Democrat electoral prospects worsening (updated)

Thomas Lifson
Like rats leaving a sinking ship, incumbent Democrats are deciding to avoid the wrath of voters next year. Democrat Senator Chris Dodd announces his retirement today, joining North Dakota's Democrat incumbent Senator Byron Dorgan. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter announced last night that he will not run for reelection to a second term then

Richard Baehr comments:

Actually, Dodd's announcement hurts our side. Dodd was almost a certain loser. Likely to replace him as Dem nominee is Richard Blumenthal, an obnoxious very aggressive state attorney general, who has served for nearly two decades and is very popular in the state. I move Connecticut from lean GOP to lean Democratic with Dodd out. Blumenthal has done a lot of damage at attorney general level working with others around the country, including Eliot Spitzer.

The very best case for the GOP in the Senate: all 6 vulnerable Dems lose (Reid, Biden, Bennett in Colorado, Blanche Lincoln, Specter, and Giannoulias, and the GOP  holds NH, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida and Ohio (Missouri by far the toughest- good Dem candidate for Kit Bond's seat, weaker GOP candidate). Then the GOP picks up 7 with North Dakota. This does not count California, or New York, or Wisconsin. if Tommy Thompson challenges Russ Feingold (not too likely).

Another possibility: Inouye retires as senator from Hawaii. Then popular Republican Governor Linda Lingle runs for the open seat.  She would have a real shot.

I think it unlikely that GOP runs the table on all these contests. But in 2012, Dems have to defend 24 Senate seats, GOP: 9. And one of those 24 is Lieberman.  Do you think the left will let him run as a Democrat? never happen. he is already hinting at running as a Republican. George Allen is already itch to take on Webb again. Senator Tester in Montana could go down. The GOP could win back Ohio and Missouri seats they lost in 2006. Just as Dems had two straight huge wins, so could the GOP.

Rahm and company are not fools. The job they will protect is Obama's. This situation completely explains the rush to get everything done right away.

Update from Richard Baehr:
 
John Hoeven will run in North Dakota for the Senate. That seat is now a lock for the GOP. With Chris Dodd out, and Richard Blumenthal 

running as Democrat candidate in Connecticut, Democrats are now favored to hold the seat (Blumenthal, who has been Connecticut AG since 1990, has 78% approval rating in the state). This is a Bob Torricelli type move by Dodd- I suspect he was pressured to drop out by Rahm Emanuel.

In New York, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. is considering running against Kirsten Gillibrand for Democratic Senate nomination. Ford is a very attractive, likable candidate, and is much more moderate than his party. But if ford runs, it is not clear he will win. He moved to New York only three years ago, so he does not have long term roots in the state. But he will also force Gillibrand to spend a lot of money to have to defend the seat in the Primary. If she wins primary, African American voters will have one more reason not to vote for her in November.

The Democratic Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter will not run for re- election, and the leading Democratic candidate for Governor of Michigan, John Cherry, will not run. In both cases, this will help the GOP, in effort to win Michael Bennett's Senate seat in Colorado, as well as close House races in both states.

Update from Ed Lasky:

Jennifer Rubin writes in Commentary Contentions:

Imagine what must be running through the minds of  potential GOP contenders in other states (e.g., Rep. Peter King in New York or maybe a Rep. Mike Pence in Indiana): "Wow, we have them on the run! Should I throw my hat into the ring too?" And Democrats who will now have to raise money and work to hold an open seat in North Dakota cannot but be panicked that others may decide to pack it in as well. As for Peter Brown in Massachusetts, he must be thinking tonight that perhaps there is something afoot, the beginnings of a fundamental shift in the political landscape. (His opponent is not exactly an exemplar of confidence and policy know how, as she lamely retreats to the "Bush-Cheney economic policies" in her halfhearted defense of Gov. Deval Patrick - who may himself be another Democratic casualty.) And then we can't forget about or miss the delicious political karma involving Arlen Specter - who switched parties just in time to see a tidal wave building against his new best friends. [...]

Like sports, politics is about momentum, confidence, and support of the home-town fans. Right now the Democrats are lagging in all three respects. And if they keep up the secret health-care deal-making, they are going to add some self-inflicted injuries to their list of woes

Like rats leaving a sinking ship, incumbent Democrats are deciding to avoid the wrath of voters next year. Democrat Senator Chris Dodd announces his retirement today, joining North Dakota's Democrat incumbent Senator Byron Dorgan. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter announced last night that he will not run for reelection to a second term then

Richard Baehr comments:

Actually, Dodd's announcement hurts our side. Dodd was almost a certain loser. Likely to replace him as Dem nominee is Richard Blumenthal, an obnoxious very aggressive state attorney general, who has served for nearly two decades and is very popular in the state. I move Connecticut from lean GOP to lean Democratic with Dodd out. Blumenthal has done a lot of damage at attorney general level working with others around the country, including Eliot Spitzer.

The very best case for the GOP in the Senate: all 6 vulnerable Dems lose (Reid, Biden, Bennett in Colorado, Blanche Lincoln, Specter, and Giannoulias, and the GOP  holds NH, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida and Ohio (Missouri by far the toughest- good Dem candidate for Kit Bond's seat, weaker GOP candidate). Then the GOP picks up 7 with North Dakota. This does not count California, or New York, or Wisconsin. if Tommy Thompson challenges Russ Feingold (not too likely).

Another possibility: Inouye retires as senator from Hawaii. Then popular Republican Governor Linda Lingle runs for the open seat.  She would have a real shot.

I think it unlikely that GOP runs the table on all these contests. But in 2012, Dems have to defend 24 Senate seats, GOP: 9. And one of those 24 is Lieberman.  Do you think the left will let him run as a Democrat? never happen. he is already hinting at running as a Republican. George Allen is already itch to take on Webb again. Senator Tester in Montana could go down. The GOP could win back Ohio and Missouri seats they lost in 2006. Just as Dems had two straight huge wins, so could the GOP.

Rahm and company are not fools. The job they will protect is Obama's. This situation completely explains the rush to get everything done right away.

Update from Richard Baehr:
 
John Hoeven will run in North Dakota for the Senate. That seat is now a lock for the GOP. With Chris Dodd out, and Richard Blumenthal 

running as Democrat candidate in Connecticut, Democrats are now favored to hold the seat (Blumenthal, who has been Connecticut AG since 1990, has 78% approval rating in the state). This is a Bob Torricelli type move by Dodd- I suspect he was pressured to drop out by Rahm Emanuel.

In New York, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. is considering running against Kirsten Gillibrand for Democratic Senate nomination. Ford is a very attractive, likable candidate, and is much more moderate than his party. But if ford runs, it is not clear he will win. He moved to New York only three years ago, so he does not have long term roots in the state. But he will also force Gillibrand to spend a lot of money to have to defend the seat in the Primary. If she wins primary, African American voters will have one more reason not to vote for her in November.

The Democratic Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter will not run for re- election, and the leading Democratic candidate for Governor of Michigan, John Cherry, will not run. In both cases, this will help the GOP, in effort to win Michael Bennett's Senate seat in Colorado, as well as close House races in both states.

Update from Ed Lasky:

Jennifer Rubin writes in Commentary Contentions:

Imagine what must be running through the minds of  potential GOP contenders in other states (e.g., Rep. Peter King in New York or maybe a Rep. Mike Pence in Indiana): "Wow, we have them on the run! Should I throw my hat into the ring too?" And Democrats who will now have to raise money and work to hold an open seat in North Dakota cannot but be panicked that others may decide to pack it in as well. As for Peter Brown in Massachusetts, he must be thinking tonight that perhaps there is something afoot, the beginnings of a fundamental shift in the political landscape. (His opponent is not exactly an exemplar of confidence and policy know how, as she lamely retreats to the "Bush-Cheney economic policies" in her halfhearted defense of Gov. Deval Patrick - who may himself be another Democratic casualty.) And then we can't forget about or miss the delicious political karma involving Arlen Specter - who switched parties just in time to see a tidal wave building against his new best friends. [...]

Like sports, politics is about momentum, confidence, and support of the home-town fans. Right now the Democrats are lagging in all three respects. And if they keep up the secret health-care deal-making, they are going to add some self-inflicted injuries to their list of woes