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Friday Senate Line: Retirements Roil GOP Prospects


The GOP faces a tough 2010 as retiring Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and Sam Brownback (Kan.) leave open seats in swing states that Republicans will have to defend.

UPDATE, 12:05 p.m.: Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today she will not run for the Senate from the Sunshine State, robbing Democrats of their strongest recruit in the open seat race. That decision means a crowded primary is all but a certainty for Democrats; Rep. Kendrick Meek is already in the race and we would expect Rep. Ron Klein to join him shortly. Rep. Allen Boyd as well as state Sen. Dan Gelber are also now in the mix.

Original Post

Senate Republicans knew at the start of the 2010 election cycle that the path back to the majority was a long one. But, a series of retirements in swing states have left many Republican strategists wondering whether things can get any worse.

Friday Line

In the last 10 days, Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.) have decided against seeking reelection -- creating two strong pickup chances for Democrats in states where the party has scored gains in recent elections.

Voinovich and Bond join Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Sam Brownback (Kan.) on the political sidelines heading into 2010.

Republicans lost the chance for a marquee recruit in Florida when former Gov. Jeb Bush decided to take a pass on the race; Democrats believe they have a good chance at landing popular Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in the open seat Kansas race, which, if it happens, would give them a strong chance of winning a Senate race in the Sunflower State for the first time since the 1930s. (And, no, that is not a typo.)

Republicans are busy insisting that the retirements will allow them to quickly overhaul the face of the party (Voinovich and Bond would be in their 70s if they were re-elected in 2010) and make it easier for younger pols to rise through the ranks.

But, it's hard to overstate the impact of the four Republican open seats on the broader Senate outlook. Not only will GOP strategists have to spend considerable time and money (Florida, Ohio and Missouri are all expensive/very expensive states in which to advertise) to hold the seats but those expenditures are dollars that can't be spent on offensive opportunities in Colorado, Nevada and Illinois among other states.

Our rankings of the 10 Senate races most likely to switch parties in 2010 is below. As always, the number-one ranked race is considered the most likely to flip.

Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits.

10. Colorado (D): It remains to be seen what sort of senator Michael Bennet will be but recent trends in Colorado make Democrats relatively confident about their prospects. The lack of an obvious top tier GOP challenger -- the names being mentioned are state Attorney General John Suthers and former Reps. Tom Tancredo and Scott McInnis -- should help Bennet as he seeks to introduce himself to Colorado voters who, by and large, know almost nothing about him. (Previous ranking: 7)

9. Kansas (R): This race has the potential to move up the Line if and when Sebelius decides she is going to run. She would almost certainly clear the Democratic field of serious primary opposition and would start out ahead of her potential Republican general elections opponents -- Reps. Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran. But, there is also a reason why no Democrat has won a Senate race in Kansas in the past eight decades; this is a rock-ribbed Republican state and national GOPers are sure to try to paint Sebelius as a liberal by linking her to President-elect Barack Obama and Secretary of State designate Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Previous ranking: 8)

8. Pennsylvania (R): This is a very tough race to handicap. On one hand, Obama's convincing victory in Pennsylvania last November affirmed the underlying Democratic tendencies of the state. On the other, Sen. Arlen Specter (R) has demonstrated time and time again his ability to win despite the demographic challenges Pennsylvania presents him. The decision by "Hardball" host Chris Matthews not to run takes the profile of this race down a peg and also exposes the surprising lack of a bench in the state for Democrats. Sharp Democratic strategists seem to believe the two most serious candidates are Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Joe Torsella; if both ran it would be a rematch of the 2004 congressional primary won by Schwartz. (Previous ranking: 4)

7. New Hampshire: Republicans trumpeted the news that Gov. John Lynch (D) would not challenge Sen. Judd Gregg as a recruiting failure for Democrats but no one who closely follows Senate races on either side expected Lynch to run. The question now is whether Rep. Paul Hodes, who continues to express "serious" interest in the race, will have a clear primary field or whether Rep. Carol Shea Porter will make the race as well. Either way, this should be a close race as New Hampshire has moved strongly in Democrats' direction in recent elections. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Illinois (D): Now that Roland Burris is officially a member of the Senate, Republicans are quickly ramping up their efforts to convince Rep. Mark Kirk to make a bid -- believing that the taint of Gov. Rod Blagojevich will badly jeopardize Burris' reelection prospects. The central question is whether Burris seeks a full term in 2010 and, if he does, whether any of the Democrats who clearly covet the seat (Rep. Jan Schakowsky at the front of the line) will run against him in a primary. Our bet? Burris runs and no serious primary challenge emerges. If that scenario plays out -- and Kirk gets into the race -- this race will move up the Line. (Previous ranking: 9)

5. Louisiana (R): The Fix's eyebrows (well-coiffed by Mrs. Fix) were raised when we came across a scathing criticism of Sen. David Vitter (R) offered by none other than former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D): "I certainly think that Louisiana needs to have a new United States Senator, one that will not embarrass us," she said before dodging a question on whether she was planning a candidacy. Blanco, who was condemned by many Louisiana and national observers for her handling of Hurricane Katrina, would be a decidedly mixed bag as a candidate but her comments signal a willingness on the part of Democrats to make Vitter's ties to the D.C. Madam an issue in his reelection bid. (Previous ranking: 2)

4. Kentucky (R): Sen. Jim Bunning's re-election prospects haven't brightened since our last Line but the retirements of several of colleagues have knocked him from the top spot. Privately some Republican operatives are rooting for Bunning to decide not to seek a third term but there are no indications from those close to the senator that he is considering that route. Democrats are trying to sort themselves out and avoid a primary with three names -- state Auditor Crit Luallen, state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Dan "Dr. Dan" Mongiardo -- most prominently mentioned. We wrote in the last Line that Mongiardo, who nearly knocked off Bunning in 2004, had the right of first refusal in the contest but those aligned with other candidates insist that is not the case. (Previous ranking: 1)

3. Missouri (R): Bond's retirement virtually ensures that Missouri Seretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) will run for the open seat. Carnahan, who is considered the most naturally politically talented member of a family that includes a former governor, a former U.S. senator and a congressman, was weighing a challenge to Bond and even Republicans acknowledge she would be a formidable candidate. Some Washington Republicans seem interested in casting Rep. Roy Blunt, the father of the former governor of the Show Me State, as the near-certain nominee but former Sen. Jim Talent (R) and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman are still looking at the contest and either or both could contend. (Previous ranking: 5)

2. Ohio (R): Victories by Gov. Ted Strickland and Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2006 coupled with Obama's statewide win in 2008 signal momentum for Democrats in the Buckeye State. Voinovich was almost certain to face a serious race in 2010 but would likely have been favored -- albeit narrowly -- against a somewhat weak Democratic bench. Republicans are thrilled at the candidacy of former Rep. Rob Portman and paint him as a future star for the party but his ties to the current Administration could complicate matters. (More on that next week in The Fix.) The Democratic field is still very uncertain with Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Reps. Tim Ryan and Zack Space as well as Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher mentioned. (Previous ranking: 10)

1. Florida (R): Bush's no-go decision hurts Republican chances to hold the seat as he would have been considered a clear frontrunner had he run. Now, a primary on the GOP side is a near-certainty with Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack IV as well as state Attorney General Bill McCollum and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio all mulling bids. National Democrats' attempts to clear the field for state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink failed earlier this week when Rep. Kendrick Meek announced he would run. If Sink runs, Democrats have a slight edge to score the pickup. If not, this is a pure toss up. (Previous ranking: 3)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 16, 2009; 6:24 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , The Line  
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Comments

Not being a Smarty Pants political person, I am so happy to read (if I read it correctly) that Jeb Bush the brother of "whats his name" will not be running for a seat in the senate reing Florida. The name alone is enough to make a person feel sick from head to toe. Even worse than Peanut Butter is these days. Dont eat it, and do not, under any circumstances ever ever believe anyone with the name of Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 17, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I like what Corey had to say about Idaho. Too many assume the western states are knee-jerk conservative. Yet in Montana, every office elected state-wide, with the exception of the single at large US House seat is held by a Democrat. The legislature remains divided, which over history, is much more a Montana tradition than dominance by either party.

People forget that most people are not entrenched in any particular political philosophy. Most vote what they perceive to be their personal interests.

There is no state where either party can claim to have a lock on for all time. There is a transformation happening in the west. This paradigm shift is not over. It will be driven by economic concerns.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | January 17, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I say Amen and good riddance to the retiring Republicans many of whom are RHINOS anyway. We have needed to get these fossils out for a very long time. John Warner and the likes of him make me sick. I think it is time for Orin Hatch to go also. When I saw him stick up for Holder for the Justice Department I wanted to puke. We need Regan Republicans in office not more Republicans in name only. We need some backbone and public servants who will do the right thing not just anything to get re-elected.

Posted by: reneethereseperry | January 17, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

I say Amen and good riddance to the retiring Republicans many of whom are RHINOS anyway. We have needed to get these fossils out for a very long time. John Warner and the likes of him make me sick. I think it is time for Orin Hatch to go also. When I saw him stick up for Holder for the Justice Department I wanted to puke. We need Regan Republicans in office not more Republicans in name only. We need some backbone and public servants who will do the right thing not just anything to get re-elected.

Posted by: reneethereseperry | January 17, 2009 4:42 AM | Report abuse

One that gets underplayed is Idaho. Yes, that Idaho. Hear it out. Sen. Mike Crapo will be 59 in 2010 and he has had bouts with prostate cancer in 1999 and 2005. He has not yet indicated whether he will seek a third term in 2010. Even without an incumbent on the ticket, you'd imagine Idaho to be solid red. Ask US Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho's 1st District about that assumption. US Rep. Minnick is the poster-child of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy by being a Democratic candidate who won in a traditional Red State. If Sen. Crapo doesn't seek re-election and US Rep. Minnick runs, it's at least worth a second look.

Posted by: Corey_NY | January 17, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Please don't tell me you want to Compair the way President Bush fought terrorist and the way President Clinton didn't.

My experince did not come just from books ... I as active duty during both administrations. President Bill Clinton did NOTHING to respond to terroist ... Nothing! We were ashamed every time we were hit and Bill would talk tough and then ..... nothing. After the USS COLE ........ NOT ONE DAMED THING.

I believe President Obama will respond very similar to President Clinton, why shouldn't I, he hired all Clinton people.

Pray the President Obama is sucessfull in the things that are good for America ... and fails at most everything else he tries to do to drag us into a socialist nation. But to listen to him and all the people he is appointing, he will try to tax the crud out of gas and electricity and drive the poor and middle class to our knees ... but then we will knock the congress right out from under him in 2 years when the blind in American start to see the financial devistation he, and Reed and Pelosi bring.

I was so disapointed in President Bush financially for spending like a drunken democrat ... but President Obama is already set to spend 1 TRILLION of our dollars as soon as he gets into office.
He is already spending faster than President Bush ever could ... and he hasn't even been sworn in yet. Who really believes that $850 BILLION projected social boondogle bailout will not pick up that extra$150 Billion to make it and even Trillion??? Not me, congress will start adding on right away.


We are sunk for 2 years my friends.

Posted by: markandbeth | January 17, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

In Kentucky, barring any major last minute surprise, it's going to be Mongiardo without a primary. There was talk of some hesitance but I think ultimately that was just a test of loyalties around the state. Conway will wait for 2014 (McConnell likely to retire then) and Luallen will replace Mongiardo as Lt. Gov. if he wins. It will be more interesting to see what happens on the Republican side.

Posted by: sharvey62 | January 17, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

"Bcause of his Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton--like style of handling all terrorist problems like just another crime-problem,"
-----------
Bill Clinton actually increased funding for counterterrorism. There was plenty of intelligence on al qaeda, in fact over 42 explicit warnings and nine months of a new administration. It wasn't a failure of intelligence, rather a failure of human intelligence to heed warnings.

Before you go making statements about the judicial vs military approach to fighting terrorism I suggest you read some books about the history of combatting terrorism, I think it will enlighten you.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 16, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Sink will get unlimited financial support from Emily's List (no gender favoritism here is there?)."

The whole point of Emily's List is to support female candidate, who have, in the past, had trouble raising money through traditional boys club sources.

Reid is definitely vulnerable in Nevada, but he's got a big advantage in that the field of big-ticket opponents is pretty slim; Jon Porter lost reelection (though he'd hardly be the first to comeback after that), the Lt. Gov. just got indicted. What happens with Reid will hang on how Congress is seen to perform over the next two years.

Frankly, I don't see Burris making it out of the primary; Illinois is full of Democrats (ideally, Madigan and Hynes would cut a deal where one would run for Gov (probably Madigan) and the other for Senate (Hynes)) looking to advance; unless Burris turns his popularity around (certainly, he's got a good year or so to do it).

I would rank Missouri #1; Carnahan's the clear Democratic candidate, and more popular than anyone the Republicans have.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 16, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"This was November 2004 when Holder negotiated to keep OxyContin on the market and subsequently killing and harming Americans.
Posted by: CaptainQ | January 16, 2009 2:07 PM |"
-------------
While we are at it let's impeach every congressman who is in big tobacco's pocket and return to the days of prohibition.
R. Limbaugh

Posted by: JRM2 | January 16, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Eric Holder is an honorable gentleman? Let's check that track record again.

1) Represented Purdue Pharma in settlement that allowed OxyContin to stay on the market and continue to kill and disable countless Americans.

2) Represented Merck Pharmaceuticals in a Medicaid fraud case and got them a settlement far below what they had made by overbilling the U.S. government and tax payers.

3) Used his power as deputy attorney general to illegally coerce career Justice Department employees into actually changing their recommendation reports opposing the pardons of the FALN terrorists and Marc Rich. The same FALN terrorists who had killed six Americans and wounded hundreds others by exploding 130 bombs in the United States.

Posted by: CaptainQ | January 16, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Holder is an honorable gentleman but my biggest problem with him is that he is a YES man, as proven by going along with Marc Rich pardon when he knew it stunk to high heaven. An AG has to have a strong enough personality when he knows his boss is not acting ethically or illegally and to call him or her on it. Holder is not that man. He's a careerist who just goes with the flow.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 16, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I've seen the OxyContin scandal and news about Eric Holder's (the Attorney General nominee) involvement before. The general response from Democrats is to blatantly lie and say this was decades ago and Holder has learned his lessons. This was November 2004 when Holder negotiated to keep OxyContin on the market and subsequently killing and harming Americans.

The Mother Jones article is amazing when you realize a bastion of the liberal press is arguing against Obama's Attorney General nominee. If Mother Jones doesn't like him, what else needs to be said.

See the Mother Jones article from 1/14 titled, Why Eric Holder Represents What's Wrong with Washington. http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2009/01/11747_eric_holder_attorney_general_washington_sellout.html

Posted by: CaptainQ | January 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

1994.

Posted by: star_key2 | January 16, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Eric Holder, the Attorney General nominee, was the top lawyer for the scumbags at Purdue Pharma whose drug OxyContin was killing people and harming thousands through addiction and medical complications. He negotiated a small settlement with West Virginia that allowed Purdue Pharma to keep selling OxyContin and to continue killing and harming patients to make a profit. Holder and Purdue Pharma knew about the deaths, addiction problems, and harmful health effects but the over $1 billion dollars they had made off OxyContin was more important than the devastation it caused families. Plus he represented other businesses involved in immoral if not criminal activities. He does not now and never has put the American people above the almighty dollar.

See the Mother Jones article from 1/14 titled, Why Eric Holder Represents What's Wrong with Washington. http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2009/01/11747_eric_holder_attorney_general_washington_sellout.html

Let's hope we have enough Republicans around to keep an eye on people like Holder. The Democrats have completely accepted Holder's involvement in the deaths, addiction, and medical problems caused by OxyContin. A drug Holder was well-paid to keep on the market at all costs. Even if that cost was death, addiction, or medical problems for many Americans.

Posted by: CaptainQ | January 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

With respect, Chris, it just doesn't make sense to have FL ranked #1 when the state leans GOP and neither side has a knockout candidate. Certainly OH ranks higher, Rob Portman be danged. And I'd put MO higher still, because even though Obama lost the state, local Dems have been on a roll, winning the governorship and the last Seante race.


1. Missouri
2. Ohio
3. Illinois - Burris is a disaster as a candidate; only chance for Dems is a primary challenge.
4. Florida
5. Pennsylvania - Specter faces the same gauntlet he did six years ago, when he barely survived a primary challenge from the far right. He may not make it to the general; if he doesn't, this is a solid Dem pick-up.
6. Louisiana
7. Kentucky
8. New Hampshire
9. Colorado
10. Kansas

Posted by: howlless | January 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to the Fix, this national media fascination with Kathleen Sebelius shows how little they actually follow what happens on the ground out here in flyover country. For the first time in her six years in office, this year Governor Sebelius will have to make really tough budget decisions that will hurt people. There have been tough budgets before, but nothing like this. Her popularity will take a significant hit.

Last year she opposed and vetoed a coal plant that would have been the largest economic development project in the history of western Kansas. That decision may have been popular with the liberals that would have supported her anyways, but it also eroded a lot of support in that part of the state where people are leaving and the economy is faltering.

Finally, there is no field of serious primary opposition that needs to be cleared for any Democrat that wants to get in the race. Even if Sebelius doesn't run there still won't be more than one serious candidate.

Posted by: KansasMT | January 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"Go back to 2000 and from that period list all of the Republicans until this year with the annoucement of new retirements and then do the democrats. You will find the list deeply lopsided."

Sure will. Then do the same thing for 1992 to 2000 and you'll see the opposite. What happens is when party control of Congress changes, people who have enjoyed time in the majority often find serving in the minority to be a bit tedious. Particularly the older folks decide to spend time with family rather than fight as the loyal opposition - which is a job better suited to those with relative youth.

Another interesting exercise for the 2000 to today time period is to compare where the retirees went after serving in Congress. An inordinate number of retirees from 2000 to 2006 went straight to K street, to establish new, lucrative careers as lobbyists.

So, yes, Mr hoomes is correct: there have been more repub retirees of late than Dems. But he is not telling the whole story & attempts to mislead with his interpretation of events.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

James A. Swanson, Los Altos, CA
www.bushleagueofnations.com

Let’s pray that a few GOP leaders do remain in office.

We need them to continue spouting the same old GOP nostrums that drove America off the cliff.

This will cause more and more Americans to realize the obvious—that America’s government, like America’s military and America’s financial system, cannot be entrusted to GOP nitwits and mercenaries.

From Reagan’s presidency through that of Bush II, the GOP used government power to create the Second Gilded Age in America, at the expense of common men and women.

Give trillions of dollars to the Super Rich and Big Business. Run up multiple enormous unsustainable deficits and debts.

Bankrupt America both morally and financially. Plant the seeds for the GOP Great Depression II.

Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate.

Screw generations of the unborn by making them pay for everything. Take the money and run.

You can find this and much more in "The Bush League of Nations: The Coalition of the Unwilling, the Bullied and the Bribed – the GOP’s War on Iraq and America," (2008, published by CreateSpace Publishing, 448 pages).

You can now download the entire book for free at
www.bushleagueofnations.com.

I ask for nothing in return, except that you consider using it as a resource to help restore and build America.

Jim Swanson, Los Altos, CA
www.bushleagueofnations.com [for FREE download of entire book]

Posted by: jimswanson | January 16, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is, and before 2000 it was a gerontocracy of the Right as well as Left. Do I think this is good? No. Guys like Inouye and Kennedy need to take their leave, just as guys like Stevens and Thurmond did (finally!)

My point is, don't let your ideology blind you to the existence of these identical issues on both sides of the line. And don't make it look like the early departures of Bond, Voinovich, et al, are solely a virtue of their Republicaness. It's not true, and it's certainly NOT a "fair and balanced" view of the picture, to use a phrase you're familiar with.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | January 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

WaitingforGodot: Go back to 2000 and from that period list all of the Republicans until this year with the annoucement of new retirements and then do the democrats. You will find the list deeply lopsided.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 16, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"...by 2010 his Socialist and Marxist policies will have come to fruition, with the result of a American economy in the tank, a mess in the Mideast with a nuclear-armed Iran, and his poll numbers sinking like a rock because his talking and kissing the butt of Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc has made things much worse. By then the Islamofacist terrorists will probably have had a lot of successes against us with a lot of dead Americans, possibly on the scale of another 9/11 or two..."


So, armpegger, when are you moving out of the country?

=======================================

Posted by: osmor | January 16, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"Notice how Republicans have real lives and do not wait to die or lose an election like dems to leave office."

So, vbhoomes, Ted Stevens left office because he has a "real life", or was it because "real life" finally caught up with him?

And how does your brilliant formulation explain Sen. Strom Thurmond, who "served" until he was, what, 100 years old?

For better or worse, there are geriatrics on both sides of the aisle. That's called -- wait for it -- reality.

Here's a challenge for you and your ilk -- try widening your focus beyond the narrow limits of your formless rage. A pointless challenge, true, as you winger folk are proud of your limitations, but it might be worth a shot.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | January 16, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans losing Pennsylvania's Senate seat? Yeah, right, and pigs fly! Pennsylvanian's might have been dumb enough to vote for Democrat Socialists Obama, Kerry, and Gore in the presidential elections, but traditionally Pennsylvanians vote for the other party in the midterms. The reason is that the Democrat Socialist voters, that are consentrated primarily in the big city areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the areas around the colleges and universities, don't vote in big numbers in the midterm elections. The Republican voters strongholds located in the rest of the state however, usually do vote in large numbers. Another point of fact is that Pennsylvania will also have a new governor in 2010, and if history is consistant, that new governor will be a Republican. Check it out. While Pennsylvanians ALWAYS re-elect a sitting governor and his party, they also ALWAYS change the political party EVERY 8 years. This fact has been a constant going back about 70 years, and it's not likely to change.

Posted by: armpeg | January 16, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

armpeg - "Liberal Democrat Socialists"? Are you really that ignorant and just plain stupid that you cannot come up with something better than that? Look, your and your perverted twisted sort of capitalism as practiced by the Republican's were repeatedly warned against by Thomas Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and the other other Founding Father. Even Washington spoke out against bankers and investors and huge corporations as a threat to our democracy, as parasites, and their apologists as treasonous swine that should be exterminated. So, what does that make you? A treasonous little a dog, a twisted little pervert that apologizes for the monsters that have done so much harm to this country! Furthermore, most Democrats are as treacherous as you. and the rest of the modern Republican Party. They are the same sort of "free traitors" that sank our economy and apparently believe in the same sort of neo-Marxist globalization schemes that morons like Stalin and Lenin foisted off on the world. So, can we cut through the garbage and just start calling you and Limbaugh and the rest of nuts what you really are, a Marxist, or, more accurately, a Stalinist?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So, Armpeg:

You're hoping that terrorists will kill lots of Americans between now and November 2010 so Republicans can pick up seats in the House and Senate?

How very patriotic of you.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 16, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris and the rest of the liberal Democrat Socialists commenting here, re. the GOP's demise and the supposedly coming wipeout of all Republicans in the mid-term elections, are stuff dreams are made of for Democrats, but it'll never happen. In fact the same things were said about the Democrats back in the midterm elections during Clintons term, when the Democrats also lost big time. Traditionally the out-party almost always picks up seats. By then, you'll also have the Obama-effect. While he's on his honeymoon now, by 2010 his Socialist and Marxist policies will have come to fruition, with the result of a American economy in the tank, a mess in the Mideast with a nuclear-armed Iran, and his poll numbers sinking like a rock because his talking and kissing the butt of Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc has made things much worse. By then the Islamofacist terrorists will probably have had a lot of successes against us with a lot of dead Americans, possibly on the scale of another 9/11 or two. Bcause of his Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton--like style of handling all terrorist problems like just another crime-problem, with the terrorists getting all kinds of rights to operate freely against us with, Obama will be stuff dreams are made of for our enemies. By 2010 the Democrat Socialists will have had control of congress for four years, and with Obama in the WH for two, wont be able to just blame everything on Bush--although they'll probably try. Call it schadenfreude, but the next two years will be fun for us conservatives watching the Democrat Socialists self-destruct politically.

Posted by: armpeg | January 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Bhoomes:

Here is what you wrote:

"During the last 8 years we haven;t heard a peep out peep and other libs about coming together to support GWB. Obama's economic stimulus will rob future generations of a chance for a decent life, so I think I will pass this kumbaha moment."

Ignoring the typos, your point is that Democrats have never supported Bush. That is flatly untrue and I believe you know that.

Regardless of your political views, I hope you enjoy the inauguration this Tuesday.

It will truly be a historic day for the United States of America.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 16, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Here's my prediction, which i am sure will happen: Democrats will pick up Pennsylvania due to Arlen Spector attacks on Eric Holder also his vote against the Holder will upset his constituents who also know that Spector voted for the racist Alberto Gonzalos. Republicans will pick up Illinois due to Rolan Burris trying to run . However if the Democrats are able to come up with a new candidate other than Burris they won't lose that seat. In the end Democrats will still control the Senate and it they will gain enough seats to block a filibuster from Republicans.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Followup to...
billbolducinmaine asks
"Why isn't Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada)on the line?"

In his chat, The Fix notes 3 races that could eventually make the line: NY (particularly if Kennedy is picked), TX (if KBH retires) and NV (where the GOP is gunning for Reid).

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

BONDOSAN, you hate when you should love. Unlike you and others who have spill some of the most vitupertive and disgusting name calling at GWB as a person, my only quibble with Obama is his policies. I think he is good man with alot of talent and hope he has success with the policies I do agree with.(not many)LOOK in the mirror and ask yourself why is it, you cannot disagree with someone without making it personal.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"But, a series of retirements in swing states have left many Republican strategists wondering whether things can get any worse."

"But, it's hard to overstate the impact of the four Republican open seats on the broader Senate outlook."

There should be no comma after the "But" at the beginning of these sentences! Why can't this grammatical mistake, repeated in virtually every Cillizza column, ever be corrected?

Posted by: stumpff | January 16, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's economic stimulus will rob future generations of a chance for a decent life,"

The Bush borrow-and-spend policies of the past 8 years have already done that. Funny how you didn't whine then.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 16, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Republicans are busy insisting that the retirements will allow them to quickly overhaul the face of the party ... and make it easier for younger pols to rise through the ranks."

This is a reasonable argument for them to make. The race for party leadership will have a significant impact on their recruiting efforts for the 2010 races. Will they remake the party as one of pragmatic moderation, or will they field a bunch of candidates motivated by social issues and delusional tax policy (i.e. 'Club for Growth')?

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 16, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Bhoomes:

Why is it that Krazy Krackpot Konservatives like yourself insist on creating an alternate universe to justify your hate?

Despite the fact that your boyfriend got a half million fewer votes than Al Gore, Democrats were extremely supportive of Bush after he was sworn in. They went along with his tax cuts for the super-wealthy, his "faith-based" initiatives, his fixation on anti-missile systems for Europe (both his and Condi's obsession prior to 9/11).

When he was caught sleeping at the wheel on 9/11 (after having been warned that Bin Laden was determined to use airplanes to strike the US), Democrats still got behind him for the invasion of Afghanistan.

Even when Bush (well, really, Dick Cheney) decided that 9/11 would make a great excuse to fulfill the neocon wet dream of invading Iraq (and provide Boy George the opportunity to fulfill HIS wet dream of one-upping his Daddy), Democrats STILL went along with it.

So don't give me any BS about Democrats not supporting Bush. They supported him way too much and for far too long.

Could you imagine if a Democratic president had gone over seven years without killing or capturing the man responsible for 9/11? He or she would have been impeached by now.

It was only after Bush thoroughly and irrefutably demonstrated that he was completely incompetent that Democrats finally turned against him, and even then, only slightly.

So stop mindlessly repeating the drivel of Rush and Hannity and get behind the new president.

Or can't you handle the fact that he's your superior in just about every way?

Posted by: Bondosan | January 16, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Given the resusitation of the Goldwater era BOO-Bird Republicans(Boehner et al), Obama needs to overpower Congressional blockers with an overwhelming plurality.

Posted by: naahbob | January 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Excellent line. i have only two quibbles. First, Missouri should be number 1 on the line. Carnahan will clear the field. Her name is legendary and she's a proven vote-getter while the Republican field is messy with every candidate having significant downside.

As for OH, it seems like we've got a hell of a bench. Democrats have every statewide office other than this senate seat and Tim Ryan is as much of a rising star as Portman, without the Bush taint.

Posted by: stpaulsage | January 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

billbolducinmaine asks
"Why isn't Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada)on the line?"

If memory serves, he was on the line before the wave of GOP retirements that created all the open races at the top of the line. Reid's absence from the top 10 should not be interpreted as him being safe so much as an indication that 2010 looks to be the third volatile election in a row.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Even the Log Cabin Republicans are now openly being urged to leave and join the recently constituted (revived) Modern Whig Party. It was founded by Iraq/Afghanistan vets and is moderate and mainstream. jury is still out as to whether they can catch on as they only have 20,000 members so far.

http://www.modernwhig.org

http://whigsinvirginia.blogspot.com/2009/01/gay-media-urges-log-cabin-republicans.html

Posted by: WhigParty | January 16, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

It's so good to see so many R's skulking out of town, tail between their legs...

Keep whining, all you wingers on this board.Clearly, it's all you know how to do.

Posted by: drindl | January 16, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada)on the line? I understand that he may be respected by his democratic colleagues but often comes across as a weak and compromised leader who is not well received in the netroots. Depending on his leadership approach in the next 18-20 months, Reid could easily be among the top 10 on the line. If Tom Daschle (who was more respected and well-liked) could be defeated, so can Harry Reid.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | January 16, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

If Obama turns in a credible performance in his first two years, the well-regarded veteran lawmaker Allyson Schwartz would have to be considered the likely victor in PA. (Matthews was wise to withdraw, because he would have lost the nomination to Schwartz.)

Watch how Specter votes in the Holder nomination; if it's a "no", he's making it easier for the PA Dems to make their case. If he votes "yes," it could be a sign that he'll maintain his semi-maverick stance, the trait that has allowed Democrats to pull his lever with clear conscience.

*******************************************

URGENT TO JOHN PODESTA: WAKE UP and smell THEIR INTEL...

CANCEL risky "sitting duck" Obama-Biden train excursion


• What happened to Homeland Security warnings of "heightened risk" during Presidential transition?

• How about the late November FBI warning about possible Northeast train station attacks?

• "Amtrak Joe" Biden's longstanding warnings about security flaws along the Amtrak Northeast corridor -- why isn't he waving this whistle stop tour to a halt?


It is both mystifying and frightening to contemplate the unnecessary risk to which President-elect Barack Obama and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden are subjecting themselves by going through with Saturday's planned pre-inauguration "whistle stop" train ride from Philadelphia to Washington.


In his farewell press conference on Monday, President Bush seemed to go out of his way to twice repeat that the greatest threat the nation faces is another terrorist attack. At one point in his presser, he said that by giving official voice to the threat, he was not "trying to set something up."

Here are President Bush's exact words:


"There is an enemy that still is out there.

"You know, people can maybe try to write that off as, you know, 'he's trying to set something up.'

"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America -- Americans -- again. There just is. That's the reality of the world."


George W. Bush could not have been more plain-spoken, candid and direct. The incoming White House team ignores his words -- which he most likely thought about before uttering them -- at their peril.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plea-obama-cancel-risky-reckless-sitting-duck-train-stunt
OR (if link is disabled): http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh spare me your nonsense Peep. Only when a dem becomes President, do you think all americans need to come together to support policies that most do not believe in. During the last 8 years we haven;t heard a peep out peep and other libs about coming together to support GWB. Obama's economic stimulus will rob future generations of a chance for a decent life, so I think I will pass this kumbaha moment.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Just think of all the potential the republican party will have once it finally reaches rock bottom. No where to go but up! ;p

Posted by: Whys | January 16, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I believe that if democrats do all the things that it looks like they are going to do: raise gas and diesel taxes to bring prices back up to $4.00 range (end effect, raise the price of milk,bread,all food,diapers, everything the poor and middle class need but will not be able to afford; Tax energy through the "cap and trade" policy thus forcing the cost of electricity out of sight; Continue to let Fannie and Freddie run amuck, thus prolonging the houseing crisis .... I just dont think the republican partry will have to worry about holding on to congressional seats.

Once the democrats really start hitting real working Americans in the pocket book, like they did right after Carter and Clinton were elected, the people will take the purse (congress) away from the democrats. ..... but the damage this President and this congress will do in the meantime will be devistating to our nation and our poor and middle class.

Posted by: markandbeth | January 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Over these MANY months of watching our elected people working on C-Span it has stood out like a sore thumb how much finger pointing and blame has come from the Republicans at the Democrats. Again I see so very much talk and worry about the next election. Isn't this the time to work in the present and carry this nation forward and out of this mess we are in? I am old enough to remember all that we did during WW2 We pulled together. I fear if the current publicity seekers had been in office then that we would be living under a swastika today.

Posted by: peep1935 | January 16, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Notice how Republicans have real lives and do not wait to die or lose an election like dems to leave office. This is what our Founding Fathers wanted, for private citizens to come in and do a few terms and then leave. The dems have made a mockery of our history. Portman will win Ohio's senate seat, as 2010 will be a republican year because the dems now controal everything and cannot blame anyone else as reality starts to take place next week.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 16, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I think there is an error in your post, Chris. Ohio should, I believe have an 'R' rather than a 'D' after your #2 entry - Voinivich is a Republican - I believe you are making the case that the seat will change party hands from R to D but this entry appears to be inconsistent with the others.

Posted by: goodwater1 | January 16, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

-pamela, Gov. Goodhair has outgrown his early rep as having been incompetent and gained the rep of having become wealthy in public life. But he has now been guv for more than 8 years and he won most recently in a 4 way race in which 61% voted AGAINST him.

KBH is widely respected in TX and could have been Senator-for-life. I have ofen called her that here at "The Fix." I think the guv's mansion is hers for the asking - and I now think Goodhair might run for the Senate.

The two strongest Ds, Mayor White of Houston and former Comptroller Sharp, could beat a weak R. TX is still an R state and a strong R would win. BHO's 44+% was a huge gain over the Kerry showing and came near being a "moral victory" for Ds.
Demographics are changing, the TX House is
one vote away from a split, but an even playing field is perhaps still six years away. I believe that every statewide officeholder is still R.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 16, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Please delete my 1st comment, posted at 7:16 am. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Garak | January 16, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Re Florida: I wonder if Marco Rubio really would be that strong a candidate. He does not hold state-wide office. He is not in the news. The public blames the legislature for many of Florida's problems, such as schools, traffic gridlock, and over-development.

AG McCollum, on the other hand, has more name recognition due to holding state-wide office, and is there now. He can launch some high-profile investigations, a la Cuomo in NY. But McCollum is no Mr. Excitement, while Rubio looks like he's taken acting lessons.

As for the Dems, Meek is local, again like Rubio, while Sink is state-wide. She has much higher recognition state-wide than Meek. Sink will get unlimited financial support from Emily's List (no gender favoritism here is there?).

If she runs, I'd put my money on Sink.

Posted by: Garak | January 16, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Interesting line, Chris. Do you think the Democrats have a chance at all in Texas if Kay Bailey Hutchison leaves her seat to run for governor? And BTW, why is KBH considering challenging Gov. Perry? I wouldn't think Texas Republicans would relish a nasty primary battle, unless Perry is really disliked or just plain incompetent - but I know nothing about Texas politics.

Posted by: -pamela | January 16, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Re Florida: I wonder if Marco Rubio really would be that strong a candidate. He does not hold state-wide office. He is not in the news. The public blames the legislature for many of Florida's problems, such as schools, traffic gridlock, and over-development.

AG McCollum, on the other hand, has more name recognition due to holding state-wide office, and is there now. He can launch some high-profile investigations, a la Cuomo in NY. But McCollum is no Mr. Excitement, while Rubio looks like he's taken acting lessons.

As for the Dems, Meek is local, again like Rubio, while Sink is state-wide. She has much higher recognition state-wide than Meek. Sink will get unlimited financial support from Emily's List (no gender favoritism here is there?).

If she runs, I'd put my money on sink.

Posted by: Garak | January 16, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

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