Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana Says He Will Not Run For the U.S. Senate … Helps for a Possible GOP Senate Takeover in 2014
Big surprise in Montana proves to be a gift for the GOP.
In a surprising twist and a blow to the Democrat party, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana says that he will not run for the US Senate for Montana in 2014. Schweitzer was considered the Democrat front runner and the Democrats best chance to hold the seat from retiring Democrat Sen. Max “Obamacare is a train wreck” Baucus. Will this shift in the Senate seat in Montana from Democrat to the GOP further help the Republican party. The Politico seems to think so. The GOP needs to capture a net pickup of six Senate seats in 2014. The WAPO is calling it a gift for the GOP.
Already, Republicans are favored to win two seats left vacant by Democratic retirements — in West Virginia and South Dakota — and the Schweitzer move will make it much easier for the GOP to win in Montana.
That means the battle for the majority will likely be fought in a handful of red states with Democratic incumbents, including North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska.
So how does this gift turn into Christmas come early for the GOP? With this recent news Schweitzer not running for Senate, Montana becomes the third problematic Democratic open seat for the party. The other is in West Virginia where Rockefeller is retiring. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is the clear favorite as Democrats have yet to forth a serious candidate to run. The same can be said to be true in South Dakota with the retirement of Tim Johnson, where the two leading Democratic candidates took a pass while popular former governor Mike Rounds dodged a serious Republican primary challenge.
The GOP now must focus on pickups in the following four seats, all of which are held by Democratic incumbents running for reelection in generally “red” states: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Full list of Senators up for reelection in 2014: Those in “red” below are considered a highly probably change of party in 2014. Comments in “blue” are editors notes.
Max Baucus (Montana)*
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Chris Coons (Delaware)
Ed Markey (Massachusetts)
Richard Durbin (Illinois)
Al Franken (Minnesota) – How on earth has the GOP not been able to recruit a serious candidate against this joke of a US Senator?
Kay Hagan (North Carolina)
Tom Harkin (Iowa)*
Tim Johnson (South Dakota) *
Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) – Landrieu continues to win in the “red” state of Louisiana, but Sabato has the race as a toss up.
Carl Levin (Michigan)*
Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
Mark Pryor (Arkansas) - They claim that Prior is vulnerableand in trouble for reelection, but I will not believe it until I see it.
Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
John Rockefeller (West Virginia)*
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Mark Udall (Colorado)
Tom Udall (New Mexico)
Mark Warner (Virginia)
Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) - I can only hope that Alexander is primary challenged and loses in a state that is more conservative than its Senator is. Time to step up Marsha Blackburn and do what is right for the state, note the establishment hierarchy of the GOP. The volunteer state needs representation that compares to its conservatism, not a RINO.
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia)*
Jeff Chiesa (New Jersey) – Appointee retiring, to be succeeded in October, 2013 – Cannot see a Republican winning in the Garden state. Those days are long since gone.
Thad Cochran (Mississippi)
Susan Collins (Maine) – She’s a RINO, but a conservative could never win in the lobster state.
John Cornyn (Texas)
Michael Enzi (Wyoming)
Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) - for the love of God would some Republican please primary challenge Lindsey “Grahamnesty”. What say you Rep. Trey Gowdy?
James Inhofe (Oklahoma)
Mike Johanns (Nebraska)*
Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
James Risch (Idaho)
Pat Roberts (Kansas)
Jeff Sessions (Alabama)
* represents retiring Senator, open seat.
Check out Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball for 2014 predictions. But there is still a long way to go and anything could happen.