2014 Senate Elections

Alabama (Safe GOP)- Jeff Sessions is the only person on the ballot, so he’s good as a gold for another term.

Filing Deadline – April 2014                              Primary – 6/3/2014

-Democrats

-None

-Republicans

-Jeff Sessions(i)

Alaska (Toss-Up)- Mark Begich is a first term Democratic incumbent in a GOP state. He’s mildly popular senator but polls show a tight race ahead. Both Treadwell and Sullivan look like strong candidates and if they don’t bruise themselves too badly in the primary, either one would have a decent shot at taking this seat in November.

Filing Deadline- 6/2/14      Primary- 8/26/14

-Democrats

-Mark Begich(i)

-Republicans

-Joe Miller (2010 senate candidate)

-Mead Treadwell (LG)

Daniel S. Sullivan (former AG)

Arkansas (Leans GOP)- Despite being the son of a popular Senator and Governor, current Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor is a Democrat in a deep red state during a bad time to be a Democrat and bottom line: he’s in trouble. The Republicans have recruited a top-notch candidate in Rep. Tom Cotton, an Iraq War veteran and a competent politician to boot. Polls have shown Pryor struggling to break out of the low forties and he’s currently treading water in a swim-or-die campaign while Cotton has the wind at his sails. And while Pryor has the fundraising advantage, Cotton can rely on groups like Americans for Prosperity bring in the heavy artillery in the form of TV ads and voter mobilization.

Filing Deadline- March 2014                    Primary- 5/20/14

Democrats

-Mark Pryor(i)

-Republicans

-Tom Cotton (US Rep)

Colorado (Likely Democrat)- Polling shows Udall with a consistent edge but with the recent success of the recall elections against two Democratic state senators, no Democrat can take their reelection for granted. The lack of President Obama on the ticket will depress turnout among Democrats and, despite the Colorado GOP’s disorganization in 2010, it looks like this cycle they have a decent shot at winning the governorship and retaking the state legislature.

Filing Deadline                                      Primary

-Democrats

-Mark Udall(i)

-Republicans

-Randy Baumgardner (State Sen)

-Ken Buck (Weld County DA, 2010 nominee(

-Owen Hill (State Sen)

-Jaime McMillan (businessman)

Delaware (Safe Dem)- A missed opportunity for Republicans in 2010, it looks like this seat is now out of reach in 2014. Incumbent Chris Coons looks safe for reelection, and the GOP can blame Christine O’Donnell for that.

Filing Deadline – July 2014                  Primary- 9/9/2014

-Democrats

-Chris Coons(i) 

-Republicans

-None so far

Georgia (Leans GOP)- Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) is retiring and in the May primary two GOP candidates qualified for the July runoff:  Rep. Jack Kingston (R) and businessman (and cousin of former Governor Sunny Perdue) David Perdue. The Republicans can look forward to a bruising fight ahead while the Democrat in this race, non-profit CEO Michelle Nunn (who happens to be the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn), can build support by running as a moderate. Until the primary ends its hard to say whether the Republicans are in any danger of losing this seat, but things could get rough as we approach November. 

         Filing Deadline – May 2014                    Primary – 7/15/2014

-Democrats

-Michelle Nunn (daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn)

-Republicans

-Jack Kingston (US Rep)

-David Perdue (former CEO, cousin of Sonny Perdue)

Hawaii (Safe Dem)- Senator Brian Schatz was appointed after the death of Daniel Inouye, despite the fact that Inouye specifically requested that Colleen Hanabusa be his replacement. Now she’s running against Schatz in the Democratic primary, which should be an interesting race to watch. But regardless of who wins that contest, it is doubtful the GOP can take the seat.

Filing Deadline – 6/3/14                Primary – 8/9/2014

-Democrats

-Brian Schatz(i)

-Colleen Hanabusa (US Rep)

-Republicans

-None so far

Idaho (Safe GOP)- First term Sen. Jim Risch (R), who replaced Sen. Larry “Wide Stance”Craig (R) in 2009, is running for reelection and there is no one who is going to stop him from winning another term. He is running virtually unopposed in the GOP primary and his only Democratic opponent is attorney Nels Mitchell, who has a zero political experience and meager finances in a very red state. The November election is nothing but a formality.

Filing Deadline – March 2014                   Primary 5/20/14

-Republicans

-Jim Risch(i)

-Democrats

-Nels Mitchell (attorney)

Illinois (Safe Dem)- This is a fairly safe seat for the Democrats, but businessman Jim Oberweis has globs of money to spend and while he remains the big underdog, I wouldn’t underestimate his ability to get under Durbin’s skin and put a scare into the Democrats. With the Senate picture as bleak as it is, the last thing the Democrats want is to have to spend money for what is supposed to be a safe seat. That being said, it is hard to see how Durbin actually loses.

Filing Deadline – December 2013           Primary – 3/28/14

-Democrats

-Dick Durbin(i)

-Republicans

-Jim Oberweis (State Senator)

Iowa (Leans Dem)- Sen. Tom Harkin (D) is ending his 30-year tenure in the United States Senate, leaving an open seat election and a pick-up opportunity for Republicans. The sole Democrat running is Rep. Bruce Braley and he’s by far the strongest fundraiser in the race, gathering more than $5 million over the course of this cycle. However, that money-making acumen has gotten him trouble as he was recently caught on tape bad-mouthing an “Iowa farmer” (Senator Chuck Grassley (R)) to an audience of out-of-state lawyers. While this hasn’t killed his candidacy, it has given new life to GOP hopes of taking this seat. For their part, the Republicans are looking to choose between State Sen. Joni Ernst and businessman Mark Jacobs. Ernst got national attention with her pig castration themed ad, which may give her the edge she needs to win the nomination.  Polls show Braley with a slightly ahead in the general election, although there are a lot of undecideds and a lot of time until election day. 

Filing Deadline – 3/14/14                       Primary – 6/3/14

-Democrats

-Bruce Braley (US Rep)

-Republicans

-Sam Clovis (radio host)

-Joni Ernst (state senator)

-Mark Jacobs (businessman)

-Scott Schaben (car salesman)

-Matthew Whitaker (former US Attorney)

Kansas (Likely GOP)- Pat Roberts is old and relatively obscure, and it is not entirely beyond the realm of possibility for Todd Tiahrt to pull a primary upset in a low population and low interest election. And if the Democrats can come up with a credible challenger they could pull an upset of their own against Tiahrt. But if Roberts wins the primary, he looks safe for re-election in this heavily GOP state.

Filing Deadline – June 2014                        Primary – 8/5/14

-Democrats

-None so far

-Republicans

-Pat Roberts(i)

Kentucky (Likely GOP)- GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell easily fended off a primary challenge from the conservative grassroots, but now he’s facing an even bigger challenger in the general election against Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes. Polls show her tied or even slightly ahead of McConnell in what should be a friendly environment for Republicans. This isn’t the first close race McConnell has run, but if he wants stay in the Senate he’s going to have to work for it.

Filing Deadline – 1/28/14            Primary – 5/20/14

-Democrats

-Alison Grimes (Kentucky SoS)

-Republicans

-Mitch McConnell(i)

Louisiana (Toss-Up)- Mary Landrieu is a Democrat running in a red state in an off-year election, so by definition she’s in trouble. The path for a GOP majority in the Senate runs through Louisiana and here’s no doubt Republicans are itching to take this seat. It’s still too early to say who has the advantage, but I have a feeling this will eventually move into the Republican column.

Filing Deadline – 8/22/14              Primary – 11/4/14                  Runoff – 12/6/14

-Democrats

-Mary Landrieu(i)

-Republicans

-Bill Cassidy (US Rep)

-Rob Maness (ret. air force colonel)

Maine (Likely GOP)- With high approval ratings, Susan Collins looks safe for re-election. That is, unless she gets a primary challenge from her right. Even if that occurs, she is still popular enough within her party to pull off a comfortable win. Once she has locked up the nomination, she is safe for reelection

Filing Deadline – March 2014                Primary – 6/10/14

-Democrats

-None so far

-Republicans

-Susan Collins(i)

Massachusetts (Safe Dem)- Gabriel Gomez, the GOP’s best Bay State hope, lost by 10 points in the 2013 special. It’s hard to see how any Republican does any better, especially with a higher turnout. The Republicans would be wise to focus their time and energy on the gubernatorial race instead.

Filing Deadline – June 2014       Primary – 9/16/14

-Democrats

-Ed Markey(i)

-Republicans

-None so far

Michigan (Leans Democrat)- It’s an open seat in a blue state, but the most likely Democratic nominee (Gary Peters), seems pretty anemic against his GOP opponents, pulling no more than 44% of the vote. If the Republicans nominate someone competent, we could have an interesting race on our hands.

Filing Deadline – May 2014                       Primary – 8/5/14

-Democrats

-Gary Peters (US Rep)

-Republicans

-Terri Lynn Land (RNC member, former MI SoS)

Minnesota (Safe Dem)- Al Franken won by a squeaker in 2008, but he leads all of his prospective challengers by at least 15 points. Baring some scandal, he looks safe for re-election.

Filing Deadline – 6/3/14               Primary – 8/12/14

-Democrats

-Al Franken(i)

-Republicans

-Jim Abeler (State Rep)

-Mike McFadden (business executive)

-Julianne Ortman (State Sen)

Mississippi (Safe GOP)- Incumbent Senator Thad Cochran (R) has been in the office for more than 35 year, but hasn’t stopped State Senator Chris McDaniel from launching a primary challenge from the right. And as we learned from 2010 (remember Bob Bennett?) and 2012 (remember Dick Lugar?). the advantage of incumbency does not ensure immunity from the ire of the conservative base of the Republican Party. That being said, Cochran is a in a decent position for 2014 and he has the strong backing of the Mississippi political establishment, including former Governor Haley Barbour. The most recent polling has him well ahead of McDaniel and right now, Cochran is still the favorite for reelection.  But as a word of caution, primary day is still almost three months away and if organizations like the Senate Conservatives Fund flood the state with outside cash, then it could pose problems for Cochran. But no matter who wins the Republican primary, the GOP is expected to retain this seat in the reddest of red states. 

Filing Deadline – April 2014           Primary – 6/3/14

-Democrats

-Travis Childers (former US Rep)

Republicans

-Thad Cochran(i)

-Chris McDaniel (State Sen)

Montana (Leans GOP)- Last year Senator Max Baucus (D) announced that he would not run for reelection, but it seemed that 2015 wasn’t soon enough for him to get out and earlier this year he was confirmed as the new US ambassador to China. The Governor of Montana, Democrat Steve Bullock, appointed Lieutenant Governor John Walsh (D), who was already running for the seat at the time Baucus left for China. Normally the added benefit of incumbency would be a great boost any candidate, but this is not the case here. Despite his appointment to the Senate, Walsh has continued to trail his main GOP rival, Rep. Steve Daines. And while both Daines and Walsh do face a contest primary on June 3rd, none of their opponents have amounted to any significant opposition and it is virtually assured these two will face each other in the November election. 

Filing Deadline – March 2014                    Primary – 6/3/14

-Democrats

-Dirk Adams (rancher and businessman)

-John Bohlinger (former Lt. Gov)

-John Walsh(i)

-Republicans

-Champ Edmunds (State Rep)

-Steve Daines (US Rep)

Nebraska (Safe GOP)- Senator Mike Johanns (R) is retiring and Midland University President Ben Sasse has won the GOP nod to replace him. In a state as red as Nebraska, that means he’s a lock for victory in November.

Filing Deadline – March 2014       Primary – 5/13/14

-Democrats

-David Domina (attorney)

-Republicans

-Ben Sasse (President of Midland University)

New Hampshire (Likely Dem)- Polls show incumbent Jeanne Shaheen in a good position for re-election, and without a major shakeup I’d say she’ll win re-election.

Filing Deadline – June 2014                Primary – 9/9/14

-Democrats

-Jeanne Shaheen(i)

-Republicans

-Andy Martin (perennial candidate)

New Jersey (Safe Dem)- Corey Booker looks extremely likely to win the special election in November of 2013. And if Republicans can’t win during the special there’s no way they’re winning the general with an incumbent Senator Booker.

Filing Deadline – 4/11/14                  Primary – 6/3/14

-Democrats

Possible

-Corey Booker (Mayor of Newark)

-Republicans

-Possible

-Steve Lonegan (Mayor of Bogota)

New Mexico (Safe Dem)- Freshman Senator Tom Udall (D) is up for reelection and so far it looks like he’s good for another term. His two Republican rivals, former ADA David Clements and businessman Allen Weh, trail him by over 20 percentage points in last month’s PPP poll. Despite Gov. Martinez’s success New Mexico remains solidly Democratic and despite this year’s anti-Democrat environment, it doesn’t look like that’ll be enough to put Udall in serious danger. 

Filing Deadline – March 2014                                  Primary – 6/3/14

-Democrats

-Tom Udall(i)

-Republicans

-David Clements (former ADA)

-Allen Weh (businessman)

North Carolina (Toss-Up)- Sen. Kay Hagan (D) faces a strong challenge from North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who beat off Tea Party favorites to win the GOP nomination back in May. Hagan is not all to popular in the Tar Heel state and if Tillis runs a strong campaign it will be tough for her to survive in an environment like this.

Filing Deadline – February 2014                     Primary – 5/6/14

-Democrats

-Kay Hagan (i)

-Republicans

-Thom Tillis (Speaker of NC House)

Oklahoma (Safe GOP)- Incumbent Jim Inhofe looks like a sure thing for re-election. Nothing to see here.

Filing Deadline – April 2014            Primary – 6/24/14

-Democrats

-Matt Silverstein (businessman)

-Republicans

-Jim Inhofe(i)

Oregon (Likely Dem)- Freshman Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley is running for reelection and in a blue state like Oregon he has the advantage in November. However, the GOP has shown signs of life its nominee, pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby, has kept Merkley under 50% in a recent polling. Looking to expand the Senate field, the NRSC is touting Wehby as a credible challenger and she recently released this powerful ad that touts her trustworthiness as a doctor and a potential senator.  That being said, whether she can go the full distance still remains to be seen and Merkley currently has a 10 to 1 fundraising advantage. Until the Republicans can close this gap, it’s hard to see them having a chance at this seat. 

Filing Deadline – 3/11/14                  Primary – 5/20/14

-Democrats

-Jeff Merkley(i)

-Republicans

-Monica Wehby (pediatric neurosurgeon)

Rhode Island (Safe Dem)- Democrat Jack Reed is a lock for another term, with most polling showing his support in the 70s.

Filing Deadline – June 2014            Primary – 9/9/14

-Democrats

-Jack Reed(i)

-Republicans

-None so far

South Carolina (Likely GOP)- Well, it was expected that incumbent Lindsey Graham would have faced a strong primary challenge from the right given his (relatively) moderate voting record. However, no top tier opponents have so far expressed interest in running. That may change, but given the current crop of candidates it looks like Graham will win the GOP nomination. And in a state like South Carolina, that means he is a lock for re-election.

Filing Deadline – March 2014                   Primary – 6/10/14

-Democrats

-Jay Stamper (businessman)

-Republicans

-Lindsey Graham(i)

-Richard Cash (businessman)

-Nancy Mace (businesswoman)

-Lee Bright (State Sen)

South Carolina (special) (Safe GOP)- There’s another Senate race in South Carolina this cycle and it’s a lot less interesting. Incumbent Tim Scott has no primary challengers, and he’s popular in this heavily GOP state.

Filing Deadline – March 2014              Primary – 6/10/14

-Democrats

-None so far

-Republicans

-Tim Scott(i)

South Dakota (Leans GOP)- Democrat Tim Johnson is retiring, and popular former Republican Governor Mike Rounds is the favorite for the GOP nomination. With no big name Democrats looking to run, this looks like a very likely seat flip for the Republicans.

Filing Deadline – March 2014           Primary –  6/3/14

-Democrats

-Rick Weiland (businessman)

-Republicans

-Larry Rhoden (Maj. Whip of SD Senate)

-Mike Rounds (former Gov)

-Annette Bosworth (doctor)

-Stace Nelson (State Rep)

Tennessee (Likely GOP)- Incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander is a long time member of the Washington establishment, and his history of bipartisanship makes him a likely target for a primary challenger. In particular Glenn Jacobs, better known as the WWE wrestler “Kane”, is open to running as is Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. Of course, Alexander is still the favorite to win and it doesn’t look like the eventual GOP nominee will face any significant challenge from the Democrats.

Filing Deadline – April 2014           Primary – 8/7/14

-Democrats

-Larry Crim (2012 senate candidate)

-Republicans

-Lamar Alexander(i)

-Joe Carr (State Rep)

Texas (Safe GOP)- Senator John Cornyn (R) fended off a primary challenge by Rep. Steve Stockman, easily surpassing the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Stockman ran possibly one of the worst campaigns ever conducted by an elected official in modern history. He barely did any events, he  threatened criminal action against the media for publishing true reports about his arrest record, he alienated the conservative base, and he literally went missing for days in the middle of the campaign. So while this race was entertaining to watch, Cornyn never had to break a sweat over what could have been a competitive primary. And now that he has the GOP nomination, Cornyn should have smooth sailing towards reelection. Meanwhile, the Democrats have been trying to fend off the crazies in their own ranks. Kesha Rogers, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche (the guy behind this stuff), placed second in the Democratic Senate primary but to the relief of Texas Democrats Dallas dental mogul David Alameel won the May runoff. Now that the primaries are over, this race is nowhere near competitive and shows no signs of becoming competitive in the future.

Filing Deadline – January 2014            Primary – 3/4/14

-Democrats

-David Alameel (dentist)

-Republicans

-John Cornyn(i)

Virginia (Likely Dem)- Though Virginia is a swing state, incumbent Democrat Mark Warner is very popular and polls show him ahead by double digits against all his possible GOP opponents. It’s hard to see this race becoming competitive.

Filing Deadline – March 2014 Primary – 6/10/14

-Democrats

-Mark Warner(i)

-Republicans

-Shak Hill (financial consultant)

-Howie Lind (GOP operative)

West Virginia (Likely GOP)- With incumbent Jay Rockefeller (D) retiring after serving 5 terms in the United States Senate Republicans have a golden opportunity to pick-up a seat in what was once a Democratic stronghold. They have a strong candidate in Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, an experienced campaigner with popular statewide appeal and no significant opposition within the party. She’ll be up against West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is popular in her own right and unlike Capito has actually won a statewide election. And while West Virginia ranks 49th in its approval of President Obama, Democrats still dominate the state legislature and hold all but one of the statewide elected offices. However, the era of Democratic supremacy may be coming to an end as polls show that Capito leads Tennant by double digits. For now, it looks like West Virginia may elect its first Republican Senator since 1956. 

Filing Deadline – January 2014                Primary – 5/13/14

-Democrats

-Natalie Tennant (WV SoS)

-Republicans

-Shelley Moore Capito (US Rep)

Wyoming (Safe GOP)- On July 16th Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced she was challenging Republican Senator Mike Enzi in the primary election. However, she soon dropped out of the race, leaving Enzi as the near certain favorite to win reelection.

Filing Deadline – June 2014              Primary – 8/19/14

-Democrats

-None so far

-Republicans

-Mike Enzi(i)

3 thoughts on “2014 Senate Elections

  1. Pingback: Occam's Razor Scooter | New Section: 2014 Senate Races

  2. Pingback: Occam's Razor Scooter | Senate Update #1

  3. Pingback: Occam's Razor Scooter | 2014 Senate Update #2

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