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Thursday, September 20, 2012

What about the Senate?

According to Pew, Obama has an 8 point edge over Romney. Rachel Maddow spent much of her show crowing about the new numbers, while wondering aloud about Mitt's sudden reluctance to campaign in swing states. Although he has done a lot of fundraising behind closed doors during the past few days, he seems to have developed a phobic reaction to crowds.

Has the Republican nominee decided to close up shop early? If so, Democrats should worry.

Yes, Democrats: If the party loses faith in the nominee, then the GOP's massive storehouse of cash will flow into the effort to retake the Senate. It's very take-able, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Real Clear Politics tells us that the key races are extremely close. Election Projection, at this moment, has the Republicans predicted seats at 51.

Now imagine what those races would look like if the pile of money known as Mt. Romney starts landsliding into the Republican Senate campaigns.

I was stunned to see that the much-derided Todd Akin has pulled into a statistical tie in Missouri. In Nevada, Democrat Shelley Berkely -- currently a House member -- faces an ethics investigation, while her opponent Dean Heller has pulled ahead.  In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin has caught up to Tommy Thompson, thanks to an infusion of cash, but this situation will shift if the GOP frees up cash for Thompson. Democrat Tim Kaine has -- just today -- established a clear lead in Virginia (although he's hardly safe). If rancher-turned-Senator Jon Tester pulls out another close win in Montana, it'll be because a Libertarian Party candidate split off just enough of the conservative vote. Scott Brown, I am sorry to say, has once again pulled ahead of Elizabeth Warren in MA (49-45); they will have their first debate tonight. Maine presents us a very weird situation, since former governor Angus King is an independent expected to caucus with the Dems, even though he has said that he may not. His lead is comfortable, but shrinking. I've always liked Bob Kerrey, but his chances in Nebraska are looking grim.

The race to replace Joe Lieberman in CN is particularly tight. I like Chris Murphy -- who really does understand victims of the foreclosure crisis (because he has personal experience of it) --but Linda McMahon, former head of the World Wrestling Entertainment (!), has barges of cash.

A massive infusion of Republican cash into these races could change everything. Democrats should not want Romney to look like a lost cause. Not at this stage.
I've been long maintaining that the neocon agenda is best served if Obama remains in the White House to serve as a scapegoat, to make an opportunity for propagandists to paint his failures as the failings of socialism, and to feed redneck idignance so they will remain engaged--and vote in a Republican congress that can ensure that Obama can accomplish nothing.

If Romney won, he would be expected to win the war, balance the budget, fix the deficit, and demonstrate that trickle-down works. All of that is impossible.
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