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Senate Dem 59   GOP 41  
House Dem 254   GOP 177  

2010 Senate Races (colors are from 2004 races for the time being)
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Senate polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): PA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Poll Shows Spitzer Comeback Unlikely Obama Sends Money to His 2012 Opponent
Pataki Eyes Bigger Prize Thompson Declines Senate Bid
Obama Tax Returns Made Public Taxes at Lowest Levels in 60 Years

News from the Votemaster            

Deutch Elected to Congress in Florida     Permalink

When Robert Wexler (D) resigned from Congress to work for a nonprofit, he left behind an open seat in FL-19. In yesterday's special election to fill the vacant seat, Ted Deutsch (D) easily defeated Republican Ed Lynch 62% to 35% in this heavily Democratic and heavily Jewish South Florida district. Politically, one liberal Democrat has been replaced by another one, so the balance of power in the House remains unchanged.

Rundown of Competitive Senate Races     Permalink

It's been a while since we looked at the Senate races, so here is a current rundown, starting with seats currently occupied by Democrats. If history is any guide, the Republicans will pick up something like 6-8 seats in the Senate, and these are the most vulnerable. We will look at vulnerable Republicans in a future posting.


Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown

Candidate unknown

Arkansas is a very Democratic state--except for presidential elections. The governor and both senators are Democrats as are three of the four representatives and the Democrats control both houses of the state legislature. In 2008, the Republicans didn't even bother to field a candidate against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). Nevertheless, Blanche Lincoln's popularity is way down and she is facing a primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) who is rapidly gaining traction. On the Republican side, there are multiple candidates, including Rep. John Boozman, who is the strongest candidate but he has to get through a primary first.


Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Michael Bennet

Jane Norton

Ken Salazar swam against the Republican tide in 2004, but since he has now been appointed to the cabinet, an appointee, Michael Bennet, will be running in 2010. Bennet has never held elective office before, so he has no experience campaigning. He will also have to fend off a primary challenge from former Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), who is somewhat to the left of Bennet. Fortunately for Bennet, President Obama has already endorsed him in the primary. The most likely Republican candidate is former lieutenant governor Jane Norton. Initial polls show Norton beating Bennet in the general election.


Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Chris Coons

Mike Castle

When Joe Biden became Vice President, Gov. Ruth Minner appointed a placeholder, Ted Kaufman, to keep the seat warm until Biden's son, Beau Biden, could come back from his tour of duty in Iraq and run. Unfortunately, when Biden came back he decided not to run, leaving the Democrats with a big problem. Eventually, Chris Coons, executive of the state's largest county jumped in the race. Sensing an opening, Mike Castle, the state's lone representative decided to run even though he is 70 and it takes 20 years to get enough seniority to have any real power. Initial polls show Castle way ahead of the lesser-known Coons, but Delaware is a very blue state, so that could change as Coons gets better known.


Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Alexi Giannoulias

Mark Kirk

After a lot of feinting, the Senate decided to seat Roland Burris as Barack Obama's replacement. Burris failed to raise much money and was dogged by scandals, so he decided to call it quits in 2010. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won the Democratic primary and will face Rep. Mark Kirk (R) in the general election. Although Illinois is a blue state, Giannoulias' family owns a small bank that is in financial trouble. Being associated with a poorly performing bank is not a good place to be right now. The race is expected to be close.


Challenger Challenger Notes           Polls
Brad Ellsworth

Candidate unknown

Although Barack Obama carried Indiana, it is nevertheless a fairly red state. If Sen. Evan Bayh had decided to run again, he would have won easily, but he has had enough of how Washington works and decided to retire from politics. His departure completely completely shakes up the race and makes it a tossup. The Democrat is very likely to be Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) but the Republicans have a nasty primary between former representative John Hostettler (R) and former senator Dan Coats (R).


Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Harry Reid

Candidate unknown

The gentlemen's agreement between the parties to leave each other's leader alone is gone, and Harry Reid is high on the Republican's target list. Reid's popularity in the state is low, so the Republicans will certainly do their best to unseat him. Their biggest problem is lack of a single candidate. There will be a primary between a former state party chairwoman, Sue Lowden (R) and son of a famous college basketball coach, Danny Tarkanian, and some others, So the race is more Reid's to lose than the Republican's to win. One factor that may help Reid is that the Tea Party candidate, Job Ashjian, has qualified for the ballot,


Incumbent Challenger Notes           Polls
Candidate unknown

Pat Toomey

Arlen Specter's switch back to the Democrats took everyone by surprise. He was elected to the Senate five times as a Republican in a blue state. Since jumping ship, he has voted with the Democratic leadership nearly 100% of the time in an attempt to make the state's Democrats forget that he was a Republican for 30 years. In addition, he will first have to get past a primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), a retired Vice-Admiral in the Navy. The Republican nominee will be former representative Pat Toomey (R) who is very far to the right. When the Democrats' primary is over, Toomey's views will become much more widely known and will hurt him.

Analysis of Battle to Replace Stevens     Permalink

The National Journal has an excellent analysis of recent Supreme Court nominations in historical perspective. For example, although the media have decided that retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is the leader of the liberals on the court, he is actually the 12th most conservative justice since the FDR era. This shows that the Court has moved rightward over the years. In fact, with only one or two exceptions, nearly all appointees have been more conservative than the person they are replacing.

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