Midterm Elections at a Glance

Mon Jun 02, 2014 05:22:53AM

113th CongressBy: Nevermore27
U.S. Senate midterm elections are coming and it’s about time we take a look at the situation. All 33 of the Class II seats need to be filled plus an additional 3 special elections bringing the total number of open seats to 36. Currently, the Senate seat count is 53 Dem and 45 Reps along with 2 Independents. Removing the 36 seats that are up for grabs, that leaves 32 Dems, 30 Reps, and 2 Independents that are guaranteed to be staying at least 2 more years. That makes these elections crucial for determining who controls the Senate majority for the 114th Congress.

For the sake of brevity, I will exclude the races that are currently considered “safe” for one party or the other. That changes the Senate seat count to 42 Dems, 44 Reps and and 2 Independents (assuming all of those elections go as planned). This leaves 12 very competitive races to keep an eye on.

Toss Ups:
Alaska: Incumbent Mark Begich (D) is seeking a 2nd term. The GOP has not nominated a candidate. The primary date has not been set. Begich won the last election by a margin of just 1.25% (or about 4,000 votes)

Arkansas: Incumbent Mark Pryor (D) is seeking a 3rd term. U.S. Representative Tom Cotton (R) is seeking the Republican nomination. Pryor ran unopposed in 2008.

Colorado: Mark Udall (D) is seeking a 2nd term. Cory Gardner is representing the Republicans. Gaylon Kent will also be on the ballot for the Libertarians.

Louisiana: Mary Landrieu (D) is seeking a 4th term. U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy(R) has received the GOP endorsement. Brannon McMorris will represent the Libertarians

North Carolina: Kay Hagan (D) is seeking a 2nd term. Thom Tillis will be the GOP nominee. Sean Haugh won the Libertarian spot.

Leans Democrat:
Iowa: Tom Harkin (D) will not be seeking a 6th term. Bruce Bailey will be representing the Democrats. The GOP have not nominated their candidate yet. GOP Primary is tomorrow (6/3/2014)

Michigan: Carl Levin (D) will not be seeking a 7th term. U.S. Representative Gary Peters (D) will be the nominee for the Democrats. The GOP does not have a nominee yet but either Terri Lynn Land or Matthew Wiedenhoeft will be it.

New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen (D) will be seeking a 2nd term. The GOP has not picked their nominee yet. However, Former Senator Scott Brown (R), who represented Massachusetts from 2008-2012 and moved states and is seeking the GOP nominee.

Leans Republican:
Georgia: Saxby Chambliss (R) will not be seeking a 2nd term. The GOP nomination is between U.S. Rep Jack Kingston (R) and U.S. Rep Paul Broun (R). Neither candidate won a clear majority in May 20 primary. The Democrats have not yet selected their nominee.

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell (R) is seeking a 6th term. Alison Lundergan Grimes is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

Montana: Max Baucus(D) will not be seeking a 7th term. John Walsh (D) took over Baucus’ seat in February 2014 when Baucus was appointed Ambassador to China. Neither party has picked their official nominees for the ticket as of yet.

West Virginia (D): Jay Rockefeller (D) will not be seeking a 6th term. On May 13, Natalie Tennant won the Democratic nomination and Shelley Moore Capito won the GOP’s. With both major parties nominating a woman, in November, West Virginia will see its first female Senator in the state’s history.

Democrats have their work cut out for them. Ten of the twelve competitive races are currently Democratic seats. Of those seats that are now leaning Republican, half of them are held by Democrats. This means, that Dems need to win all of seats that are leaning Democrat AND all the toss-up races.

The 435 House elections are far too broad for a race-by-race breakdown in one blog, but the Democrats have their work cut out for them there too. Republicans are currently the majority party by 34 seats. The Obama Administration will likely be doing whatever they can to secure the House majority for his final 2 years. There are roughly 42 close district races to watch out for and the Democrats need to win at least 40 of those in order to edge out a majority in the House. Quite the uphill battle.

On June 3, there are a series of primaries taking place. Mississippi, Iowa, California, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey to name a few. I will be keeping a watch out on them to see how this election cycle develops.
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