2012 US Senate Races Look Great for GOP
Every once in a while, an election cycle looms that looks particularly good for one party or the other. 2006 looked bright for the Democrats to re-take the House after 12 years out of the majority, and they did. 1980 was a year for Ronald Reagan and American conservatism to take the reins. And in 1994, the Republicans swept back into congressional power big-time, as they did in 2010.
In 2012, the outlook for Barack Obama to hold the presidency is fair at best. Democrats are understandably frightened and know the real score, but the Media Left are doing everything possible to support Obama. If he were a Republican and the nation were in the state it is in, Obama would be said to have no chance whatsoever.
Meanwhile the situation in the United States Senate in 2012 looks perfectly rosy for Republicans. Democrats must defend a whopping three-quarters (23) of the seats up in 2012, and nine seats now are considered vulnerable to go from Democrat to Republican. If the GOP wins all nine and loses none (which is unlikely), they would take a 56-44 majority in the Senate.
In any event, it seems virtually certain that the GOP will win at least the majority, which it needs four net seats to do. Here are some of the key races:
The latest setback for the Democrats is that Democrat Herb Kohl, one of the richest men in the US Senate, is stepping down from his Wisconsin seat after four terms and will not run in 2012.
Wisconsin has been trending Republican recently after voting strongly for Obama in 2008 and having a long history of progressivism/liberalism. As a side note, the Republican party was founded in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin as the anti-slavery party.
Wisconsin was represented for many years by two far-left Jewish Democrat senators, Kohl and Russ Feingold, who was defeated in 2010. Now it looks like this 2011 battleground state over public-employee union power – a fight which the liberals ultimately lost – may well elect a second Republican senator in 2012. The best bet is Paul Ryan, the up-and-coming US congressman of belt-tightening budget fame.
In Missouri, which voted for McCain in 2008, Democrat senator Claire McCaskill, who is considered somewhat moderate, is in trouble after she admitted to failing to pay taxes on a private aircraft. This Republican pickup would be like icing on the cake because McCaskill had seemed relatively popular until the scandal broke.
In Montana, Democrat US senator Jon Tester, the fake ‘cowboy rancher’ who actually got a BS degree in music from the University of Great Falls (Montana) will probably face off in 2012 with six-term congressman Danny Rehberg, Montana’s only US representative. Tester was elected in the Blue Sweep of 2006, but things have changed dramatically since then, particularly in right-leaning Montana. According to wikipedia.org:
‘(Tester) is pro-choice… In the US Senate, Tester continues to advocate increased funding for public education… Tester also a strong supporter of alternative energy…. He states that the Kyoto Protocol needs American support in order to have global legitimization. Tester supported President Barack Obama’s health reform legislation; Tester voted to confirm President Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominees Sotomayor and Kagan. Tester voted in favor of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010′. (end of excerpt)
In relatively conservative Nebraska, moderate Democrat US Senator Ben Nelson, who was first elected in 2000, looks like he will lose in 2012. One of his biggest liabilities is the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, a large amount of federal money he accepted for his state in order to support the ObamaCare health plan. Many called it nothing more than a federal bribe. Nelson trailed GOP governor Dave Heineman by 31 points in one Rasmussen poll from 2009.
In New Mexico Democratic senator Jeff Bingaman’s decision not to run for a sixth term is a prime opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a seat in a swing state. New Mexico in 2010 elected a Republican hispanic woman, Susana Martinez, as governor. The most likely GOP challenger for the Bingaman seat is former 5-term GOP congresswoman Heather Wilson who has the backing of a popular former New Mexico US senator Republican Pete Domenici.
North Dakota is considered a certain pickup for the Republicans. Democrat US senator Kent Conrad is retiring and the other US senate seat in North Dakota went from Democrat to Republican in 2010. North Dakota is considered a reliably ‘red’ state that somehow ended up with two Democrat senators for many years. That era soon will be over.
In Ohio, far-left activist liberal Sherrod Brown won the US Senate seat in the Blue Sweep of 2006. But Ohio recently elected several Republican congressmen to replace Democrats and a conservative Republican governor, John Kasich. Brown can be taken out by a strong GOP candidate. Some observers say that Brown has the edge as the incumbent, but others see a real conservative opportunity to respond with an agenda of lower taxes and growth.
Virginia is one of the most interesting seats that will come up in 2012. Jim Webb, a former Reagan administration Navy secretary, ran as a Democrat and won by a tiny margin in 2006. Webb was seen as a rising star in his party, but now he has surprised the political world by announcing that he will not seek a second term. The most likely candidate from the Republican side is former incumbent GOP senator George Allen, who lost to Webb in 2006 after a media trash campaign over one single comment that Allen made. Virginia has been trending decidedly conservative in the last few years. Allen will probably take on former Democrat governor Tim Kaine.
In 2010 in West Virginia, Democrat governor Joe Manchin won a special election to fill the seat of the longest-serving US senator in history, Democrat Robert Byrd. Conservative Republican John Raese lost to Manchin in 2010. West Virginia is rural but very Democrat on account of its unionized coal-mining labor force. Raese has business interests in steel, limestone and communications. And now Republicans have a long period in which to prepare to re-fight that special election. The most likely candidate is Raese.
Meanwhile, one of the few possible pickups from Republican to Democrat is in Massachusetts. Every Democrat in America is going to be focused on getting ‘Ted Kennedy’s seat’ back from Republican Scott Brown, who probably will lose. But hey, you never know.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.