Senate Races in 2014

Posted by on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

In the past week, there has been no end of discussion about the presidential election results; where the blame should lie, how the GOP should change courses, what to do about 2016. However, there has been very little said yet about the Senate races coming up in 2014. Not all of the following candidates are confirmed to be running again, but take a look at the races coming up in just two years:


Alabama – Jeff Sessions (R)

Alaska – Mark Begich (D)

Arkansas – Mark Pryor (D)

Colorado – Mark Udall (D)

Delaware – Chris Coons (D)

Georgia – Saxby Chambliss (R)

Idaho – Jim Risch (R)

Illinois – Richard Durbin (D)

Iowa – Tom Harkin (D)

Kansas – Pat Roberts (R)

Kentucky – Mitch McConnell (R)

Louisiana – Mary Landrieu (D)

Maine – Susan Collins (R)

Massachusetts – John Kerry (D)

Michigan – Carl Levin (D)

Minnesota – Al Franken (D)

Mississippi – Thad Cochran (R)

Montana – Max Baucus (D)

Nebraska – Mike Johanns (R)

New Hampshire – Jeanne Shaheen (D)

New Jersey – Frank Lautenberg (D)

New Mexico – Tom Udall (D)

North Carolina – Kay Hagan (D)

Oklahoma – Jim Inhofe (R)

Oregon – Jeff Merkley (D)

Rhode Island – Jack Reed (D)

South Carolina – Lindsey Graham (R)

South Dakota – Tim Johnson (D)

Tennessee – Lamar Alexander (R)

Texas – John Cornyn (R)

Virginia – Mark Warner (D)

West Virginia – Jay Rockefeller (D)

Wyoming – Mike Enzi (R)

And this analysis from the Washington Post may cheer some disheartened Republicans who will be looking for a mid-term win. The Republicans have only 13 of the 33 seats on the ballot, a huge opportunity for a swing. And just imagine tossing “Senator Smalley” Al Franken. Wait, I need a moment to wipe the grin off my face and compose myself again…

A few things to note before getting extremely giddy, though.

  • In 2012 the Republicans in the House lost only 9 seats. Gerrymandering can make it easier to hold seats, but the Senate, as we just saw, doesn’t work that way. Potential candidates had better be out there now, taking the pulse of the people in these states and figuring out the best way to win. Primary season is one year away.
  • General elections are a whole different animal from primary elections. The primary should be focused, first and foremost, on finding the right candidate to win the general election. It’s a job interview, and the measure of performance should be whether the candidate is equipped to deliver the seat to your party.
  • There are a lot of lessons in the 2012 Senate races. Potential candidates looking to run in 2014 had better be able to handle the pressure, the campaign mechanics, AND the media. Candidates, I am begging you, go get help NOW mastering interviews and debates. Find a coach that will ask you more difficult questions than fans and supporters. The media will not help you. Learn that now, and be prepared to face them.
  • Finally there’s this small bit of cheer – off-year elections tend more to bring the die-hard voters out than the casual voters, and that is a far easier hurdle to jump than conservatives had in 2012.

See, the outlook isn’t all bad after all.

  • Trepur

    I agree. I am one of those optimistic voters who thought this wasn’t as bad as everyone else.

    2008 vs 2012:
    Difference between 2008 and 2012:

    Presidential election:

    Electoral votes: Mccain got 173 electoral votes, Romney got 206 (+33)
    Popular vote: Obama got 69.5 million in 2008, and 62.8 in 2012 (-6.7 million)
    Mccain got 59.9 million in 2008, Romney got 59.3 (-0.6 million)
    Democrats lost a new of 6.1 million voters.
    Plurality: Obama got 52.9% in 2008, 50.6 in 2012 (-2.3)
    Mccain got 45.7% in 2008, Romney got 47.8 in 2012 (+2.1)
    Net difference of 4.4% in Republican favor

    Senate Elections:

    35 seats up for grabs, 23 republican incumbents, 12 democrat.
    8 republican incumbents defeated, 0 democrat incumbants defeated

    33 seats, 23 democrat incumbents, 10 republican
    1 democrat incumbent defeated, 3 republican incuments defeated
    net gain of 2 for the democrats.
    I would say the senate was as disaterous as last time, since we had less incumbents we shouldn’t have been expected to lose any.

    Democrats win 21 seats and retain control
    Republicans lose 8 seats and retain control
    Way better result in the house.

    Gubernatorial elections:

    11 elections, 6 democrat incumbents, 5 republican.
    1 democrat gain.


    12 elections, 4 republican incumbents, 8 democrat
    1 republican gain
    A slightly better result in gubernatorial elections

    This was hardly the fall of the republican party. The reason why everything is talking about the fall is because in 2008, everyone knew we were going to lose and so the result wasn’t surprising, this time, it was expected to be close, and we lost. but the loss was no where near as bad as 2008.

    Its the short term memory of the voter to think that we got killed in this election.