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Four Months From the Fourth of July: The Road to 51 In The Senate

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In four months the smoke will have cleared over the mid-terms that are nothing except a referendum on the direction of the country under Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Reid himself may, four months hence, be looking at a richly deserved unemployment and Pelosi at the loss of the House’s gavel. It isn’t too early to warn about the mischief the lame duck Congress could do, and to begin to demand of the 41 GOP senators that they not agree to anything of significance during the 10 week interval between the election and the seating of a new Congress. This Congress has done more than enough damage and wasted so many trillions of dollars that no amount of pressure on the 41 Republicans should make them budge an inch from the position that the coming course change should not be made even more difficult by a lame duck sitting of the most fiscally irresponsible Congress in American history.

That record of irresponsibility (and also cowardice) got significantly worse on Thursday night when the Democrats in the House “deemed” a budget passed without actually voting for a budget. This absurd fiction was constructed in order to spare trembling Blue Dog Democrats and other endangered species the prospect of voting for trillions more in wasteful spending, even though the effect of their action is to spend trillions more that the country doesn’t have in the ridiculous hope that economic growth can be triggered by showering borrowed dollars on state employees and pork projects that often don’t get started for years or ever finished. (See Ezra Klein’s WaPo column for a lefty critique of the transparent ploy that brings even more ridicule on the Pelosi-Reid era.)
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But that is the Congress we have for six more months and the president we are stuck with until 2013. He could wake up after a political earthquake in the fall, but his inner Alinksy is very strong, and his academic’s faith in failed theories shows no sign of yielding to the massive evidence of failure of the stimulus and Obamacare to do anything except cause employers to shudder and hunker down.

The GOP needs to run on the need to extend the Bush tax cuts and slash the government’s spending. The Tea Parties laid out the agenda a year ago and it hasn’t changed: The government must shrink and get out of our lives and out of the way of the private sector even as the American government must return to standing up for our values and our allies abroad, especially Israel and the new governments of Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s it. Stick to that and the GOP will win.

But candidates need resources, so this 4rth of July send some of your blessings of freedom on any of these Senate candidates, all of whom must win if D.C. is to be rebalanced and the hard work of restoring the American dream is to begin.

With a 59-41 Senate, the GOP must retain the seats of all incumbents, hold on to six “open” seats in New Hampshire, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri and Utah, and must win 10 seats currently held by a Democrat. With most of the primaries concluded or with a front-runner in place, here are the tough races that Republicans must win on the road to 51.

I assume that the GOP will easily retain the seats it holds in Arizona and Utah. The former is assured if John McCain is nominated, and the latter appears to be a lock for Mike Lee. Senators Burr in North Carolina and Vitter in Louisiana seem to be on a path to re-election though with slightly more difficult races than in Arizona and Utah.

The five “must holds” which will feature serious Democratic efforts to turn a red seat blue:

Marco Rubio must win in Florida over Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist. Rubio is ahead among likely voters.

Rand Paul must win in Kentucky. Paul is ahead in most polls.

Rob Portman must win in Ohio. Portman is in a dead heat, but the state is trending GOP.

Kelly Ayotte must win in New Hampshire. Ayotte is leading in the polls.

Roy Blunt must win in Missouri. He is ahead in most polls.

The 12 target seats from which 10 victories must be collected:

Mike Castle must win in Delaware, and he is far ahead in every poll.

Pat Toomey must win in Pennsylvania, and the race is a dead heat as of now.

John Boozman must win in Arkansas and he is leading Blanche Lincoln.

Dan Coates must win in Indiana, and he is leading.

Mark Kirk must win in Illinois, and he is leading

John Hoeven must win in North Dakota and he is winning easily.

Jane Norton is the front-runner for the GOP nomination in Colorado and is in a dead heat with Michael Bennet.

Sharron Angle is under a furious assault in Nevada, but she has a lead and everyone in the state knows that Harry Reid is running a purely negative campaign but Harry Reid is a walking talking negative campaign against himself. Angle is up by 7.

Dino Rossi must beat Patty Murray in Washington State, and he is going to be very competitive.

Carly Fiorina is close and closing in California, and hopefully some of America’s businesses will run Citizens United-enabled independent expenditure campaigns against the private sector’s greatest enemy in the Senate (and the body’s dimmest bulb) Barbara Boxer. Boxer has only a 4 point lead in a race that will go down to the wire as California suffers through
the disastrous effects of Democrat misrule in Sacramento and Washington.

Ron Johnson is closing in on Russ Feingold because Wisconsin is also
reaping the economic whirlwind of Obamanomics. Feingold is up by only 2 points.

And Linda McMahon’s millions may make Connecticut competitive.

In any other year, this map to a majority is very difficult to imagine happening.

But fueled by the Tea Party and energized by the president’s blend of ideological extremism and doleful incompetence, regaining a majority of the United States Senate is at least possible.

Each candidate’s name is linked to their online contribution site. Please consider at least a $25 contribution to one of them this long weekend, and if you can swing it, to 20 of them. That’s a $500 investment in the country’s future on the weekend we celebrate our freedom, a fine salute to our future as well as our past.



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