Even though the Democrats are defending 23 seats this election cycle, a majority of them are in Democratic safe or leaning states. Here is my rundown on how I view the elections:
Originally Posted by Thrilla
Obviously, that is a very early analysis and depending on whom each party nominates for the general election could change how I view the election. New Mexico and Wisconsin are the two potential to change.
Safe Leaning Steals
Dianne Feinstein - California Bill Nelson - Florida Claire McCaskill - Missouri
Tom Carper - Delaware Open - Wisconsin Jon Tester - Montana
Ben Cardin – Maryland Open - New Mexico Open - Nebraska
Debbie Stabenow – Michigan Sherrod Brown - Ohio Open - North Dakota
Amy Klobuchar - Minnesota Open - Virginia
Bob Menendez - New Jersey
Kirsten Gillibrand - New York
Bob Casey, Jr. - Pennsylvania
Sheldon Whitehouse - Rhode Island
Bernie Sanders - Vermont
Maria Cantwell - Washington
Joe Manchin - West Virginia
Open - Connecticut
Open - Hawaii
Now, in order to regain control of the Senate Republicans need a gain of a minimum of 3 senators. I expect that at worst they will be able to win at least 3 seats that Democrats hold at this time. The downside is that there is a real possibility that they could lose elections in Massachusetts, Nevada, and now Maine. Conservatives striving for party purity may be happy that she is retiring, but in the long term this is not going to help them in any way. The margin of error for Republicans just got a lot smaller now that Senator Snowe announced her retirement if they desire regaining control in the Senate.
With that said, this is a loss for American politics. Much like the disappearance of the conservative Democrat, she represented the last vestiges of the Rockefeller Republicans. The last thing the United States needs is to have fewer politicians in those two groups.