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2010 Midterm Elections Thread


Max

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Although there is already a politics thread, I'd really like to start a thread specifically devoted to the 2010 midterm elections (if it is alright with the moderators). Given that campaign season really kicks into gear around Labor Day, the time seems right to start this thread; additionally, we had a separate thread that was devoted solely to the 2008 elections (back then). The purpose of this thread is to talk about specific races that will be decided this November. (I will be very interested to read posters' thoughts about elections going on in their home states.) This thread is really not the place for general discussion of political policy or for bashing of Obama or the Republicans. (The main politics thread is the place for that.)

So much is at steak in this election: 37 states will be holding gubernatorial contests in November. When it comes to the federal government, control of the U.S. Congress will also be determined this year, as elections will be held for 37 Senate seats and all 435 House seats. The current make-up of the Senate is 59 Democrats (which includes two Independents who caucus with the Democrats) and 41 Republicans; in the House, there are currently 255 Democrats, 178 Republicans, and two vacancies. Thus, in order to attain control of the Senate and House, Republicans need to gain 10 and 40 seats, respectively.

While this is not going to be a popular prediction around here, I have now concluded that the Republicans are extremely likely to take control of the House in November. Just a month or two ago I thought that regaining control of the House was a pipe dream; however, Obama and the Democrats are now so unpopular (as a result of the dismal economic "recovery") that the American voters have reached a point where they are highly eager to penalize the party in power. When I watched part of Chris Matthews' show this week, he mentioned that a non-partisan political analyst told him that the GOP could pick up as many as 60 House seats; while I don't expect them to gain that many, they will probably win at least 40 of those 60.

Amazingly, it now looks like there is a realistic possibility that the Republicans could become the majority party in the Senate as well. (At the start of the year, not even the most conservative FOX News commentators believed that this could happen.) A big reason why the Senate is up for grabs is because once safe incumbents in extremely liberal states like Washington and Wisconsin are all of a sudden finding themselves vulnerable. Currently, I do not believe that the GOP will regain the majority in the Senate (though, for the first time, I would not be shocked if it did happen), since in order to achieve that goal, they need to win Senate races in 10 out of the following 12 states (all of which are seats held by Democrats):

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Illinois

Indiana

Nevada

North Dakota

Pennsylvania

Washington

Wisconsin

In addition, Republicans will have to retain Senate seats in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio. Races in all five states are competitive.

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I appreciate you starting this thread and it's a shame there is no competent ruling party. I'm just trying to accept the likelihood of Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Sharron Angle, etc. having access to major sources of power. I made the mistake of following some of their political careers back before they were famous and now I will always wonder when Michelle will lead the same anti-gay rallies she led in Minnesota or when DeMint will try to pass laws firing gay teachers and unwed mothers who are teachers.

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That's horrible. I just hope non of these hateful politicians win. Most of them, if not all, are from the Republican party, right? And who are these Tea Party politicians? Are they another group who hates gays, blacks and other ethnicities? Are there any "good" Republican politicians running this fall, who I can keep an eye out for? Because it seems like the all the bad ones get all the press.

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The "Tea Party" candidates who have a good chance of winning are Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Rand Paul, Joe Miller (all Senate), Rick Scott (running for governor of Florida), and a lot of others I am forgetting about. Sharron Angle has made too many crazy statements to list, but here are a few.

Rick Scott was in a very very ugly primary this year, you can check that out in Google News.

As for "good" Republicans, it's a catch-22, because they are called moderate yet often have to take very extreme positions if they want to win their primary and then if they want to have any power in Congress or their party. So you rarely see any actual moderate or genuine conservatives.

Mike Castle is probably the closest to the bill this year. Former governor of Delaware, Congressman for quite a few years, he's running for Joe Biden's old seat, and will probably win the general election if he wins the primary.

This is his Tea Party backed primary opponent.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/117175-delaware-senate-hopeful-opponents-follow-me-home-at-night

I would not mind the whole "government leave me alone" thing if it was consistent. If more people who have that view did not want the government to weigh in on their side on restricting various things they don't like. Then there is the whole thing about how Republicans do not like unemployment benefits...until they do.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/christie_bret_schundler_fires.html

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In answer to Toups' question, there are several mainstream/"good" Republican candidates running this fall, including Mike Castle (DE U.S. Senate), Rob Portman (OH U.S. Senate), John Kasich (OH Governor), John Hoeven (ND U.S. Senate), and Dan Coats (IN U.S. Senate). These candidates, however, seldom get media attention, as the spotlight is mostly on Tea Party crazies like Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, and Rand Paul.

I'll comment on more individual races later, but I actually believe that Rick Scott is going to lose the FL governor's race to Democrat Alex Sink. That's because in addition to his far-right views, Scott was once involved in a massive insurance fraud scheme. (However, because of Scott's own personal wealth and the massive Republican tide this year, the election will be close, and a Scott victory is still possible.)

On the other hand, when it comes to the FL U.S. Senate race, things seem to be going very well for the GOP: current polls show Republican Marco Rubio (who was once Speaker of the FL House of Representatives) comfortably pulling ahead of Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek. Not too long ago, this race was considered to be a real barn-burner, due to the presence of the popular Governor Crist (who is a former Republican); however, his campaign has fizzled in recent months. And Meek (a U.S. Congressman) has always struggled in the polls due to his low statewide name recognition. Because many believe that Crist would caucus with the Democrats if elected, what is currently happening (to the GOP's benefit) is that Crist and Meek are splitting the anti-Rubio vote.

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It's interesting though because Kasich and Portman are both very Wall Street/free trade/big business, which I thought the Republicans had moved away from.

I thought Coats and Kasich were both very very conservative, they just don't talk about it as much. Coats was a big Palin backer and when he was in the Senate he was very focused on getting gays out of the military. Supposedly VP Cheney stopped President Bush from appointing Coats as Secretary of Defense for this reason.

http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/republican-lobbyist-dan-coats-challen

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I apologize for the delay, but responding to CarlD2's point about Kaisch and Portman having Wall Street ties, I just wanted to point out that this is not an exclusively Republican phenomenon: Witness former NJ U.S. Senator and Governor Jon Corzine, who made over $100 million as CEO of Goldman Sachs (which I'm almost certain is far more than either Kaisch or Portman made on Wall Street). When it comes to candidates running in 2010, I present to you Illinois Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias: While not involved on Wall Street per se, Giannoulias was VP/Chief Loan Officer at Broadway Bank (a Chicago area bank that was founded by his father). During his tenure, Broadway Bank made many risky loans that would eventually lead to its failure in January 2010.

Although Dan Coats is quite conservative on the issue of gays in the military, he is moderate on other issues such as gun control. (He voted to support the Brady Act.) In any event, his opposition to gays being allowed to openly serve in the military (as well as his support of Sarah Palin) most certainly does not make him a "crook" and a "liar." With all due respect, that "crooks and liars" website is a very liberally biased one, as evidenced by their trashing of moderate Democratic Senator Evan Bayh as somebody who's as Republican as they come (despite the fact that he is a consensus builder who is widely respected on both sides of the aisle).

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Gun control was a very different issue when he was in the Senate the last time. These days neither party votes for any gun control measures. I don't think a Republican could support that now and get out of a primary.

I agree that a lot of Democrats are beholden to Wall Street but it's kind of odd to see these candidates who have a very long history of working for big business now trying to be populist. Often they are likely to sell out to business and their only real conservatism is in tax cuts for the wealthy and in hard right social issues.

I find the gays in the military issue to be very cynical. I don't believe it will be allowed in this country for a long long time, no matter who is in the White House or runs Congress, so I don't think it's a matter of Democrats wanting it but Republicans stopping them. Democrats don't care about gays. It's just when I see somebody like McCain suddenly becoming very bitterly opposed to the idea in spite of his own past statements on the matter, it makes me realize that most of the opposition to this is always going to be about politics, not what is best or not best for the military.

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It looks like Jim DeMint has backed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003730677

I don't know if that is make or break, as she already has the NRA and the Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin. I'm a bit surprised at her number of endorsements because some of her campaign behavior has raised eyebrows.

I think Castle will probably still win but it's been interesting to follow.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42034.html

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I don't think O'Donnell will win, but it's baffling to me that she is even getting support from anyone besides a fringe. Her comments have been very erratic.

I doubt this will make a big difference in the election, especially since a lot of people don't trust the New York Times, but they talk about Boehner and lobbyists.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/us/politics/12boehner.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

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I think that the Democratic majority *may* be safe, however I am very concerned about this election. I fear that the Tea Party Republicans will take control of the Congress, which is scary.

I know here in Kentucky, Ran Paul has been gaining momentum, however I think he will be nothing but a disaster for the state.

Here again, too I'm worried about a Republican sweep of the state and territorial Governor's races.

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I still think Mike Castle will win the Delaware GOP Senate primary, but there's a poll out which shows Christine O'Donnell narrowly winning. Sarah Palin has cut a radio ad for her so that might make a difference. This thread talks about the poll, the methodology, the situation in Delaware, etc.

http://www.swingstateproject.com/diary/7567/desen-odonnell-leads-castle-in-new-ppp-poll

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