasich is on the ticket),
Pennsylvania (Toomey is a total wackjob but has kept that mostly quiet in the Senate…but he should be toast with Hillary on the ballot if Dems field a decent candidate. Obama won the state in a breeze both times, and Hillary might be able to get some old Reagan Democrat-ish blue hair votes back)
And mayyyybe even Arizona, who might finally be tired of old man McCain, or Louisiana if Landrieu runs, but both would be extreme upsets.
I also hope the Democrats field a real candidate in Iowa. There’s no reason Grassley should be left unopposed in a presidential year – he could be the GOP’s 2016 version of Warner in 2014 (presumed safe, gets the scare of his life or even loses when his voters don’t bother to come out and Hillary is drumming up good Democratic turnout). Get one of the Vilsacks to run, at least.
As for Bayh, he was nearly as insufferable as Lieberman in his taste for gut-punching his own party on Fox and elsewhere (particularly with his Fix the Debt mendacity), but the fact that he was from Indiana (which is mostly Alabama, except that it accidentally drifted north at some point) made him tolerable through gritted teeth. Unlike Lieberman, who was from Connecticut, which had no business habitually reelecting such a foul piece of sanctimonious shit. If he’s the best candidate to bring that seat back into the D caucus, however tenuously, fine. But I don’t have to like the guy.
If they put Nick Frost on it (as someone suggested above), I’d watch it, for the first time in my life.
That’s a lot of ifs ands or buts. Having said that, I see New Hampshire and Ohio the same way; Portman and Ayotte are both strong incumbents who would need the perfect storm to take them out. That means a very strong Dem opponent AND HRC winning big in both states. Could happen, but I would not bet the old family farm on it. GA and AZ would be even tougher. If McCain hangs it up, AZ may be marginally easier.
@Cervantes: There can be no revolution without song or crying.
@Steeplejack: Drinking rose wine on purpose? He should have been sacked for that alone.
Yeah – a lot of things need to go right in 2016. The reason I put those ideas out there is because expanding the map seems to have a self-reinforcing effect and forces the GOP to plow money into defending more seats (maybe this is less of an issue in the post-CU landscape). In our 06 and 08 waves, we nearly swept all the close races. The hope would be that Hillary runs a strong campaign and creates her own wave, and maybe a few lean-R seats come with it because the Dems gave themselves the chance. Obviously Obama needs to hold things together on the foreign policy front and the economy needs to at least stay where it is, and preferably strengthen, for that wave to be possible. Lots of variables, some of which no one can control.
GA is tough because Isaakson is a fairly low-profile incumbent who hasn’t done anything I know of to piss off his voters. If it was an open seat and Nunn ran again, I’d put even money on the Dems to take it. But we did almost beat Chambliss with an underfunded no-name in 2008, so it’s at least plausible. McCain isn’t too popular anymore, might get a teabagger challenge, and might retire, so there’s a sliver of hope there if Dems can field a credible challenger.
We shall see. It’s nice to see Feingold is probably running in WI and, hopefully, Duckworth will challenge Kirk (who has been saying a bunch of repellent things lately, making me wonder if he’s gonna retire anyway). We have to bag those seats no matter what.
@Turgidson: I live in Illinois, and I have to say that I find Kirk inspirational.
He has inspired me to do something I had never done before in my life – which is to pick up the phone and all a senator’s office without having first received an email message from some group that is organizing something.
I call every single time I hear some ridiculous thing he has said. I tell them that I don’t always agree with the decisions my senators make, but that for the first time I am truly embarrassed to have Kirk representing Illinois in the senate.
Sometimes I politely inquire if perhaps the senator thinks he is representing some state other than Illinois?
I know it won’t make any difference, but I just feel compelled to call.
Screw that! i have a LIST of people whose deaths I pray for every night because I consider them to collectively be an existential threat to the human race.
Likewise, I sometimes wonder if watching his son’s conduct drove Mario Cuomo into an early grave.
@WaterGirl: You’ve come a long way from not believing Kirk could be elected in Illinois because you were completely unaware of Pete Fitzgerald’s existence.
Lord High Executioner!
Oh come on. Evan Bayh talks a moderate/conservative game, but as someone noted, look at his actual voting record in his last two years.
He voted FOR Obamacare.
He voted FOR the repeal of DADT.
He voted FOR Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
He voted FOR Dodd-Frank.
He voted FOR the stimulus.
He voted FOR the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Some of you make it sound like he defected on all the big votes, but guess what? He was WITH us on almost all the hugely important votes that the Republicans were desperately trying to stop. This feels more like a case where his actual voting record is much more liberal than his rhetoric. And you know what? Fine. It’s freaking Indiana, not Vermont.