Friday, October 7, 2011

U.S. Senate Democrats Face Epic Route in 2012

Could Democrats lose the U.S. Senate in 2012? The real question in the face of the current Republican electoral trend is how bad they could lose it.

Democrats must defend 23 U.S. Senate seats in 2012. Republicans only have to defend 10 seats. That's a lot of opportunities for Republicans. A loss of 4 seats would give control to Republicans. A loss of 14 seats would give Republicans a filibuster-proof majority.

Democrats are particularly vulnerable in 8 races, and losing just half of these would oust Harry Reid as U.S. Senate Majority Leader.

Claire McCaskillMissourifirst termer elected by only 49.6% in red state
Jon TesterMontanafirst termer elected by only 49.2% in red state
Ben NelsonNebraskacornhusker kickbacker faces red state anger
Bob MenendezNew Jerseyfirst termer in Chris Christie country
Jeff BingamanNew Mexicoretiring in purple state
Kent ConradNorth Dakotaretiring in red state
Jim WebbVirginiaretiring first termer
Joe ManchinWest Virginiawon 2010 special election in red state

Democrats also have some vulnerability in 10 other races. Democrats should win most of these but could lose some of them.

Dianne FeinsteinCaliforniamay retire
Joe LiebermanConnecticutretiring
Daniel AkakaHawaiiretiring
Ben CardinMarylandfirst termer
Debbie StabenowMichigansecond termer
Amy KlobucharMinnesotafirst termer
Kirsten GillibrandNew Yorkwon 2010 special election
Sherrod BrownOhiofirst termer
Sheldon WhitehouseRhode Islandfirst termer
Herb KohlWisconsinretiring

So how many races are vulnerable for Republicans? Just U.S. Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts, who will be running for his first full term.

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