Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winning the Senate in 2010 Revised

Latest polls continue to show strong movement towards possible GOP takeover!

Three months ago, I put together my list of top ten Senate races we needed to win to retake control of that legislative body in the November election. Five weeks away from that election, I have decided to drop a few names from that list. Not because they are hopeless causes, but because they are doing so well and there are other races which have become unexpectedly close that deserve our attention and support.

The original list with polling and race descriptions as of July 1, 2010 is here. I am dropping the following from the list (click candidate name for their web site and to make a donation):

#3 Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. While Toomey's lead over the corrupt Sestak, of Jobgate fame, is only in the mid single digits (RCP average), he has more than twice as much cash on hand than Sestak (you should have taken the job Joe!). Nate Silver, a skilled Dem analyst, gives Toomey a 92% chance of winning.

#4 Rob Portman in Ohio. Nearly every poll in the Real Clear Politics average has Portman at a double digit lead. And look at the graph of the average; he's going up like a rocket. This was a man who was closely tied to the Bush Administration. Obama's attempt to link GOP candidates to Bush backfired in Ohio where at least one recent poll showed voters would rather have Bush back in Office than Obama. Portman has a $7 million cash advantage over the challenger. Silver gives him a 96% shot at winning.

Tied for #10 Richard Burr in North Carolina. Burr had a weak point during July where his RCP average dropped to single digits. That average is now back up to double digits with only one poll, PPP (which is however remarkably accurate) at 5% over the challenger. Burr has a HUGE cash advantage and Nate Silver,has Burr's probability for re-election at 94%.

Tied for #10 Roy Blunt in Missouri. While the money race is nearly even, Blunt has maintained a steady and growing single digit lead in the polls (RCP average). Silver gives him a 93% chance of winning.

The New Priority List: Top Ten to Win the Senate in 2010

1. Sharron Angle- Nevada. The race has narrowed (RCP average) and both candidates are dropping due to negative attacks but Reid maintains a slight edge. However, Reid has not been able to rise above 50% and conventional wisdom is that undecided voters are likely to break against him. Nate Silver gives Angle a 57% chance of success. Angle continues to need donations to fight the attack ads of Harry Reid, who cannot run on his record in Nevada which has the highest unemployment rate (14.4%) in the country. However, Reid still has a HUGE money advantage over Angle. Donate NOW to defeat Harry Reid!

2.John Raese- West Virginia. The West Virginia race is a newcomer to our list. Conventional wisdom was that the popular Democrat Governor, Joe Manchin, would be able to take this seat, which is open because of the death of the late Senator Robert Byrd. But apparently, WV voters would prefer to keep Manchin as Governor and send a Republican to the Senate. Only two polls in the RCP average, but both favor Raese by a very narrow margin. Silver rates the Dem win chance at 72% but cash is close on both sides and is likely to make the difference so donate NOW to take this seat!

3.Dino Rossi- Washington. Dino was #6 on the previous list and have moved forward as the race has tightened (RCP). But his need for campaign contributions are very great as Murry has an advantage of more than $5 million. Silver rates Murry's chances at 77% but the momentum is currently moving in Dino's favor. Donate to Dino!

4.Ken  Buck- Colorado. The July priority list was compiled before the Colorado primary. Since then, priority for winning in Colorado has gone from #9 to #4 with Ken Buck as the nominee. The Democrat incumbent has a 4 to 1 cash advantage but still  Silver and the RCP average gives Buck the narrow nod. Buck is a Tea Party favorite and he's going to need some bucks to win!

5.Mark Kirk- Illinois. Priority of this races rises from #8 in the previous list. This is the senate seat formerly held by Barack Hussein Obama. Taking it would be HUGE! While Kirk has a narrow edge in money and the RCP average Silver only rates his chances at 51%.

6.Marco Rubio- Florida. Rubio has dropped from #2 in the previous priority list because he is doing fine in the RCP average of polls with double digit leads in most. So why haven't I moved him to the safe category? The turncoat former Republican, Gov. Charlie Crist has twice as much money as Rubio. And money talks in politics. Donate NOW to Rubio's campaign!

7.Linda McMahon- Connecticut. Linda is a newcomer to our list and also a great hopeful in CT where she's only behind her Dem challenger by low single digits in most polls. She's self funding and even though Silver gives her opponent the win at 97% probability, she's got momentum in the closing weeks.

8.Carly Fiorina- California. Carly drops to #8 on our list. Sadly, she's slumped lately in the polls (RCP) to defeat the heinous Barbara Boxer. Can she pull it out in the end or did she peak too soon? Silver gives the race to Boxer at 79% but it's not too late!

9.Joe Miller- Alaska. Rasmussen is the only poll conducted since the incumbent GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski announced she would run as a write in candidate. As of now it seems she is taking more votes away from the Democrat than from Miller who is still at a cash disadvantage. Contribute now!

10.TIED: Kelly Ayotte- New Hampshire. Ayotte won the NH primary the same night all eyes were focused on Delaware. She's not a Tea Party favorite but was endorsed by Sarah Palin. In the race to replace the retiring Judd Gregg, she has a good lead over her opponent (RCP) and Silver gives her an 83% chance to win.

10.TIED: Ron Johnson- Wisconsin. Johnson drops from #5 in our previous list because like Rubio he's doing well. He leads in the RCP average and Silver gives him an 80% chance. He can fund his campaign from his own personal wealth so money won't be a problem. He stands to defeat the very liberal Russ Feingold who won't even appear with Obama when he visits the state but votes with him anyway!

URGENT Cash needs:
Of all the above, these are in most need of urgent cash to win against well funded Dem opponents:
  1. Sharron Angle-NV
  2. Dino Rossi-WA
  3. Ken Buck-CO
  4. Marco Rubio-FL
Click on the links to take you to the candidate web sites to make a donation.

Other Senate Races

Check the Real Clear Politics interactive map for other Senate races not listed here. Click on the state you are interested in for the latest polls. With the exception of Delaware most are safe, though Rand Paul's race in Kentucky is still tight.

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