Morning Briefs

The GOP Can’t Win a Senate Majority Without Moderates

Whether the GOP would want to have a senate majority where the balance of power is held by Mike Castle or Mark Kirk is a separate issue entirely.

Analysis after the jump. Follow my reasoning here…

There are 13 competitive senate races in 2010. (I am assuming the Republican seats in FL, OH, ID, NC, UT, MO, AK, NE, IA, MI, GA, SC, OK and AZ are safe as are the Democrat seats in NY, WV, MD, VT, HI and OR. Polls seem to bear this out… for now anyway.)

Now let’s take those 13 races and mark those as C where the Republican is conservative (as measured by ACU rating, past performance, or policy positions) or M for Moderate (and if a candidate is a fiscal conservative/social liberal we’ll call them moderates) and MC for Moderately Conservative.

AR-  C
CA – M
CO – C
CT – M
DE – C (O’Donnell) or M (Castle)
IL- M
IN- M
ND- M
NH- C or MC (TBD)
NV – C
PA- C
WA – M
WI- C

The Republicans have pretty solid locks on fIVE of these races (AR, IN, PA, NH, and ND). 3 out of those 5 candidates are conservative to moderately conservative. (NH is a conservative if the nominee is Ovide Lamontagne, moderately conservative if the candidate is Kelly Ayotte.) So, the five most likely pickups will have 2 Moderates and either 3 Conservatives or 2 conservatives and one Moderate conservative.

Eight other races are competitive. The GOP needs to pick up 4.

CA – M
CO – C
CT – M
DE – C
IL- M
NV – C
WA – M
WI – C

You can write off DE for the C if trainwreck O’Donnell is the nominee, as seems likely. So, best case scenario, the conservatives win in CO, NV, and WI. The GOP needs to pick up one more moderate for a majority. If that happens, the GOP would add 5/6 true conservatives, 1-2 moderate conservatives, and five moderates: Coats (IN), Hoeven (ND), and three of Fiorina (CA), McMahon (CT), Kirk, (IL) or Rossi (WA).

In other words, any configuration which gives the GOP a majority must elect at least three moderates for a majority. And since it is likely at least one of the three Conservatives in CO, NV, or WI will fail, the number could be four or five moderates to gain a majority.

Tell me where I’m wrong?

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3 responses

  1. Alan

    I don’t get your analysis that O’Donnell is a train wreck. I think people are so angry with the status quo and that they are willing to consider candidates that they wouldn’t normally consider which means that O’Donnell has a chance in a normally very blue state. She certainly doesn’t have much a chance if the RNC writes her off as a “train wreck”. By the way, why do you label her a train wreck?

    September 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    • Why do I call her a train-wreck? It’s a few things, basically. She responded to legitimate questions from a radio talk host by accusing him of being paid off by the castle campaign, which was intemperate. She lied about her college credentials… which is kind of a big deal. Lying is always bad. And then there’s the 7 figure sex discrimination lawsuit against ISI. And only $6,800 in income last year? What’s that about? If she were a Democrat woman, I’d look at all that and say, “That girl is messed up.” It wouldn’t be intellectually honest not to hold O’Donnell to the same standard.

      OTOH, I’m not like Karl Rove… I don’t hate O’Donnell. I wish her well. But I don’t her, or her supporters, do themselves favors by denying that she has some issues.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:02 am

  2. Beef

    She does seem to be a mess, and whether that is a fair characterization or not, the Republicans can now kiss the Senate majority goodbye.

    The O’Donnell victory was helped along by the idiot wing of the Republican party, personified by Sean Hannity.

    RINO’s like Lindsey Graham in places like South Carolina should not be tolerated, but Delaware? Come on.

    Castle was no conservative, but if his seat gave the party a 51-49 majority, Republican committee control could have effectively shut down the worst parts of the Obama agenda. That scenario took a big hit yesterday. Get ready for yet another Sotomayor or Kagan, votes on Cap and Trade, VAT taxes, and Amnesty for Illegals.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

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