This year’s midterm election represents two realities. The first is that Barack Obama, the candidate, will never appear on a ballot anywhere in this country again. The second, is that Barack Obama, the President, has raised the ire of so many to such fever pitch, that Democrats on the ballot this year, and for some time to come, will be the ones to face that ire. That leads to the risk of them losing control of the Senate. The Democrats know this, and will probably mount one of the dirtiest fights ever. The 2014 midterm election is going to be one of the most bruising contests we’ve seen in decades.
There will be some interesting races in the House, but at the end of the day, the Conservatives will maintain control, with an expanded majority. The real battle will take place in the Senate, where 33 races are coming up. Most of the fallout from Mr. Obama’s toxic actions are going to be projected there, where even the most secure seats are going to see bruised Democrats crossing the finish line. The Republicans do have some tough battles ahead as well, but it’s safe to say that, overall, it’s theirs to lose. From where I sit, ten States hold the key to righting the path dear leader has put us on. Assuming the Republicans can hold on to every seat they have, only 6 of these 10 are needed to wrest control of the Senate from those who danced to Obama’s tune and lip-synced to Valerie Jarrett’s lyrics. Here’s how I see it playing out.
Mark Begich is standing on precarious footing. Alaska is traditionally Conservative. Even in a year when the Republican vote was split between Sen Murkowski’s write-in campaign and primary winner Mark Levin, the Democrat in that race couldn’t pick up enough to take advantage of the split vote. The only reason Sen. Begich beat senior Senator Ted Stevens in 2008 is because the latter was indicted eight days before the election. Even then the margin of victory was less than 5,000 votes, or 1.3 percent. By the way, the conviction was later (after the election) overturned. There is no way the Democrats will retain this seat. After momentarily voting liberal in 2008, Alaska reaffirmed its Conservative values by voting for Mitt Romney in 2012, with an Obama-thumping 13-point advantage. This is, in my opinion, a turnover candidate. One down, five to go.
Next, there’s Sen. Al Franken. If you recall, he was declared a winner after a recount declared him the victor by a slim 225 votes – instead of losing with the original 215-vote deficit in ’08. The vote margin was pretty thin, to put it mildly, and during that time candidate Obama, running for his first term, took Minnesota 54% to Sen McCain’s 43.8%. What I’m looking at here is if President Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ coattails couldn’t carry Franken to a decisive victory in the Senate, that speaks to a weak candidate. His marginal, and unimpressive victory was at a time when Obama was flying high in the polls – right now Obama is struggling to get passed 50% approval in Minnesota. There are some liberal publications and pundits decidedly calling it in Al’s favor, but I don’t see it. Al has brand recognition, no doubt, but he ran as a Democrat in a year where voter euphoria was decidedly in the Democrat’s favor, and yet he only managed to squeak in. You heard it here first, paint Minnesota red this November.
The next one that is being served up on a platter is Chris Coons. Sen Coons walked into the senate by way of a special election after VP Biden vacated that seat in 2009 to assume the Vice Presidency. He held a respectable lead of 57% to Christine O’Donnell’s 40%. Here’s the way I look at this:
Delaware is a Democratic stronghold. Obama carried this state by a 25% margin, and two years later when Coons won the special election to serve the remaining term, he couldn’t pull it off without the party’s machinery burning O’Donnell at the stake. It was a close contest until there were all kinds of allegations launched at O’Donnell and the liberal media went to town with her faux pas. O’Donnell may be a great person, but she’s not vicious enough to stand up to the Democratic machinery. The Republicans need someone stronger. Anyone but O’Donnell could likely take this seat and flip it into the red. The Tea Party needs to think strong and hard here and send someone who can play well in front of the cameras.
Another race that could add six to the sea of red – that is sure to materialize in November – is Jeff Merkley‘s incumbency in Oregon. Obama carried this state with a significant majority of 56% to Sen. McCain’s 40%. But the interesting thing to note is that the distribution wasn’t unanimous or uniform by any means, geographically speaking. Obama won the coastal areas while McCain decidedly appealed to those inland. As for Merkley, he only managed a 3-point win over his opponent. Again, he didn’t manage to ride the Obama euphoria. What’s he going to do in a year where there is no euphoria to speak of, and the disdain is palpable? I’d put this in the red column as well in November.
The next one is a little tough to justify and perhaps mixed in with a little wishful thinking. In ’08 Sen Mary Landrieu pulled off a close victory with just 52% of the vote. The Bayou State has always been splitting their President’s party from their Senators’ party. They’ve voted Red in ’12, ’08, ’04, and ’00, and beyond, except for voting for fellow southerners Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. However, their Senators have always been Democrats in modern history. In 2004, staunchly conservative Harvard-Oxford grad David Vitter managed to rally the conservative base, but barely crossed the finish line. It was tight. However, in 2010 he thumped his opponent Rep Charlie Melancon 57% to 38%. The Louisiana electorate has had its fill of Democratic Senators; the electorate composition in Louisiana has effectively changed; and, the Hail Mary victories that Mary Landrieu has been squeezing out is about to be history. Couple that with a Democratic President’s approval rating that’s in shambles, a Republican candidate is certain to replace Sen Landrieu who, while winning two reelections, has done so with great difficulty. I am going to call this for the red column as well.
These five states will yield four senators for the Republicans. The fifth one depends on O’Donnell in Delaware. If she doesn’t run, there is a good chance it will lean Republican. If she runs again, the chances are not healthy.
For now, I’ll just put four out of the needed six in the win column. Two more need to come from the five other races. There are five Democratic Senators, Max Baucus, Tom Harkin, Carl Levin, Tim Johnson and Jay Rockefeller who are retiring this year, at the end of their terms. Most of them won with strong support, but there are at least two states that I see switching. These men won more on their own merit rather than on the strength of the national party. Remove the man from the seat and the Democratic brand is not enough to carry the votes, especially with the dismal approval rating and the visceral displeasure with the way the President has been carrying on.
I see one seat coming from Montana’s Rep. Steve Daines who is doing well in the polls against possible candidates in the November election. He leads in a matchup against Lt. Gov. Walsh by almost 20 points and leads over Gov. John Bohlinger by 15 points. If you want to take the temperature of the Democratic brand, look at how the tides have turned in this state. Max Baucus was elected to the Senate with almost a 50% majority. Today, it’s looking like a Republican candidate will take Montana. Oh how the mighty have fallen from grace.
The Sixth Seat
The sixth win I believe will be by Michigan’s Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land. Latest polls confirm that she has started to pull away against Democrat Gary Peters. The poll has Land leading 42 to 37 with a margin of error of 3.6%. The liberal media is not agreeing with the polls, but that’s been their problem all along, hasn’t it? They don’t listen to the people.
There are three other seats of vacating Democrats, and I think there is a good chance those races, while being close calls, will turn, but I will look at them again as November draws closer.
The Final Curtain
This coming midterm election is not about winners and losers. It’s not about good versus evil; Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Tea Party, we are all Americans looking for what’s best for our country and a strong legacy to leave our kids. We used to be the greatest nation on the planet, without any doubt. But today, many aren’t so certain anymore. I still believe we are, but we have been put on a path that leads into the dark by a President who was so intent on making history, he forgot to mind the present; by a President who was so focused on rhetoric, he forgot to act; by a President who thought that it was better to feel good than to do right. By his immaturity and inexperience, his arrogance and deficiencies, he has disregarded laws, promised more than he can deliver, possibly lied when it was convenient, and bent the truth to serve his purpose. The bottom line is that he failed us, and he owes us big time for that. And since he will never be on a ballot again, his debt will be repaid by all those who stand under his banner.