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First I will begin giving the results of my research about who performed better in the last elections in the bluest states.

Following this conditions:

- To take Democratic or Democratic leaning Independent politicians.
- To include not the politicians with higher level in the order of precedence than a Secretary of the Cabinet (level 18).
- To take politicians that run a race for the Senate and Governor.
- To take politicians that run not but poll recently stronger than the politicians that run.
- To take politicians that born in 1941 or later, and the older incumbents in the senate or as governors.
- To take only the last result of every politician in these races. If someone runs later unsuccesfully for lower level office, gets out.

I compared the data of every politician with the presidential numbers or with the US House overall numbers (in mid-term elections) of the cycle. And later I quit the effect of the Partisan Voting Index of every state to give all them a single basis.

With the data I made the following rank about who performed better in his last high level race:


+05.0% WA G Locke
He is here because the three following people in his home state are just the highest level incumbents for the following cycle. He is a fair and strong candidate for high government positions.

I'm not very friend of the idea of many changes in the Cabinet. But I think maybe positive some change that would affect not to the younger members of the Cabinet and would affect not to key incumbents in key places in overall terms.


+16.5% NM J Bingaman
+12.3% MN A Klobuchar
+11.4% DE J Markell
+10.6% NY C Schumer
+09.5% RI J Reed
+08.8% IA T Harkin
+08.4% OR R Wyden
+08.0% MD B Mikulski
+07.1% VT B Sanders (I)
+07.0% NV R Miller
+06.9% IL R Durbin
+06.3% PA E Rendell
+05.9% CO J Hickenlooper
+05.8% MI C Levin
+04.6% CA D Feinstein
+04.6% WA M Cantwell
+04.0% NJ R Menendez
+03.3% CT R Blumenthal
+01.4% HI N Abercrombie
- 08.4% MA D Patrick

+00.2% WI R Feingold
- 04.8% ME A King (I)

+05.8% NH J Lynch

Some of them are not in office but they have or should have value in their home states. I would consider them as the strongest challengers for the strongest republican incumbents in their home state:

2014 NM-Gov: J Bingaman vs S Martínez
2018 NV-Sen: R Miller vs D Heller
2016 PA-Sen: E Rendell vs P Toomey
2016 WI-Sen: R Feingold vs R Johnson
2016 NH-Sen: J Lynch vs K Ayotte

I would heavily try to recruit all them and in the case of the races for 2016 I would consider an appointment to the Cabinet until then if that would promote them positively.

R Miller is Robert Miller, the father, the former governor. He has very good results as governor, but unfortunately we see not him running for the senate.

I think J Kerry deserves an appointment as Secretary of State. I would not be opposed in this case. If H Clinton must be replaced I think he would be the right appointment, but it is necessary to take into account that S Brown can take the seat. There is the same trouble that the Democratic party has with the Governor's office that D Patrick is leaving open. But there is also some positive detail. Like we will see in the following lines, D Patrick performed a little better than E Warren comparing with the overall Democratic average, then D Patrick would be a very strong candidate for the seat of J Kerry, and I doubt S Brown would run against him. The true trouble is likely in the race for governor, and I would recommend begin to work fast against S Brown. I think S Brown will not have the same financial strength the following time.


+08.5% DE T Carper
+06.6% VT P Leahy
+06.6% NY A Cuomo
+06.4% NM T Udall
+04.9% CO W Ritter
+04.4% NV H Reid
+03.9% MI D Stabenow
+03.5% IL L Madigan (from polls of the last cycle)
+02.9% RI S Whitehouse
+02.6% WA P Murray
+02.2% PA J Sestak
+02.0% MD M O'Malley
+01.3% CA G Brown
+00.3% OR J Kitzhaber
- 00.9% NJ F Lautenberg
- 01.2% HI M Hirono
- 02.2% CT D Malloy
- 02.6% MN A Wynia
- 09.6% MA E Warren

+00.9% IA T Vilsack
- 01.3% WI J Doyle
- 08.4% ME C Pingree

+01.7% NH M Hassan

In this group there are also some politicians out of office. Some of them can be again very strong challengers for the highest level incumbents in their home state:

2016 IL-Sen: L Madigan vs M Kirk
2014 PA-Gov: J Sestak vs T Corbett
2016 IA-Sen: T Vilsack vs C Grassley
2014 WI-Gov: J Doyle vs S Walker
2014 ME-Sen: C Pingree vs S Collins

In the case of Illinois, until now L Madigan appears as the strongest Democrat after R Durbin. I prefer to see the strongest candidate challenging Kirk before than Quinn. To see new polls would be very good here.

In the case of Maryland, the natural step for M O'Malley, affected by term limits can be to replace B Mikulski in her senate seat. In this case it would not be risk in her retirement. For the open gubernatorial race, I expect not big troubles.

W Ritter (CO) and A Wynia (MN) are from states where the two senators and the governor are Democrats. I hope, I wish, that the current incumbents in these states have better results in their following reelection bid.


+06.4% NY K Gillibrand
+04.8% DE C Coons
+03.0% CO K Salazar
+00.8% PA R Casey
+00.3% CA B Boxer
+00.2% MI J Granholm
- 00.3% NM D Denish
- 00.5% OR L AuCoin
- 01.0% MD P Glendening
- 03.1% MN M Dayton
- 03.1% CT C Murphy
- 03.9% NJ J Corzine
- 04.2% HI J Waihe'e
- 04.4% WA J Inslee
- 06.1% VT P Shumlin
- 09.7% MA M Coakley

- 01.5% WI T Baldwin
- 02.5% IA C Culver
- 04.2% NV R Reid
- 06.2% IL P Quinn
- 12.9% RI M York
- 13.3% ME T Andrews

- 01.2% NH J Shaheen

Here we have a very interesting situation. While the Democrats in 2010 have low results, some of them perform well and despite the defeat, they are between the best performs in relation with the Democratic average in their home state.

The bench of people with the third best result is not especially strong in many states, and this is the first reason to be prudent promoting incumbents of the previous groups to the cabinet. The replacement would be dificult in many states like MI, PA, MA, RI, MD, OR, CT, NJ, WI, IA, NV, IL, ME, NH...

Looking at the incumbents of this third group, I would wait to see some poll about Quinn, but I tend to be cold about the idea of an expensive primary. I see not Quinn as a sure loser, I see very hard time for the Republicans defeating him, but it is necessary to see some poll. In few words, I would like to see the strongest in the polls (without count Durbin) against Kirk, and the second for Governor. If the second is Quinn I would be against a primary. If the second is someone else, I would like Quinn run not again.

Still we have without a clear Democratic challenger:

2014 MI-Gov: ????? vs R Snyder
2013 NJ-Gov: ????? vs C Christie
2014 IA-Gov: ????? vs T Branstad
2014 NV-Gov: ????? vs B Sandoval
2014 ME-Gov: ????? vs P LePage

Who can be the best Democratic challenger against them? The answer to this question is the candidate that can improve the results of the third best performers. I would promote open primaries and I would not be opposed to the idea of the people of the list running again between more candidates.


+02.9% CO M Bennet
- 00.1% CO M Udall
- 01.9% NM M Heinrich
- 03.9% MD B Cardin
- 08.0% OR J Merkley
- 12.9% MN A Franken
???????? HI B Schatz
- 19.7% RI L Chafee (I)
The case of Colorado is very good. The current senators are out of the three better results but that mean not they have bad results. In the last years every Democrat in the highest level races has very good results in the state.

Heinrich and Cardin have finally a little worse results than expected. They need to work for improve it the following time.

And again, like in the case of A King (I), to have three strong parties in a race means danger and means to be far of the Democratic overall average. It would be necessary some agreement at least in the case of L Chafee (I).

Looking at the numbers, I think the Republicans should have little hope of winning new offices in these states in 2014. This year they spend without sense in a lot of races where the Democratic candidates were in solid positions, and spend not enough in must win (for them) races. The Democratic Party would be lucky if the GOP repeats the mistake in 2014, but I doubt about it. For this cycle the GOP has a lot of races for defense in D+ states, and I think they will lose a decent number of them.

As overall philosophy (that can have some exception), I would like all the Democratic incumbents running again in these states, I would not like expensive primaries in unnecessary places, and I would like the strongest challengers with high financial support for the offices in Republican hands, including of course ME-Sen. It is to play offensive in these states.

The rest of the states deserve a second diary.

Wed Dec 26, 2012 at  8:49 AM PT: Updated after the death of D Inouye, the appointment of J Kerry as Secretary of State, and the appointment of B Schatz for the senate.

Mon Jan 14, 2013 at  2:27 AM PT: After to see a little mistake in the numbers for J Doyle, he goes to the second group and R Feingold to the first. As consecuence R Feingold would be the strongest challenger for WI-Sen 2016 and J Doyle would be the strongest challenger for WI-Gov 2014.

Originally posted to abgin on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:22 AM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.


Select the most difficult challenge for a Democratic victory

10%6 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
5%3 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
3%2 votes
10%6 votes
7%4 votes
23%13 votes
16%9 votes
5%3 votes
1%1 votes
8%5 votes
1%1 votes

| 56 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jim Doyle is a bit of a special case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He won in 2006 because it was 2006 (an exceptionally strong Dem year at the state level in Wisconsin), but he had horrible reelect numbers in 2010- that's why he didn't run for reelection. Walker then ran a campaign that was based around saying that Barrett was just like Doyle and won. The rest is history, and so is Jim Doyle's political career. Most WI Democrats would like to never hear about him again.

    Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison)

    by fearlessfred14 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:35:51 AM PST

    •  This numbers are comparing the (0+ / 0-)

      result of every candidate with the Democratic average for the same cycle. Because of that you can see in the ranks candidates that run and lost in bad year. Like you can see R Feingold lost but still performing a little better than T Baldwin this year. In this work every Democratic overall average gets at the same level (00.0%) and all the states gets at the same level because I also quit the effect of the PVI.

      Even being a very Democratic year J Doyle overperform the overall Democratic result, and after quit the effect of the PVI of his state he has the best result in his home state.

      In 2010 he surely would lose, the difference with R Feingold is small like you can see, and R Feingold lost. But still the numbers tell he is at this point the politician with the best result and I would consider him for 2016.

  •  First of all (0+ / 0-)

    Madigan is not going to run for the senate, alot of political junkies in Illinois expect her to run for Governor. Plus I don't think Kirk is going to run again. The two ppl I see running for that seat are either Bustos or Duckworth. If he does want to run again, stroke or not, Dems should be hell bent on getting the President's old seat back.

    Kind would be the strongest challenge to Johnson.

    I agree Lynch would be Ayotte's toughest challenger. But depending on how Gov-elect Hassan does, she could be a tough challenger as well.

    Eddy Rendell willl not run. Everyone in PA knows that Allyson Schwartz can't wait till 2016. She been eyeing ever since it looked like Toomey was going to jus hang on and cross the finsh line in 2010. After Sestak made a late surge.

    Grassley may retire, I don't expect him to run in '16.

    I believe Feingold is the strongest Dem to take on Walker. But my concern with him is how he is willing out of principle, will to fight with one hand behind his back when is comes to financing.

    Moderate Progressive, Born in Cairo, Raised in NY-11, Living in NJ-13.

    by BKGyptian89 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:03:50 PM PST

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Would Kind's seat be an easy hold should he decide to run against Johnson?

      •  Kind's seat is very blue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when he runs and leave that seat open, that should not be a hard hold.

        Moderate Progressive, Born in Cairo, Raised in NY-11, Living in NJ-13.

        by BKGyptian89 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:20:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   This diary is not about the rumors, is about the (0+ / 0-)

          numbers. This diary gives an analysis from the numbers.

          The last cycle was so sad in Illinois. The Democratic Party lost 3 statewide offices in the state. The people in Illinois must realize that in 2010 the Democratic party only lost 6 offices in constituencies over D+4 in the entire country and three of them were in Illinois (VT-LG, IL-Sen, IL-SC, IL-ST, DE-SA and ME-Sen), one of them against a 20+ years incumbent (DE-SA) and other in a three ways race (ME-Gov).

          This year the Democratic Party only loses two offices in constituencies over D+2, but some of the Illinois competitive seats have very close result after spending too much, and IL-13 is the second US House district with better PVI that the Democratic Party loses.

          It is necessary for Illinois and for the national Democratic Party to improve that. We can not think everyone can win in Illinois spending the enough money.

          I think the people in Illinois must think about that. Must think about the ways to make easier the victories and must think the ways to help better to the interest of the Democratic Party in the nation. To expend unnecesary money in D+8 states dammage the financial situation of other candidates in worse constituencies, and that is not affordable in 2014 and 2016.

          Bustos and Duckworth wins, but doing the same math for their districts than in this diary both are still in negative numbers in her own district. They are underperforming in the alone districts that know enough about them. I think it is not time of begin building candidates in Illinois. That needs tons of money.

          Well, I think it is necessary to work that a lot. To see a decent number of polls finding the strongest Democrats and to clean the way to the strongest Democrats in every race in Illinois in order to save money that is necessary if we want to be competitive in other states.

          •  I forget IL-10 (0+ / 0-)

            Then it were 7 offices with higher PVI than D+4 in 2010, 4 of them in Illinois.

            In 2010, D+4 was like the barreer for the Republicans in all the nation except in Illinois.

            It is necessary to improve the organization.

        •  Still the rumors have also a place here (0+ / 0-)

          Thank you for posting about the rumors and about what you think.

      •  Specifically it's a D+6 rural seat (0+ / 0-)

        with a very deep Democratic bench and a somewhat depleted Republican bench. It has a mild Democratic trend, so even a mainstream Democrat should have little trouble holding it (note that no Republican Congresscritter will hold a seat this blue as of January). Republicans would probably seriously contest WI-03 if open, but it would probably start out at Likely D in a neutral year.

        Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison)

        by fearlessfred14 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:05:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  D+6? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Wow.  That seems high for a rural district.  How many are there like that in the country?

          •  Not all that many (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Here are the D+ districts that jump out as rural to me:

            GA-02: D+4 (majority-minority)
            HI-02: D+11 (majority-minority)
            IA-01: D+5
            IA-02: D+4
            IL-17: D+6
            MA-01: D+14
            ME-02: D+3
            MN-08: D+3
            MS-02: D+10 (majority-minority)
            NH-02: D+3
            NM-03: D+7 (majority-minority)
            NC-01: D+17 (majority-minority)
            OR-04: D+2
            TX-15: D+1 (majority-minority)
            TX-28: D+2 (majority-minority)
            TX-34: D+3 (majority-minority)
            VT-AL: D+13
            WI-03: D+6

            As WI-03 is slightly less Democratic than neighboring IL-17, it is the fourth most Democratic white rural district. Note that all the districts on this list voted for Democratic Representatives this election (IL-17 and MN-08 were pickups, all others have D incumbents). So all in all, Kind's seat wouldn't be a very hard hold.

            Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison)

            by fearlessfred14 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:58:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The senate 2014 - 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    Under the current situation the basis for a Democratic majority in the senate is:

    2 seats 23 bluest states
    2 seats VA
    1 seat OH
    1 seat FL
    50 seats

    The Democratic Party has the seats in VA, OH and FL, but has not 7 of the seats in the bluest states. All these seats must be a clear goal because will not be easy to keep other seats in reder states. Only one of them, ME-Sen is in play in 2014.

    In the other side, the Democratic Party will begin 2013 with 12 seats in reder states but seven of them are in play in 2014.

    WV Manchin compensate until 2018 NV Heller
    MO McCaskill compensate compensate until 2018 IA Grassley
    MT Tester compensate until 2018 NH Ayotte
    IN Donnelly compensate until 2018 WI Johnson
    ND Heitkamp compensate until 2018 PA Toomey

    AR Pryor
    MT Baucus
    WV Rockefeller
    SD Johnson
    NC Hagan
    LA Landrieu
    AK Begich

    To keep the 50 seats after 2014 is necessary to win two of these seats to compensate IL Kirk and ME Collins, or only one defeating Collins.

    I'm optimistic. I see Warner, Franken, Merkley, Udall or Harkin in solid position for defending their seats, and I also see Patrick strong for the seat of Kerry if it is necessary. Very hard work for the Republicans challenging them.

    Then, the key for keeping the majority is in these races in R+ territory and in ME-Sen. It will be necessary a lot of money in these races. It is necessary to win 2 of 8 seats.

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