Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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The 2012 US Senate Elections


There are 14 months to go before we vote for who 33 of our 100 US Senators are going to be. There are 37 Rs and 30 Ds who are safe because their term is not ending in 2012. The breakdown of those 33 seats is 23 currently held by the Ds and 10 currently held by the Rs. Eight incumbent Rs are seeking reelection, 17 incumbent Ds are seeking reelection, 6 open seats are currently held by Ds, and 2 open seats are currently held by Rs. The Ds do not have a good record to run on. They have not proposed, let alone passed a budget bill for over 826 days. They will do an all out name calling negative campaign against their R opponents because that is all they know how to do. I would love to see all 33 seats won by the Rs. This would give us a filibuster and veto proof majority of 70 Rs to 30 Ds. Now let me switch from “electing constitutional conservative to public office” cheerleader to political oddsmaker. In short –  Let’s. Get. Real.

According to a prominent political handicapper, Larry Sabato, there are 5 states that a liberal will not be elected in, and 7 states that a conservative will not be elected in. The 5 states safe for the Rs include:
Mississippi: incumbent R running
Tennessee: incumbent R running
Utah: incumbent R running
Wyoming: incumbent R running
Texas: incumbent R retiring

The 7 states safe for the Ds include:
California: incumbent D running
Delaware: incumbent D running
Maryland: incumbent D running
New York: incumbent D running
Rhode Island: incumbent D running
Vermont: incumbent D running
Washington: incumbent D running

This brings the tally to 42 Rs and 37 Ds in the Senate. With my cheerleader replaced by my political handicapper I want to emphasize that defeating an incumbent R or an incumbent D in the primary and winning the general is nearly an impossible task. Yes, it happened in Utah when Mike Lee won. This is the exception and not the rule. Look at what happened in 2006 when Ned Lamont won a primary over Joe Lieberman. Look what happened in 2010 in Arkansas when Bill Halter tried to defeat Blanche Lincoln, in Colorado when Andrew Romanoff tried to defeat Michael Bennett, in Arizona when J.D.Hayworth tried to defeat John McCain, in Pennsylvania when Joe Sestak defeated Arlen Specter, in the Alaska primary when Joe Miller defeated Lisa Murkowski. In each instance there was not a happy ending for either the Ds or the Rs. I am not going to call anyone names or try to dissuade them from trying to primary an incumbent, but history shows us that these attempts are mostly unsuccessful.

Larry Sabato has listed 6 states that should elect a Republican and 9 states that should elect a Democrat. (Please note that I replaced conservative and liberal with Republican and Democrat.) The 6 states expected to elect a Republican include:
Indiana: incumbent R running
Maine: incumbent R running
Arizona: incumbent R retiring
North Dakota: incumbent D retiring
Massachusetts: incumbent R running
Nevada: appointed incumbent R running

The 9 states expected to elect a Democrat include:
Connecticut: incumbent D retiring
Minnesota: incumbent D running
Pennsylvania: incumbent D running
Hawaii: incumbent D retiring
Florida: incumbent D running
Michigan: incumbent D running
New Jersey: incumbent D running
Ohio: incumbent D running
West Virginia: incumbent D running

This brings the tally to 48 Rs and 46 Ds. The Rs still hold a slim 2 seat advantage, but they need 3 more seats to have the majority in the Senate. The fight over the final 6 Senate seats is the battleground that will determine who wins the majority, and for these reasons they are going to be the most important seats to pick the most electable conservative candidate. If there is another wave election like 2010 I believe the GOP can win all 6 seats. The 6 states listed as Toss-ups include:
New Mexico: incumbent D retiring
Virginia: incumbent D retiring
Wisconsin: incumbent D retiring
Missouri: incumbent D running
Montana: incumbent D running
Nebraska: incumbent D running

The only poll that really matters is taken on November 2012 election day. I hope I have not depressed anyone living in one of the 46 states projected for the Ds. That is not my intent. It is late enough now to become involved in choosing these US Senate candidates. It is not nearly enough to attend Tea Party meetings and write blogs. Get active in your local Republican Party. Do not wait for an invitation or assistance in going through the process of becoming a precinct committeeman. Take it upon yourself to attend any meetings you become aware of, and ask people that go to these meetings just what you need to do in order to become more involved. The establishment may not want you this active, but it is your right, and obligation to do so – if you want to make a difference in 2012.

pilgrim
I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.

17 COMMENTS

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for our first set of working papers, Pil.
    I think Sabato’s (in his likely D wins)wrong about Ohio already, and maybe two more will be in play for year’s end. You’re there but possibly some changes in the upper midwest.

    • I would love to see Ohio and Michigan “unexpectedly” go to the Rs in 2012, and Gov. Kasich and Gov. Snyder can be helpful in making that happen. I could also be disappointed and lose Massachusetts. Nobody’s crystal ball is perfect, but this is a fair starting point to work from.

  2. excellent! this is the info i’ll need for election day! thanks!
    by the way: i do the best i can here in mendocino county (yes, that county)…you should see the looks i get when i drive around with my ‘tea party patriot’ bumper sticker…i’ll take a photo of it and send it to the group email…

  3. I, too, am not willing to concede many of his “Likely D” states. I know our chances may be slim, but in a wave year, it is entirely possible that we could win a statewide race in any of those places if we have a good enough candidate.

    Yes, even NJ.

    I sure hope the people on the ground in those states are recruiting for good people to run. We won’t win if we don’t try.

    For example, is anyone trying to get Emmer in MN? And I’m sure there are others. Good luck guys. When you get your man, we’ll help as much as we can when it’s time to get him to the finish line.

    • I agree with you Queen and also with VB. I do not think that either of you are suggesting the six Toss-up states are less important. You especially should have removing McCaskill as your number one goal. Do you think Akin is the guy to do it, or do you have anyone else in mind?

      • I think it’s more likely to be Sarah Steelman or Peter Kinder. The Machine seems to be backing Kinder, but both of them have statewide name recognition and both are pretty good on the stump.

        I haven’t made up my mind between the candidates, and to my chagrin, I was stuck in KC at a banking conference when our county held our “meet the candidate watermelon feed” and didn’t get to meet *any* of them. Now I feel like I’m flying blind. 🙁

  4. Florida is going R and so is Ohio and Michigan, Sabato is wrong, this is going to be an exclamation point on 2010, the TEA Party is ready and able to defeat the leftists this go round as we were in 2010!

  5. Great research and analysis Pilgrim. I guess I am more optimistic than Sabato, so long as we don’t waste money on primaries against incumbent Republicans as much as I would love to have an all-tea partier 2012 GOP senate class.

    A question: Of all the incumbent R senators whose seats are up, which seats, if any, would you see as worth some funds for tea partier challengers?

    • For me it is all about doing the least harm as possible. A tea partier challenger to Orrin Hatch in Utah is where probably the least harm would be done. If it is done in one of the 6 states Sabato lists as likely instead of safe Republican, then it might not bring a good result for Republicans.

      • My memory may be failing me, but I think I don’t like Wicker from MS. I’d like to see a credible primary challenge for him.

        And as long as we’re wishing, I wish I could remember all the times some R blockhead has betrayed us. It happens so often, I have a tendency to get them mixed up. It would be easier for me to sort them if I could tattoo their failures right on their faces – like an X for each screw up.

      • How would you rank the states with D incumbents running in terms of the ones that would warrant strong efforts for the GOP to try and unseat them? It seems to me that the economic situation makes Ohio, Michigan and Florida ripe for strong efforts.

  1. Thanks for our first set of working papers, Pil.
    I think Sabato’s (in his likely D wins)wrong about Ohio already, and maybe two more will be in play for year’s end. You’re there but possibly some changes in the upper midwest.

    • I would love to see Ohio and Michigan “unexpectedly” go to the Rs in 2012, and Gov. Kasich and Gov. Snyder can be helpful in making that happen. I could also be disappointed and lose Massachusetts. Nobody’s crystal ball is perfect, but this is a fair starting point to work from.

  2. excellent! this is the info i’ll need for election day! thanks!
    by the way: i do the best i can here in mendocino county (yes, that county)…you should see the looks i get when i drive around with my ‘tea party patriot’ bumper sticker…i’ll take a photo of it and send it to the group email…

  3. I, too, am not willing to concede many of his “Likely D” states. I know our chances may be slim, but in a wave year, it is entirely possible that we could win a statewide race in any of those places if we have a good enough candidate.

    Yes, even NJ.

    I sure hope the people on the ground in those states are recruiting for good people to run. We won’t win if we don’t try.

    For example, is anyone trying to get Emmer in MN? And I’m sure there are others. Good luck guys. When you get your man, we’ll help as much as we can when it’s time to get him to the finish line.

    • I agree with you Queen and also with VB. I do not think that either of you are suggesting the six Toss-up states are less important. You especially should have removing McCaskill as your number one goal. Do you think Akin is the guy to do it, or do you have anyone else in mind?

      • I think it’s more likely to be Sarah Steelman or Peter Kinder. The Machine seems to be backing Kinder, but both of them have statewide name recognition and both are pretty good on the stump.

        I haven’t made up my mind between the candidates, and to my chagrin, I was stuck in KC at a banking conference when our county held our “meet the candidate watermelon feed” and didn’t get to meet *any* of them. Now I feel like I’m flying blind. 🙁

  4. Florida is going R and so is Ohio and Michigan, Sabato is wrong, this is going to be an exclamation point on 2010, the TEA Party is ready and able to defeat the leftists this go round as we were in 2010!

  5. Great research and analysis Pilgrim. I guess I am more optimistic than Sabato, so long as we don’t waste money on primaries against incumbent Republicans as much as I would love to have an all-tea partier 2012 GOP senate class.

    A question: Of all the incumbent R senators whose seats are up, which seats, if any, would you see as worth some funds for tea partier challengers?

    • For me it is all about doing the least harm as possible. A tea partier challenger to Orrin Hatch in Utah is where probably the least harm would be done. If it is done in one of the 6 states Sabato lists as likely instead of safe Republican, then it might not bring a good result for Republicans.

      • My memory may be failing me, but I think I don’t like Wicker from MS. I’d like to see a credible primary challenge for him.

        And as long as we’re wishing, I wish I could remember all the times some R blockhead has betrayed us. It happens so often, I have a tendency to get them mixed up. It would be easier for me to sort them if I could tattoo their failures right on their faces – like an X for each screw up.

      • How would you rank the states with D incumbents running in terms of the ones that would warrant strong efforts for the GOP to try and unseat them? It seems to me that the economic situation makes Ohio, Michigan and Florida ripe for strong efforts.

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