February 4, 2010

THEY WON TWO OF THOSE IN THE 1980 WAVE...:

How the Democrats Could Lose the Senate ( Jay Newton-Small, Feb. 04, 2010, Time)

Even if they can win all of these contests, Republicans would still need to find two more seats in order to gain back the majority. But, if the election ends up of becoming a real wave year - as the last two cycles have been for Democrats - it's possible to imagine even the bluest states flipping. Look no further than the upset in Massachusetts last month for evidence of why senators from even the most progressive states, such as New York, California, Wisconsin and Washington, are worried. "Republicans still need a few things to break our way but clearly there is a path forward that was previously unimaginable at the start of this election cycle," says Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate. "There's still a long way to go until November so we're taking nothing for granted but particularly after our victory in Massachusetts, there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm which is putting more states in play and helping with fundraising across the board."

In California Senator Barbara Boxer is facing one of the toughest re-elections of her career. Polls show her comfortably leading her likely opponent, self-funding millionaire Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. But Boxer's negatives are ten points higher than they were during her last campaign — a troubling sign that Dems are watching closely.

In New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, a former congresswoman from upstate New York who was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's seat, is facing a potential primary challenge from former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford. But she'll really be in trouble if former New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican, decides to run: two hypothetical match ups last month showed Pataki beating Gillibrand by as much as 14 percentage points.

Republicans have yet to find strong challengers for Senators Patty Murray of Washington and Wisconsin's Russ Feingold though they still have plenty of time. "Clearly, the environment for Democrats continues to deteriorate, which might make recruiting in these states easier," Duffy says. And they'd only need to win two of these four seats in order to get to 10.


...and replaced the liberal Jacob Javits with Al D'Amato in NY.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 4, 2010 7:09 AM
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