Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Early '06 Senate Outlook

Since Virginia probably won't be a very active year for campaigns, we will probably be paying more attention to national politics in the election coverage.
The Senate is 55 GOPs-45 Dems with Dick Cheney as VP so the dems need a net gain of 6 seats here to retake the majority.
Here is a list of what the real Larry Sabato is saying about the races:
In '06 there are 15 GOP seats and 19 dem seats.

Vunerable GOPs:
Rick Santorum (PA) Trailing Bob Casey (D) 53-38
Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Mike Dewine (OH) Leads 45-40
Conrad Burns (MT) Tied at 45-45 with John Tester (D)
Jim Talent (MO)
Trailing Claire McCaskill (D) 46-43
Bill Frist's open seat (TN)
Jon Kyl (AZ)

Vunerable Dems:
Mark Dayton's open seat (MN) Very close
Bob Menendez (NJ) Trailing Tom Kean (R) 42-35
Ben Nelson (NE)
Maria Cantwell (WA) Leads 51-36
Paul Sarbanes open seat (MD) Michael Steele (R) leads 45-40
Bill Nelson (FL) Leads 54-31
Joe Lieberman (CT) Leads 47-25
Robert Byrd (WV)

An interesting thing about these polls is that while many expect the GOP to be in trouble, these polls numbers show just the opposite. 3 dem seats have GOPs leading or tied, while 3 GOP seats are losing or tied with dems. Also, the threatened GOP seats aren't really a factor of negative feeling toward the national GOP. Everyone has known Santorum is in trouble, DeWine is more so b/c of the scandal in Ohio. Even though the dems will be defending more seats than the Republicans, the dems need to capitalize on GOP weakness right now. If they come out of '06 with a net gain of 0, they will be very badly positioned to retake the majority in the near future. From my perspective though, thats a good thing. Even so, it is still early and anything can happen in 9 months.

I will have a post on Governor's races soon.


  • At 2/09/2006 1:35 AM, Blogger Politicl.Animal said…

    VA will be active.

  • At 2/09/2006 12:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Even so, I seriouslt doubt we will see any congressional changes (and I doubt George Allen will lose either).

  • At 2/09/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger valley iconoclast said…

    If Allen wins it will be by less that 5 points. He is vulnerable and has never had a tough race in his career.

  • At 2/09/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said…

    In NJ and MD, there are various polls that show widely different things.

    Same thing goes with Missouri.

    Talent isn't in that much trouble and Menendez and O'Malley should be able to pull it off against Kean and Steele. In any other midterm year, Kean and Steele are great candidates...but with the anti-Republican mood out there, it's not going to be easy for these great candidates to win in MASSIVELY blue states.

    Frist's seat is a likely R.

    Chafee is probably going to lose in the primary. And if he fails to do that, he'd going to lose in the general...people have written him off completely.

    A conservative newspaper actually called for Burns to step down and let someone else run. If he does that, they seat if the GOP's. If not, then it's badly in danger.

    Dewine escaped a primary challenge - but will the Republican base come out for him?

    Jon Kyl is safe.

    Ben Nelson and Robert Byrd are safe because the strong potential GOP challengers opted out.

    Cantwell and Lieberman are safe.

    Virginia - I'd categorize it as Solid GOP column right now. It's not competitive until Webb gets the nomination.

  • At 2/09/2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said…

    Oh and MN is anybody's game.

  • At 2/09/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I tend to agree with your assessment VC.
    VI, I guess that huge deficit in the polls in 1993 against Mary Sue Terry doesnt qualify as a "tough race in his career" huh? You also don't give Chuck Robb nearly as much credit as he probably deserves for being a good candidate as well.

  • At 2/09/2006 5:26 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    By the way, O'Malley is running for Gov in MD, not Senate. Steele's possible contenders are Congressman Ben Cardin or NAACP chairman Kweisi Mfume.
    I think if Mfume gets the dem nod Steele will win. If its Cardin, I dont have nearly as much faith in Steele's chances.


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