It is entirely possible that Republicans will win 13 more Senate seats in 2012 and 2014.
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On the GOP side there are only 10 seats at risk and only Scott Brown of Massachusetts (who has a campaign war chest of more than $6 million to go with a high popularity rating) and Olympia Snowe of Maine are running in blue states. Republicans in Maine point out that this year Olympia Snowe campaigned hard — and sounded like a Tea Partier — for conservative Republican candidates in Maine, where the GOP captured the state house, state senate, and governorship. Mike Castle may have learned nothing from 2010, but other Republicans were watching.
IN 2014, 20 Democratic and 13 Republican seats will be in play. The Democrats include Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Mark Warner of Virginia — all eight in trending red states.
On the Republican side, the only Republican running in a state that did not vote for Bush, Bush, and McCain is thrice-elected Susan Collins of Maine.
In 2012, Republicans will most likely capture at least the four seats they need to win a 51-vote majority in the Senate. But the meaningful number for control is 60.
In the 2012 and 2014 elections Republicans must win a net gain of 13 seats of the 43 Democratic and 23 Republican seats in play. Today one sees at least 20 vulnerable Democratic seats and at most three vulnerable Republican seats inside those numbers.
If Republicans find a presidential candidate capable of defeating Obama, they then only have to have two moderately good years in Senate races — competing on friendly territory and defending few if any of their own seats — to ensure the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and begin to repair the damage of the past few decades of overspending, over-regulating, and overreaching.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?