REMINDER: Quit looking for a hero or friend or partner in politics

We conservatives tend to be idol worshippers, focusing all of our efforts on the candidate. If it’s a good candidate, we support and help. If it’s a bad candidate we lambaste and oppose. Remember what Friedman said

“It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.”

He was talking about Congressmen, but it’s a philosophy that applies equally to the President and to an entire party.

in thiis race, it’s Clinton v. Trump. One of those two will be the next President. You may be happy about that, you may be sad about that. You may fee embarrassed and ashamed that these are our pathetic choices. You may not want either one. I’m very sorry, but this country has survived bad Presidents before, we’ll survive this time, too.

The President is NOT the avatar of your self-worth. If he or she is a despicable human being (they both pretty much are), your support for one or the other doesn’t mean that YOU are a despicable human being.

Our job as responsible citizens of this Republic is to make a decision about which one of these wrong people can be best influenced to do the right things and then behave accordingly.

We know how Clinton is influenced, and we know who has the influence with her. It’s not us. She not only doesn’t care if we oppose her, she PREFERS that we oppose her. A weakend GOP Senate and House will not be able to persuade her of anything – she’ll have the backing of all Democrats, media, education, popular culture, and big business. At best, the GOP may be able to mitigate some of the horrors she is intent on. Perhaps instead of banning all guns and ammunition purchases, we’ll just have registration and application for permission to buy.

After 8 years of holding Obama back on some things, the public choosing “4 more years” of Obama policies will have a very strong pull on the GOPers who have always been squishy. Clinton victory will be a very strong message that the nation wants what the progressive left is selling, it will be more politically profitable for the GOP to do their thing than our thing. You know this.

We also know how Trump is influenced. He must be seen as winning, as smart. There’s some chance that a weakened GOP can have some influence there. Not much, but more than zero. We can make it politically profitable for Trump to do the right thing, in some circumstances.

Put away the anger and sadness, put away the disappointment, and get ruthlessly logical. If we are to have any influence over the head of the federal government, any at all, it’s Trump that has to be there.

The 2016 Senate Race

Tired of talking about Clinton and Trump?

Looking beyond the Presidential race, which has been captivating all of the attention of late, there are 34 Senate races pending. The GOP currently holds the Senate, and that might change.

Since there’s really nothing of interest for conservatives to root for in the Presidential race, perhaps there’s something we can get interested in on the Senate side of things.

The Democrats are defending 10 Senatorial slots, and only three are any risk at all – Colorado, Nevada, and California. The Republicans are defending 24 slots, only 10 of which are really safe. There is a LOT of room for Democrats to make gains, and a lot of room for Republicans to lose.

It’s pretty likely that a big Republican loss would be bad for conservatism, so defending these GOP Senators seems to be a fairly important step in protecting the conservative movement.

The map is coded with the darkest red states being the ones we really should focus on as first priority.usonly

Are there any Mike Lee style candidates running? Who could win? Are there any good conservatives at risk that we should be working to protect?

I’m just beginning to look at this, I’ve put together the list of races, and noted the incumbents. I’ve glanced at a few sources and divided the races up based on whether conservatives should bother with them or not.

Any additional info that you might have would be appreciated.

Let’s try to find something GOOD to pay attention to, and stop just complaining about how bad the POTUS candidates are, we can’t do anything about that. Let’s look into things we CAN effect.

All 34 Class 3 Senators are up for election in 2016, class 3 currently consists of 10 Democrats and 24 Republicans

  • Where to Go for solid reference information
  • High Risk to lose, High Chance to pickup – PRIORITY FOCUS
    • Arizona – John McCain – R
    • Florida – Marco Rubio – R, retiring
    • Illinois – Mark Kirk – R
    • Missouri – Roy Blunt – R
    • Nevada – Harry Reid – D, retiring
    • New Hampshire – Kelly Ayotte – R
    • North Carolina – Richard Burr – R
    • Ohio – Rob Portman – R
    • Pennsylvania – Pat Toomey – R
    • Wisconsin – Ron Johnson – R
  • Some risk to lose, some chance to pickup – SECONDARY FOCUS
    • Alaska – Lisa Murkowski – R
    • California – Barbara Boxer – D, retiring
    • Colorado – Michael Bennet – D
    • Georgia – Johnny Isakson – R
    • Iowa – Chuck Grassley – R
    • Indiana – Dan Coats – R, retiring
    • Louisiana – David Vitter – R, retiring
  • Safe Hold for Republican – no need to worry
    • Alabama – Richard Shelby – R
    • Arkansas – John Boozman – R
    • Idaho – Mike Crapo – R
    • Kansas – Jerry Moran – R
    • Kentucky – Rand Paul – R
    • North Dakota – John Hoeven – R
    • Oklahoma – James Lankford – R
    • South Carolina – Tim Scott – R
    • South Dakota – John Thune – R
    • Utah – Mike Lee – R
  • Safe Hold for Democrats – no point bothering with it
    • Connecticut – Richard Blumenthal – D
    • Hawaii – Brian Schatz – D
    • Maryland – Barbara Mikulski – D, retiring
    • New York – Chuck Schumer – D
    • Oregon – Ron Wyden – D
    • Vermont – Patrick Leahy – D
    • Washington – Patty Murray – D

Too Tired to Support Rubio

I keep telling myself I should write a blog post to explain my endorsement of Ted Cruz. I keep thinking I should link a few of the excellent articles about him, and then explain my thinking on the many different items that I’ve weighed in my consideration, all of them bringing me to the conclusion that I really really want Ted Cruz to be the next President.

But you know what it is, mostly? I’m just too damned TIRED to want to have Marco Rubio as President.

I’ve been fighting against the President and the Senate and the House for more than 10 years now. My politcal involvement for more than a decade has been about stopping government from doing bad shit.

I’m just exhausted from that.

I don’t WANT to have to fight Marco on immigration. I don’t WANT to have to fight Marco on NSA wiretapping, civil rights for college students,, sugar subsidies, crony tax credits, or the millions of other things he and his cohorts will come up with to “help us”.

Why can’t we get a guy that we can fight WITH rather than AGAINST?

Imagine fighting WITH Ted Cruz to wind down mandates  and subsidies, to ensure protections for innocent Americans and expanded capabilities to pursue bad guys – with proper court authorization.

Imagine having the “unknown crazy stuff” that comes up filtered through the Constitution before a solution is proposed or approved.

I don’t have the time right now to link articles and properly source my allegations. I don’t have the time to find a pretty picture for this post on my crappy blog.

I don’t have the TIME or INCLINATION to fight to get some guy elected and then have to fight against him once he’s there. You know we’ll have to do that with Rubio. How much crap has he already done that we fought against, or cheered when it didn’t happen, or should have fought against?

Can’t we just have a chance to fight to get someone elected, and then…be HAPPY once we succeed?

I’m too tired to support Marco Rubio. But for Ted Cruz, I’m ready to fight!

This GOP Primary is Horrible and Wonderful

The amount of ugliness and snarkiness between candidates and their supporters is pretty intense. Some of that is a factor of our age and social media – we’re mean to people we don’t actually see or know. Some of it is because there’s an actual CONTEST to determine the person who will represent the GOP, and thus conservatism, for the near future.

We haven’t had that in AGES. For a huge percent of the population, we’ve never had that, not really. Much of my recollection is spotty because I wasn’t hugely into politics, but it’s how I remember things…

In 1988 – Bush was elected to continue being Reagan. Not a whole lot of philosophical battle going on.

In 1992 there was a significant battle – the Republican / populist battle was really fought between Bush and Perot. Constitutional conservatives seemed to be a complacent part of the GOP. That’s when I started paying attention to politics a bit.

In 1996, it was Dole’s turn, but no one was gonna beat Clinton

In 2000, Bush v. McCain – not a real ideological struggle. More of a battle of…whose turn is it? Which legacy wins?

In 2004 – Bush again, of course

In 2008 – it was McCain’s turn. It was a battle of campaign tactics, who was going to fight hardest because they wanted it most.  Who would be the last one standing, the one who had “lost the least”.

In 2012 – Romney again was the “last one standing”. It was a bit of an ideological struggle, the not-Romney’s versus Romney, but it was also Romney’s turn.

And all along, the polls could predict what was going to happen, and we could tell which tactics were going to work and which would not – in a general sense. The voters were predictable, the candidates were predictable. It all kind of made sense and flowed along.

Now? It’s no one’s turn. It’s crazy. It’s unexpected. They’re all trying all the different campaign tactics that have been used before, and no one knows what’s really going to happen.

This is absolutely the chaos election. And it’s delightful, and horrible, and exhilarating and disgusting.

Source: Politics – Collections – Google+

WHY is it so hard to reduce government spending?

Because those who get gov’t money are more motivated to KEEP getting their money than those of us who want to stop giving it to them.

Everyone attending the Cruz town hall was greeted by an employee of America’s Renewable Future, an ethanol lobby headed by Eric Branstad, the son of Republican governor Terry Branstad. The ARF aide handed out glossy fliers giving all Democrats and most Republicans a green light on their support for ethanol. Only Rand Paul and Ted Cruz got failing grades.

The fearmongering is quick to do and easy for children to understand “Ted Cruz wants to hurt you –  he wants to shut down Iowa Corn”

The truth takes time to hear, and adult minds to understand:

He pointed out towards the ethanol-lobby’s “You Cruz You Lose” truck in the parking lot and said, “As you all are aware, there are a bunch of lobbyists and a bunch of Democrats spending millions of dollars trying to convince the people that I am somehow opposed to ethanol. It is complete and utter nonsense. I very much support ethanol, I just oppose Washington.”

Cruz then explained his policy proposal — phase out the mandate, eliminate blending caps, and kill favors for oil and gas. Then he made his real argument:

“There is a reason that the lobbyists want the men and women of Iowa to focus on the RFS. Because it keeps Iowa dependent on Washington. It means that every year Iowa has to go back to Washington to maintain the mandate, and what that means is the lobbyists get paid every year. Every year they get paid. Every year the politicians get paid. As long as Iowa is dependent on Washington, that keeps the power in Washington.”

One attendee named David had come to the town hall with a list of eight questions he wanted asked. Ethanol was No. 3. He said Cruz’s explanation had convinced him.

That’s an excellent sign. Not just for the Cruz campaign, but for our nation’s economy. We CAN stop some of the subsidies, if we explain why, and get past the fearmongering and the clickbait.

Will we? Who knows.

Source: Cruz defends himself in Ethanol Country | Washington Examiner

Make Change Happen: TWO DAYS TO GO!

The end is near. And there’s a very real possibility that we are about to knock Harry Reid off the top of that mountain. Lots of articles are predicting a Republican wave. Don’t get cocky. Be aggressive, be determined, it’s not over until late Tuesday night. VOTE, get your friends to VOTE. Post on social media for these guys, make phone calls, walk the neighborhoods, do whatever you can.

On election night, go to The Conservative Union for links to the results, and conversation about what’s going on.

Where do we really need to focus for the last two days? How have things changed? Well, the great news is that KY is almost certainly staying McConnell, and CO, LA, and IA have moved to the likely pickup category, which would mean we need to focus on not losing GA or KS, and then on picking up NC and NH. But let’s get even more specific.

Kansas – MOST IMPORTANT

We must not lose this one. It’s neck and neck. If we lose this one, we have to  pickup TWO to make up for it.  The key will be getting KS Republicans scared and angry enough to go vote, and making sure they know that Orman is a Democrat. So it’s about voter education and turnout. The good news is that Orman is his own worst enemy  and has sort of insulted Bob Dole, so you can use that. Go to Pat Roberts website to get the press releases and ads to share.

Iowa and Colorado – MANDATORY wins, but looking pretty good

We have to have these two races, but it looks like we got them. So I would say you don’t need to push AS hard on these two, just a bit of a pitch for Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner and things will be good.

New Hampshire and North Carolina – WORK ON THESE

Scott Brown has been known to pull a surprise upset, and Jean Shaheen can be tied to Obama fairly easily. Raise awareness of this race. Conservatives in NH might be thinking there’s no point in trying, but if you can get some folks to the polls, it could make all the difference. North Carolina should be a red state, seriously. What the heck are they doing with Kay Hagan? Turnout is the key – get folks to the polls, talk up the race. Don’t just make the point that Kay Hagan is an Obama clone, convince folks to go to the polls and vote!

Georgia and Louisiana – ignore for now

I’d love for both to be outright victories on Tuesday, but they’re both likely to go to a runoff, so we can wait and focus on them later. For the last two days we have more important priorities

GET ACTIVE – Here is where you go

In the list of links to this series, you’ll also see the last link: LIVE OUTLINE, ALL MY NOTES. That’s what I’ve been collating and writing and pulling together to put as content in these posts.Leslie's Analysis Senate 2014

When I decide that a race has moved from one category to another, that’s where I will make the change. That’s a live look at what I’m doing, so it’s a more up-to-date reference than the static content of these posts.

  • There’s  a link to the campaign site for each candidate
  • There are links to current stories about that race, important news, etc.
  • You can collapse and expand any section of the outline to make it easier to read and deal with

What do you do when you decide you want to help a candidate?

  • Donate money – directly to the campaign rather than through a third party that takes a cut before it gets to the campaign
  • Make phone calls – some/many (sadly not all) will have a way for your to make phone calls to registered GOP voters in their state so as to drum up turnout. They’ll have a recommended script, they’ll have the numbers to call. You won’t be calling angry liberals. You’ll be calling your own people, reminding them to go vote.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Get active!

The Make Change Happen Series

Sites Tracking the Horserace

Make Change Happen 6: Resources

Time for Action - ClockSO many posts and articles about these Senate races. SO much information. It’s an info-lanche!

You want to get involved, you want to make change happen but you seriously don’t need to spend your time chasing down the resources, you need to spend your time helping the campaigns.

I’m here to help. You may have noticed, at the bottom of all articles in this series, a couple of boxes of links. I’m sharing links to all of the articles in this series, as well as links to my favorite sites with overall senate race information. I’ve made brief notes on a few of those links, so you know what they are before you go there.

Sites Tracking the Horserace

As I add and delete things from the list of links, it will be automatically updated in every post, so you can be sure that no matter which post you’re looking at, that box of links shows my most current list and comments, with the newest additions as the top.

These sites are written by professional political analysts, polling collation firms, etc. These are my sources for my conclusions. They’ve got some excellent analysis, and usually a link or two to stores about the candidates.

However…they’re analyzing the current state of play. They’re observers, reporters, they aren’t actually making change happen. So if you’re looking to do something productive to help the conservative cause, don’t spend a lot of time with these sites.

The Ace of Spades Decision Desk

The Ace of Spades Decision Desk – it should be your primary election night site. Yes, it’s horserace analysis, but it’s the best of the bunch, AND it’s more than JUST horserace analysis.

It’s a beautifully laid out current state-of-play site, if you just want to know what’s the latest, this is the place to go. They are looking  at the Gubernatorial races, as well as the Senate races

Most importantly – they are not just reporting the races, they see themselves as advocates. To that end, they have a section of the latest news stories on each race, AND the current ads for the campaign. If you’re about to make calls for a candidate, go to the AOSHQDD and get the latest news first.

To review the Make Change Happen Series

In case you want to review previous posts in this series, this link box will let you navigate to any post in the series, again, always updated and live.

GET ACTIVE – Here is where you go

In the list of links to this series, you’ll also see the last link: LIVE OUTLINE, ALL MY NOTES. That’s what I’ve been collating and writing and pulling together to put as content in these posts.Leslie's Analysis Senate 2014

When I decide that a race has moved from one category to another, that’s where I will make the change. That’s a live look at what I’m doing, so it’s a more up-to-date reference than the static content of these posts.

  • There’s  a link to the campaign site for each candidate
  • There are links to current stories about that race, important news, etc.
  • You can collapse and expand any section of the outline to make it easier to read and deal with

What do you do when you decide you want to help a candidate?

  • Donate money – directly to the campaign rather than through a third party that takes a cut before it gets to the campaign
  • Make phone calls – some/many (sadly not all) will have a way for your to make phone calls to registered GOP voters in their state so as to drum up turnout. They’ll have a recommended script, they’ll have the numbers to call. You won’t be calling angry liberals. You’ll be calling your own people, reminding them to go vote.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Get active!

Make Change Happen 5: Stop being passive

Time for Action - ClockIf you truly want Harry Reid to be demoted, it’s going to take more than just reading and sharing the horeserace articles. It’s going to take you actively getting involved, not just WATCHING change happen, but MAKING change happen.

Stop being a passive observer

Now it’s time to think about what YOU can do to change your world. How do you help a particular candidate?

I’ve walked you through what I suggest as the order of attack in the first four posts of this series. Links to the whole series are at the end of this article. Pick one of those races, and get involved.

Sad Harry Reid

The candidate’s campaign staff will actually know best what the candidate needs. Yes, there are other organizations helping, you and I both get their emails every day. But truly, your best investment at this point is, I think, at the candidate’s campaign site.

Go to the site, contribute a few dollars. If they have a way for you to make calls on the candidate’s behalf, do so.

Look for some issues highlighted on their site, the ones that interest you, and write a blog post about it.

Yes, write blog posts SELLING THE CANDIDATE. Not “reporting on”. Not “commenting on”. Not passively observing. GET INVOLVED. Promote the guy. Did he do or say something good? Share that story on social media – but in a way that is a SALES PITCH.

You know the difference.

When you read an article or a social media post, do you imagine the writer sitting back in his chair, Christopher Hitchens style, smoking his cigarette and making intelligent observations, sharing information, and giving his opinion? Great. That guy is passively reporting.

Or do you imagine the person standing up, talking to you, convincing you of something? Trying to get you to like a candidate, trying to get you to vote for a candidate, trying to inform you of a particular candidate’s unique suitability for the job? THAT is the advocate. THAT is a campaign worker, the operative, the passionate voter, the actively involved person trying to make the world better.

We are all both of those at different times. If you want things to change, now is the time to be that ACTIVE person far more than the passive person.

Arguments against becoming the active party shill:

  • You’ll be called a party shill
  • You’ll get phone calls from the party and the candidates
  • Your mailbox will be full of requests for donations
  • Your followers will KNOW that you are a conservative
  • Some people may unfollow you
  • You’re too busy

Wow, that’s some scary stuff right there. Seriously, if any of those arguments are persuasive to you, that’s fine, just keep being a passive reporter.  Activism isn’t for everyone.

Let me just comment on the last argument, you’re too busy. You have no more or less time than anyone else. Time is one resource that we all get in precisely equal measure. If you are saying that the other things you are choosing to do with your time are more important, that’s fine. Be honest with yourself and us, and just accept that truth. If, instead, there are some things you can stop doing, and trade that time for activism time, please do so.

I do think you’ll be surprised at how much positive difference you can make with just a little time. As we discussed in The Refinery last week, in just a few minutes you can make a bunch of phone calls. That’s still the best way to drive people to the polls to go vote.


I’m Sold! How Do I Get Involved?

Go to My Entire Outline, all races monitored.

That link takes you to the list of candidates, links to their official sites, recent articles about them. It’s the live and most recent version of the info I’m tracking. If I’ve moded candidates from one section to another, it shows up here.


Read my sources


Read the rest of this series

Make Change Happen 4: This is What We Work On

We need to take the majority of the Senate. We need to gain SIX seats. So far, I’ve shown you my list of the races we either don’t need to pay attention to much at all, or the ones we only need to check in on a little.Sad Harry Reid

With total success on the races previously mentioned, we’re up by 4. That’s TERRIFIC, but not at all sufficient.

We’ve got to have at minimum, two more. We know it, the Dems know it. THIS is where the fight is.

I’ll be working over the next few days to give you information on what to do, how to help – what you can do to actually make the change happen.

First though, we have to study the targets. Start looking and learning, read up on these races. Read up on the candidates. Read up on the political environment of the state.

Possible Pickup

Inifnitely achievable, work hard here. In order from most to least likely.

Alaska

  • Dan Sullivan (R) vs. Mark Begich (D)
  • Dan has recently crossed over in polling from behind to ahead, and his lead over Begich is increasing. Seems unlikely that it would turn around and crash at this point, this is a pretty favorable sign. Yet he’s up by less than 5 points, easily a margin of polling error. The Democrat incumbent is a smart campaigner, and the state GOP is still recovering from a tough primary. Turnout and GOP enthusiasm will be key. Phone calls, social media promotion, and money will help a LOT. Alaska isn’t used to getting attention from the lower 48, our attention could have an outsized effect with the less-politically inclined in Alaska.

Arkansas

  • Tom Cotton (R) vs. Mark Pryor (D)
  • Arkansas is in the early stages of turning solid Republican, there’s still a good deal of enthusiasm for the GOP to grow and increase its strength in the state, it’s on the upswing. Tom Cotton is a great candidate, Pryor is the son of a Dem Seantor – old versus new is the story here, but not to offend old voters, it’s the “old ways” the “old system” versus the new system

Colorado

  • Cory Gardner (R) vs Mark Udall (D)
  • Let’s turn Colorado back red! This is a SUPER close race, but definitely winnable with some effort for Gardner. The Dems will not want to lose this one Udall has been ahead the whole time. But it looks like Gardner may be about to take the lead – keep that momentum going. The whole state seems to be swinging back GOP, make it happen, take advantage of the “surprise” that Udall is vulnerable.

Iowa

  • Joni Ernst (R) vs Bruce Braley (D)
  • Another REALLY tight one. Braley seems to be making mistakes, which our guys tend to not take much advantage of. Ernst is a combat veteran – leverage that with older voters, drive enthusiasm and patriotism.

North Carolina

  • Thom Tillis (R) vs Kay Hagan (D)
  • Hagan is up, but Tillis is getting some good support from the GOP machine. He’s made some errors of late, at about the same time the Dems hit with a lot of Hagan ads. This is a test of OUR will to win the race even with a less than perfect candidate. Turnout, phone calls, money – that’s what this race needs.

New Hampshire

  • Scott Brown (R) vs Jeanne Shaheen (D)
  • Shaheen is ahead by almost 5, but that’s inside the margin of change. Also she’s on the downswing and Scott Brown is trending up, it’s worth sticking with it to see if we can bring it home. Brown will have to get support from Independents and soft Democrats, and the disillusionment with Obama can help here.

Michigan

  • Terri Lynn Land (R) vs Gary Peters (D)
  • Peters is up by almost 5, but it may be that folks just haven’t yet started paying attention. It’s worth some attention NOW to see if the polls start to trend her way. The previous mid-term voter was Repbulican, the previous Presidential voter was Democrat. Can we make the Dems stay home, rally the GOP and get Land elected?

Remote Chance Pickup

Stretch goals, worth a shot if the above are done deals. Alphabetical order.

Illinois

  • Jim Oberweis (R) vs Dick Durbin (D)
  • Durbin is up by considerably more than 10, it appears that Durbin is “Senator for Life” in Illinois. I’d love to be wrong. I just want this guy to go away. It’s included here mostly to remind all of us that on any given Tuesday in November, miracles can happen

Minnesota

  • Mike McFadden (R) vs Al Franken (D)
  • Franken is up by a lot, the differential between the two is pretty steady. Franken has the incumbency inertia vote.

New Jersey

  • Jeff Bell (R) vs Cory Booker (D)
  • The Dems would HATE to lose this one. They didn’t plan on having to defend it, so any money we can make them spend here is money they weren’t planning to spend. Putting forth effort for Jeff Bell also makes more sense than putting forth effort in IL or OR – because Jeff Bell has a GOP Governor to help him, and the NJ GOP is on an upswing, doing some good things for the state. Good turnout for Bell will help downballot GOPers and will help the party strengthen itself for the future.

New Mexico

  • Allen Weh (R) vs Tom Udall (D)
  • This has moved from GOP no chance to a slim possibility
  • It’s a remote chance, but a chance nonetheless. The candidate isn’t all that strong, but the environment isn’t great for democrats in general, Udall is a dynastic name and there’s some anti-establishment fervor that could be leveraged.

Oregon

  • Monica Webby (R) vs Jeff Merkley (D)
  • Merkley is up by more than 10, and Webby’s trending seems to be negative, this seems a REALLY remote chance, extremely remote.

Virginia

This list will change over time, I’ll be adding resources to it, moving some links from the general list below into the specific races, etc. So consider this list a preliminary view, food for thought, and…

Questions – do you think I have some of this wrong? Let me know!



Make Change Happen 3: The Easy Ones

Sad Harry Reid
Let’s DEMOTE this guy!

In Parts 1 and 2 of the Make Change Happen series, we looked at the Senate races coming up, and of the 36 races, saw that we only need focus on 18 of them. Let’s start looking at those in more detail, and start with the easy ones first!

In general, the current GOP Senators are in good shape, and as Obama’s approval rating drops, our lot improves, but there ARE a few of our guys that need some attention, and one conservative state with a long serving Senator who is retiring, so it’s technically up for grabs.

Republicans at Risk

The states lean R, so it shouldn’t be too much of a lift to ensure R victory, but losing these could hurt on multiple levels. We’d have to gain TWO from the other lists rather than one to make up for the loss of an existing R. Also, there’s a negative down ballot effect on established GOPers in the rest of the state if we are to lose at the top.

Kentucky R-McConnell

  • Mitch McConnell (R) vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ky/kentucky_senate_mcconnell_vs_grimes-3485.html
  • This shouldn’t really be anything we have to worry about, but state politics and a grassroots lack of enthusiasm for McConnell after the primary make this one that we can’t take for granted. It’s currently looking OK, but definitely needs to be watched – the Dems could start throwing resources at it at the last minute. Watch THEM – if they abandon Grimes, then we’re ok.

Georgia R-Chambliss (retiring)

  • David Perdue (R) vs. Michelle Nunn (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ga/georgia_senate_perdue_vs_nunn-4040.html
  • Momentum is on Perdue’s side, Georgia is a basically conservative state and might be recovering from the bruising GOP primary. It is expected that as the likely voters start paying attention to the race being Perdue v. Nunn, they’ll come down on the side of Perdue, even if they aren’t huge fans of his in general. Keep a close eye on this one.

Kansas R-Roberts

  • Pat Roberts (R) vs. Greg Orman (I)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ks/kansas_senate_roberts_vs_orman-5216.html
  • This was not supposed to happen, and is a case study in the damage that 3rd parties and vicious Democrats can do. The D candidate was bad, so they deep-sixed him and recruited Orman. Orman IS a Democrat. He will be a Democrat vote, make no mistake. But the voters are being misled that he is a fresh new outsider-y face compared to the old guy Roberts.
  • Currently the Democrat-fake-Independent is ahead by 5 points and a lot of GOP resources are being poured into this state.
  • It might make more sense for US to let the big name and party resources work to save Roberts while we put our efforts towards shoring up the likely pickups and maybe grabbing a couple of possibles.
  • From a psychological standpoint, I’d trade a loss of Roberts for a couple of Dem pickups. Saving Roberts at great expense isn’t a big victory, that’s an expensive draw. But sending a few more Democrats home, and having states get stronger GOP infrastructure by virtue of having a GOP Senator – that’s a legitimate win.

So…as long as we can hold on to those three states, we only have to add seats, we don’t need to make up for any losses. Those states are important, but also…not as much fun, because we don’t get to take a Democrat and knock them off the hill. Let’s look at the places we are likely to squash the Dems like bugs. These are the FUN states. But just because it’s fun doesn’t make it optional. We HAVE to win these races. HAVE to. They will get us 2/3 of the way there.

Likely Pickup

We really have to have these states. Make sure we have these sealed up before putting ANY energy on the “possible” or “remote chance” states.

West Virginia D-Rockefeller (retiring)

Montana D-Walsh (not running)

South Dakota D-Johnson (retiring)

Louisiana D-Landrieu

  • Bill Cassidy (R), Rob Maness (R) vs. Mary Landrieu (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/louisiana_senate_race.html
  • Louisiana doesn’t have a party primary. All three candidates run on Nov 4, and if none get over 50% of total vote, it goes to a runoff. Cassidy is expected to beat Maness, giving us a Cassidy v. Landrieu race in December.
  • Due to the nature of Louisiana politics, we can actually ignore this one until after the mid-term election, let Louisiana determine their GOP candidate, and then we can help make sure Landrieu is defeated in the December runoff

Alright, that’s 7 races we stand a decent chance of winning, there’s really only one real danger there. If we can get all 7 of these, we’ll only need 2 more to take a bare, risky, scary majority. So we should…get these 7 DONE, NOW, and then we can focus our efforts on the next groups.

Why is a bare majority so scary? Because that creates the situation of a Senator crossing the line to vote with the Dems and becoming famous and beloved for doing so. Don’t think that that media and the Dems (BIRM) don’t know that. We really need a comfortable majoirty with 2 or 3 spare just to keep our team in line. Really we do. We know this. Don’t complain about it, just elect more GOP and take the issue off the table.

My next post will cover our possibles, and our remote chances. Then, once we’ve got the whole list done, we’ll start talking about WHAT to do, HOW to do it, and WHEN.