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Senate landscape shifts, Republicans primed for gains

The last 30 days (or so) have been the most momentous to date in the battle for the Senate.

It all began back on Jan. 5 when Sen. Byron Dorgan stunned the political world by announcing he would retire from his North Dakota seat after three terms. Later in the day, it was revealed that embattled Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) would step aside amid poll numbers that suggested he could not win re-election.

While the Dorgan news was most unwelcome for Democrats as it opened up a seat in strongly Republican territory, the day was mitigated somewhat by the Dodd retirement and the quick emergence of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) as the replacement candidate.

Friday Line

The rest of the month, however, quickly turned against Democrats.

The centerpiece of that bad news came on Jan. 19 when Massachusetts state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) lost what was once considered a sure-thing special election to state Sen. Scott Brown (D) -- a defeat with massive legislative and political impact for the national landscape.

The Massachusetts loss was followed six days later by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden's decision not to seek the seat long held by his father -- and the Vice President -- Joe Biden. Biden (Beau, that is) had long been expected to run and without him in the race, Rep. Mike Castle (R) becomes a strong favorite to take over the seat.

With the dust -- mostly -- settled, it's clear that Republicans are now primed to pick up a minimum of two seats in the fall campaign and have the possibility of winning a larger number depending on their ability to broaden the playing field in places like California, Wisconsin, Washington and Indiana.

As always, the top ranked race is the most likely to switch sides in 2010. Want to rank the races yourself? Scroll to the bottom of this post and do it!

Coming onto the Line: North Dakota
Coming off the Line: Connecticut

10. Pennsylvania (Democratic-controlled): Democrats barely talk about this race, believing that no matter what happens in the May primary fight -- and we do mean fight -- between party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak they will hold the seat in November. And yet, polls continue to show former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) running very competitively against either Democrat, not to mention the fact that Toomey's citizen legislator profile -- he left Congress after three terms due to a self imposed term limit -- could play very nicely in this sort of outsider environment. Toomey's voting record, however, will be mined by Democrats to cast him as more conservative than the state's average voter. (Previous ranking: 10)

9. Illinois (D): The two parties will pick their nominees to replace retiring Sen. Roland Burris (D) on Tuesday. Rep. Mark Kirk is the strong favorite on the Republican side while state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is favored to claim the Democratic nod although his family's bank remains in the news (and not in a good way) and could hand some momentum to his opponents -- particularly former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman -- in the final days of the race. Republicans are salivating about the prospect of Giannoulias in a general election but he will benefit from the Democratic lean of the state. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Ohio (Republican-controlled): Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher's (D) campaign has been something short of impressive. The latest disappointment? Fisher collected just $780,000 in the final three months of 2009, a sum almost half that of former Rep. Rob Portman's (R) $1.4 million raised over the same time period. Fisher's campaign did not release his cash-on-hand number -- never a good sign -- but at the end of September he had $1.6 million in the bank; Portman showed a whopping $6 million in his campaign warchest at the end of the year. Portman's ties to the Bush Administration -- particularly his stint as U.S. Trade Representative -- will not play well in Ohio but the political climate in the state has turned against Democrats of late as evidenced by the erosion of Gov. Ted Strickland's (D) numbers. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. Missouri (R): Neither Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) nor Rep. Roy Blunt (R) has the right resume for this sort of election. While Carnahan has never worked held office in Washington -- a major plus -- she is part of the first family of Missouri politics, a fact that voters wary of dynastic politics may not like. Blunt, for his part, spent years in House Republican leadership during the Bush years, which won't play well at all with voters looking to shake up the status quo. Polling suggests the race is close and everything we hear anecdotally agrees with that sentiment. Carnahan is the better natural candidate but Blunt looks likely to benefit from a wind at his back. (Previous ranking: 4)

6. Colorado (D): Of the five appointed Senators on the Democratic side, Michael Bennet (D) clearly has the best profile to win in this sort of anti-incumbent election. Prior to being picked for the office by retiring Gov. Bill Ritter (D), Bennet had never held elected office before and was an unknown statewide. Since his selection, Bennet has done an admirable job of moving around the state and, as importantly, raising money. He raised nearly $1.2 million in the final three months of last year, more than doubling the total of former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, the Republican favorite. But, Bennet still has a tough path to victory in November. Former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff looks like he is staying in the primary against Bennet and a recent poll showed Norton and Bennet in a dead heat. (Previous ranking: 8)

5. New Hampshire (R): It's now clear that former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has a real fight on her hands for the Republican nomination. Businessman Bill Binnie has already given himself more than $1 million for the campaign and 1996 gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne is lining up endorsements from national conservatives like Steve Forbes. Ayotte, meanwhile, posted a less-than-overwhelming fourth quarter of fundraising even as her campaign released a survey showing her far ahead in the primary. Rep. Paul Hodes (D) continues to collect cash -- $1.4 million on hand at the end of the year -- and enjoy his lack of a primary. (Previous ranking: 5)

4. Arkansas (D): While the rumors that Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) would step aside this week weren't true, the very fact that they weren't dismissed out of hand by the political smart set suggests the dire straits facing the Arkansas Democrat. Recent polling shows her losing to two little known state Senators -- Gilbert Baker and Jim Holt -- and it seem almost certain that 3rd district Rep. John Boozman, sensing opportunity, is going to get into the race as well. Lincoln insiders insist she is ready for a fight but her best hope is that the Republican field stays crowded and forces the eventual nominee to take his eye off of Lincoln. (Previous ranking: 7)

3. Nevada (D): Another month and another set of polls that suggest that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in deep trouble in his re-election bid. While the Republican field against Reid is no great shakes -- Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (R) is now considering a bid -- it probably won't matter given that voters appear to have decided they want anyone other than the Nevada Democrat representing them. Reid, who ended 2009 with nearly $9 million in the bank, will have near-limitless resources to make his case to the state's voters but what case can he make? His early ads have attempted to reinforce his position of power in Washington but haven't moved numbers -- perhaps because the state's voters know he is powerful but still don't want to vote for him. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Delaware (D): Beau Biden's surprising decision not to run makes this a very hard hold for Democrats. Castle has been in statewide elected office in the First State since 1980(!) and has long had a reputation as the sort of moderate that the Democratic-leaning state is comfortable voting for. While Democrats plan to use Castle's long tenure and voting record against him -- a smart strategy in this environment -- there is likely going to be a significant stature gap between Castle and Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons, the likely Democratic nominee. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. North Dakota (D): Dorgan's retirement coupled with Gov. John Hoeven's (R) decision to run makes this seat as close to a sure-thing pickup for Republicans as you will see at the Senate level. Democrats seem to like former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp and, if she runs, she will give them a credible alternative to Hoeven. But, make no mistake: This is Hoeven's race to lose. (Previous ranking: N/A)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 29, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Next: President Obama takes on House Republicans (VIDEO)

Comments

Shaun-kar


And how do you propose that is going to happen - I think the people of Illinois would like to send a message to Obama and his charades.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 31, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Shaun-kar


And how do you propose that is going to happen - I think the people of Illinois would like to send a message to Obama and his charades.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 31, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama will definitely not allow the GOP to take his old Senate Seat.

Posted by: Shaun-kar | January 31, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh well,so both WAPO,the rest of the MSM,
and both the dimwit Democrats and gutless
Republicans and their RINOs like Amnesty John McCain somehow keep failing to realize
the depth of Voter Anger and how totally fed up with both political parties the voters are right now. And that goes without
even mentioning that Obamacare being rammed
down our throats by Barack Obama,Nancy Pelosi,Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid has even
added more anger,outrage and resentment
against all Incumbents Democrat and Republican as well.

Therefore,you betcha Elections 2010 & 2012
will be the most powerful message to all
Incumbents shape up or ship out as the mood
of the American Voters is to Vote The Bums
Out and all Incumbents Democrat and RINOs
and Republicans may very well be voted out
of office in both of these elections.

And,it may very well mark the election of
the USA First Female President Sarah Palin
in 2012,when Marxist Dictator from Kenya
Barack Hussein Obama Definitely Becomes
One Term Obama and Out! Take Back America!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | January 30, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

There is still an outside chance the GOP could win back the senate....I think the House is already a done deal....It will go GOP.. Massachusetts really announced to the nation that no democrat seat is safe......Read: Obama's Oxymoron....at


http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ronsuev | January 30, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

For 12 months, Obama, Pelosi and Reid acted as if they ran D.C. and that the republicans were their caddies. Then the wise newly independent voters of Kennedy's Massachusetts spoke, and Obama's media machine are sending me Youtube videos of the POTUs not cowtowing to the Republican house members.....all smiles. A few more senate races lost and all Reid will have left to do is carry the bags.

Posted by: thecannula | January 30, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Anti-incumbent election? More like anti-democrat election. Media and liberals are still in denial.

Posted by: dpo007 | January 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Republicans are going to pick up the Senate and the Governorship in Illinois.


One should not underestimate the effect that the Governor's race is going on at the same time as the Senate race - and the democrats are slamming each other hard right now.


November is still a long time away - however Obama has to make a rebound - if he doesn't the Republicans are set to make some real gains this year. From this list, it appears that the Republicans can pick up 7 seats in the Senate.


One has to remember that in 2006 and 2008, the Iraqi war and Bush were still prominent in voters' minds - those issues are now gone -

One can make the argument that democratic gains were exagerrated by those two issues - Bush and the Iraqi War - and now things will go back towards equilibrium.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 30, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Republicans are going to pick up the Senate and the Governorship in Illinois.


One should not underestimate the effect that the Governor's race is going on at the same time as the Senate race - and the democrats are slamming each other hard right now.


November is still a long time away - however Obama has to make a rebound - if he doesn't the Republicans are set to make some real gains this year. From this list, it appears that the Republicans can pick up 7 seats in the Senate.


One has to remember that in 2006 and 2008, the Iraqi war and Bush were still prominent in voters' minds - those issues are now gone -

One can make the argument that democratic gains were exagerrated by those two issues - Bush and the Iraqi War - and now things will go back towards equilibrium.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 30, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is set to hand Republicans an unthinkable bonanza of Congressional seats in both houses coming this November.

All due to the gigantic ego of the President and its fatuous contempt for the American people.

This is what the political blogger said of the Presidents attitude:
"Empty of truth, sincerity and facts. The President seems to have gone back to what worked for him during the campaign, with promises and sophistry and an amazing manipulation of facts, that become a challenge to prove wrong, not for their similarity to the truth, but for their sheer volume and quantity."

The rest is at http://www.robbingamerica.blogspot.com
With a sub-plot that is as dangerous as is incisive.

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | January 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Of course CC doesn't mention that there are more retirements in the GOP than there is in the Dems. Of course he doesn't mention that Sen. Ensign is being investigated by the FBI, and the possibility of a special election there if Ensign's indicted. Of course CC doesn't factor in the disgust of people over Watergate redux in Louisiana, and is completely basing his analyses on conventional wisdom of the past, and on polls. In Nov/08 polls said it was too close to call, yet the end result was no where near close. How do the opinions of 1700 people correctly reflect the views of 120,000,000 voters? the polling outfits and the media feed each other, and tell me something, has anyone out there ever voted because of a poll result, if so, why? And really, the bias shown in some of these polls, like a WSJ poll isn't going to be questions that are GOP skewed, or how about Rasmussen polls, who has had the RNC paying them big bucks for years, according to wapo's media critic, Kurtz, who happens to be married to a RNC media strategist, so don't start blowing that "WaPo is a lefty paper" meme around. Just because the GOP is screaming the loudest doesn't mean they have the 2010 elections tied up, it just means they whine louder.

Posted by: katem1 | January 30, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Of course CC doesn't mention that there are more retirements in the GOP than there is in the Dems. Of course he doesn't mention that Sen. Ensign is being investigated by the FBI, and the possibility of a special election there if Ensign's indicted. Of course CC doesn't factor in the disgust of people over Watergate redux in Louisiana, and is completely basing his analyses on conventional wisdom of the past, and on polls. In Nov/08 polls said it was too close to call, yet the end result was no where near close. How do the opinions of 1700 people correctly reflect the views of 120,000,000 voters? the polling outfits and the media feed each other, and tell me something, has anyone out there ever voted because of a poll result, if so, why? And really, the bias shown in some of these polls, like a WSJ poll isn't going to be questions that are GOP skewed, or how about Rasmussen polls, who has had the RNC paying them big bucks for years, according to wapo's media critic, Kurtz, who happens to be married to a RNC media strategist, so don't start blowing that "WaPo is a lefty paper" meme around. Just because the GOP is screaming the loudest doesn't mean they have the 2010 elections tied up, it just means they whine louder.

Posted by: katem1 | January 30, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

We'd be better off leaving their seats vacant.

Posted by: patrick3 | January 30, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Republicans are going to pick up the Senate and the Governorship in Illinois.


One should not underestimate the effect that the Governor's race is going on at the same time as the Senate race - and the democrats are slamming each other hard right now.


November is still a long time away - however Obama has to make a rebound - if he doesn't the Republicans are set to make some real gains this year. From this list, it appears that the Republicans can pick up 7 seats in the Senate.


One has to remember that in 2006 and 2008, the Iraqi war and Bush were still prominent in voters' minds - those issues are now gone -

One can make the argument that democratic gains were exagerrated by those two issues - Bush and the Iraqi War - and now things will go back towards equilibrium.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 30, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Republicans are going to pick up the Senate and the Governorship in Illinois.


One should not underestimate the effect that the Governor's race is going on at the same time as the Senate race - and the democrats are slamming each other hard right now.


November is still a long time away - however Obama has to make a rebound - if he doesn't the Republicans are set to make some real gains this year. From this list, it appears that the Republicans can pick up 7 seats in the Senate.


One has to remember that in 2006 and 2008, the Iraqi war and Bush were still prominent in voters' minds - those issues are now gone -

One can make the argument that democratic gains were exagerrated by those two issues - Bush and the Iraqi War - and now things will go back towards equilibrium.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 30, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama was not being fully genuine in Baltimore - and he deserves to be called out for it.


First, Obama can not say he is being bipartisan - when all they really tried to do this year with the health care bill is pick off one or two Republican votes.

Obama says he will look at the Republican ideas - and again he said it today and on Wednesday - AND THE REPUBLICANS HAD THE IDEAS READY FOR HIM - WRITTEN OUT.


But the Republicans have been trying to get Obama to listen to him all year.


There were some bipartisan health care meetings in the spring - and the democrats walked out - and said the Republicans have to understand that the democrats won the election and the democrats were not going to compromise.

Well - that is not being bipartisan.


The Republicans are not props for Obama to get his bipartisan pictures when nothing of substance takes place.

NOW after all of this - Obama basically wants the Republicans to hand him some victories and HE WANTS THE REPUBLICANS TO SAVE HIS PRESIDENCY.

Obama really painted himself into a corner - and I don't know how he can get himself out.

ANOTHER MAJOR PROBLEM OBAMA HAS CREATED is the disrespect within his own party that the liberals have had for the moderates in the democratic party.


All year the attitude has been : we have the votes, so let's jam through the most liberal agenda possible - and we don't care what the moderates think.

Well the moderates are NOW the ones who have to go up for re-election and are the ones who are now most at risk in November.

Also, the moderates have the districts which require the most heavy-lifting in terms of challenges to get votes and work required for re-election.

Ironic - how the liberals abused the moderates all year - but now it is obvious that the liberals need the moderates to work extra hard to maintain the majorities in each House of Congress.


Even if the Republicans were to jump to Obama's side, it is doubtful that Obama and the left wing have enough moderate democratic votes.


Obama's debacle has been too public - it has captured the attention of too many Americans - it has entered the discourse too far.

Obama has really gotten this nation angry at him for abandoning his bipartisanship pledge - that pledge meant to most Americans that Obama would negotiate CENTRIST POLICIES. I believe that is the easiest way to put what Obama's clear problem is.

Obama has lost the trust of so many Americans -


The American people want a check on the power of Obama and the democrats - they do not trust him, Reid and Pelosi to govern.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 30, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

I never met a game that I wouldn't bet. I'm sitting this one out. The political situation is as unstable as the economy,jobs and about everything else today. November is a long way off.

I think this is the year to kill Bin Laden, we will see, if in September-watch out. President Obama has many issues, and is capable of bringing some home to the American voter.

The animosity brewing between the GOP and the teabaggers is sure to cause the GOP to loose focus and money on certain races. Watch AZ, could be a pleasant surprise for the D's.

The impact of the recent flawed free speech decision by the Supreme's is an unknown factor. I see a scenario where both party's could benefit, but not much.

My Obama hating libertain business partner, after watching Obama at the GOP retreat , said he respected Obama and will give him a chance. Never thought Obama was that smart, he said.

Sorry, I have to go to the ER, I fell off the chair when my partner said he liked Obama.

Posted by: COWENS99 | January 29, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, I actually felt that things could NOT get any worse for the GOP in congress, but after seeing the butt-whipping they collectively received from one man, President "High Noon" Obama, the GOP might not gain a seat in November.

Still am 18 vote advantage in the Senate is pretty rare and may be difficult to sustain even against an ailing GOP.

Cizilla may have it right, with the GOP picking up a few seats. I'm glad folks are realizing how little the Brown win in Masachusetts really means. The loss of the "super majority" means little, because President Obama never used it. It is now clear, that he expects the GOP to actually earn their government paychecks even if he must shame them into it himself.

The obstruction plan will not be tolerated much longer by America.

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Posted by: setrjhytkytjefthtjhyju | January 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Only a FOOOOOOOL would vote Republican after the last eight years in office that has ruined America's image and economy/fact!

..."Be sure now you RUN and Vote Republican again,they've only lost 8 MILLION JOBS, left you a RECORD/DEBT $1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS, Left office with the lowest job approval rating in the History of the United States Presidency 20%! Please don't let these facts stop you, put some more Republicans back in then they can finish off America, and folks voting for them shows this registered Voter/Vet USAF, just what fooooools they really are!

Posted by: ztcb41 | January 29, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin-Feingold may soon appear on this list. My jaw dropped yesterday when at lunch with die-hard uaw members in Feingold's district, almost 1/3 at the table were arguing FOR Ryan... I (and I suspect most others) take great care in ALWAYS hiding our conservative leanings at work - this was absolutely shocking!

Posted by: jonboy4c | January 29, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

IF the rethuglicans regain control of the houses of Congress, this country is done.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | January 29, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans regain control of the Senate and House, it means that our government comes to a halt. The President will be unable to make appointments to key governmental positions, he will be unable to pass a single bill for anything at all, he will be only able to govern, domestically, through executive order.
This is a Republican wet-dream come true. Bring the United States to a complete halt. Make it impossible for our government to work: they have NEVER liked government: to them, government is the problem and not the solution.
Meantime, our citizens languish. Meanwhile, we are made vulnerable, internationally, to the complete loss of prestige and power that will result in having a grid-locked government unable to act, in any way, on behalf of our citizens.
It may come to pass that the citizens of the states whose Senators are up for re-election vote for this.
If they do, if they decide that their salvation resides in saying NO to the functioning of a national government, then we can expect a nation with no functioning government to fall into the category of a "failed state". No one is in charge because the government has been destroyed.
Very scary. How IS North Dakota, for example, going to protect us from the very real threat of international terrorism? How IS North Dakota, for example, going to build the bridges, the roads, the levies that protect them from floods, all on their own as their new Senator votes NO, time and time again, for federal resources that just might have saved North Dakota, for example, citizens from having to do EVERY SINGLE THING to keep themselves functioning as a consequence of national, federal, funding.???????????
Well, the Republicans will tell their constituents that THEY do NOT need any federal funding for anything in their states. The people in North Dakota, for example, are entirely capable of taking care of themselves from the grass-roots level and to HELL with the federal government! The Federal Government is just a bunch of SOCIALISTS, anyway.
WHY, oh WHY, do citizens of any state, when you come to think of it, need ANY help from a "federal", "socialist" government?
It is treasonous, and communistic, to believe that American citizens NEED help from something as evil as a "FEDERAL" government.

Posted by: cms1 | January 29, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh .. do republicans understand they now own health care?

They can talk about tort reform .. can they show one state which has significantly reduced the cost of health care by passing tort reform? NO!

There is no incentive for insurance companies to reduce costs as long as doctors can pass the cost on to consumers. Are they talking about why the AMA does not get rid of QUACKS? NO!

Republicans like to talk about buying health insurance across state lines ... so can a WV coal miner get cheaper rates in AZ?
NO!

If republicans refuse to do something for REAL Americans they will go the way of the Whig party.

Settle for "SECOND BEST" vote republican.

Posted by: knjincvc | January 29, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Hence the utter failure of comrade berry and his socialist/fascist proposals.

---

I agree! If only it weren't for those horrible, job destroying programs, economic growth would have been much stronger than 5.7%. Just like under W. Oh, wait...

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade
-----------------------------------------
And a million more jobs created/saved when the census workers start taking the census!

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

And, of course, everyone knows that prior to 01/20/09 there was no national debt to speak of and everyone received a pony at age 18.

Posted by: howie14 |
-----------------------------------------
Yes and you can sign pieces of paper and print more money and buy more ponies!.

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hence the utter failure of comrade berry and his socialist/fascist proposals.

---

I agree! If only it weren't for those horrible, job destroying programs, economic growth would have been much stronger than 5.7%. Just like under W. Oh, wait...

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Correct. you don't see them. Hence the utter failure of comrade berry and his socialist/fascist proposals.

but that doesn't mean they arent trying using every underhanded, double dealing method they can hide.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:51 PM
------------------------------
I don't see them. And you do? Or, do we agree that there are not hoards of the kind of liberals you describe?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 29, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin1231
This from blog Seeking Alpha:

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United to expand the ability of corporations* to pay for election-related communications, prominent law professor Lawrence Lessig is calling for a constitutional amendment to protect elections from the influence of money. The text of the proposed amendment isn’t done yet, but the goal is to protect Congress from the influence of money.

Lessig’s argument is simple: Congress is fundamentally (though, thanks to the Supreme Court, legally) corrupt, and most people think it is corrupt, which makes it hard for elected majorities to effect change and also undermines people’s faith in their government. Commenting on Citizens United, he said, “The surprise, and in my view, real cause for concern, however, was how little weight the Court gave to the central purpose of any fair election law: the purpose to protect the institutional integrity of the democratic process. That value seemed invisible to this Court, as if we didn’t now live in a democracy in which the vast majority has lost faith in their government.” Since the Court’s preferred stick for blocking campaign finance reform is the First Amendment, the only thing that can stop them is a new amendment.

Lessig is trying to make his proposed amendment a bipartisan initiative, and that may turn out to be a successful strategy. Perhaps disillusioned liberals and angry conservatives could make common cause–although bear in mind that much of the massive campaign spending that exploits current campaign finance loopholes comes precisely from these two extremes. But it’s a huge problem, and Lessig is probably right that this is the only real solution.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 29, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Fiscal conservative and smaller government. Let's see: Reagan (increases debt by 180% and larger government), Bush 41 (debt up by 55% and larger government), Bush 43 (debt up 4.9 trillion and larger government) and Clinton (leaves #200 billion/year surplus and shrinks the size of government). No more excuses.

Posted by: Steve6 | January 29, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The news in the house is also looking up:

Democrats’ fortunes continue to deteriorate, according to veteran election analyst Charlie Cook: Technically, not enough Democratic seats are in extreme jeopardy for analysts to conclude that the party will lose the chamber. But if Democrats stay on their current downward trajectory, their majority will be history. The retirements that are likely to result from almost any deterioration in the House Democrats’ current situation would reduce their chances of maintaining control to 50-50.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Correct. you don't see them. Hence the utter failure of comrade berry and his socialist/fascist proposals.

but that doesn't mean they arent trying using every underhanded, double dealing method they can hide.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse


Republicans will take control of the Senate and House.

That'll be a lot of unemployed Democrat staff.

Better get those administration jobs lined up.

I wonder which of the defeated members will get cabinet jobs.

Posted by: DagnyT | January 29, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Right wingers are so ignorant and stupid that one really wonders how they go that way. I ma corporate media had lot to with that.

Posted by: kevin1231 | January 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

12 bar:

liberals indeed think that mommy should take them to the doctor. they have tried to get someone else to pay the bill for health care.

liberals indeed think that mommy pays for school. berry had an idea in his speech where the government would absorb your student loan if you became a liberal

liberals indeed think you should get free housing. Frank and dodd destroyed the mortgage industry giving out loans to those who cant afford them.

I could go on but you must get the point.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:26 PM
---------------------------------
I understand your description. But where are 60 million such people? I don't see them.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Reid spends money as fast as he banks it (AP)
AP - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's campaign ended 2009 with less money in the bank than it had in September


What did you expect, it's other people's money and he is the head liberal. that is what they do.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Big deal, so what? This is all charade to deceive people into thinking they are living in a democracy. This country has always been controlled by the economic elite. Its a joke. You have two parties, some would say one party with factions, both controlled by the corporate crooks. When things go bad, people vote for the other party, like going from frying pan to the fire. People are unhappy with the economic situation, so they go back to the party they threw out just a year ago. And what the GOP have to offer? Nothing, nad...but lots fear and hate mongering. Oh yeah, we have democracy alright but with very political latitude.

Posted by: kevin1231 | January 29, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Hi : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | January 29, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

the head liberal just finished his tantrum in front of the entire country, blaming everyone for his failures.


Whenever it rains, or quakes, or thunders or gets hot or cold, liberals look outside and blame someone for the weather. It is not possible in their world for nature to fluctuate on its own, it must be some rich guy messing it up for the rest of us.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Kirk somehow got a hold of a list of democrat voters list as I got snail mail from him. We'll see how the "base" turns out Tuesday -- snow is predicted in my area.

Posted by: ILDem | January 29, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

12 bar:

liberals indeed think that mommy should take them to the doctor. they have tried to get someone else to pay the bill for health care.

liberals indeed think that mommy pays for school. berry had an idea in his speech where the government would absorb your student loan if you became a liberal

liberals indeed think you should get free housing. Frank and dodd destroyed the mortgage industry giving out loans to those who cant afford them.

I could go on but you must get the point.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

it would appear that Alexi in Illinois could be in deeper trouble than is portrayed in the article. for example, his comment this week that now "is not the time" to give answers on his role at his family's bank, which is where is life work history is at. your average voter will not take kindly to hearing a candidate saying that "now is not the time to provide answers...." plus, the GOP congressman in the race, from the Chicago suburbs, is quite well liked in Chicagoland, so the race will not be an upstate/downstate split if the GOP congressman gets the republican primary victory to run against the Demo candidate.. but, for me, Alexi stuck his foot in his mouth bigtime this week, comparable to the Coakley comment in Mass earlier this month that she did not have the time to stand outside a stadium shaking hands to win votes...

Posted by: RoguesPalace | January 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob11 | January 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse


a total memory wipe and starting over from infancy
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
but then I'd be a liberal. I would want my meals and shelter paid for. I would want mommy to take me to the doctor. I would want free school and clothing. If I didn't get my way I would simply throw a tantrum, cry and blame someone else. If it ever rains or snows I would say that someone caused it just to ruin my day. I would never work and try to eat ice cream all day long. If I got fat, I would blame mommy. I would play video games most days and expect someone else to pay for them and fix them if they break.

you know, a typical infant OR grown up liberal.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:07 PM
----------------------------------
Do you actually believe what you write?

I'm looking around for all these liberals as you describe them.

I can see that school children and infants fit your description. Are they the liberals you mean?

I suppose you could go into the ghetto and find a few million people who don't work and look for the dole. These are the liberals you mean?

My neighbors don't fit your description. My coworkers don't fit your description. My churchmembers don't fit your description. My friends don't fit your description. How about your neighbors, coworkers, churchmembers and friends? Where are these hoards of liberals?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

For a party that's down so many seats, even the most optimistic projection has the GOP barely regaining one-third the seats they already lost.

Chalk this up to voter distrust of lying anti-American unpatriotic Republic Party of No comrades.

Just like Oregon passing an increase in income taxes on Millionaires and Big Business, it's now up for a vote in Washington State too.

The Tea Bag movement was against the ultra-rich greedy bankers and CEOs - it is a weapon that is turning on the GOP greedheads who created it, and is fostering a nationwide move to retake America for the Middle Class and away from the Greedy Bankers and CEOs.

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What Cillizza the WaPo hack writer does not tell you is that Kelly Ayotte in the New Hampshire congressional race is leading Democrat Paul Hodes by a wide margin. There are other Republicans in the primary election race because the New Hampshire GOP has a depth of viable candidates.

Still I expect Kelly Ayotte will emerge the GOP candidate and will handily beat Paul Hodes who voted for Barry's carbon tax, and for Obamacare. New Hampshire is having the coldest winter in about 25 years and Hodes is worried about global warming.

Posted by: screwjob11 | January 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

a total memory wipe and starting over from infancy
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
but then I'd be a liberal. I would want my meals and shelter paid for. I would want mommy to take me to the doctor. I would want free school and clothing. If I didn't get my way I would simply throw a tantrum, cry and blame someone else. If it ever rains or snows I would say that someone caused it just to ruin my day. I would never work and try to eat ice cream all day long. If I got fat, I would blame mommy. I would play video games most days and expect someone else to pay for them and fix them if they break.

you know, a typical infant OR grown up liberal.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are abandoning the Obama administration ship like “rats on a sinking ship.” White House tactics on Democrat Senators were coercive in keeping them all in line with Obama policies and social change initiatives mandated on a Democrat majority Congress, our blessed lawmaker who represent the people.

All our Democrats in the Senate and House voted the Party line. If not, they were offered a deal they could not refuse. We saw no integrity of individualism of Democrat Senators or votes for their constituents.

Obama Democrats “messed up” and the Republicans will take over with the vote and support of the American people.

Posted by: klausdmk | January 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Drivl, you're so confused about so many things that you'd probably be better off getting a total memory wipe and starting over from infancy. Really.

To start with, it's you nincompoops who believe all that "economics" BS, not us.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 29, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I keep forgetting that science and economics is more like a religion to you Libs. I did not mean to insult your green goddess with facts from the real world.

Please go back to calling CO2 and H20 pollution. the humans and the trees are of no use to you loons.

now let us pary to Al gore. chant with me:


No controlling legal authority.......

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are primed for gains as Democrats retire, decline to run for office."

TO FINISH THAT THOUGHT:
"...and are thrown out of office by REAL AMERICANS who DO NOT SUPPORT their extremist, socialist programs and policies."

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | January 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Re: Obama Takes Questions from House GOP
DANIEL ENTERS THE LION'S DEN -- AND COMES OUT THE VICTOR

I haven't felt so proud of President Obama since the day he was inaugurated.

I bet Mike Pence is wishing he had never made the invitation.

Give 'em hell, Barry!

***

BULLETIN TO OBAMA: RESTORING RULE OF LAW MUST BE JOB #1

• A job without justice is slavery by another name.

The pervasive surveillance, community watch vigilante terrorism, slander, financial sabotage -- and physical torture and impairment of THOUSANDS of unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans continues.

And the Obama administration now is fully aware -- and complicit in Bush-legacy programs of ideologically-driven personal destruction.

NOW IT'S OBAMA'S GESTAPO USA. WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA ACT?

See: Poynter.org (Journalism Groups -- Reporting):

• "U.S. Silently Tortures, Impairs Americans with Cell Tower Microwaves"
• "Gestapo USA: Fed-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"
• "U.S. Uses CBS News to Cover Up Microwave Cell Tower Torture?"

http://www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 OR:
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Umm..water vapor increases with warming.

==

save your breath. Never try to educate an idiot. It'll never work and it just annoys the idiot.

He only posted that as a lead-in to his idiot remark about "libs" outlawing water.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Where's my pony? Ahh, I just got some sea horses.

More seriously, that 5.7% growth in GDP number is an eye popper. If that continues for another quarter or two, this is the time that hiring would become attractive for sound business reasons. And that is exactly the time for a tax cut to spur hiring.

Jan. 29 is a long way away from the second Tuesday in November.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 29, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, the GOP won an off-year election (singular), and suddenly the entireCongress is going to flip. Amazing punditry.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 29, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo is completely in the bag for Barack Obama. If all you read was the Washington Post for Barry's first year in office you would never know he was having any problems at all.

_______________________________________

This poster doesn't even notice that he's posting this drivel in the comments section of a WaPo blog entry about how much trouble Obama and the Dems are in.

BTW, if you want to see more like this, just read 2/3 of the columns and editorials in the opinion section any day of the week.

Posted by: howie14 | January 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Osame bin Laden joins Democratic Party!
-Endorses party platform on global warming
--------------------------------------

Osama bin Laden has raised the terror warning level to green.

In a message that would make Al Gore proud, the man behind the Sept. 11 attacks called for the world to boycott American products and the US dollar -- blaming this country for global warming, according to an audiotape released today.

In the tape, the terror lord rants of the dangers of climate change and said the only way to stop it is to bring "the wheels of the American economy" to a grinding halt.

He called for "drastic solutions" to global warming -- "not solutions that partially reduce the effect of climate change," according to the taped message.

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

When unfunded entitlements are included, every man, women, and child in the US has a debt of 200K. Things are not turning around fast.


Posted by: leapin |
_________________________________________

And, of course, everyone knows that prior to 01/20/09 there was no national debt to speak of and everyone received a pony at age 18.

Posted by: howie14 | January 29, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Umm..water vapor increases with warming.

Politics switches back and forth with regularity. It would be odd if the Democrats, or any party, maintained a very large majority in the Senate or House for any period of time.

I find it more amazing that people find it an amazing, tectonic shift, that seats might change parties.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | January 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

An entire YEAR now and not one positive word about the 44th President.


When he arrives at his first accomplishment, we will all herald the day.

Until then, failure, failure, failure.
today his dumb idea to try terrorists in NY is out the window. Now let's see, who to blame?

Posted by: drivl
------------------------------------------
Since most of the work of Pelosi and Reid done in backrooms couldn't the capitol be used for the trial?

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Scientists have underestimated the role that water vapour plays in determining global temperature changes, according to a new study that could fuel further attacks on the science of climate change. The research, led by one of the world's top climate scientists, suggests that almost one-third of the global warming recorded during the 1990s was due to an increase in water vapour in the high atmosphere, not human emissions of greenhouse gases.


time for Libs to outlaw water now.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

An entire YEAR now and not one positive word about the 44th President.


When he arrives at his first accomplishment, we will all herald the day.

Until then, failure, failure, failure.
today his dumb idea to try terrorists in NY is out the window. Now let's see, who to blame?

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the list is solid. I switched Ohio and Colorado to 6th and 8th, respectively. I'm actually kind of second guessing that one now.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"not one positive word about the 44th President."

Greatest NeoCom Statist in American history.

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

This isn't the blog to read if you want anything like balanced reporting. This is GOP HappyLand where Republicans Re forever resurgent and Democrats are forever in trouble. An entire YEAR now and not one positive word about the 44th President.

TPaw!! Mitch Daniels!! Barbour!! Romney!! PAAAAAAALIIIIIIN!!!!!!

Posted by: Noacoler | January 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Uh, if the Dems lost 7 seats, they'd still have a majority. But keep up the insightful analysis. It sure will be fun watching the right's heads explode when Obama is reelected in 2012. The GOP is only benefiting from the bad economy, like the Dems in 1982. Once things turn around, and they will, Obama's prospects will improve dramatically.

Posted by: jezebrowski1
-------------------------------------------
When unfunded entitlements are included, every man, women, and child in the US has a debt of 200K. Things are not turning around fast.

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

One thing, concerning Virginia, needs to be cleared up. The Republicans won Virginia because the Democrats put up the most lame, practically lunatic, candidate that they possibly could have. And to make that point, Stephen Colbert had an item the other night concerning a VA legislator, one Creigh Deeds, who wants a law allowing guns to be registered to two year olds! As Colbert observed, how can you fail a background test when you don't have a background. Dems, with friends like this, who needs friends?

Posted by: curtb | January 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris, tell the whole story.

More Republican lawmakers have announced their retirements than Democrats. Who will gain seats?

This is a distortion of the news just to be part of the neo-MSM, the one that leans perceptibaly right, which is a wrong in itself.

Posted by: BigTrees | January 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

In this political atmosphere, the President is asking the Republicans to pull his legislative coals out of the fire.

He dreams big dreams anyway.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 29, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

While I admit it's wishful thinking, a good Republican candidate could seriously imperil Barbara Boxer. The California economy is in a world of trouble, and besides Ahnold, everything about recent California politics points to Democrats. While I doubt California voters en masse are looking to take this out on Boxer, a good Republican candidate could get them seriously thinking about it. As much as any state in the union, California strikes me as fertile ground for a momentum wave to take hold against the incumbent. The problem is that the records of both Campbell and Fiorina can probably be exploited just enough for Boxer to limp back to the Senate. If this happens, Republicans should really kick themselves hard, because this race is by far the best opportunity for Republicans to regain some traction in California after 20 years deep in the wilderness.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | January 29, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

uhhh....Scott Brown is a Republican, not a Democrat.

Posted by: ilsh127 | January 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

that looks to be a repub pickup of 7 to me.
Looks like berry is going to lose both houses and rule as a lame duck for his last two years. It will consist of angry speeches and legacy building efforts while he tries to hide from his failures.
----------
Uh, if the Dems lost 7 seats, they'd still have a majority. But keep up the insightful analysis. It sure will be fun watching the right's heads explode when Obama is reelected in 2012. The GOP is only benefiting from the bad economy, like the Dems in 1982. Once things turn around, and they will, Obama's prospects will improve dramatically.

Posted by: jezebrowski1 | January 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo is completely in the bag for Barack Obama. If all you read was the Washington Post for Barry's first year in office you would never know he was having any problems at all.

WaPo hacks even called the Scott Brown senate race in Massachusetts a "dead heat" the day before the election. Scott Brown won by seven points, which when Barry wins the presidency by seven is called a "mandate" so I guess that means Senator Scott Brown also won by a mandate.

Only after Barry's house of cards collapses are the WaPo hacks forced to abandon their charade of the past 12 months. Then it is a sudden flurry of stories "How are we going to save the party?"

See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob11 | January 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Illinois will not be sending a Republican to the Senate.

Posted by: JPDupre | January 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

that looks to be a repub pickup of 7 to me.
Looks like berry is going to lose both houses and rule as a lame duck for his last two years. It will consist of angry speeches and legacy building efforts while he tries to hide from his failures.
Posted by: drivl
-----------------------------------------
The Democratic Party has become nothing more than a regional party of angry bi-racial men and Dbaggers attending free lunch parties.

Posted by: leapin | January 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

that looks to be a repub pickup of 7 to me.
Looks like berry is going to lose both houses and rule as a lame duck for his last two years. It will consist of angry speeches and legacy building efforts while he tries to hide from his failures.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the first two are locks to switch at this point as you point out, and Reid is looking more and more vulnerable, but I just can't bring myself to sell him off just yet. Nevada politics is a dirty game and Reid is one of the best at playing it.
I would move Bennet down the list to say 8 or so since I think he knows what he is doing and with Ritter out of the governors race he may benefit an increase in support for Hickenlooper from the Denver area.

I don't know what to think of the Ohio race either. Portman seems way to washingtonized for this type of election, but it hasn't really hurt him yet. I would expect this race to get ugly fast, but that also may depend on how much cash the DNC/DSCC want to throw at him.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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