One of my pet peeves this election season is that people aren't being aggressive enough in U.S. Senate races. Of the 33 seats up this cycle, two thirds are held by Democrats. Of the seats held by Democrats, thirteen are in states that are neither in New England or on the West Coast.
The Republican 'thumpin' of 2006 was six years ago; all those seats are up.
(Author's note: Obviously, this analysis is based on the Republicans holding the seats they currently possess; with the possible exception of the open seat in Maine, they should do that without breaking a sweat.)
Consider the following races:
- Nebraska (open) -- Bob Kerrey vs. Deb Fischer -- Retiring Democrat Ben Nelson was the man behind the infamous Cornhusker Kickback, which gave us Obamacare. Mitt and Fisher are up 10 in the most recent poll I could find. Case closed.
- Montana -- Sen. Jon Tester vs. Denny Rehberg -- From the stimulus, to Obamacare, to Dodd-Frank, Jon Tester has voted for every horrific piece of legislation that Obama has signed. Mitt's up 9 in the most recent poll I could find. Case closed.
- North Dakota (open) -- Heidi Heitkamp vs. Rick Berg -- This race is similar to the Nebraska race listed above. Barack Obama is so hated in this state that incumbent Democrat Kent Conrad chose to retire. This is also a state with a massive oil boom. Barack Obama, obviously, hates oil. Mitt's coattails alone should get Berg across the finish line.
- Virginia (open) -- (Former Gov.) Tim Kaine vs. (Former Gov and Sen) George Allen -- In 2006, retiring Sen. Jim Webb barely squeaked by following a manufactured media hit job against (then incumbent Sen.) George Allen. Furthermore, two years as Barack Obama's DNC chair publicly exposed former Gov. Tim Kaine as a blithering idiot. In a state where Republicans have been ascendant since Obama took office, and where Mitt is surging, Allen will win.
- Wisconsin (open) -- Tammy Baldwin vs. (former Gov. and Bush HHS. Sec'y) Tommy Thompson -- Two words: Scott Walker. Two more words: Paul Ryan. Mitt's also surging.
- Ohio -- Sen. Sherrod Brown vs. Josh Mandel -- Sherrod Brown is the most liberal Senator in America (just like Obama). Josh Mandel is an Iraq vet and a bit of a Wunderkind. Considering how closely tied Sherrod Brown and Obama are, there will be very few ticket splitters. Ohio is outperforming the nation economically, and the entire election could come down to whether Ohio voters give Obama or Gov. John Kasich credit. Republicans seem to be winning that argument.
- Florida -- Sen. Bill Nelson vs. Connie Mack -- Obamacare remains despised in Florida, and Bill Nelson voted for it. Much like reports of Mark Twain's death, Florida's status as a swing state is greatly exaggerated. Republicans currently hold every statewide office (except Nelson's) and a massive super-majority in the state legislature. Connie Mack has a past, but so what?!? Mitt's gonna win Florida and he'll have coattails.
- Pennsylvania -- Sen. Bob Casey Jr. vs. Tom Smith -- Obama's war on energy development has devastated Pennsylvania. The Western part of the state, home to the famous 'bitter-clingers,' could swing 80-20 against Obama. Republicans kicked ass in Pennsylvania in 2010 and Tom Smith has been endorsed by DeMint. Bob Casey is obviously scared.
- West Virginia -- Sen. Joe Manchin vs. John Raese -- Joe Manchin used to be a popular governor. Then he went to Washington and became a cheap apologist for Obama. As you read this, Manchin is refusing to cut off foreign aid to Egypt and Libya. In the Democrat primary, 40% of West Virginia Democrats voted for a convicted felon over Barack Obama. This is war on coal country.
- Michigan -- Sen. Debbie Stabenow vs. Pete Hoekstra -- Republicans picked up the Governor's seat and a couple U.S. House seats in 2010. Mitt's within striking distance in the state. 13% undecided.
- Minnesota -- Sen Amy Kloubouchar vs. Kurt Bills -- Minnesota has voted Democrat in every Presidential election since 1976. That being said, in 2002 Minnesota elected Tim Pawlenty Governor and Norm Coleman to the U.S. Senate. 2012 is going to be a much bigger Republican year than 2002.
- New Mexico (open) -- Martin Heinrich vs. Heather Wilson -- This race is why I really hate Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson would have been the perfect candidate for this race, but instead he's gone off on his idiotic Presidential campaign. Instead, we're stuck with uber-RINO Heather Wilson. Too bad. New Mexico elected Susana Martinez in 2010.