Green Room

Trende: A Republican Senate takeover isn’t just a hypothetical anymore

posted at 12:17 pm on July 15, 2013 by

He’s not outright predicting a Republican Senate majority, mind you, but a once-improbable path looks more feasible than ever thanks to the news out of Montana:

The GOP path to 51 seats instead flows through four Democratic incumbents running for re-election in three red states and one purplish-red state: Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. If Montana were still a likely Democratic hold, Republicans would need to defeat all four of these incumbents. To put this in perspective, Republicans haven’t defeated four Democratic incumbents in all the elections from 2004 through 2012 combined. Still, given the lineup and the president’s precarious positioning in red states, it is at least plausible…Montana is now a race that the GOP probably should win; if it doesn’t we probably don’t even need to talk about the other four. (Think of it this way: We technically have to consider the possibility Republicans might win seats in Iowa and Michigan, but if they do that, the Senate has probably already gone Republican.) The Republican Party is significantly more likely to defeat three of the four incumbents discussed above than it is to defeat all four. For the first time this cycle, we can discuss a GOP takeover of the upper chamber in more than hypothetical terms. 

My analysis at Townhall broadly mirrors Trende’s.  The GOP’s best shot at displacing Harry Reid as majority leader comes through sweeping the open seats in states carried heavily by Romney (MT, WV, SD) and beating three of the four vulnerable red state Democrats mentioned above.  Trende cautiously pegs Republicans’ chances of doing so at 30 percent, which feels about right to me at this stage.  Two important qualifiers:  (1) It’s very early and the national mood could shift considerably one way or the other over the next 15 months. (2) Republicans have managed to choke away a race or two (or three!) over each the last few cycles.  For those reasons, I’d still place the over/under for seats gained at four.  Though I might pick the over — five really appears to be eminently doable — that all-important sixth victory could end up proving elusive.

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You know what might clinch the deal…?
Let’s nominate a witch or maybe somebody who likes to discuss rape pregnancies.

NeoKong on July 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Palin in Alaska, Cheney in Wyoming. Seriously. Palin & Cheney taking over the mountain west would be beautiful, and a nice counterpoint to the Maine twins and their NH cousin.

alwaysfiredup on July 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Thjey will also absorb all the media oxygen, allowing the remainder of GOP races room to breathe and possibly not to pull an Akin.

alwaysfiredup on July 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

A lot depends on the candidates the Republicans run against these incumbents, or for open seats.

In Alaska, Sarah Palin should easily beat Mark Begich. Shelly Capito should be able to win West Virginia, and any reasonable conservative without his foot in his mouth should win SD.

But who will Republicans be running in MT? Former Governor Mark Racicot would be a great candidate, but he should have run years ago and passed up the opportunity.

Likewise in AR, former Gov. Mike Huckabee could have beaten Mark Pryor years ago, but he passed up the opportunity to be a Fox News host, and wannabe Presidential candidate.

In LA, people keep saying Mary Landrieu is vulnerable, but she keeps on winning close elections. Bobby Jindal is very popular, but he probably wants to remain Governor–is there another candidate of his caliber in Louisiana?

Kay Hagan is also vulnerable in NC, due to the general implosion of the NC Democratic party after the scandals of Bev Perdue, but who do the Republicans run against her?

Steve Z on July 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Without voter ID laws, the socialists will continue their hold on the senate. You can discuss details all you want but the pervasive, overreaching voter fraud will insure we lose until it is brought to an end.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

A Republican senate won’t happen without base enthusiasm. How’s that coming along?

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Without voter ID laws, the socialists will continue their hold on the senate. You can discuss details all you want but the pervasive, overreaching voter fraud will insure we lose until it is brought to an end.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

THIS times 1000, with the amendment that the “it” is more likely to be the Republic rather than the vote fraud.

And, looking at the Institutional Republican Party; THEY DO NOT WANT TO WIN THE SENATE. If they win the Senate, and hold the House; what conceivable excuse do they have not to fight the Democrats anymore? I live in Colorado. The reason we have two Democrat Senators is because the base nominated Conservatives, and rather than support Conservatives who would fight; the state party rolled over and let the Democrats win by refusing to fund and support the Republican candidates above the required minimum.

We need a real SECOND party.

Subotai Bahadur on July 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Does it even matter at this point if Republicans take over? Based on the way Republicans have conducted themselves in Congress over the last year or two, why should I even care?

Shump on July 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Sad but true Shump. This was the first ever 4th of July that I felt no pride at all in my country.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

And do we know that a Republican House and Senate are going to behave any differently than they did under Bush?

rickv404 on July 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

If you can’t see the difference between flawed Republican governance and radical ‘Democratic’ governance, I can’t help you. But Democrats thank you.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

And, looking at the Institutional Republican Party; THEY DO NOT WANT TO WIN THE SENATE. If they win the Senate, and hold the House; what conceivable excuse do they have not to fight the Democrats anymore? I live in Colorado. The reason we have two Democrat Senators is because the base nominated Conservatives, and rather than support Conservatives who would fight; the state party rolled over and let the Democrats win by refusing to fund and support the Republican candidates above the required minimum.

We need a real SECOND party.

Subotai Bahadur on July 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Oh, they want to win the Senate. But they would rather lose if it means supporting conservative candidates. Their number one priority has always been to maintain their positions in the top echelons of the Republican Party. Winning the Senate, while nice, must necessarily take a backseat to this.

And if they were to win the Senate the excuse would be “We need a supermajority.” They’d also set up designated “fall guys” who don’t care if the base hates them (like McCain and Graham) to vote with the Democrats and ensure Obama’s legislation continues to be passed. This would be the best of both worlds for them – they would get plaudits for pretending to oppose the administration while passing all its initiatives behind the scenes.

Doomberg on July 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Seems like the Republicans should be working to repeat the very successful elections of 2010 which was accomplished with huge Conservative and TEA Party support. Sadly the NE establishment rinos, the Bushies and the Rovians will be working feverishly on a hard left turn, repeating the failures of the 2012 elections.

RJL on July 15, 2013 at 2:54 PM

If you can’t see the difference between flawed Republican governance and radical ‘Democratic’ governance, I can’t help you. But Democrats thank you.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

You have kids? Because you’re asking whether we’d rather send them over the bankruptcy cliff in third gear or fifth gear. Whether we’d rather have them lose 40% of their freedom, or 70%.

Christie/Rubio 2016, eh Guy?

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Guy how did that great takeover of ’10 work out for us? I’d say the most outstanding example of our hard work electing republicans was that now we have a Tea Party guy leading the amnesty charge.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Wine, The great takeover of ’10 worked out pretty well, actually, especially in the states. And would you rather not have Sen. Johnson, Sen. Toomey, Gov. Walker, etc? And you’d prefer Sen. Crist to Rubio? And if it’s Christie/Rubio vs. Hillary/Lefty, I wouldn’t think twice.

Beat,

I’d rather my kids live the Ryan budget world than the Obama budget world. There’s no comparison.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Guy how did that great takeover of ’10 work out for us? I’d say the most outstanding example of our hard work electing republicans was that now we have a Tea Party guy leading the amnesty charge.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Guy forgets the big lesson of 2012: the base stayed home. You don’t win without the base, and wagging his finger at us doesn’t address the problem. Guy is harder on us in the cheap seats than he is on those selling out their “principles.” 2012 ignored.

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I just feel like we are being played as suckers by the republican party. We gave them the house (pursestrings of the government and all that) and they roll over like dogs for the vacationer in chief. Boehner seems like a nice guy but he’s completely useless in defending us against the tyranny that’s taking over DC.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM

beatcanvas, did you stay home in 2012? Also, in what way does sitting at home vs. voting against Obama advance a single conservative principle? I’m all for improving the GOP, but I’m not for sitting in the corner while Democrats run wild with their agenda.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Are we talking about legal elections here or what.

retiredeagle on July 15, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Sitting in the corner, not sitting in the corner, doesn’t really seem to make a difference. With the republicans in DC it’s a lose-lose situation. We’re screwed either way so let the communists have it all and watch the country go down a little bit faster because it is going down no matter who wins in DC.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Here’s Boehner and company coming to the rescue of the country:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUHk2RSMCS8

;-)

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Just as I was finishing up with the tasks involved in handling a radical leftist democratic senate. Bummer.

Bmore on July 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Sad but true Shump. This was the first ever 4th of July that I felt no pride at all in my country.
Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Well, at least Mooch has pride. So there’s that.

Marcola on July 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Wine, your plan is to “let the communists” have the country and just let it go? Sorry, I but I hope to live here for the next few decades. Can’t sign on to that sort of defeatism.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Romney won Alaska, 55-41%.

Romney won Montana 55-42%

Romney won West Virginia 62-36%

Romney won South Dakota 58-40%

Romney won Arkansas 60-37%

In order to win, without any help from the media, someone has to pay for advertising that links democrats to the failures of the Obama Administration and liberal policies. Someone has to pay for advertising that degrades democrat name recognition and blames democrat names that have been in D.C. for the problems there. And once the primaries are over, if your candidate is not the one that wins you have to shove even harder if you don’t like your Republican candidate. Shove hard for a veto proof majority, even if your candidate is not the one chosen. Shove hard even if you are stuck with Akin and Mourdock.

Romney and Pense won in Indiana, by safe margins, but Murdock lost. Romney won Missouri, but Akin lost. You who live there will have to explain that, so a wish to be rid of Obama and change direction did not translate into sending a republican to the Senate. Trende???

Fleuries on July 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Guy I don’t think we have much choice at this point. I believe things are much much worse than most people imagine and the Soros tentacles are firmly imbedded in all the machinations that control our government. Short of a major uprising, I believe our slide into tyranny is inescapable. 51% of the country is fat, happy, and ignorant. Our founder’s nightmare.

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 5:50 PM

There’s 13 current Democrat seats where a Republican can win:

SD, WV, MT, AR, NC, AK, LA, IA, MI, VA, CO, NH, MI

Elections are > 16 months away, Democrats are resigning in droves, high profile Democrats aren’t stepping up to run, and ObamaCare is coming on line next year.

If ObamaCare does NOT implode next year, +5 is likely, + 6 will be a challenge.

If ObamaCare does implode next year? +8? +9?

The Republicans can win any of the last 6 states with a good candidate. They should win all of the first 7 (ask Blanche Lincoln how much fun it is to run as the 60th vote to pass ObamaCare). Were InTrade still running, I’d be happily buying “Republicans take Senate in 2014″.

Greg Q on July 15, 2013 at 5:59 PM

beatcanvas, did you stay home in 2012?

No, I was quite active and gave money.

Also, in what way does sitting at home vs. voting against Obama advance a single conservative principle? I’m all for improving the GOP, but I’m not for sitting in the corner while Democrats run wild with their agenda.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

You’re completely missing the point. Those in GOP leadership are not thinking about solidifying their base. At all. In fact, they publicly dis their base. Pretty much unlike the Dems do. Enough of the Republican base stayed home that it cost Romney the election. Argue with me all you like, but I’m not the one who needs to be convinced. Until the party elites realize that they can’t win without the base, they won’t win. It’s that simple. Christie, Rubio, and even Ryan at this point will freeze the base in their seats.

I’d rather my kids live the Ryan budget world than the Obama budget world. There’s no comparison.

Guy Benson on July 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Ryan’s pushing illegal amnesty, which is a recipe for Texas as a blue state. I would rather that the GOP stick to its principles and excite the base, than watch it death march. No comparison.

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Day 1, File Articles of Impeachment.

hillsoftx on July 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Well, House files, Senate steps in and approves.

hillsoftx on July 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Impeach, convict, incarcerate…

Wine_N_Dine on July 15, 2013 at 8:13 PM

For me it all depends on amnesty. If a GOP controlled House passes any form of amnesty or legalization (still amnesty), I’m done with the GOP. I’m not voting for Cornyn anyway in 2014. A yes vote for cloture right out of the gate sealed his fate with me.

TxAnn56 on July 15, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Let’s have Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle head up the candidate search team. That should seal the deal.

NoDonkey on July 15, 2013 at 9:59 PM

A Republican senate won’t happen without base enthusiasm. How’s that coming along?

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

If the House caves on amnesty, you can forget any enthusiasm from the base.

TarheelBen on July 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM

If the House caves on amnesty, you can forget any enthusiasm from the base.

TarheelBen on July 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Yeah… some “conservatives” don’t get that point yet.

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Don’t worry, Dems. Obama still controls the NSA, IRS, FBI, DOJ, Justice Roberts, RINOs, etc. What worked in 2012 will work in 2014.

RightKlik on July 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Oh Great, the GOP wins all three branches and then by default lets the great red bear rest a bit, rather than take it apart, limb by limb, before it returns to finish the job you helped it to do so well…Winning with the GOP s to lose anyway.

Don L on July 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Oh Great, the GOP wins all three branches and then by default lets the great red bear rest a bit, rather than take it apart, limb by limb, before it returns to finish the job you helped it to do so well…Winning with the GOP s to lose anyway.

Don L on July 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM

That’s the Gormless Old Party’s stated plan, at least from its ruling elite.

ebrown2 on July 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I registered indy 7 years ago when I realized that Republicans were complicit in the destruction of American ideals.

I keep voting for them out of habit and due to a lack of any other real choice, but I don’t expect anything meaningful out of Republicans in general, whether they are in power or out.

Meremortal on July 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

A Republican senate won’t happen without base enthusiasm. How’s that coming along?

beatcanvas on July 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

If the House caves on amnesty, you can forget any enthusiasm from the base.

TarheelBen on July 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM

My enthusiasm cratered when the Senate caved on amnesty.

Chris of Rights on July 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM