OK, now that I’ve caught your attention with my snappy headline (which does have a large degree of truth in it, BTW) let’s briefly discuss some exciting, and unexpected scenarios for the Senate after the midterm elections.
Since even Nate Silver (the one pollster conservatives especially love to disparage), has all but called it for the GOP, it does seem that the third time’s gonna indeed be a charm for Republicans. After twice managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the GOP may actually take control of the Senate.
None of the Republican seats that are up are really at risk. The greatest irony is that the most vulnerable incumbent would be Mitch McConnell, the majority leader in waiting. And if one delves into Silver’s analysis, it seems that the odds of the GOP winning control of the Senate are somewhat MORE favorable than McConnell winning re-election.
But I’m assuming that Mitch hangs on for the win.
Let’s take a quick glance at some members of the GOP conference (in no particular order):
Flake, Boozman, Rubio, Risch, Coats, Moran, Paul, Vitter, Johanns, Fischer, Heller, Ayotte, Hoeven, Portman, Coburn, Toomey, Scott, Thune, Cruz, Lee, Johnson, Barasso.
That’s 22. All fairly new…many elected due to the Tea Party and the base. The seats that the Democrats will lose will be won by conservative Republicans…i.e Tom Cotton. A few GOP retirements (i.e Chambliss), will go to younger, more conservative Republicans..with no real allegiance to McConnell.
Then imagine Palin and Cheney in the GOP conference. And a few long time, real conservatives, liked Sessions, even Grassley, might see the writing on the wall, and side with the insurgency.
You could easily see a GOP conference of 52+, of which almost 30 would probably be amenable to someone other than McConnell as leader..especially if McConnell continues to cave to Reid, like he just did with the “deal” on the filibuster.
If McConnell loses his seat, then I think it’s wide open. You’ll see a young Turk running for leader. The list above could easily coalesce around someone else. My take, FWIW..Mike Lee..He has NO presidential aspirations, and would be perfect..a riveting spokesman for conservative values. We’d be spared the incessant droning of McConnell in the well of the Senate. People would pay attention to a Lee soundbite.
But Mitch, assuming he wins his race, still needs to be very careful. He shouldn’t be picking out the carpeting and drapes in the majority leader’s office just yet. The “running of the old bulls” may be about to occur in the Senate.