Skip to comments."Can We Hit 60 in '06?"
Posted on 04/05/2005 5:12:12 AM PDT by bmweezer
Coming off of two great election cycles for our party in the Senate, the optimist in me asks, "Can we really hit 60 Republican members of the U.S. Senate after the 2006 midterms?"
The races in the South, where we've recently picked up great Republicans like Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. Lamar Alexander, and Sen. David Vitter, are limited this cycle. Only three "core southern" states- Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi will have races in 2006. But the vulnerability of some key Democrats in red states makes me theorize that we can, indeed, hit 60 (or close to it) this time. Here is a run-down of how we can do it.
Safe Republican Seats. Assuming that they will run (and most of them have said that they will), we can count on the reelection of Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana, Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio, Sen. Trent Lott in Mississippi, Sen. Orrin Hatch in Utah, Sen. Craig Thomas in Wyoming, Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas. Even if any of these incumbents chooses to retire or run for another office, Republicans should be fairly safe in these states.
Likely Republican Seats. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine is moderate enough in this "purple" state to appeal to a plurality of voters. Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana, who squeaked back in the Senate in 2000, should be fine this time around with a solid Republican base. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, the vibrant chairman of the 2004 NRSC, will rely on conservatives in southern Virginia to pull him back into office; the only problem he could face would be a potential challenge by the lame-duck Gov. Mark Warner, a popular Democrat, but Allen should be able to beat him. John Ensign of Nevada isn't as popular in Washington as he is in Nevada, but I think the fact that this more liberal western state went for Bush in 2004 bodes well for a second Ensign term. Sen. Jim Talent, who has served just four years in the Senate after defeating Jean Carnahan in the 2002 special election, is popular with the social conservatives that provide the lifeblood for the Missouri GOP, and his seat is likely safe. Lincoln Chafee should also hold on to his seat, but the RINO will probably change party affiliations if he is reelected. The most important race is that of Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. The Catholic conservative has brought intelligence, common sense, and values to the U.S. Senate. Based on some recent polling data, he still remains competitive, and with a grassroots army of volunteers, his GOTV efforts will land him another six years. So with every non-vacant Republican seat safe, that leaves the open seats and the Democrats.
Open seats. There are four open seats for right now: Corzine (NJ), Sarbanes (MD), Frist (TN), and Dayton (MN). I think we are competitive in all of these seats, except for Maryland. The sickening sex scandal of former Gov. Jim McGreevy reeks of the Clinton era and could portend doom for the Democrats this time around in New Jersey, especially with a good GOP candidate, Thomas Kean, Jr. Minnesota, which has been trending Republican lately (e.g. Sen. Coleman, Gov. Pawlenty) could easily elect Rep. Mark Kennedy to the Senate, giving us a pick-up here. (My God, a potential Senator Kennedy that has values!)
Senator Frist, who pledged two terms only, might have created the biggest Senate race of '06. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., who has his eyes on the presidency, wants to run. He thinks he can win, too, but based on the Southern Senate Republican to Democrat ratio, my bet is that former Rep. Ed Bryant keeps this seat in our column. That leaves Maryland, where Paul Sarbanes liberal reign is coming to an end. Mfume says he is running, and Maryland is left-wing enough to elect him. But if Lt. Gov. Michael Steele decides to run, creating a black vs. black race, we may have a contest.
The Democrats. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is running and will have a tough reelection battle. Hopefully, we can encourage Rep. Bill McCollum to run in a re-match of 2000, where he just may put the astronaut away.
Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who Dubya calls "Benator," is a conservative Democrat in a state that went 67% for Bush in 2004. If we muster up a good candidate, we win. If not, Nelson enjoys another six years.
KKK Robert Byrd wants to pull a Strom Thurmond, but Rep. Shelley Moore Capito could send this Byrd flying back to West Virginia. The chances of this socialist being reelected in a state that loves the social conservatism of George W. Bush are growing smaller and smaller each day. Byrd made the mistake of getting vocal about Bush which may kill him in the realigning state of West Virginia.
Former HHS Secretary and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has returned to his home state-where he is an institution. If we get him in the race, you can bid adieu to Herb Kohl.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, who defeated Slade Gorton in 2000 by less than a percentage point, may face doom in 2006 if we can convince Dino Rossi, who had the Governor's race stolen from him by Gregoire, to run. I think he could easily beat Cantwell.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who I think is as bad as Hillary, is unfortunately safe with the Michigan GOP scrambling to find a candidate. Hillary, too, will be safe in liberal New York- that is if Gov. Pataki or Mayor Giuliani doesn't challenge her. Other Democrats that are safe are Ted (hiccup) Kennedy, whose pickled liver probably won't make it through another six year term, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, Traitor Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. If, however, either Akaka or Feinstein decide to retire, interesting races could open up in these two states. That leaves two Senators- Joe Lieberman and Jeff Bingaman. If Lieberman doesn't get the Democratic nod because of his patriotic partnership with Dubya, then he may consider running as an Independent. Bingaman, who is a red state Democrat, should be fine unless Rep. Heather Wilson gives a nod to the Senate. So where does that leave us? We have safeguarded our seats. Now, we have the potential for pickups in Washington, Nebraska, Florida, Wisconsin, West Virginia, New Jersey, and New Mexico. My bet is that we take the seats in four of those states, giving us 59 Republican Senators. Some good luck and good candidates may lead to more potential pickups. That doesn't mean we don't have to work. We have to continue to GOTV, make the phone calls, knock on the doors, pass out the lit, and donate to our cause. And then, we can make it happen, and move our 55 Senator majority to 59. It's not 60, but we'll take it.
I'm a New Jerseyan, and I think we have very little hope of winning that seat. Especially with Forrester stupidly getting into the governor's race, which rightfully should be Schundler's. Forrester did pretty good against the Torch last time. He should have focused on 06. As it is, everything is going into the governor's race.
We won't hit 60. Frist, like his predecessors, is a spineless GOP Majority Leader. I'll be happy if we maintain the number of seats we've got. The only way the GOP picks up seats is if the filibuster rule is change and a bunch of Bush judicial nominees are forced through the U.S. Senate despite the best efforts of Kerry, Leahy, Sheets Byrd, and the RINO gang.
Argh... I want to see Stabenow the cow fall down.
Why hasn't the Michigan GOP found a candidate? If they run a person based on looks like the Dems, it shouldn't be hard to outstrip Stabenow.
Sounds decent except about Senator Byrd WV will keep electing him. He's safe. I'm disappointed about Stabenow. I would have thought the Michigan GOP could rustle up a good candidate for her if not for Levin. Damn.
If the president mishandles the leaky borders....and between the prices of gas and the effect on the stock market ....we are screwed...forget about gains in the Senate, Congress etc...not to mention, that we need some sort of finality in Iraq and move our attentions to Iran/N.Korea/ Syria etc.
I think the leaky borders are paramount though and if the word Boondoggle (which is bandied about by the left about Iraq) should be attached to anything it should be our alien problem.
With the wimpy leadership, or lack thereof, you might be better in suggesting: "Can We Hit 70 in '06"
60, subtract those Frist can't seem to bring into line, still doesn't get them over that magic number.
My gosh! How many do the Pubbies need before they start acting like a majority??????
My guess is that Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat in Texas should move to the open side, as she appears willing to challenge Rick Perry for the GOP nomination for governor. This seat is likely safe.
Sixty, seventy ... it doesn't matter. The power of a majority is only relevant when accompanied by the will to use it. Sadly, the Senate Pubbies would rather play nice than play right.
The way this current crop has been running the show, who needs DemocRats?
Johnny Isakson ..great???
Yes, we CAN hit 60...it'll take some hard work, but it CAN be done.
Even with 60 there will always be McCain doing his best to thwart the good for his own personal vendetta.
I wouldn't say that the RINO Orrin Hatch of Utah is safe. It's safe for a Republican though. I know I'm going to do all I can to defeat Hatch in the primary.
Sen. Hatch and Rep. Chris Cannon have got to go. Rep. Chris Cannon represents the interests of illegal aliens and that of Vicente Fox and not Utahans.
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