33 regular and 3 special elections
First, let's appreciate how GREAT things look for us. We are defending 15 positions, and only 3 are at risk of loss, and truly, it's just the Georgia and Kansas that are at real risk of loss. Everything else is about picking up seats, making the Dems defend while we attack. It's a nice position to be in.
Don't waste a moment's thought on these. Alphabetical order.
Rhode Island D-Ree
Don't worry too much, occasional check-in. Alphabetical order.
Nebraska R-Johanns (retiring), R-Sasse running
Oklahoma R-Coburn (retiring), R-Lankford running
South Carolina R-Graham
South Carolina R-Scott
The states lean R, so it shouldn't be too much of a lift to ensure R victory, but losing these could hurt on multiple levels. We'd have to gain TWO from the other lists rather than one to make up for the loss of an existing R. Also, there's a negative down ballot effect on established GOPers in the rest of the state if we are to lose at the top.
Momentum is on Perdue's side, Georgia is a basically conservative state and might be recovering from the bruising GOP primary. It is expected that as the likely voters start paying attention to the race being Perdue v. Nunn, they'll come down on the side of Perdue, even if they aren't huge fans of his in general. Keep a close eye on this one.
29-sep: Dems are fundraising to support Michelle Nunn, they really would like to take this one. J Street Fundraising for Dems with Focus on Four Tight Senate Races
29-sep: Turnout is key - Michelle Nunn is in the middle of a voter fraud scandal, it's being investigated, but there's too much possibility that fraud is going on. Our best defense against that is getting A LOT of our people to the polls. Take a few minutes, make some calls.
14-Oct: The DSCC is putting a lot of effort and money into this campaign. It's close, and needs some focus from us so that Perdue can win.
24-Oct: This is trending the wrong direction. Georgians are making a mistake and having some sort of tantrum about how their primary came out, choosing not to support the winner, and leaving an opening for the Democrate - which they are happy to capitalize on. The real shame will be the energized Democrats voting straight ticket, and the temperamental Republicans voting against Perdue, and NOT voting straight ticket Republican. This will allow for losses to Democrats down ballot - which strengthens the Democrat party all over the state and causes problems for a long time to come. You have a Governor's race that is VERY close - do you want to lost that to the Dems? Get out and VOTE!!!
This was not supposed to happen, and is a case study in the damage that 3rd parties and vicious Democrats can do. The D candidate was bad, so they deep-sixed him and recruited Orman. Orman IS a Democrat. He will be a Democrat vote, make no mistake. But the voters are being misled that he is a fresh new outsider-y face compared to the old guy Roberts.
Currently the Democrat-fake-Independent is ahead by 5 points and a lot of GOP resources are being poured into this state.
It might make more sense for US to let the big name and party resources work to save Roberts while we put our efforts towards shoring up the likely pickups and maybe grabbing a couple of possibles.
From a psychological standpoint, I'd trade a loss of Roberts for a couple of Dem pickups. Saving Roberts at great expense isn't a big victory, that's an expensive draw. But sending a few more Democrats home, and having states get stronger GOP infrastructure by virtue of having a GOP Senator - that's a legitimate win.
28-Sep: HotAir article talks about Orman, and the bruising GOP primary that may be part of the cause for Roberts' current trouble. This election will be a party unity and turnout election.
24-Oct: Kansans are beginning to figure out that Greg Orman is a Demorcrat and are trending away from him. Definitely looking better for our side, the trends are in our favor. But still a risk.
Voting Registration Deadline: 06-Oct-2014
Early Voting Begins: 17-Oct-2014
This shouldn't really be anything we have to worry about, but state politics and a grassroots lack of enthusiasm for McConnell after the primary make this one that we can't take for granted. It's currently looking OK, but definitely needs to be watched - the Dems could start throwing resources at it at the last minute. Watch THEM - if they abandon Grimes, then we're ok.
29-Sep: It may seem that Mitch has this one locked up. However, don't expect Dems to just give up, they really want this seat.
14-Oct: Democrat Senate Campaign Committee is pulling funding from KY, following Grimes' lousy performance in the 2nd debate. This appears to be a lock for the GOP now. Shift your attention to GA, where the DSCC is shifting their money
24-Oct: Mitch is up by 4 points, this looks good, but don't get cocky.
We really have to have these states. Make sure we have these sealed up before putting ANY energy on the "possible" or "remote chance" states. In order from most to least likely.
Voting Registration Deadline: 06-Oct-2014, late registration allowed up to and including voting day
Early Voting: Absentee ballots mailed out 30 days prior
Walsh dropped out of the race due to a plagiarism scandal. At this point, it looks really good for Daines to pick up the seat. Walsh was just appointed in January, there isn't a long history of this being a Dem seat.
Voting Registration Deadline: 14-Oct-2014
Early Voting Begins: 22-Oct-2014
Capito doing really well, she's currently a GOP Rep, so gets the incumbent-like advantage. Polling is so clearly in Capito's favor that this can really be considered a lock at this point
Voting Registration Deadline: 20-Oct-2014
Early Voting Begins: 19-Sep-2014
Rounds considered basically a lock, this is the MOST likely GOP pickup
14-Oct: Not so fast. Complacency on the part of the GOP combined with a strong push from Democrats makes this race much less of a lock. See how quickly we can lose if we don't work at it?
Arkansas is in the early stages of turning solid Republican, there's still a good deal of enthusiasm for the GOP to grow and increase its strength in the state, it's on the upswing. Tom Cotton is a great candidate, Pryor is the son of a Dem Seantor - old versus new is the story here, but not to offend old voters, it's the "old ways" the "old system" versus the new system
29-sep: Cotton has refused to sign any pledges, which may get him in trouble with some folks, but it really is the best answer. Those pledge things are silly. This post talks about that, and also has a playlist of Cotton's youtube ads
Dan has recently crossed over in polling from behind to ahead, and his lead over Begich is increasing. Seems unlikely that it would turn around and crash at this point, this is a pretty favorable sign. Yet he's up by less than 5 points, easily a margin of polling error. The Democrat incumbent is a smart campaigner, and the state GOP is still recovering from a tough primary. Turnout and GOP enthusiasm will be key. Phone calls, social media promotion, and money will help a LOT. Alaska isn't used to getting attention from the lower 48, our attention could have an outsized effect with the less-politically inclined in Alaska.
Voter registration deadline: 14-Oct-2014
Early voting begins: 14-Oct-2014 begin accepting mail-in ballots, all voting is by mail, so the election is ongoing
Let's turn Colorado back red! This is a SUPER close race, but definitely winnable with some effort for Gardner. The Dems will not want to lose this one Udall has been ahead the whole time. But it looks like Gardner may be about to take the lead - keep that momentum going. The whole state seems to be swinging back GOP, make it happen, take advantage of the "surprise" that Udall is vulnerable.
Louisiana doesn't have a party primary. All three candidates run on Nov 4, and if none get over 50% of total vote, it goes to a runoff. Cassidy is expected to beat Maness, giving us a Cassidy v. Landrieu race in December.
Due to the nature of Louisiana politics, we can actually ignore this one until after the mid-term election, let Louisiana determine their GOP candidate, and then we can help make sure Landrieu is defeated in the December runoff
Another REALLY tight one. Braley seems to be making mistakes, which our guys tend to not take much advantage of. Ernst is a combat veteran - leverage that with older voters, drive enthusiasm and patriotism.
Inifnitely achievable, work hard here. In order from most to least likely. We HAVE to have at least one of these in order to get a majority. And that's only if we don't lose GA or KS. If we lose one of those, then we need TWO more. Again, FOCUS HERE
Hagan is up, but Tillis is getting some good support from the GOP machine. He's made some errors of late, at about the same time the Dems hit with a lot of Hagan ads. This is a test of OUR will to win the race even with a less than perfect candidate. Turnout, phone calls, money - that's what this race needs.
Shaheen is ahead by almost 5, but that's inside the margin of change. Also she's on the downswing and Scott Brown is trending up, it's worth sticking with it to see if we can bring it home. Brown will have to get support from Independents and soft Democrats, and the disillusionment with Obama can help here.
Stretch goals, worth a shot if the above are done deals. Most to least likely, but still, none of these are very likely.
Peters is up by almost 5, but it may be that folks just haven't yet started paying attention. It's worth some attention NOW to see if the polls start to trend her way. The previous mid-term voter was Repbulican, the previous Presidential voter was Democrat. Can we make the Dems stay home, rally the GOP and get Land elected?
Oct 3: Gary Peters backed out of a debate? That's the kind of chicken message that resonates with voters. Why is he afraid of Land? Peters Backs Out of Debate | Washington Free Beacon
Franken is up by a lot, the differential between the two is pretty steady. Franken has the incumbency inertia vote.
Oct 1: There may be hope - Franken messed up in his first debate. He really isn't ready for a contest
This has moved from GOP No chance up to a slim possibility. Still not much of a chance for Ed, but the momentum is all in his favor.
Durbin is up by considerably more than 10, it appears that Durbin is "Senator for Life" in Illinois. I'd love to be wrong. I just want this guy to go away. It's included here mostly to remind all of us that on any given Tuesday in November, miracles can happen
Voting Registraton Deadline: 14-Oct-2014
Early Voting Begins: 20-Sep-2014, begin accepting mail-in ballots
Vote by Mail permitted
The Dems would HATE to lose this one. They didn't plan on having to defend it, so any money we can make them spend here is money they weren't planning to spend. Putting forth effort for Jeff Bell also makes more sense than putting forth effort in IL or OR - because Jeff Bell has a GOP Governor to help him, and the NJ GOP is on an upswing, doing some good things for the state. Good turnout for Bell will help downballot GOPers and will help the party strengthen itself for the future.
Voter registration deadline: 7-Oct-2014
Early voting begins: 18-Oct-2014 (Absentee voting begins 7-Oct-2014)
This has moved from GOP no chance to a slim possibility
It's a remote chance, but a chance nonetheless. The environment isn't great for democrats in general, Udall is a dynastic name and there's some anti-establishment fervor that could be leveraged.
This would be an EXCELLENT get!