Senate Update: Democrats On The Defense

Posted by | May 16, 2011 09:18 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

While the race for president is a disaster for the GOP, the Senate is looking much more fruitful.  The resignation of Senator Herb Kohl (pictured) last week added Wisconsin to the list of possible pickup opportunities for the Republicans.  They also have strong  chances in North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana Florida, Missouri, and Virginia.

With Democrats defending 23 seats to their 10, top Republicans believe they have a built-in advantage in their drive to pick up at least the four seats that would vault them into the majority even if President Obama wins a second term and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. remains able to break Senate ties. And they calculate that their chances are enhanced because important races will be in relatively conservative states like Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota.

The Democratic opportunity to hold on to the Senate depends on the Tea Party.  Their best pickup opportunities may be in Maine and Indiana where Senators Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar face primary challenges from their right flanks.  If the incumbents lose their primaries, then the Democrats could repeat 2010 when they held on to the Senate because of crazy nominees from Republicans in Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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