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Old 9th January 2018, 01:27 PM   #1
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2018 US Senate Elections Thread

With Joe Arpaio having joined the circus in Arizona, I think it's time for an overall thread about this November's senate races.

Here is a Wiki article to get you started.
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:30 PM   #2
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That's a bad map for Democrats.
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That's a bad map for Democrats.
Yes it is. Plenty more Democratic seats up for election than Republican.

But, the Democrats do have a few things going their way:
- A very unpopular president, who's done some pretty unpopular things
- A general trend during mid terms for the party that doesn't have the presidency to gain seats

Looking at the chart from the wiki article, the Democrats could pick up:
- Arizona
- Nevada
Both of those are held by republicans, but are listed as 'tossup' in the election predictions

On the other hand, republicans can pick up:
- Indiana
- Missouri

All of the other states are listed as either 'leaning' or 'safe' for one party or another in the list of predictions.
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Old 9th January 2018, 07:32 PM   #4
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There was a good diary about the 2018 senate races posted this morning on Daily Kos. A relatively new site member there, AJD7, gives a brief analysis of all the senate races where there is a chance of the seat changing hands.

Democrats are defending 26 seats: 25 regular elections where the term is up, plus a special election for the Minnesota seat which Tina Smith was appointed to temporarily fill after Al Franken resigned. In contrast there are only 8 seats currently held by Republicans at stake in this year's elections.

So that gives the Republicans quite an advantage. They currently hold a 51 to 49 edge (counting Sanders and King as Democratic votes) and they also hold the tie-breaking vice presidential vote, so Democrats need to win 2 seats currently held by Republicans while losing none of their own seats (or, if they lose a seat, to win an additional Republican seat to cancel out the loss) in order to gain a (very slim) majority.

While Daily Kos is a Democratic-leaning site, this particular piece is about presenting information about the races rather than about bashing Republicans. For anyone interested in learning more about the various upcoming senate contests and how they might go, I think this is well-written, informative, and worth reading.

For those who don't want to click a link, or who are more interested in how the senate is likely to look next year than in perusing details of the various races which will decide that question, here are some of AJD's concluding thoughts about the likely outcome:

Originally Posted by AJD7 on DailyKos
As it stands now, battle for control is a tossup. That means simply that the races required to put either party over the top are in the tossup column. Prior to Alabama, the battle for control was Likely Republican, as three Democratic flips were required and only two Republican-held seats were in the tossup column. But now, simply defending their seats and winning Nevada and Arizona would give Democrats control. If we’re being honest, flipping Nevada and Arizona is probably easier at this point than defending their seats, but they are helped by the fact that incumbents of the opposition party in midterm elections rarely lose their seats, and the only time it has happened without a scandal were in neutral midterms where the President was very popular (AKA the opposite of 2018). But defending several blue seats in very red states is a pretty extraordinary circumstance as well...

Last edited by Nova Land; 9th January 2018 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Minnesota, not Wisconsin
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Old 10th January 2018, 04:03 PM   #5
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Nate Silver throws a little cold water on the Senate takeover chances by the Democrats:

Quote:
If you add the probabilities for each race together, you’ll find that these ratings have Democrats losing an average of about three Senate seats next year. An optimistic Democrat might note that all the races the party needs to win control of the Senate — that is, all of their own seats, plus the Republican-held ones in Arizona and Nevada — are nevertheless listed as toss-ups or better for Democrats. But that doesn’t mean their overall chances of winning the Senate are 50-50. Unless Democrats unexpectedly put another seat, such as Tennessee, into play, they’d have to win all of the four toss-ups (Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada), plus a number of other races in which they’re listed as only marginal favorites (such as West Virginia and Florida).
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Old 10th January 2018, 11:00 PM   #6
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Since this thread is about the Senate raceS, I'm starting a separate one on Arizona because it has a separate entertainment quotient going for it, and I think it would dominate this thread.
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Old 11th January 2018, 09:04 AM   #7
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"Big blow to GOP hopes to take back Heitkamp seat in ND: Rep. Kevin Cramer says he’s not going to run for seat. Cramer told me last week both Trump and Pence had been urging him to do it #NDSen"

"Cramer told me a few days ago: “Certainly, the President urged me to run. He's encouraged me to run. He has for sometime.”"

https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/951477785163333635
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Old 11th January 2018, 10:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Since this thread is about the Senate raceS, I'm starting a separate one on Arizona because it has a separate entertainment quotient going for it, and I think it would dominate this thread.
I'm kind of sorry you did that, but oh, well, it is what it is.
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Old 11th January 2018, 01:31 PM   #9
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So anyone have any early predictions?

I predict that the Demcrats will pick up one seat (either taking one from the republicans, or taking 2 but losing one), but fail to take control of the Senate.

My reasoning? While there are more Democratic seats up for grabs, most of them seem to be pretty safe. Indiana and Missouri are both at risk but are held by incumbents (which gives some name recognition). So, I can't see them losing both of them. Maybe one.

The 2 main republican seats at risk (Arizona and Nevada) are more of a problem for the republicans... Arizona no longer has an incumbent, and having Arpio in the mix can cause problems for the republicans. And Nevada does have a republican incumbent, but his margin of victory was very slim last time.

So more democratic seats at risk, but the risk to them is a lot smaller than the risk to the republican seats.
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Old 11th January 2018, 03:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
So anyone have any early predictions?

I predict that the Demcrats will pick up one seat (either taking one from the republicans, or taking 2 but losing one), but fail to take control of the Senate.

My reasoning? While there are more Democratic seats up for grabs, most of them seem to be pretty safe. Indiana and Missouri are both at risk but are held by incumbents (which gives some name recognition). So, I can't see them losing both of them. Maybe one.

The 2 main republican seats at risk (Arizona and Nevada) are more of a problem for the republicans... Arizona no longer has an incumbent, and having Arpio in the mix can cause problems for the republicans. And Nevada does have a republican incumbent, but his margin of victory was very slim last time.

So more democratic seats at risk, but the risk to them is a lot smaller than the risk to the republican seats.
That would leave the Senate at 50-50 with Mike Pence the tie-breaker. A single defection either way would put Pence out of the picture.
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Old 11th January 2018, 04:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That would leave the Senate at 50-50 with Mike Pence the tie-breaker. A single defection either way would put Pence out of the picture.
Yup. I wonder, if the senate is tied, would that limit what Pence could do at all? After all, right now the vice president often makes various trips outside washington (sometimes even out of the country). Given today's hyper-partisan political environment, If the senate were deadlocked would Pence be compelled to stay in Washington so he could be present at all senate votes?
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Old 11th January 2018, 06:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm kind of sorry you did that, but oh, well, it is what it is.
Arizona should be a separate category. It's going to get a whole lot more attention in the primaries, now that the factions are facing off and has a huge entertainment potential quite separate to the other Senate races. Once the primaries are over the AZ thread should wither, one would think.

Having chosen to start the generic thread, the onus is on you to keep it going. It'll get active (or should) come Sep/Oct. But don't be surprised if "Election Night 2018" comes along and takes over. The House and a whole lot of governors' mansions are on the ballot. That latter is probably more important to the Dems than many realize. Not coming up with viable governorship candidates hands the gerrymander sketchpad over to the GOP. The GOP recognized this as early as '76 and started planning on taking over state houses in time for the '80 census and they've kept going from there.
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Old 11th January 2018, 07:39 PM   #13
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If the Democrats had any brains and aggressively shoved the progressives up to the podium they'd win every race.

All of them should concede to their more progressive counterparts.
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Old 11th January 2018, 10:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by IIIClovisIII View Post
If the Democrats had any brains and aggressively shoved the progressives up to the podium they'd win every race.

All of them should concede to their more progressive counterparts.
The Democrats have won their last two WH stays (8 years ea) with Corporatist moderates. The Republicans have ceded all territory to the left of Herbert Hoover. Why would the Dems want to force their "middle" to the progressive side?

I'm very far left. This is just practical politics. When your enemy is busy shooting himself from both flanks, don't back off and give him room to move forward into new territory. The educated middle class is "moderate". The current GOP is anything but. Unless the GOP can muster several more missing tribes of angry white voters (who aren't angry at the plutocratic kleptocracy they've been conned into supporting), the Dems should have any easy time of it providing they don't fall for Br'er Rabbits con. (Oh, no Br'er Fox don't make us run against Bernie Sanders. Why how would we ever beat an 80 year-old New York Jew Socialist.)
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Old 12th January 2018, 01:32 AM   #15
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I'll repeat the prediction I've been making since President Trump took office. The Democratic Party will not gain control of the Senate. I'll even go a step further in this thread, if their only real message is "not Trump, not GOP", as it appears to be from this side of the Atlantic then they'll do well to maintain the status quo. IMO the reasons for this are:
  • Electoral maths, they are defending the majority of seats and almost all of the GOP seats are in super-safe states
  • A "not Trump/not GOP" message may get the Democrat base out to vote but it's not going to enthuse reluctant voters or swing voters to come out and vote Democrat
  • OTOH a Democrat campaign which is "not Trump/not GOP" will motivate the GOP base AND the Trumpistas to come out and vote
  • The GOP will continue to press ahead with their voter suppression programme which will continue to yield results in tight races
  • The economy (which many people seem to base their vote on) is plodding along OK so people will tend to vote for the incumbent party

This could change if the Democratic Party find some positive, attractive, messages, adopt some policies which excite people to vote for them and candidates which enthuse people to go out and vote - but I don't see evidence of that.
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Quote:
If the Democrats had any brains and aggressively shoved the progressives up to the podium they'd win every race.

All of them should concede to their more progressive counterparts.
The Democrats have won their last two WH stays (8 years ea) with Corporatist moderates. The Republicans have ceded all territory to the left of Herbert Hoover. Why would the Dems want to force their "middle" to the progressive side?

I'm very far left. This is just practical politics. When your enemy is busy shooting himself from both flanks, don't back off and give him room to move forward into new territory. The educated middle class is "moderate". The current GOP is anything but.
I have to agree here. While being more moderate may annoy some hard-core 'Bernie-bros' types (and perhaps cause them to stay home on election day), there is a huge amount of the electorate who would not want hard-core socialist (or social-democrat) policies. For every voter the democrats would pick up by pushing for "free college! government health care" they would probably risk two over "how much will this increase my taxes?"

Now, I'm sure you can find plenty of polls suggesting Americans would support such policies. (I've just seen one that suggests 60% of voters support free college.) But voters can easily hold positions that are contradictory... for example, wanting both more social services and lower taxes.
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Old 12th January 2018, 06:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I'll repeat the prediction I've been making since President Trump took office. The Democratic Party will not gain control of the Senate.
I tend to agree with this. I cut the rest because I feel your first reason is the best reason: the mathematics of the situation.

Let's look at it this way. We'll take the most recent poll information from the Wiki article linked in the OP. Now I'm going to give everything that's safe, likely, leaning, and tilting in a particular direction to those parties and just leave us with the tossups. Those tossups are:

Arizona, currently Republican
Indiana, currently Democratic
Missouri, currently Democratic
Nevada, currently Republican
North Dakota, currently Democratic
West Virginia, currently Democratic

Of those six states only one (Nevada) went Democratic in the last presidential election and the Democrats need every one of these six races to go their way to take control of the Senate if the other races go the way they are already leaning. Unfortunately, I think expecting that to happen is being overly optimistic. It's just a lot to overcome. And that's ignoring the fact that according to that poll, the red states are deeply red whereas the some of the blue ones are barely blue. I hope I'm wrong but I just don't see these as odds that can be overcome.
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Old 13th January 2018, 12:45 PM   #18
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If the Democrats don't have a plan of action to respond to Russian hacks & releases of emails, and more insertion of fake news into the social media stream, we could see a repeat of 2016.

Russian meddling in 2018 elections may prove difficult for Congress to stop
Quote:
USA Today: With congressional elections just a year away, lawmakers are scrambling to stop Russia from hacking state election systems and using social media to create chaos and uncertainty among voters.
WA Po: Here’s how to keep Russian hackers from attacking the 2018 elections
Quote:
While the ongoing Russia investigation has, understandably, received massive attention, there’s so far been scant public focus on the question of how we safeguard our electoral systems from outside interference in the future. Responding to the threat of election hacking isn’t exclusively a matter of diplomatic intrigue or international sanctions. It’s fundamentally a matter of computer science: how we harden our election technology through cybersecurity standards.

This week, we’re joining a group of more than 100 experts on election administration, computer science and national security in releasing a letter that lays out an actionable plan for safeguarding the vote. The experts include tea party Republicans and progressive Democrats, academic computer scientists and corporate security officials — all united in the view that our nation’s rough patchwork of voting security measures is wholly inadequate. One of us (Halderman) will testify Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia’s attacks last year.
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Old 13th January 2018, 12:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
If the Democrats don't have a plan of action to respond to Russian hacks & releases of emails, and more insertion of fake news into the social media stream, we could see a repeat of 2016.

Russian meddling in 2018 elections may prove difficult for Congress to stop

WA Po: Here’s how to keep Russian hackers from attacking the 2018 elections
The solution to that is don't operate a campaign such that email leaks would be detrimental. If you are not running your life such that a leak of emails doesn't improve your popularity, then maybe you shouldn't be in government.
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Old 14th January 2018, 02:02 PM   #20
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Don't know if it's already been mentioned, but Chelsea Manning is having a go at Cardin's seat in Maryland.
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Old 14th January 2018, 02:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
Don't know if it's already been mentioned, but Chelsea Manning is having a go at Cardin's seat in Maryland.
That might leave Republican hero Julian Assange a bit conflicted.
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Old Yesterday, 04:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
Don't know if it's already been mentioned, but Chelsea Manning is having a go at Cardin's seat in Maryland.

With the predictable reaction:

Centrist Dems Launch Smear Campaign Against Young Trans Woman, All to Keep an Old Straight White Man in Power

Originally Posted by Glenn Greenwald
[...] Manning’s opponent in the Democratic Party primary is one of the most standard, banal, typical, privileged and mediocre politicians in the U.S. Congress: Benjamin Cardin, a 74-year-old white, straight man who is seeking his third six-year Senate term. Cardin’s decades-long career as a politician from the start has been steeped in unearned privilege: he first won elective office back in 1966, when his uncle, Maurice Cardin, gave up his seat in order to bequeath it to his nephew Benjamin. With this dynastic privilege as his base, he has spent the last 50 years climbing the political ladder in Maryland.

Cardin has remarkably few achievements for being in Congress for so many years. One of his few distinctions is that he has become one of the Senate’s most reliable and loyal supporters of AIPAC’s agenda and the Israeli government, if not the single most loyal. In 2015, he joined with Lindsey Graham in kicking off the annual AIPAC conference, causing neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin to gush about how identical they sounded. [...]

I had a lot of fun following Chelsea on twitter since she was released. She says she has read 1000 books in that seven years and apparently some good ones were among them: She's absolutely free now.

Would be fun to see her in Senate. I'm on record predicting that Edward Snowden will be US president sooner or later, and Senator Manning can pave the road here.
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Old Yesterday, 04:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That might leave Republican hero Julian Assange a bit conflicted.

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/952964590320652289
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
With the predictable reaction:

Centrist Dems Launch Smear Campaign Against Young Trans Woman, All to Keep an Old Straight White Man in Power




I had a lot of fun following Chelsea on twitter since she was released. She says she has read 1000 books in that seven years and apparently some good ones were among them: She's absolutely free now.

Would be fun to see her in Senate. I'm on record predicting that Edward Snowden will be US president sooner or later, and Senator Manning can pave the road here.
Glen does go overboard, sometimes. Implying that Cardin is part of a dynasty is a bit silly. That first election he refers to was a piddly seat in the state house. A "delegate" is like a state-level representative.

I'd like to see him go down, mind you. I just think Glen protesting about people mentioning that Putie loves him some Chelsea Manning as a "smear" and then selling the "political dynasty" insinuation is a bit of a reach. Cardin is the member of his family to go the furthest and he only got to the Senate after 20 years in Maryland state politics and another 20 in Congress. He's a Maryland political machine hack. His success is due to the state party and it's old boy/old girl network, not some illusion of his family's dynastic power. I'm sorry he ever won the Senate seat - I was for Mfume. And I would not be sorry to lose him. I'm never sure if he's voting his religion or his political convictions. It's possible to hold both but he has anything but an open mind on the question of unlimited support for Israel.

I'm not sure Maryland is ready for Chelsea Manning. They might surprise me but I think the Maryland Democratic Machine will eat her alive.
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Old Yesterday, 07:47 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I'm not sure Maryland is ready for Chelsea Manning. They might surprise me but I think the Maryland Democratic Machine will eat her alive.
Unless she becomes some sort of real threat, I'd imagine they'll just marginalize her as if she's not a serious candidate. I can't imagine her picking up a lot of major endorsements with her extremist politics and controversial history. She'll get loads of media attention though, so that might scare them.
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Old Yesterday, 07:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I'm not sure Maryland is ready for Chelsea Manning. They might surprise me but I think the Maryland Democratic Machine will eat her alive.

You seem to forget that we are just about to enter year two of Lesser Evil, the great catalyst.
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