Here’s the breakdown:
– 20 Democrats will be up for reelection, compared to 13 Republicans.
– 12 of those 20 Democrats come from either red states (six) or swing states (six).
– Only one of the 13 Republicans comes from a state that isn’t red, and that’s Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose seat is basically safe unless she retires.
Top GOP targets are likely to include Democratic Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Al Franken (Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.). Five of the nine are first-term senators, and Republicans have already got a strong potential candidate against Johnson, with former governor Mike Rounds launching an exploratory committee last week.)
Republicans could also have a chance at winning the seats of Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), particularly if either of them (both are in their 70s) retire. And Virginia could also be a target under the right circumstances, but right now Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is very popular.
2014 comes down to three issues:
1. If the economy is still wobbly, the public will not be happy.
2. If we are at war with Iran, a war weary public will not be happy.
3. If there is not demonstrable movement on the debt, the public will not be happy.
If, however, unemployment is between 6 and 7 percent, inflation is low, gas prices are relatively stable, there is no war with Iran, housing is showing good vital signs, the Stock Market is at 16,000, and the deficit is narrowning, incumbents of both parties will be in good shape. A lot to do, but doable.
Given that Republicans appear likely to at least narrow the Democrats’ 53-to-47 margin in the Senate this year, 2014 should afford them a huge opportunity to either re-take the majority or expand it if they can win the chamber this year.
Via except from WashingtonPost/Aaron Blake