Election 2014: Key Races, Tea Party Candidates & The Odds of the GOP Retaking The Senate
In order to retake control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans need to net a six-seat pickup. In the House, Democrats will have to net a gain of 17 seats in order to obtain majority control.
Seven key races in each chamber:
•ALASKA: Tea Party candidate Joe Miller is expected to be one of three contenders for the Republican nomination to challenge Mark Begich, first-term Democratic incumbent. Other Republican candidates include Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan, former head of the state’s natural resources department.
•LOUISIANA: Sen. Mary Landrieu is a vulnerable Democrat, not only because Louisiana is a red state but also because of Landrieu’s support of Obamacare. Her opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, vehemently opposes the law.
•ARKANSAS: While Mark Pryor is a Democrat hoping for a third term, Republicans are rallying around Tom Cotton, a young freshman congressman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
•KENTUCKY: Many Republicans are frustrated with Sen. Mitch McConnell. The five-term senator is facing a primary challenge from Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin and, if he survives, an Election Day challenge from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Campaign ads were already in place over the airwaves–eight months ahead of the primary. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has given his support McConnell, but the Senate Conservatives Fund, an influential political action group, has recently announced that it will support Bevin.
•GEORGIA: Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring, which will leave the race for the Republican nomination wide open. The two top candidates are Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun and they face a primary with perhaps a half-dozen other candidates. As for the Democrats, Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Georgia senator Sam Nunn, has an unobstructed path to the Democratic nomination.
•SOUTH CAROLINA: One of the most high-profile races involves Tea Party candidate, Nancy Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel, in an attempt to unseat Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham is also facing a primary challenge from Christian conservative lawyer Richard Cash and from Libertarian-minded state Sen. Lee Bright.
•NORTH CAROLINA: First-term Sen. Kay Hagan won in 2008, running on the same ticket as President Obama, who won the state. In 2008, she beat Elizabeth Dole. However, in 2012 the Tar Heel State threw its support to Mitt Romney and Hagan is now under fire for supporting Obamacare. On the Republican side, the primary battle pits state House Speaker Thom Tillis against the Rev. Mark Harris.
•CALIFORNIA (31): Republican Gary Miller won re-election last year in the Inland Empire-San Bernardino County district that Obama carried by 16 points. But, now four Democrats are vying to be the one to potentially oust Miller who may be vulnerable due to his land deals which have been the source of some criticism. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar and former representative Joe Baca are the top two Democrats to watch.
•ARIZONA (2): Democratic Rep. Ron Barber won a full term last year by less than 1 point in this Tucson-based district. He succeeded Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely wounded by a gun shot to the head in January 2011. Republican Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, is looking to unseat him.
•UTAH (4): This race will likely be a rematch between incumbent Jim Matheson, the only Democrat in his state’s congressional delegation, and Tea Party darling Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs. Matheson, who is a “Blue Dog” Democrat, beat Love by 768 votes in 2012 in a district Romney won by 37 points.
•COLORADO (6): The southern Denver suburbs, including Aurora, are represented by Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. He won a third term by 2 points, but Democrats have high hopes for Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado House.
•ILLINOIS (13): Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican in Central Illinois, faces a GOP primary challenge from former Miss America, Erika Harold. Democrats are backing Ann Callis, a former Madison County chief judge, in one of America’s most closely divided districts.
•FLORIDA (13): The death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, the longest-serving House Republican, propelled this district into the “tossup” category. Democrats would like to seize control of this district centered in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, which Obama won by about 5,000 votes.
•NORTH CAROLINA (7): Rep. Mike McIntyre, a “Blue Dog” Democrat won a ninth term, representing this district in Wilmington and the southeastern part of the state, by 654 votes last year. And, Romney was able to carried the district by 19 points. Next year, McIntyre faces a rematch with David Rouzer. The McIntyre camp hopes, however, that McIntyre will get a boost from Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election effort. Either way, McIntyre is expected to be in for another rough re-election race.
So, what impact will the Tea Party have in the mid-term elections? Well, the Tea Party Express plans to target 25 House races and 7 to 10 Senate races—primarily races with Democratic incumbents. “The false narrative continues to be written that the Tea Party is dead and that 2014 will not be like 2010,” the Tea Party Express has said, adding that “every month we see a strong example to the contrary.”
The following is a list of Tea Party endorsed candidates (courtesy Tea Party 911):
Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky
Matt Bevin grew up in a financially humble home, built on a bedrock of strong Christian values, and was encouraged by his parents to pursue the American Dream. He is running for the U.S. Senate because he believes that the chance for future generations to achieve their own American Dream is in danger of being destroyed by elite politicians out of touch with the hardworking, independent-minded taxpayers that make our country great.
More at MattBevin.com
More on Matt Bevin
Dr. Pam Barlow
Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress in Texas Congressional District 13
Sulphur Springs, TX, October 23, 2013 — TEAParty911.com Founder, Michael Kinzie, today announced his endorsement of Dr. Pam Barlow in her bid to unseat long-time incumbent Congressman Mac Thornberry. Kinzie said of Barlow, “With Dr. Barlow, what you see is what you get. She is a no-nonsense conservative who has more spine than most men I know.”
Dr. Barlow is quickly racking up TEA Party support. Both the Wise County and Montague County TEA Party groups have endorsed Dr. Barlow and while the Wichita Falls Tea Party does not formally endorse candidates because of their by-laws and tax exempt status, their members are signing a petition personally endorsing Dr. Barlow as individuals.
More on Dr. Pam Barlow
Tarrant County resident Konni Burton has officially launched her campaign against Wendy Davis for State Senate District 10. Konni Burton is a conservative activist who has been engaged in grassroots politics at the state and national level. In addition to her boots on the ground work to send conservatives to Austin and D.C., she has worked to educate & mobilize other grassroots conservatives as well. She has worked with various conservative grassroots groups and is currently on her second legislative session with the Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee that travels regularly to Austin to meet with legislators.
Read more on Konni Burton
Donate to the Konni Burton Campaign
Republican Candidate for the Texas House of Representatives – District 10
The son of a U.S. Marine, T.J. has always had a love for freedom and the Constitution, but in late 2007 T.J. started to become very worried about the state of our nation. He began to see just how far from the Constitution the government has gotten and that both parties have been complicit in growing the government for decades. In early 2009, T.J. started a Tea Party group, Ellis County Conservatives, and began to organize his friends and neighbors. At the end of 2009, he left his position as operations manager for a Houston-based equipment company and began his own business, Liberty Container.
More on T.J. Fabby
Republican for Texas Senate – District 3
“Tammy Blair is a true Constitutional Conservative and a friend of TeaParty911.com. I have known Tammy for several years and have worked with her on numerous grassroots projects. I know first-hand that she is a genuine grassroots conservative that believes in constitutionally limited government and fiscal responsibility. I am proud to support Tammy Blair for Texas Senate in District 3.” ~ Michael Kinzie, TEAParty911.com Founder
More on Tammy Blair
Republican for Texas Senate – District 2
Bob Hall is a Constitutional Conservative with Judeo-Christian values who became active in the Tea Party movement in 2008.
He is a semi-retired business man. He and his wife Kay, a native Texan, live at Tailwind Airpark in Edgewood, Texas and are members of Lakeside Baptist Church in Canton, Texas.
More on Bob Hall
Tea Party Leader, Katrina Pierson, is another candidate to watch. Pierson is running for the House in Texas’ 32nd Congressional district. A Garland woman who became active with the Tea Party in 2009, she swiftly became a leader of the movement in Dallas.
Pete Sessions, who heads the Rules Committee, played a key role in House Republicans’ reclaiming the House 2010. He has been embraced, for years, by key right-leaning groups such as the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association and National Right to Life. Pierson, however, believes it is time to move politicians “who have been in Washington far too long” back home where they belong. Pierson has garnered the backing of the political arm of FreedomWorks for America, a national anti-tax grassroots group. “Katrina Pierson has led the fight to elect principled conservatives across the state of Texas for years,” FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe said in a statement. “While incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions seems more concerned with keeping his seat at the leadership table, Katrina understands the importance of connecting to the grassroots at home and sticking to your guns in Washington.”