We need to take the majority of the Senate. We need to gain SIX seats. So far, I’ve shown you my list of the races we either don’t need to pay attention to much at all, or the ones we only need to check in on a little.
With total success on the races previously mentioned, we’re up by 4. That’s TERRIFIC, but not at all sufficient.
We’ve got to have at minimum, two more. We know it, the Dems know it. THIS is where the fight is.
I’ll be working over the next few days to give you information on what to do, how to help – what you can do to actually make the change happen.
First though, we have to study the targets. Start looking and learning, read up on these races. Read up on the candidates. Read up on the political environment of the state.
Inifnitely achievable, work hard here. In order from most to least likely.
- Dan Sullivan (R) vs. Mark Begich (D)
- Dan has recently crossed over in polling from behind to ahead, and his lead over Begich is increasing. Seems unlikely that it would turn around and crash at this point, this is a pretty favorable sign. Yet he’s up by less than 5 points, easily a margin of polling error. The Democrat incumbent is a smart campaigner, and the state GOP is still recovering from a tough primary. Turnout and GOP enthusiasm will be key. Phone calls, social media promotion, and money will help a LOT. Alaska isn’t used to getting attention from the lower 48, our attention could have an outsized effect with the less-politically inclined in Alaska.
- Tom Cotton (R) vs. Mark Pryor (D)
- Arkansas is in the early stages of turning solid Republican, there’s still a good deal of enthusiasm for the GOP to grow and increase its strength in the state, it’s on the upswing. Tom Cotton is a great candidate, Pryor is the son of a Dem Seantor – old versus new is the story here, but not to offend old voters, it’s the “old ways” the “old system” versus the new system
- Cory Gardner (R) vs Mark Udall (D)
- Let’s turn Colorado back red! This is a SUPER close race, but definitely winnable with some effort for Gardner. The Dems will not want to lose this one Udall has been ahead the whole time. But it looks like Gardner may be about to take the lead – keep that momentum going. The whole state seems to be swinging back GOP, make it happen, take advantage of the “surprise” that Udall is vulnerable.
- Joni Ernst (R) vs Bruce Braley (D)
- Another REALLY tight one. Braley seems to be making mistakes, which our guys tend to not take much advantage of. Ernst is a combat veteran – leverage that with older voters, drive enthusiasm and patriotism.
- Thom Tillis (R) vs Kay Hagan (D)
- Hagan is up, but Tillis is getting some good support from the GOP machine. He’s made some errors of late, at about the same time the Dems hit with a lot of Hagan ads. This is a test of OUR will to win the race even with a less than perfect candidate. Turnout, phone calls, money – that’s what this race needs.
- Scott Brown (R) vs Jeanne Shaheen (D)
- Shaheen is ahead by almost 5, but that’s inside the margin of change. Also she’s on the downswing and Scott Brown is trending up, it’s worth sticking with it to see if we can bring it home. Brown will have to get support from Independents and soft Democrats, and the disillusionment with Obama can help here.
- Terri Lynn Land (R) vs Gary Peters (D)
- Peters is up by almost 5, but it may be that folks just haven’t yet started paying attention. It’s worth some attention NOW to see if the polls start to trend her way. The previous mid-term voter was Repbulican, the previous Presidential voter was Democrat. Can we make the Dems stay home, rally the GOP and get Land elected?
Remote Chance Pickup
Stretch goals, worth a shot if the above are done deals. Alphabetical order.
- Jim Oberweis (R) vs Dick Durbin (D)
- Durbin is up by considerably more than 10, it appears that Durbin is “Senator for Life” in Illinois. I’d love to be wrong. I just want this guy to go away. It’s included here mostly to remind all of us that on any given Tuesday in November, miracles can happen
- Mike McFadden (R) vs Al Franken (D)
- Franken is up by a lot, the differential between the two is pretty steady. Franken has the incumbency inertia vote.
- Jeff Bell (R) vs Cory Booker (D)
- The Dems would HATE to lose this one. They didn’t plan on having to defend it, so any money we can make them spend here is money they weren’t planning to spend. Putting forth effort for Jeff Bell also makes more sense than putting forth effort in IL or OR – because Jeff Bell has a GOP Governor to help him, and the NJ GOP is on an upswing, doing some good things for the state. Good turnout for Bell will help downballot GOPers and will help the party strengthen itself for the future.
- Allen Weh (R) vs Tom Udall (D)
- This has moved from GOP no chance to a slim possibility
- It’s a remote chance, but a chance nonetheless. The candidate isn’t all that strong, but the environment isn’t great for democrats in general, Udall is a dynastic name and there’s some anti-establishment fervor that could be leveraged.
- Monica Webby (R) vs Jeff Merkley (D)
- Merkley is up by more than 10, and Webby’s trending seems to be negative, this seems a REALLY remote chance, extremely remote.
- Ed Gillespie (R) vs Mark Warner (D)
- This has moved from GOP No chance up to a slim possibility. Still not much of a chance for Ed, but the momentum is all in his favor.
- Mark Warner up 9 over Ed Gillespie in Virginia Senate race: poll – Washington Times
This list will change over time, I’ll be adding resources to it, moving some links from the general list below into the specific races, etc. So consider this list a preliminary view, food for thought, and…
Questions – do you think I have some of this wrong? Let me know!