In 2008, the election of President Obama simultaneously saw the Democrat Party sweep to power, taking a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives and a super-majority in the Senate.
Many observers began to either bemoan or exult in the apparent “death” of the Republican Party. Mark Twain’s famous quote is also an appropriate summation of those early thoughts of what the 2008 election meant: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Over the last 5 years, the Republican Party has grown stronger at the local level, sweeping to unprecedented victories in the House in 2010 and 2012. They have also begun to claw their way back to parity in the Senate. If the current trend is any indication, we may now see a clear path to a majority in the Senate for the Republican Party!
What was once thought improbable for the foreseeable future is now not only possible, but an optimistically probable outcome.
“Democrats’ top recruit to run for Max Baucus’ soon-to-be-vacant seat (former Gov. Brian Schweitzer) has begged off. Instead, the party will likely nominate either a failed 2010 Congressional candidate, or the president of an organization devoted to abortion. This development has many political handicappers sliding the Montana race into the “leans GOP” column, alongside two other contests for open seats in red states. Republicans are favored to win in West Virginia, where Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring, as well as South Dakota, where Tim Johnson is stepping down. If they carry the day in those three races, Republicans would be halfway home to securing a Senate majority.” (Emphasis mine)
Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics is not as bullish as I am about the Republican Party’s upcoming election chances. However, he notes that there are a lot of positives on the horizon for Republicans: “Republicans aren’t favored to win back the Senate, but suddenly there is a pretty clear path forward,” says Trende. Trende continues:
“The GOP path to 51 seats instead flows through four Democratic incumbents running for re-election in three red states and one purplish-red state: Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina… For the first time this cycle, we can discuss a GOP takeover of the upper chamber in more than hypothetical terms.”
No, not exactly bullish on Republican chances… but when the Democrats hopes hang on holding deep red seats, Republicans have a lot to hope for.
It’s quite likely that the GOP will win the three open seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. The candidates they face in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina are all eminently beatable. It should go without saying that this is where the national GOP and grassroots organizations need to begin spending their time and money. If we can win a larger majority in the House and take back the Senate, it will deal a crushing blow to President Obama and the Democrat Party agenda.
As some added incentive, even the liberal stalwarts are starting to get nervous. Here is brilliant (though liberal) Nate Silver outlining what is beginning to look more and more like an assured Republican renaissance.
It’s time to circle the wagons, folks. Let’s go get those Senate seats.