It’s no surprise that with the current stagnation in the Senate and a fear of an anti-incumbent backlash, some Democrats are increasingly worried of what this November might mean for the balance in Congress and the future of President Obama’s legislative agenda. However before we all start assuming the worst, Nate Silver points out on fivethirtyeight.com, that Republicans have races of their own that are going to need some defending:
Even if Republicans can recruit a good candidate in Washington or New York, and make smart decisions in California, and win the toss-ups in places like Illinois, and not screw up any of the seven or so races in which they appear to be favored, they also have to make sure that Democrats don’t take over any of their own seats. And this is the factor that the market may not be properly accounting for. The Democrats are competitive right now in Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Kentucky, could become that way in North Carolina and possibly Florida, and there’s an outside chance they could get a wild card of their own like Arizona. In most of these races, you either have a Republican (in an anti-establishment year) who is more a part of the establishment than his opponent, primary dynamics that could lead to the selection of an inexperienced or too-conservative candidate, or both.
While Republicans look at present events as political opportunities, reminiscing over their 8 seat Senate gain in 1994, Silver explains that the Party of NO still remains nationally unpopular and much less united this time around as they struggle with their own internal factions like the tea party movement trying to pull candidates even further to the right.
The fact New York was mentioned at all should be a sign that this year organizing has to be stronger, campaigning has to be tighter and we’re all going to have to surpass our previous efforts to get the word out on why we need to keep Democrats in Congress.