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At-Risk Senate Seats, 08/31/2014 edition (Includes DOOM calls).

Here is my latest At-Risk races… and there are DOOM calls. Hey, it’s Labor Day Weekend. Time to start in on that.

Alaska Mark Begich High Risk
Arkansas Mark Pryor High Risk
Colorado Mark Udall Serious Risk
Iowa Retiring High Risk
Louisiana Mary Landrieu High Risk
Michigan Retiring Some Risk
Minnesota Al Franken Low Risk
Montana Retiring DOOM
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Some Risk
New Mexico Tom Udall Off list
North Carolina Kay Hagan High Risk
Oregon Jeff Merkley Low Risk
South Dakota Retiring DOOM
Virginia Mark Warner Low Risk
West Virginia Retiring DOOM

In order:

  • Alaska: Mark Begich has one of the Dan Sullivan Collective running against him, and Begich barely won last time, and Barack Obama hates oil development.  High Risk – and yes, I know about the current polling.  Incumbents at 46% with Begich’s disadvantages should be grateful for a lack of DOOM.
  • Arkansas: Mark Pryor is behind in the aggregate polling and he’s stuck with a Democratic identity is a state that is trending less Democratic every year.  High Risk.
  • Colorado: Mark Udall is far too close to Cory Gardner in the polls for Democrats to be comfortable here, and all of the polls are over a month old.  Serious Risk, but wait a month: this is the most volatile ranking on this list.
  • Iowa: …Wow, Bruce Braley is a very bad candidate, huh?  The way that he has pretty much thrown away what should have been a gimme lead makes this race  High Risk, shading on DOOM.
  • Louisiana: Mary Landrieu’s major hope is that she gets above 50% in the first wave, because if there’s a runoff she’s toast.  Louisiana has also been trending Republican ever since Hurricane Katrina and Democrats hate oil production.  High Risk.
  • Michigan: I originally had this at ‘Serious Risk,’ but the polling is reasonably current and favors Gary Peters.  But he’s below 50% and the election season is now starting in earnest.  Some Risk.
  • Minnesota: Al Franken keeps polling above 50%, dagnabbit.  The only reason why I’m not taking this race off of the list is because he won by such a horrible margin last time and the race can in fact still implode. Low Risk.
  • Montana.  The existing candidate had to withdraw after a plagiarism scandal – and the Democrats then picked a Wobbly. That is not a euphemism.  DOOM.
  • New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen doesn’t have an official opponent, and there’s a single, most recent poll out that shows Scott Brown within striking distance, so let’s not collapse the state vector on this one quite yet.  Some Risk.
  • New Mexico: I have to take Tom Udall off of the at-risk list, sorry.  I hate to do that, but it’s not about what I want, sometimes.
  • North Carolina: It’s not so much that Thom Tillis is barely ahead in the aggregate poll rankings: it’s that sitting Senator Kay Hagan can’t get above 43.  High Risk.
  • Oregon: I regretfully have to downgrade Jeff Merkley: but I am leaving him on the list, largely because Obamacare has been horrible for Oregon.  Low Risk.
  • South Dakota: the Democratic candidate recently referred to Republican candidate Mike Rounds as ‘soon-to-be-Senator.’  At a debate.  DOOM.
  • Virginia: …Mark Warner is ahead, by a lot.  And the last poll was a month ago.  The latter is barely enough to justify keeping the current ranking, but the next time I do this… well.  Low Risk.
  • West Virginia. Shelley Moore Capito is consistently above 50% in fresh polls (with double-digit leads) and she isn’t a coal-hating Democrat like those people in the national party are.  The national Democratic party has also quietly retreated from this race.  DOOM.

All in all… we are in an excellent place to retake the Senate. Between the three gimmes and the five High risk races, putting together the six we need to stop Harry Reid in his tracks won’t be even remotely difficult.  RCP currently has +7 GOP: I’ll take it, but I want more.  More now means that we have more of a margin to work with in 2016, when the Big Board does NOT favor us.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

(Image via Shutterstock)

PS: We’re not losing Kentucky or Georgia.  Or Kansas, despite the recent heavy breathing over on the Democratic side.

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