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As the Senate turns: the GOP keeps getting good news (with update)

With yesterday’s surprise retirement announcement by Evan Byah, another Senate seat moved into the “probably Republican pickup” column. Some think Bayh is positioning for a primary run against Obama in 2012. Like most senators, I expect Bayh does have presidential aspirations, but step one in serving that goal is to avoid a possible career-ending loss in a possible Democrat meltdown. He’ll likely decide later whether to make his presidential run in 2012 or 2016, depending on how vulnerable Obama looks in a couple of years.

A few days before that announcement, this article offered a good summary of the Senate races and their current status. As we already knew, things are getting dicey for the Democrats. The article lists North Dakota (Dorgan’s retirement), Delaware (Biden’s old seat), and Arkansas (Lincoln) as likely GOP pickups. Nevada (Reid), Colorado (Ken Salazar’s old seat), and Pennsylvania (Specter) are also not looking good for the Democrats. Other seats are rated as competitive, including Illinois (Obama’s old seat!), and Indiana. (If you’re keeping score, don’t forget to now promote Bayh up to “likely pickup”.)

The article even floated the idea of a GOP takeback of the Senate, though most think that’s still a distinct longshot. They put it this way:

Picking up ten seats and the majority is almost certainly out of reach for Republicans, although, with a few more strong recruits and some breaks, what recently seemed an impossible dream has become a remote possibility.

The GOP is defending in some places too, and the idea of an anti-incumbent fever eroding some of their gains is certainly a possibility.

I notice that the list of races in the article did not include two that could easily end up being competitive: California (Boxer) and Washington (Murray). Not much polling has been done in either, but what little we’ve seen didn’t show overwhelming strength. Boxer has already drawn some high-profile opponents, and seems to have worked hard to make herself look like a pretentious politician in the last couple of years, which is a bigger liability than usual in this year’s environment.

If the GOP picks up at least four more to go with Scott Brown, that pretty much writes the end of Obama’s collectivist wish list because it overcomes the power of squishes such as Snowe and Collins to hand him a victory. They now look likely to get that many.

Ten looks much harder, but even if they don’t make it, the more they score this time around, the better positioned they are to gain a majority in 2012.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect them to do much with increased power except thwart leftist Democrats. I don’t see a lot of senatorial GOP candidates who are significantly different from the current crowd or from the Lott/Frist group that handed Bush all his big-government requests and the unconstitutional campaign finance bill to boot. Rubio is about the only one with some promise.

If the Tea Party influence continues to grow, perhaps it will result in a few GOP senators considering spinal implantation instead of becoming dreary, complacent politicians assisting the drift to ever bigger government, spending, and debt. But in the Senate, at least, that possibility looks a lot more remote than the GOP taking back control.

*** Update 12:30 CST ***

Neo points out that 86-year-old NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg is in the hospital after a fall. Recall that the Republican Chris Christie scored a surprise upset in the governor’s race there. So yet more uncertainty for the Democrats, because if Lautenberg has to be replaced, it will likely be a Republican replacement.

And, in related news, Obama has decided that the problem is so serious he needs to apply more cowbell to it: Obama’s Save the Senate Tour.

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12 Responses to As the Senate turns: the GOP keeps getting good news (with update)

  • About now, Hiliary must think it a great idea for her to run for her old Senate seat and knock-out Gillibrand in the primary. Many NY voters may not hold her time as Sec of State against her, even though it was Obama’s Sec of State. Besides, Obama is making her life a “living hell.” At this point, she could run as a “outsider” and probably make it work. If she wins, she might be the swing Senator who gets to send home all the goodies to NY.

  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) fall and hospitalization must have the Democrats hearts near failure.
    At 86, Lautenberg could go the way of Murtha.  Giving the new Republican Governor of NJ a pick.

    • Speaking of Christie, he’s actually walking the walk for now. The guy took a hacksaw to the NJ budget, to Democrat howls.

      • There was a piece yesterday (or a few days earlier) about how many states are now confronting the fact that the transfer payments from the “stimulus” to help states cover costs are going to run out at the end of the year.  Christie is just ahead of the curve on dealing with this.

    • “Early this morning doctors diagnosed Senator Lautenberg with a bleeding ulcer, and he underwent a successful endoscopy procedure to treat it,” Lautenberg spokesman Caley Gray said in a statement. “After becoming lightheaded and taking a fall as a result of the condition, the Senator sought medical attention last night. The Senator is expected to make a full recovery and will be back to work soon.”

      • U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s 86-year-old senior senator, was diagnosed with treatable cancer in the stomach in the last 24 hours and will begin chemotherapy today.

  • As the Senate turns: the GOP keeps getting good news

    Which, other than refusing to go along with Imeme, SanFran Nan and Dingy Harry in their extreme efforts to completely kneecap our economy and irretrievably ruin our healthcare system, they have done NOTHING to deserve.  I’m a bit worried that, if the GOP actually gains control of Congress in the midterms, they’ll pat themselves on the back for their brilliance and think that “business as usual” will be perfectly fine… and get clobbered in ’12 for their stupidity.

    McQIf the Tea Party influence continues to grow, perhaps it will result in a few GOP senators considering spinal implantation instead of becoming dreary, complacent politicians assisting the drift to ever bigger government, spending, and debt. But in the Senate, at least, that possibility looks a lot more remote than the GOP taking back control.

    I agree.  The GOP bigwigs despise the Tea Parties almost as much as their dem counterparts because, when you get down to it, they like big government and spending money we don’t have as much as the dems do.  The only difference is, THEY want to be in charge of the health care system, energy policy, etc.  This has been Imeme’s biggest mistake: had he and the rest of the chief democrat hoodlums not been so arrogant and high-handed and shut out the GOP, they could have had all the “bipartisan” legislation they wanted.  Oh, we’d have to use MiniTru’s definition of “bipartisan” (95% democrat, 5% GOP), but they would be celebrating the passage of ObamaCare, cap ‘n’ trade, etc, while people like McCain, Graham, Snowe, Collins and all the other “centrist / moderate / maverick” (so-called) Republicans were being feted on the Sunday morning news shows and crowing about what they’d gotten put into the bills for THEIR constituents.

  • Count on Indiana being the 42nd vote…
    Baron Hill (if he indeed does become a candidate) doesn’t have the statewide attraction of Bayh.  Neither does d’Ippolito, especially since she has ZERO political experience, and seems to run a crappy restaurant.

  • Update: No Democrats made the deadline for filing
    I doubt there is another Democrat who can take Indiana.  Bayh has a unique combination of pragmatism and sex appeal.  Everyone else I’ve heard mentioned is a hard core Democrat, and partisan to boot.

  • I have said for months that the House will fall to the GOP.
    I never thought to even believe, much less say, that the Senate was a potential flip as well.
    But after Dorgan and Biden and Bayh, I am starting to believe that we are seeing the cusp of a wave that will wash the Demmies from power. It is a matter of time.

  • Back in June before Congressional recess, 4o House blue dogs wrote Pelosi a letter saying that they could not support the healthcare bill.  As a result, I noted here that the blue dogs were in open revolt and healthcare and cap & trade were dead.  Many commenters here criticized that conclusion.
    What we are seeing today is the result of a major over reach by the left.  They may get something entitled “Healthcare” but they will pay dearly for that brief moment.  In November, the democrats will lose Congress.  No Senate, no new judges or treaties.  No House, no funding.  The democrats who survive will know where they cannot go.
    Obama was on TV this morning telling us that the stimulus was working!  He still has not come to the realization that his agenda is destroying the US economy.  He believes that his problem is communication.  I agree, but not for the reason he does.  He thinks if he explains government health care and cap & trade more effectively, the American people will come to agree with him.  I think he has already communicated that message with great clarity, resulting in his free fall in the polls and 2:1 opposition.  The man is an educated fool.