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The new cycle begins and it is necessary to look at it from an overall overview. As always.

Before to begin we must remember that:

- The US Senators that will run the for reelection come from the 2007-08 cycle. It was a favourable cycle.

- The Governors that will run for the reelection come from the 2009-10 cycle, except in the case of NH and VT that come from the 2011-12 cycle. It was a very unfavourable cycle.

- The US House Representatives that will run for the reelection come from the 2011-12 cycle. It was a cycle with a Democratic tilt.

- The Statewide Elected Officials that will run for the reelection come from the 2009-10 cycle, except in the case of VT that come from the 2011-12 cycle.

Without know still if the 2013-14 cycle will be a good or a bad cycle, we can tell that the cycle begins with a better chance to look at gains than the previous cycle. For 2012 the senate races were from 2006 and the big majority of the gubernatorial and statewide races were from 2007-08, all very good years for the Democratic party. It was difficult to improve in all these fronts. The races for the US House were from 2010, a bad year, but they were strongly affected by the Redistricting process, giving to the Republicans a lot better chance for the defense of many seats. This time is different.

This cycle we can expect that the Gubernatorial and the Statewide fronts will give the better options for new gains, and that the Senate front will be the most difficult prospect to keep the current number of elected Democrats. To keep the majority in the senate is surely the most important goal in the cycle.


The Democratic Party begins the cycle with 55 senate seats (53 Democrats + 2 Democratic leaning Independents).

That gives to the Democratic Party the chance of losing 5 seats without lose the majority.

The polling in the cycle is giving the first results, and after see polled the majority of the important races, the Republicans are not having enough gains to win the majority, even in a worst case situation, with the Republicans being successful in the recruitment for every race. Good news to begin.

To protect every incumbent would be very important for the Democratic Party. And also GA-Sen and ME-Sen are showing signs of weakness. I would fight both.


The Democratic Party begins the cycle with 20 governors (19 Democrats + 1 Democratic leaning Independent).

It is a low number. It is necessary to improve, and the cycle gives the chance for it. Only after a new bad wave the Democratic Party would repeat as low number, but until now, the first poll results show not a new Republican wave, and are giving a prospect of some gain.

Until now the biggest risk comes from Massachusetts, where the chance of S Brown running for governor would make the race difficult. For this race it is necessary a good recruitment, it is necessary that the potential candidates most loved by the people run strong and win.

The prospect for gains is giving the best numbers in ME, MI, FL, PA, VA and WI. Also SC and AZ can be competitive. But still IA, NM, NV and NJ seems more difficult than we would like, and this can open the door to strong Republican candidates for President in 2016.


The Democratic Party begins the cycle with 201 house seats.

The 2011-12 cycle was a favorable cycle with a little Democratic tilt, but it was not repflected in the composition of the US House. The Republicans keep a majority thanks to the Redistricting process.

As example, we see in the blue states, that while before the Redistricting process it were 71 house districts with worse PVI than CO, after the Redistricting process the number up to 83. For the red states, before the Redistricting process it were 44 districts with better PVI than VA, and after the Redistricting process the number up to 46. The difference is clear, because the Democratic Party is conceding to the Republicans a lot more seats in the blue states than they do in the red states, and because the Republican Redistricting increased more still the difference.

We can see that the Democrats hold very few R+5+ seats (MN-07, GA-12, NC-07, WV-03 and UT-04) and the Republicans hold very few D+ seats (CA-31, CA-21, CO-06, NY-19 and NJ-02). All these seats will be strongly targeted by the other party and the balance at the end can be very close to a tie. I would not be surprised if a good number of them in both sides get open this cycle.

But the fight for the majority will be in the range of seats between EVEN and R+5. And except AZ-09, AZ-02, TX-23, AZ-01 and NE-02 all these seats (a lot) are in Obama 2012 states. The open seats in this range will be key. I see a chance of winning the majority in a good year. We know not still if this good year would be 2014 or not. California and New York will be key states in this fight.


With the gubernatorial level this level is giving the best chance for new gains. A good number of weak Republicans wins in 2010 and this time will need to defend their offices.

The Republicans hold now 23 statewide elected offices in D+ states (CO is also D+ after 2012):

- 3 will be open (IL-ST, NV-LG and CO-AG), giving the easiest prospect.
- 3 are Lieutenant Governors that runs in the same ticket with the Governor and seems endangered (MI-LG, PA-LG and WI-LG).
- 13 would be Republican incumbents running for reelection (all in the poll).
- 3 are Lieutenant Governors that runs in the same ticket with the Governor but seems not enough endangered (IA-LG, NM-LG and NJ-LG).  
- 1 is not for reelection until 2016 (WA-SS).

Also the Republicans hold interesting offices in the rest of the Obama states (VA, OH and FL):

- 2 will be open (VA-LG and VA-AG)
- 2 are Lieutenant Governors that runs in the same ticket with the Governor and seems endangered (FL-LG and OH-LG).
- 2 would be Republican incumbents running for reelection (OH-AG and OH-SA). And maybe more.

The Gubernatorial and the Statewide levels can make a difference for the Democratic Party this cycle. I think it would be interesting to look at these levels with positive spirit. The level of the statewide elected offices can give a good chance to young candidates that want to improve. I hope many of them consider it.


As a overall rule for all the levels, with very few exceptions, I feel very cold to fight for R+5+ offices without Democratic incumbent. In R+5+ constituencies I would fight hard the races with Democratic incumbents and only very few exceptions more that probe a strong chance of winning. As example, GA-Sen and SC-Gov, if there is a strong recruitment. SC-Sen(s), the former seat of J DeMint, can give a better chance than SC-Gov, but we have not polls still.

And as early conclusion, I think that it is difficult that the cycle in overall terms give loses to the Democratic Party. It can be some lose in the senate level, it can be a tie in the house level if the cycle is not good, but the gubernatorial and the statewide levels can give to the Democratic Party a good number of gains even in a cycle with a Republican tilt. Then the overal prospect is positive. The worst failure can come if the Democratic Party loses the majority in the senate, but the current numbers are not showing it.

PS: The last two options of the poll are check points to compare with the US House level.


Select the weakest Republican incumbent for the reelection, from this list

13%6 votes
15%7 votes
15%7 votes
4%2 votes
0%0 votes
4%2 votes
10%5 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
6%3 votes
0%0 votes
17%8 votes
8%4 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  at this stage... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin overall assessment is that, while the Democratic Party's chances of retaining control of the Senate are somewhat improved over a few weeks ago, it's still likely we'll lose 2-4 seats...and that winning a majoirity in House of Misrepresentatives is probably achieveable, under the right set of circumstances, it's highly unlike...although it also seems highly unlikely that Republicans will make any gains in the House as Democrats may pick up a few seats. On the statewide level, Democrats seem to have almost nowhere to go but up, after Republicans took over massive numbers of seats with the Tea Party demogoguery of 2010. My guess is that Democrats pick up a few governor seats (Republicans will be defending six vulnerable governor's seats (RI, PA, ME, FL, Oh, MI (and possibly WI), while Democrats have only one or two seats that could become vulnerable, depending on circumstances (AR, IL).

    As for the Senate, if the Democrats can make GA & KY competitive and Susan Collins retires in ME, Democrats could actually end up keeping their 55-45 seat margin, or, perhaps, even picking up a seat.

    •  To win the majority in the US House would be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, wdrath

      the biggest success in the cycle.

      This time the Republicans have a lot less chance of winning new seats. There are two big reasons for it. The first reason is that very few Democrats win underperforming Obama and the majority of them would also win if Obama would have a 49% in the place of a 51%. The second reason is that these Democrats will be also in more favourable seats that in other cycles, and now will be incumbents and will run with more money.

      If the things go without waves the Republicans will win very few seats. Maybe 5 or less, and with these numbers it is difficult to think about losing seats. The current number of seats seems a solid floor for the blue team if there is not a new Republican wave. And until now the numbers show not it.

    •  At the point, SD and WV look like the only (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, wdrath, James Allen

      senate races where the GOP may have an advantage (given LA and AK polling), and I don't even think we have polling in SD. I'm hoping to see an Arkansas poll soon, but my gut feels good to Pryor (otoh, unless there's some radical political turnaround, I'd bet against him for 2020).

      ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

      by GoUBears on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:11:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like our chances with the governors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, James Allen

    However if we can mitigate losses in the senate, that would be okay. If given the option now now taking R+3 in the senate, or the results of the election, I would take the R+3. It is possible Democrats do better than that, but I am not a betting man, and the worst case in 2014 is really really bad. Oh, there is one error in your write up with regards to the senate. The Democrats can actually lose 5 seats and retain control of the senate, because a 50-50 senate goes to Biden for a tie breaker. Also, I have no faith in Democrats retaking the house in 2014.

    •  The fight will be hard for every competitive seat (0+ / 0-)

      50-50 with Biden breaking the tie would be a very risky situation. Still it is a Democratic majority, you are right, but in this case, I would feel significantly less safe.

      In a worst case situation the Republicans can win 8 seats as maximum, keeping all their current seats:



      This would be a true debacle, I think there are a lot details that goes against this scenario. For it, the Republicans need to do their best in the recruitment, and they also need a strong wave. I see not it as a real chance. The Republicans are having some recruitment serious failures.

      •  My prediction.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...yes, I know how far out it is.

        We lose WV and SD.  I'm leaning towards a hold in MT and AK.  And we keep NC, LA, AR, and IA.  And the other already R seats stay R, unless Collins retires in ME.

        If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules

        by CO Democrat on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:31:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a logical prediction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CO Democrat

          The Republicans have strong recruitment in WV and SD. Still we know not poll numbers about SD and I would not rule out that T Johnson be competitive vs M Round. If M Rounds would have a clear advantage I think we would have some poll. I think there is some poll about SD, but has not been released.

          Also the Republicans can take some advantage of a good recruitment in MT and AK, but it seems a lot less clear, and if they do not the right recruitment their second choice would not be a lot weaker.

          In AR, LA, NC and IA doing their best in the Recruitment it seems like at this point they can only make the race competitive. The advantage seems for the Democratic party.

          But still we need polls about SD, MT and AR to confirm it.

  •  AZ-Gov (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, Zack from the SFV, GoUBears

    I really want to know who will run.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:42:13 PM PST

  •  I would like the people sugest in this diary (0+ / 0-)

    potential candidates for these offices in Republican hands that seems not as difficult. Is the people happy with the first challengers? It is possible to find someone stronger?

    IL-ST Open
    NV-LG Open
    CO-AG Open

    MI-LG B Calley 1977
    PA-LG J Cawley 1969

    DE-SA T Wagner 1955
    IL-SC J Topinka 1944
    VT-LG P Scott 1958
    MI-SS R Johnson 1955
    IA-SS M Schultz 1979
    MI-AG W Schuette 1953
    CO-SS S Gessler 1965
    CO-ST W Stapleton 1974
    WI-ST K Schuller 1955
    IA-SA D Vaudt 1954
    NM-SS D Duran 1956
    WI-AG J Van Hollen 1966
    IA-SALS W Northey 1959

    CA-31 G Miller 1948
    CO-06 M Coffman 1955
    NY-19 C Gibson 1964
    CA-21 D Valadao 1977

    I will also to try to give some answer.

  •  There are strong candidates for every office (0+ / 0-)

    For everyone of these offices we can find high level potential candidates. For all the offices except CO-06 we can find potential candidates that would have at least the level of a statewide officer.

    For CO-06 A Romanoff is the highest level candidate that I find. To have him in the primary is good news because this was the office with weaker bench of potential candidates.

    In the majority of the states where are these offices, it is not easy to find winner candidates, the Democratic Party lost these races in 2010 and 2012. Then I think it would be a good idea to recruit candidates between the most prominent politicians that are out of office.


    •  lists of high level available candidates by state (0+ / 0-)


      There are bolded the people that can be the most interesting candidates. The majority of them because born after 1950 and a few others because there are not more high level options.

      DE-SA T Wagner (R) 1955
      List of high level available candidates:
      Richard R Wier Jr
      Carl Danberg
      Charles M Oberly III
      Dennis E Greenhouse
      Velda Jones-Potter

      VT-LG P Scott 1958
      List of high level available candidates:
      Howard B Dean
      Douglas A Racine
      Deborah Markowitz
      M Jerome Diamond
      Paul W Ruse Jr
      George B Spaulding
      Edward S Flanagan
      Donald M Hooper

      NEW YORK
      NY-19 C Gibson 1964
      List of high level available candidates:
      John J Hall

      (IL-LG Open by D)
      (IL-AG Open by D)
      IL-ST Open by R
      IL-SC J Topinka 1944
      List of high level available candidates:
      William Daley (if run not for Governor)
      Rahm Emanuel
      Austen Goolsbee
      Patrick Quinn (if run not for Governor)
      Melissa L Bean
      Terry L Bruce
      Jerry F Costello
      Glenn Poshard
      Deborah L Halvorson
      John W Cox Jr
      David D Phelps
      Philip G Hare

      California has three statewide offices open by Democrats because of term limits. The list for them would be very long.
      CA-31 G Miller 1948
      CA-21 D Valadao 1977
      List of high level available candidates for CA-31:
      Joseph N Baca
      List of high level available candidates for CA-21:
      Richard H Lehman
      Cruz Bustamante
      Calvin M Dooley (CA-22)
      Dennis A Cardoza (CA-16)

      From these easier states there are a good number of options for these offices except for NY-19 and CA-31. J Baca would be really silly if he run not for CA-31.

    •  lists of high level available candidates by state (0+ / 0-)


      CO-AG Open by R
      CO-SS S Gessler 1965
      CO-ST W Stapleton 1974
      CO-06 M Coffman 1955
      List of high level available candidates:
      A William Ritter
      Kenneth L Salazar
      Federico F Peña
      Raymond P Kogovsek
      David E Skaggs
      John T Salazar
      Elizabeth H Markey
      Michael Callihan
      Samuel H Cassidy
      Gail S Schoettler
      Barbara O'Brien
      Cary Kennedy
      Bernie Buescher
      List of high level available candidates for CO-06:

      PA-LG J Cawley 1969
      List of high level available candidates:
      Joseph A Sestak
      Patrick J Murphy
      Robert W Edgar
      Peter H Kostmayer
      Donald A Bailey
      William H Gray III
      Jason Altmire
      Mark S Critz
      T Timothy Holden
      Ronald Klink
      Robert A Borski
      Christopher P Carney
      Kathleen A Dahlkemper
      Joseph M Hoeffel III
      Mark S Singel
      Barbara Hafer
      Robin L Wiessmann
      Jack E Wagner

      (NM-ST Open by D)
      (NM-AG Open by D)
      (NM-SA Open by D)
      NM-SS D Duran 1956
      List of high level available candidates:
      Diane D Denish
      Toney Anaya
      Harry Teague
      Hector Balderas
      James B Lewis
      Gary King
      and some former statewide officers.

      (NV-SS Open by D)
      (NV-AG Open by D)
      (NV-ST Open by D)
      (NV-SC Open by D)
      NV-LG Open by R
      List of high level available candidates:
      Rory J Reid
      R Shelley Berkley
      Ross J Miller
      Catherine Cortez Masto
      Kathe Marshall
      Kimberly Wallin
      Frankie S Del Papa

      WI-ST K Schuller 1955
      WI-AG J Van Hollen 1966
      List of high level available candidates:
      Thomas M Barrett
      Peter W Barca
      G D Jerry Kleczka
      Steven L Kagen
      James T Flynn
      Barbara Lawton
      Peggy Lautenschlager
      Dawn Marie Sass

      MI-LG B Calley 1977
      MI-SS R Johnson 1955
      MI-AG W Schuette 1953
      List of high level available candidates:
      James J Blanchard
      M Robert Carr
      David E Bonior
      Mark Schauer
      Bartholomew T Stupak
      James A Barcia
      Lynn N Rivers
      Dennis M Hertel
      Hansen H Clarke
      David A Curson
      John D Cherry

      (IA-01 Open by D)
      IA-SS M Schultz 1979
      IA-SA D Vaudt 1954
      IA-SALS W Northey 1959
      List of high level available candidates for IA-01:
      Michael T Blouin
      List of high level available candidates:
      David R Nagle
      Sally Pederson
      Robert T Anderson
      Patty J Judge
      Michael A Mauro

      Even in the less favourable states there is a bench of experienced candidates in adition to younger candidates that can emerge. Some of these experienced candidates can be strong still and in these states it would be good to take profit if it is possible because it is not easy to find winners.

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