I wanted to call this post Sunday with the Senators: Post Ayn Rand Paul Ryan Gosling-Ling Edition, but I didn't have enough room. Now you know. Apologies to all of you who have contacted Matt and me about the fact that we haven't kept up. Matt has assured me that once I get this post up, he'll start working on the overall chart. You can see where I believe we're at right now.
Yes, I believe we hold the Senate, and all I can say is thank you Mittens for picking Eddie Munster. Let's get started.
I have Maine as purple because Angus King is certainly going to win, and then he's going to decide with which party to caucus. While he has said he will consider not caucusing, it's not a reasonable position for him to maintain in DC. He can choose a side and then vote against it, but if he wants to serve on a committee, he's going to have to pick. I believe that King will choose the Democratic side for several reasons. First, we'll give him the option of voting against us with only minor punishment, while McConnell will not. Second, he will not be the 50th vote to either side. Finally, and most important, he's not a lock-step anything, and that's what the GOP would require.
It may be odd to some of you that I kept Wisconsin as Democratic instead of toss-up since Tommy Thompson is so popular, and I personally like him. But the problem, I believe, is that Tommy is not conservative for the far right wing contingent, which may turn out for native son Paul Ryan, but will split tickets or just skip that line as the primary was so hard fought. Further, in the end, I think that Wisconsinites have been through enough and will vote to keep Kohl's seat blue, and will certainly accord their Electoral College votes to the president.
While other people have my Democratic Leans as toss-ups, I have them really leaning blue. That's Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Virginia, and North Dakota. Once again, THANKS MITTENS!!!! If you've watched Soledad O'Brien on CNN aka Fox Light go after every single GOP talking head who has dared to say that "premium support" is not a voucher, you can see where things are going. By the time of the fall debates, the President will have made clear to everyone who pays attention that Romney/Ryan and their ilk will give people a check so paltry it shall not cover the basic premium for Medicare. His coattails in these leaning states will grow in stature. Further, the Democratic Senatorial candidates in these seven states have been all over the Medicare debate even before the choice of Eddie Munster.
That gets us to holding the Senate even if we lose Hawaii, since I believe we get Massachusetts back. I think we might get Indiana because the polls are all tied, and therefore within the margin of error, and Murdouch is, well, a teabagger. While Romney will win Indiana, Murdouch will end up more like Christine O'Donnell than Rand Paul. Thus, we might pick this state up.
I have Nebraska as a toss-up, while most everyone else has decided that Kerrey doesn't have a chance. No one has polled there since late spring, and things did look ominous at the time, but the Kerrey campaign has pointed out that the early polls excluded cell phones, and they believe things are closer. The first debate is next weekend, and that might help. Since this is currently Ben Nelson's seat, while the balance of power matters, in terms of actual votes, a GOP win wouldn't change how Turncoat Nelson has voted over the last several years.
Nevada and Arizona are already red Senate seats, so picking them up would only be gravy. Not impossible, but not likely.
I wish it were possible to say that Ted Cruz would lose Texas, but I don't see it. However, I believe that his win won't be the kind of landslide other Texas Republicans have enjoyed, and that his Senate tenure will help drive Texas purple over the next 4 years.
As always, your comments are encouraged.