Democratic Senate Races
There are a total of 21 Democratic Senate seats up for election. Next we’ll look at the states that were competitive in the 2012 Presidential Election.
If the Republicans hold all their seats and turn 6 they will take control of the Senate. In part one I looked at those Democrat Seats that appear safe at this time. This article will discuss the first three of the Democrat Senate seats that are possible Republican take overs.
Alaska – Mark Begich won by 1-point in 2008 after Republican Ted Stevens was convicted of minor crimes just days before the general election. The conviction was later thrown out when it was later discovered that the prosecution had hidden key evidence that would have likely led to a non-guilty verdict. Without the prosecutorial misconduct, the US Senate outcome would have likely been different. Begich provided the 60th vote for Obamacare. Begich has been defending Obamacare in every vote before the Senate even though the law is very unpopular in the state. Mark Begich has joined a group of Democrat Senators running to the White House crying for the President to back off and at least delay the train-wreck’s implementation. The GOP candidates are:
Joe Miller the 2010 GOP nominee, seems to be better suited as a political activist than as a candidate. He lost to Lisa Murkowski in her successful write in effort to defeat the Alaska Tea Party candidate.
Lt. Gov. Matt Treadwell, has started his campaign with negative comments about the Republicans that he is running against. Although he doesn’t have a website up yet his comments in a Politico article show a bit of a Republican entitlement attitude and a dislike for the Tea Party.
Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan has resigned as the State National Resources Commissioner to run for the Senate. He has a great deal of experience in both the energy industry and as a former Deputy Secretary of State under Condoleezza Rice. He’s a no nonsense conservative Marine with a strong military background.
Arkansas – Mark Pryor didn’t face opposition in 2008, which was odd given the conservative tilt of the state. This will be his first time facing the voters since voting for Obamacare and supporting most of the Obama agenda since. Democrat Blanche Lincoln lost by 21-points in 2010 after facing the voters for the first time since the passage of Obamacare and the GOP is hoping to repeat that performance against Pryor. Mark Pryor has a very good chance of losing job next year. Arkansas has grown increasingly Red voting Republican in every presidential election since 2000. By 2012, Republicans had taken over all of Arkansas’ congressional seats in the House. Many of the state seats have gone to the GOP with the state Legislature turning Red in 2010 for the 1st time in a century. Pryor’s Republican opponent is freshman Rep. and Iraq War veteran Tom Cotton. He is a favorite of Club for Growth. The latest poll numbers have them in close proximity of each other. Putting all this together, very hard to see Pryor coming out of this alive (politically speaking). Tom Cotton graduated from Harvard Law School, but don’t hold that against him. After graduating he volunteered for the military choosing the infantry over the JAG corps. In 2012 he was elected to congress as a representative. He is a strong conservative and could join Senator John Boozman in the Senate making Arkansas a totally Red State. One should question why Eric Erickson and the Red State staff have not jumped on his campaign as yet? Eric?
Colorado – Mark Udall won with 53% of the vote in his first contest and would be the favorite to win re-election. But there are a number of candidates who could make the race competitive for Republicans. The state has reported over 250,000 Obamacare insurance cancellations and the healthcare.gov crashes have turned people against the law. Quinnipiac polls have Mark Udall under 50 percent against all possible challengers. The Republicans include: Amy Stevens; Ken Buck; Owen Hill; and Randy Baumgardner.
Amy Stevens, a state representative is known in Colorado for creating “AmyCare” Colorado’s health care exchange. She has already seen her name appear in Red State though not as a favorite. So far her campaign is not gathering much steam.
Ken Buck, unsuccessfully ran against Michael Bennet (D), as a tea party favorite and was supported on Red State back in 2010. His candor and strong life position regarding abortion hurt him when he advised that he did not support abortion in instances of rape or incest. In Colorado that position, un-artfully explained, led to his loss against Bennet. Now, he’s back but it’s hard to see that his chances have improved.
Owen Hill, an Air Force Academy graduate, was elected State Senator in 2012. He’s a strong conservative candidate but lacks experience in the legislative process. He has received libertarian support from this web site as you will see from the link below but has shown newcomer inexperience recently being quoted in the Denver Post saying, “We already have someone from Kenya as President.” He has been spending much of his time lately trying to explain the remark that he called a joke. Who knows if this will hurt or help him? It could conceivably bring his name out front and give him more exposure and name recognition or it could label him as a “birther” as the media has already been trying to do. That gaff could become an obstacle hard to overcome in a state that is trending purple.
Randy Baumgardner, a state senator is the most interesting of all of the candidates. In a surprising poll result from last week Baumgardner was trailing the incumbent Udall by only 5 points. So who is this guy? His political profile picture of him shows him in a big Stetson hat sporting a full Fu Manchu mustache. Maybe the US Senate could use a dose of cowboy in Washington. First elected as a state representative in 2008, he was elected to the Senate in 2012. He is not your typical candidate but as he says “what’s good for New York isn’t necessarily what’s good for Colorado.” Maybe Colorado needs this rancher to bring jobs to that state. He’s pro-business, pro-2nd amendment, and very intriguing.