# My baseline Senate projection for 2012

It’s that time again, when we start looking at the Congressional elections of this cycle. The House is a mess to project thanks to redistricting, so let’s start with the Senate this year.

It’s early though, so I’m calling my initial projection a “naive” projection, because I don’t know who the candidates are going to be, not yet.

Class I is up this year, bringing 33 seats up for election, plus any special elections that happen to crop up. The last time Class I faced the voters it was in 2006, a good year for Democrats. 2006 was the second Bush midterm, and that traditionally is bad news for the party of the President, so it was no surprise that Democrats did well. Their caucus* took 24 of the 33 seats. They currently hold 23 of the those, as Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s seat in a special election.

Of the 23 Democrats, 17 are running for re-election. Retirements leave open seats in Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Of the 10 Republicans, two are retiring, leaving open seats in Arizona and Texas.

These open seats are at the core of my naive, initial Senate projection because I am counting them as toss-ups. Incumbents who won by single figures I am giving a 90% chance of re-election. The rest, I’m giving a 99% chance of re-election. I then use those probabilities to simulate the election many times to see what the likely outcomes are.

As it turns out, the imbalance in open seats suggests a baseline climate of a two to three seat gain for Republicans. R+2 is the most common outcome at 23.6%, with R+3 just behind at 21.5%. 4.3% of the time, Democrats gain seats. The range of R+1 to R+4 makes up 77.6% of the curve. Critically, R+4 would guarantee Republicans control of the Senate regardless of the (Vice) Presidential result, and this baseline projection gives Republicans at least 51 votes 22.9% of the time.

I stress that this is a preliminary, naive projection that ignores the partisan leanings of the states, the possibilities of strong or weak nominees for either party, or the possibility of a shift between the 2006 off-year wave to the 2012 Presidential climate. Consider this a baseline to work from as we get candidates and polls.

* 22 seats were won by Democrats. One was won by “independent Socialist” Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Another was won by Connecticut for Lieberman candidate Joe Lieberman. Both work closely with Democrats, and participate in their Senate caucus. For purposes of projection I count these seats as held by Democrats. In Class III, independent write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski caucuses with Republicans, but for projections I would also count her seat as held by Republicans.

Crossposted from Unlikely Voter

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• Death_of_the_Donkey

I just don’t know who is going to benefit yet. This is likely going to be the most negative campaign ever run (from both sides) and I think in the end, someone is going to win big and get some serious coattails. (for discussion purposes, I would consider R+4 or greater and D+2 or greater as blowouts).

• omegamale

Hopefully the dingbat wing of the GOP got it out of their system with completely unelectable candidates like Sharon Angle, Ken Buck, Christine O’Donnell, etc.

We would have control of the Senate right now had conservatives played it smart and could have made Obama’s Presidency VERY uncomfortable by forcing him to veto legislation, instead, we let the Democrats keep control of the Senate and even reelected Harry Reid with his 30% approval rating in Nevada, but oh, it felt so good to show those RINOs!

If Republicans can nominate quality at both the top of the ticket (read the Presidential polls) and nominate Senate candidates that can actually attract independent voters instead of a narrow fringe base, the GOP will capture at a minimum of 4 Senate seats.

• gawken

Brown, in Mass..I think it’s 50/50, but we’ll keep the seat. Mass has long shown a willingness to elect Pubbies statewide, and I think that Warren will turn out to be so awful a candidate that the Dems will long for Martha Coakley
Nevada..state’s close…but the economy, and hosing will still be awful next year, and it’s a harder road for a Dem candidate..Heller should hold.

Dem Seats:
Both Nelsons ( can we call this the FULL Nelson) are in trouble..one or more may yet actually retire..Tester’s in big trouble..put N Dak in the GOP column..as well as VA.

The majority of the other Dems seats ( not gonna run them all down now) are 50:50 or leaning GOP, IMHO…if it’s another wave election…we actually have a chance of hitting 60..

If you want to get REALLY excited..take a look at who’s up in 2014…another 20 Dems…many old bulls, who won’t want to spend another term in the minority..assuming they can win..look for a massive wave of retirements…and maybe a 66+ seat GOP majority

BTW the 13 GOP seats up in 2014 are all in solid RED states…

• d_lamar

The 2010 elections clearly show that having a majority in the house made no difference. Boehner has absolutely no interest in reducing the budget, ending programs and departments, defunding obamacare and his reckless spending.

• colonelflagg

….more senators who think and vote like Scott Brown. People who think like you do are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Zero’s ‘presidency’ is uncomfortable enough as it is. More spineless Republicans are not the answer. Conservatives, on the other hand, are.

• http://www.hakubi.us/ Neil Stevens

Wow, who sent you? Kos?

• http://www.hakubi.us/ Neil Stevens

So should we feel safe in thinking of Mitt Romney as the Mike Castle of the field?

• septembergurl

Jon Tester represents Montana, not ND. I think the race between him & Rehberg is pretty close.

ND is open, following conrad’s retirement. Along w/Virginia, should be a pickup.
Also, one or both of the nelsons (Nebraska seems more likely).

I’m actually more interested in primarying Hatch and Lugar. I like Hatch, can’t stand Lugar, but they’re both RINOs who cannot be depended on. I am not worried about a primary contest weakening he candidate in the general. If Republicans can’t carry Indiana and Utah then we have very big problems.

As for 2014, the price we pay for getting our candidate in the WH in 2012 might be a more modest pickup or even a course correction.

• theredrider

Please review both of them. Thanks.

• theredrider

We need to put candidates out there who directly contradict the dKos/DNC meme that Republicans are not intelligent.

We need a candidate who has real world, private sector experience and a proven record of supporting conservative causes. Gingrich has no private sector experience and I don’t trust him at all.

• msbs05

ND is an open seat that is almost certainly going to switch to the GOP regardless of the nominee.

Dem Ben Nelson of NE is also going to struggle in this red state to hold on against Bruning. PPP polling, a Dem-leaning firm, has it at 46 Bruning to 42 Nelson.

The entrance of Connie Mack into FL’s senate race makes a pickup likely. Lastest poll shows Mack at 43% and Dem Nelson at just 39%. (Rasmussen). As goes FL for the presidency, so will go that seat.

In MO McCaskill is trailing Steelman, 47 to 45 (Rasmussen). This is another close race, but has a good chance for a GOP pick up.

In MT, PPP has Rehberg leading Dem Tester by 2 pts, 47 to 45, and this seat is in a state that Obama is not doing well in polls, so real good chance of a pickup there.

That is 5 seats we GOPers should be donating to in the general, regardless of where we live.
We are then left with some close races in states like VA, where several different polls show this race between Kaine & Allen a tie.

In WI, Thompson has led Dem Baldwin in every poll so far with the “likely voter” polls showing him up by 7 pts. However, Thompson will struggle in primary and then the GOP nominee will find money flowing to Baldwin from both unions and the national gay community (Baldwin is running as an open lesbian)

The rest of the senate seats will be a struggle to get for the GOP. NM hasn’t been polled since June, but Dem Heinrich was leading Wilson by 5 pts. In MI Dem Stabenow is leading Hoekstra by 8 pts, and in a presidential year the unions will be putting effort into this race. Same is true in Ohio, where Dem Brown is alreay leading Mandel by 15 pts. Noneof the other races even seem competitive.

Taking the Senate at this point, with these candidates, seems likely for the GOP. Getting seats beyond these will take a major event, a stunning candidate, or an act of God.

• theredrider

If you re-read what omegamale posted, you can clearly see that he WANTS candiates who lead in the polls on election day. Sharon Angle, Ken Buck, and Christine O’Donnell all trailed in the polls on election day (Buck was virtually tied).

• Aaron Gardner

Angle led Reid leading up to the election. See RCP for details.

• http://www.hakubi.us/ Neil Stevens

Try to moderate me again and I will ban you.

Argue or backsass my warning and I will ban you.

I’m not putting up with one iota of nonsense from you.

And I don’t care how you feel about it. Complaints to the Contact page.

• buddyp

I have a practical (dare I say “pragmatic”, which some probably consider an epithet) question related to solving our fiscal imbalance problem before a huge crisis hits and/or huge tax increases are imposed on future taxpayers:

Assumption #1: With the possible — I emphasize, possible — exception of a future House majority of conservative Republicans, a filibuster-proof Senate super-majority of (at least 60) conservative Republicans (and I do mean conservative, not just Republican), AND a conservative Republican president, the political reality is that we are not going to substantially mitigate our long-term fiscal imbalance problem without a combination of sacrifices on the spending side and revenue side, because a large-scale spending-side-only approach (excluding even higher revenue from reduction of “tax expenditures” which I consider more like spending than like lower tax rates), although it may pass the House, will not pass the Senate and get signed by the president.

Assumption #2: Per Neil’s prediction/estimate, it looks like at best we are a few or several years away from a substantial possibility of that filibuster-proof conservative super-majority in the Senate.

It seems most folks here strongly insist that Republicans in Congress reject any deficit-”reduction” deal that includes any degree of any form of net revenue “increase”* (not even by reducing tax expenditures, which again, are more like spending than lower tax rates).

If that is what happens, that means no major progress in slowing down this fiscal car we are driving toward the cliff until maybe someday several years from now when maybe there will be a filibuster-proof (60+) strong conservative block in the Senate (and even then it might not happen because even aside from ideology, politicians just aren’t eager to impose major sacrifices on large numbers of voters, least of all the AARP crowd, so I’m saying it’s a necessary condition, not that it’s a sufficient condition.

So my question is: What’s the vision here, speaking practically? Is it responsible to kick the can down the road another several years as our debt/GDP continues to grow, as more and more baby-boomers start receiving Social Security and Medicare, as the inflation associated with Medicare (as with healthcare generally) continues to exceed general inflation, and — as a political matter — as the percent of voters who receive Social Security and Medicare grows (they tend to defend those benefits)? Or is the risk and cost we will eventually bear from such an approach exceed whatever we may gain in terms of greater restraint on spending?

Yes, I realize some may say that any compromise deal is a sham — that the revenue part will happen but the spending “cuts” will not. I share that concern too, but I think it’s a cop-out. I think legislation could be enacted that makes the revenue increases (via tax rate increases or, preferably, via reduction in tax expenditures) contingent upon implementation of the planned spending policies and/or budget targets. (As a note, I think reducing tax expenditures is a good thing regardless of what else is done or not done, because I don’t want government providing subsidies in either explicit expenditure form or hidden in the tax code.)

Moreover, I think the top priority must be some substantial mitigation of this problem — at least in terms of an enacted plan or series of plans — within a couple of years. For now it seems that U.S. Treasuries are still a safe haven amid turmoil in Europe, but that won’t always be the case, and when that subsides and if our publicly-held debt/GDP continues to grow and our policies and politics indicate we are fixed on an unsustainable path, we could face a bond market crisis, sudden high interest rates, etc., and it would be awful. Or even if a bit less severe, mounting debt imposes a larger and larger eventual cost on taxpayers in the future.

And I’d note that, amid a bond market crisis re: U.S. Treasuries a few/several years from now, it would be politically even harder to impose a spending-side-only solution, given the political difficulty of “cutting” entitlement benefits immediately (note that Ryan’s plan starts phasing in “cuts” way in the future — that’s no accident). So the ultimate result could be even more of a revenue-side solution than if we compromised now.

So I am not among those who reject compromise including a revenue component. In fact, as I said, I consider reduction of tax expenditures a good thing in its own right. But even if I were forced to choose between no progress for the next few/several years vs. a compromise now with some degree of tax rate increase(s), I’d favor the latter. It’s just a matter of practical (pragmatic) consideration of costs and risks vs. my ideal.

* I put “increase” and “reduction”these in quotes because it’s vs. CBO’s Alternative Fiscal Scenario which roughly reflects current policy rather than their Extended Baseline which reflects current law, and choice of baseline affects what is called an “increase” or “reduction”.

• msbs05

The race in HI has a strong Republican in Linda Lingle and in polls by PPP she is beating Dem Case by 2 pts and trailing Hirono by only 6 pts. The Dems will be in a knock-down primary while Lingle can stay above the fray. I am a huge Lingle fan, so it may be my heart thinking there is a chance, even in the most Dem-leaning state in the country, but sometimes the heart wins over the head. It is at least a race to watch and support.

• jgge

are going to control the Senate just based on the numbers of democrat held seats that are contested in 2012 versus those held by Republicans.

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

You seem to ignore the fact that each of those T.E.A. party candidate won their primaries.

• renl57

Gee, Scott Brown broke the Dems’ filibuster-proof majority and took the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy for decades–and you can’t find anything nice to say about him???

We could have had a Senate majority in 2010. It was a “wave” year, Reid was highly unpopular. But because the GOP base couldn’t abide Sue Lowden or Mike Castle, that didn’t happen.

I wouldn’t have cared if Sue Lowden just sat in her seat cutting out paper dolls. The loss of the Senate would have put Obama in a box he couldn’t get out of.

• giatny

All bets are off. Words are inadequate to express my extreme disgust watching Grover Norquist arrogantly claim control of the Republican Party.
No legislator with an ounce of integrity should EVER pledge his/her allegiance to this unctuous megalomaniac.
A candidate can clearly state his/her position on taxes without signing a commitment held by this devilish man. It’s impossible to calculate how many votes were lost in those 15 minutes.
EVERY Republican must immediately rescind that pledge and put his/her allegiance to constituents and the country ahead of all else. His threats will ring hollow when all desert at once. Please
I am begging you. Norquist must go.
Republicans are losing the public opinion wars and that 60 minute segment could be the final nail in the coffin. 2012 is the last chance
to save America, don’t foolishly throw it away.

p.s. Many rational Republicans and Independents believe that trading the Bush tax cuts on the “rich” is a small and justifiable price to pay for a \$4 trillion debt reduction. The economic effect of the cuts more than offset any negatives from the higher tax revenues.

• juumanistra

Given the mood in Delaware during the primary, Republicans would’ve voted for the ham sandwich which’d been indicted for murder if that was their only option other than Mike Castle. With all of the restlessness of the GOP primary-voting base, I suspect the ham sandwich would poll even better as thee Anti-Romney, the fate of that poor pig notwithstanding.

• renl57

That’s the premise.

And that’s not what I want.

I don’t want another scenario where the mainstream Republican candidate is toppled by a TEA Party insurgent, then the Dems paint that insurgent candidate as fringe–and the Dems go on to win the election.

The Dems could never have painted Sue Lowden or Mike Castle as fringe or “extremist.” They would be sitting in the Senate right now if it weren’t for ideological purists who demand that the party belongs to them and who don’t want to share it with others who don’t agree with them.

No matter how good a candidate’s intentions are, he can’t do anything if he doesn’t win first.

• Tbone

Our greatest enemy is the Democrats. Our next greatest enemy are us.

• Aaron Gardner

nt

• renl57

Obama wanted cap-and-trade. He didn’t get it.

Obama wanted amnesty for illegals. He didn’t get it.

Obama wanted to end the Bush tax cuts. He didn’t get that done.

The GOP-controlled House plus Scott Brown’s taking of the MA Senate seat derailed Obama’s left-wing agenda.

You’ve just become so accustomed to these achievements that you’ve forgotten how much in arrears the congressional GOP was in 2009 with Obama’s filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

.no–text.

• westcoastpatriette

no text

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

I now have to clean the sunflower seeds off my computer screen…

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

No matter how good a candidate?s intentions are, he can?t do anything if he doesn?t win first.

What part of … EACH OF THESE CANDIDATES WON THEIR PRIMARY did you not understand?

Here, let me spell this out… If you can’t win the primary, how can you win the general?

• Aaron Gardner

Considering the chaos that was the gubernatorial election.

• kcdude

she is only at 40% (in September 2011) in a three candidate GOP race. Way too early.

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

If Republicans win even a simple majority in Congress, they will set the agenda for every bill proposed. The reason the House hasn’t been more effective, is the Senate Majority that the Dems currently hold, have tabled every decent Bill that has come to them, including the Cut, Cap, Balance approach, that didn’t even get a hearing in committee in the Senate.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

But that simply isn’t the case. Only Ken Buck was affected down-ticket. Every other office other than Governor went Republican. You can see a sizable dropoff on ballots for Buck that otherwise went R for SoS, Treas, etc.

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

yes… but that’s because Ken Buck had infighting to deal with over the Tancredo/Birther thing… it spilled over into the general… and it never should have happened.

• Aaron Gardner

Hickenlooper won by 13%

So the drop off couldn’t have been that sizable for Buck.

I am not saying he was the perfect candidate, only that he was close to winning that race, was polling ahead all the way to the end, and the GOP chaos in the gubernatorial race had an effect.

• http://www.hakubi.us/ Neil Stevens

it’s like reading a DNC press release.

• YnotNOW

Don’t discount the huge strides we made for the Conservative cause via the 2010 elections, but that was only part of a long struggle. We need to not only increase the R caucus, but to improve the R caucus to actually hold to Conservative values. That will take time, and we should not get too discouraged that we cannot just get there sooner.

Note that we also have to win the battle for hearts and minds in the Public, or the soft-promises of socialists will undermine every gain over the long term.

• ceili_dancer

This is not a revenue issue, it is a spending issue. The only way I would endorse a tax increase of any kind is if it is the revers of what Reagan mistakenly promised in ’86. The only, and I mean only way is if all spending cuts are front loaded and executed before any tax increase comes online. Also, in addition that we take out baseline budgeting,

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

I live here, and I followed this closely. Buck had to go so far to the right in attacking Norton to win the Primary that he had no chance to move back anywhere close to the middle in the General. The damage was done. I’ve talked to many otherwise conservative voters that refused to pull the lever for Buck because he went too far. And just in case you’re wondering, I voted for Buck in the General.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

SoS, Treas, and other races would also have gone to the Democrats. What really happened is, many Republicans refused to vote at all for Governor, or voted for Tancredo. That explains the large margin by which Hickenlooper won. For the rest of the races, they still voted R down-ticket except for Buck. Buck just ran too far to the right and spent too much effort attacking Norton, and he never recovered from it.

• swami7774

…not all Republican senators are going to be Jim DeMint clones. Would be nice, but won’t happen.

is candidates who vote with conservatives and Republicans on the important issues. Given Mike Castle’s voting record, he would hardly qualify as a Republican and certainly not as a conservative. If we want candidates who will vote against us just so an R can win, then we might as well vote for Democrats (I can’t believe I really just typed that!). Control does not matter if it is constantly jeopardized by a nominal Republican who will vote with the opposition. Look at the damage done to the conservative agenda by the likes of Susan Collins, Olympia Snow, and even Scott Brown. With this kind of allies, who needs opponents?

• curtmilr

would be a killer in an already weak economy. I agree that fealty to Grover Norquist is insanity, but fealty to the idea of tax reform without rate increases is not! Contrarily, real tax reform will likely result in greater revenue even with the lower rates, as freed previously misallocated capital generates new taxable profits and employment.
I expect a solid GOP Senate majority, but a full 60 seats may be yet out of reach.
The House leadership should be turned over to non-statist conservatives.
Please note Sen. Gramm’s piece in the WSJ Friday pointing out that the Supercommittee compromise reinstituted a lot of Gramm-Rudman powers making immediate control of Congress a seminal event requiring simple majorities should the GOP carry both houses and get the presidency!

• YnotNOW

Scott Brown was about the best we could get in Mass. But we were wise to keep Mike Castle out of the R caucus (as we’d have to not only live with him for 6 years defiling the R brand name, but likely end up “supporting” him in re-election efforts rather than starting with a fresh slate of primary candidates).

In the end, you have to have a strong farm team (usu. Mayors and State legislators) to develop the future options for candidates.

(FYI – my diary on the subject):

• Aaron Gardner

I find it very hard to believe that the Senate primary race had a greater effect in the last days of the general election than the Gubernatorial general election did.

But honestly, I don’t feel like arguing this with you. We are both giving our opinion on this, either of which could be correct, mine is based on the polling and the final results, your’s is based on you living in CO.

• YnotNOW

Even though not as many “D” seats are up for re-election, a higher percentage are in competitive states. And us here in Colorado get to join in the fun!

(na na na na, hey hey hey, good bye Udall)

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

You’ve talked to conservative voters, that didn’t vote for a conservative, because he didn’t come back to the middle?

Please tell me N.T. that you’re trying to right that wrong. Thanks for voting for Buck…

I think that race more than any was the biggest disappointment of the T.E.A Party losses… and that’s not ignoring the opportunity to unseat Harry Reid.

• msbs05

from the PPP poll Steelman is at 40% with the next candidate at 29%. Nothing is a done deal,until the election, but for analysis purposes it made sense to use her numbers over the other 2 candidates. From PPP

“Sarah Steelman’s leading the primary race for Senate with 40% to 29% for Todd Akin and 6% for John Brunner. Akin was also at 29% the last time we polled but Steelman’s support has vaulted from 28% to 40%. It may have been good news for her that Ed Martin decided to run for the House instead of the Senate- he had been polling at 9% and likely taking away a chunk of her Tea Party support. With him out of the picture she’s in much better shape.”

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

Conservative has many flavors. Tancredo is generally considered to be a conservative but his extreme anti-immigration stance completely turns me off. And yes, in Colorado, you gotta be closer to the center if you want to be elected. Not what I would prefer, but that’s the reality here at this time.

As for righting the wrong, I regularly share my conservative values with others, and explain why it’s the best way. I do what I can here, but there’s a pretty deeply entrenched old guard that needs to be uprooted. Add to that the complete and utter destruction of the Republican Party in Larimer County due to the indiscretions of the previous chairman….and well, there’s a long road ahead.

It’s too bad so many had to go on such a strong attack of Norton. I think if the campaign hadn’t gotten so nasty that Buck would’ve won. It’s still a little humorous to me that I tried to raise the issue of the national party trying to get involved early in the race only to be ignored. Then, after it became clear they backed off and weren’t going to get involved, some had to insist that they were (like with Crist in Florida). That sent the TEA party folks into attack mode after the Norton campaign and it just went into the crapper from there.

when Republicans have a majority in either/both houses, and still cannot garner support among their fellow Rs to pass a close piece of legislation, the general public looks at it as a failure of the Republican Party as a whole and punishes us in the next election instead of taking the time to analyze the perspective of the nominal Rs who voted against the party line. Winning elections at the cost of a dilution of conservative/Republican voting power in a clinch is not a feasible idea as history has shown. Anything that drags us closer to the leftward moving and ever more liberal “center” is a false hope for ground given is seldom recovered, as we, the 52/53 % who still pay taxes, are now understanding.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

We can continue to go back and forth all you like. I’ve seen the numbers, and I’ve seen the evaluations by Republican Party, the TEA party groups, and others (e.g. The Independence Institute). Everyone’s saying the same thing. There was a dropoff on Republican ballots for Buck that otherwise voted (R) in the other races (Gov race excluded). This is the reality here. Candidates like Buck, Shaffer, etc. aren’t going to win in Colorado on a statewide ballot, as much as we’d like them to.

• http://www.hakubi.us/ Neil Stevens

The belief the Dems are pushing that but for Grover, the GOP would be pro-tax.

That’s nuts.

• Tbone

because you are obviously too stupid to breathe on your own.

Government ALWAYS spends every dime it takes in….and then some.

• Martin Knight

He simply ran a poor campaign toward the end and failed to adequately counter the “extremist” meme. I supported Buck over Norton – unfortunately, his media campaign left much to be desired.

Likewise with Sharron Angle – she actually made it worse because after the Primary, she decided to go dark and basically boycott the media. Many conservatives cheered – while Reid and friends had the field all to themselves. Here, I supported Tarkanian, closely followed by Sue Lowden with Angle as a distant third.

What stuck in my craw in both the above cases was how so many of the base decided that good, loyal and quite conservative members of the party suddenly became the devil because we liked someone else.

Neither Jane Norton, Sue Lowden nor Danny Tarkanian were liberals/RINOs, but they got called that because they dared to remain in the running when Angle and Buck threw their hats in the ring instead of bowing out immediately.

O’Donnell on the other hand was just a disaster. Mike Castle, however, has only himself to blame. He was arrogant, felt entitled and practically refused to extend the courtesy to the DE GOP electorate of asking for their votes. He considered himself so far above O’Donnell, he didn’t even bother to show up for their debate.

I supported him nonetheless simply so that McConnell could set the agenda in the lame duck session. Other than that, there would have been no difference between having him there or Coons.

• buddyp

Are you serious? Of course it’s possible for a candidate who has a better chance in the general to lose the primary. Do you really need that explained to you?

• philhoganjr

If Pat Toomey can win in Pennsylvania, Ken Buck can win in Colorado.

It’s that simple.

• kcdude

understanding is that the poll was done in September. All three candidates probably have the chops to take it. I just think it would be best to let the primary season go a bit longer before naming someone. To me, it is sort of lke naming Cain as the leader to beat Obama today (11212011) based on the polls from last month.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

..no..text..

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

It was good to hear your analysis of the ground game then… as it is now… I always appreciate analysis coming from someone that was closer to the ground game.

Clearly there were missteps in the Buck campaign, I’m just not sure which ones led to his defeat in the general.

Keep fighting the fight…

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

How can you win a fight that isn’t yours? I don’t care what universe you’re standing in… in this one… You don’t win the general without winning the Primary… PERIOD.

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

I’m quite certain you’ll go on about 3rd party/independent bids… we’re not talking about 3rd party bids here… that’s outside of the context of what we’re discussing.

So don’t bother going there.

• acat

As in “My northeastern socially moderate Republican can’t win the primary because of those eeeevil religious voters!”…

Mew

• buddyp

I thought you were implying that, if someone does not win the primary, he must not have had the best chance of winning the general.

I now think you were speaking in terms of process, as in step 1 being necessary to have a chance at step 2.

So I apologize for apparently misunderstanding you and for the unjustified snark.

• red_oakster

Do the moneyball analysis. Brown in MA is an excellent pickup. Bob Bennett in Utah or Graham in South Carolina is a waste of space even though both were/are more conservative than Brown. What’s so hard about this?

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

always appreciated. no text. ( i know i cheated).

• Justin Spagnolo (standardcandle)

Sometimes I am too brash in my responses. Thanks for being good about it… and not nit picking…

• tngal

Consider the case of Sen Lamar Alexander, of TN. Yeah my state. Back in Sept he decided to quit as Republican Conference chairman, a pretty high up post. From (cough, cough) Politico, we have this:
__________

“Alexander says the decision was rooted in his desire to foster consensus in the gridlocked Senate, a role he felt constrained playing while spearheading the partisan Senate GOP messaging machine.”
__________

remember Alexander ran for pres TWICE and didn’t make it. He was a rino. He is still a rino. And when he pulled this move back in September most true Republicans/conservatives understood what it meant. He was all about leaning further left.

And last I heard he was planning on running again in 2014.

Now Its all very well and good if the “republicans” win the senate. If we win with the ‘Lamar Alexander’s’ and, dare I say, Olympia Snowe’s, of the political field, what have we really won?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63919.html#ixzz1eOjZLyf7

• profnickd67

was only “unelectable” because NV Republican party bigwigs worked to elect Reid, giving him not only money but incredibly important endorsements from actual sitting GOP office holders, including the president of the NV state senate.

Cretinous GOP elites gave Reid the election, not the conservative GOP candidate.

• philhoganjr

You’re making Colorado sound like California. We all know Bennett won.

But considering his slim margin of victory (51-49, I believe), were it not for a) the governor’s race disaster and b) the fact that the establishment spent heavily on Norton and bloodied Buck up, Buck almost certainly gets over the finish line. And frankly, the numbers suggest he could have gotten over with relative ease.

• http://www.nighttwister.com NightTwister

They don’t come any easier to beat than that. Yet Buck still couldn’t win. It’s simple. Buck lost. Some people are able to accept it and move on, some are not. Some people like me realize that although Colorado isn’t California, but it’s also not South Carolina.

• jaked

I understand that this is a “naive” first look at the states, but if you don’t even include the state’s partisan leanings, what’s the point of even posting it?

I mean, the chances of a Republican winning in Hawaii are pretty low (and same with Wisconsin after we took that hit from the recalls and the ongoing Gov. Walker problem), but in North Dakota, for example, we can do well.