Republicans hate polls

2012-05-18 07:42
Democrats are the party that is most often accused of creating campaigns around what the polls say. And if one compares the two major US parties, this would seem to hold true. However, it currently has less to do with Democrat pandering, and more to do with Republican voters' utter rejection of what the numbers say.

And it is this that means the Democrats might actually have a chance to hold the Senate in November’s election.

For a bit of background: in November Americans will vote for who they want as president, for members of the house of representatives who serve two-year terms, and then for 33 of the country’s 100 senators (two per state) who serve six-year terms. These terms, however, are staggered so that one-third of the senators are up for election every two years.

The Democrats currently hold the Senate with a 53-47 majority. In fact, to be clearer, Democrats only have 51 senators, but two independents, Joe Lieberman from Connecticut and Bernie Sanders from Vermont, caucus with the Democrats.

Democrats need to hold on
 
Of the 33 seats being contested this cycle, 23 are held by Democrats, nine are held by Republicans and one independent, Lieberman, is retiring. Advantage: Republicans, right? They only need to take four or more seats to control both legislative bodies (making Democrat President Barack Obama’s life hell as Republicans are unlikely to lose the House of Representatives). Democrats, 23 of whom are competing, need to hold on to virtually all of them.

Not all that long ago everyone thought Republicans just really needed to hold on tight and not break anything to retake the Senate. But guess what, they did. And it’s probably now around 50-50 to see who takes the body in November.

Of the 33 seats being voted on, seven are likely to remain Republican and 15 should remain beneath the rear ends of Democrats, which means 11 are in play. And of those 11, six are held by Republicans and five by Democrats. So to take control of the Senate, Republicans would need to hold their six contestable seats and take three of the Democrats’ five to split the Senate – or find another way to achieve such a net gain.

The contested seats in Nevada and Indiana are where Republicans have shot themselves in the foot. Richard Lugar, a 36-year Senate veteran, lost a state Republican primary two weeks ago, and is no longer in the running; he lost to a chap called Richard Mourdock. Lugar was yonks ahead in polls versus the Democrat candidate Joe Donnelly in what is considered a safe Republican seat. Mourdock is a controversial and somewhat divisive Tea Party candidate and is level in polls with Donnelly. What should be an easy win for Republicans is turned into a 50-50 seat.

The same kind of thing happened in Nebraska where state senator Deb Fischer beat heavy favourite John Bruning on Tuesday. While Bruning was also a first-time candidate, the unknown Fischer may be easier to compete with for Democrat candidate (and former governor, and senator) Bob Kerry. In all likelihood, however, Fischer will beat Kerry – polls have her leading by double digits – but the landscape of the election is vastly different. Bruning is infinitely more electable in a general election setting than Fischer. Nebraska is a must-win for Republicans if they wish to wrest control of the Senate.

Notable showdown

One of the most notable of these showdowns will be the contest between Elizabeth Warren (Democrat) and Scott Brown (incumbent Republican) for the Massachusetts seat, and although Brown is the incumbent and marginally ahead in most polls, Warren has steadily eaten into his lead over the last few months. I see this as a 50-50 seat. It will be decided by very few votes.

The seats for Montana and Missouri are both held by Democrats who are in a statistical tie with their Republican opponents. So I’d give a slight edge to the incumbents, especially Claire McCaskill from Missouri who is one of Obama’s more trusted allies. Another tough to call is Nevada, which should favour Republicans, but the party there is a disorganised mess, and it still trying to get itself together before the election.

The seats in Florida and Ohio are labelled under contested for no other reason than the states are such in every general election. Both Democrat candidates for these seats are well ahead of Republican challengers, and Democrats holding on wouldn’t be unexpected in the least.

The contests in Virginia and Wisconsin are tricky to call due to a lack of recent polling, but the seat in Wisconsin will most likely fall Republican and the Virginia one will go Democrat, which leaves us with just one seat to go: Maine.

Not an easy run

Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican senator from Maine decided earlier this year that she would not run again for her state’s seat due to infuriation with her party. She was an absolute shoo-in, and will most likely be replaced by a Democrat or a liberal independent in this heavily liberal state.

So what should have been an easy run for Republicans contesting the senate, needing a net gain of four seats among these flippable contests, doesn’t look so rosy. By my scorecard, four Democrats should hold on while only three Republicans do.

And only four seats could go either way. Republicans will need to win all of them to see success in November.


- News24
Read more on:    simon williamson  |  us  |  us elections 2012
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale – Up to 70% off

Its black Friday, save up to 70% on a wide range of awesome products at kalahari.com. Offers valid while stocks last. T&C’s apply. Shop now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.