Anyway, I love the clarity of the graph and the map and the concise presentation of the "Analysis of the 15 states in play." We should bone up on these details. We spend so much time staring at the presidential candidates. I want to pay much more attention to these Senate races, including the race in my own state, which is one of the 8 "tossups":
The retirement of Senator Herb Kohl, a four-term Democrat, creates a wide-open race in a state that is already awash in political crosscurrents. An effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, will draw interest groups and money from both sides into the state. A former longtime governor, Tommy Thompson, is among the Republicans who are trying to win the primary to face Representative Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Madison in her first statewide race.There's so much more than that happening here, of course, but I lack even that level of information about the other 14 tossups.
The NYT also has an article, written by Jennifer Steinhauer, called "Feuding Hurts G.O.P.’s Hopes to Win Senate."
In a number of states where Republicans have been hopeful of picking up a seat, they are being hampered by some of the same dynamics that vexed their party in 2008, including trouble recruiting strong and experienced candidates, intra-party fighting, weak fund-raising and the very same anti-incumbent sentiment that also threatens Democrats.Is the NYT bolstering the spirits of its readers, or are the Republicans really dragging each other down? Example of a problem cited in the article:
Winning the Senate is tantalizingly within reach for Republicans, who have just 10 seats up for re-election, compared with the 23 that Democrats will defend next year, many of them in states where Democrats barely won in strong years for their party. Powerful national political trends continue to favor Republicans, especially in a weak economy.
But on a state by state basis, there are factors that give the Democrats hope and the Republicans pause....
[I]n Ohio... Josh Mandel, the state treasurer, a Marine Corps veteran and fund-raising powerhouse, is somewhat disadvantaged in his race against the incumbent Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown, by the fact the he looks too young to shave, several party officials acknowledged.Okay. He's a Marine Corps veteran, but he looks too young to shave. Noted. Let's scan further...
... Republicans have some concerns even in states that heavily favor them, including North Dakota, and Democrats are investing heavily in places like Nebraska, even though Senator Ben Nelson’s voting record often has the Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, pulling at his gray tufts of hair.More hair problems! I think that means Nelson's technically a Democrat, so he helps the Democrats maintain majority status, but he's not much of a Democrat, presumably because Nebraskans want someone voting more like a Republican. According to the first-linked page, Nelson might not run:
If he does, the race will become a key test for whether a moderate Democrat can win re-election in a conservative state when Republican turnout is expected to be high in a presidential year. He often votes with Republicans, but his 11th-hour support for the health care law still haunts him politically. Even so, Republicans have struggled to find a well-established candidate.Back to the Steinhauer article:
The biggest fear among Republicans is of divisive primaries in which Tea Party-backed candidates prevail in states where they cannot win the general election, as happened in 2010 in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada, or that weaken the preferred candidate in the process.I guess that's the "feuding" referenced in the headline. Is it feuding or hybrid vigor? I think it's fine for a party to have internal debating between moderate and more extreme contingencies. It's vital, and not bland. But then I'm a moderate. I know the staunch conservatives think moderates are bland.
Fears of ideologically divisive primaries often keep the best candidates from running, some Republican officials said.Thank you, Martha Breene, the chairwoman of the Venango County Republican Party, for dishing up the quote needed for this article. If you want to know what "Republican officials" are saying, be sure to check in on Venango County. It's the pulse of Pennsylvania.
“We are having trouble recruiting,” said Martha Breene, the chairwoman of the Venango County Republican party in Pennsylvania. “You often are not getting what you hope you could be getting, and then there is the Tea Party factor. A lot of them have good intent but it is sort of like they are the police men of all things and they aren’t going to let other Republicans matter.”