Republicans are currently leading in four states with Democratic senators: Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Victories here would raise their total from 47 to 51 if nothing else changes. However, three states are ties: Arizona, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Republicans already hold two of these, Arizona and Massachusetts, so wins here would net them one more seat (Virginia) bringing their total to 52 absent any other changes. However, Angus King is certain to win the seat of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who is retiring in disgust. If he decides to caucus with the Democrats, the Republicans best case scenario is 51, but that is enough. Actually, one other state might be competitive: Missouri. But after Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” the Republican Party and all Republican-allied superPACS closed the money faucet, so he is on his own against a well-funded incumbent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
There is a map of the Senate races and descriptions of all of them here or click on the word “Senate” at the top of this page.
If things continue along the current trajectory, Obama could be elected President but the Republicans would control both chambers of Congress. This could lead to the mother of all deadlocks, with absolutely nothing happening for four years as the Republicans block every Obama initiative, possibly even any Supreme Court appointments that come up. However, Obama has one ace up his sleeve that he could use to make a deal with the Republicans. All the Bush tax cuts expire at pumpkin time on Dec. 31. If Obama is reelected, he could simply tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to refrain from calling a special session of the Senate after the election. This would automatically end all the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans would be livid, but desperate to reduce the top rate. In January, they could pass any bill they wanted to but Obama would veto it. Finally they would be forced to make a deal with him. Absent a deal, the top rate would go up, something they want to avoid at all costs. That would probably be Obama’s only leverage for the foreseeable future. Of course, Congress could chicken out and kick the can down the road, freezing the Bush tax cuts in place for only 2 more years.
On the other hand, it is not a given that the Republicans will get their best case scenario. Elizabeth Warren could pick up the seat of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and some of the ties could break for the Democrats. Also, the four pickups mentioned above are not sure things, either. One thing that everyone agrees on is that the Senate will be closely divided. Politico has a good story on the Senate races.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) has launched an online fundraising drive pegged to his pledge not to leave the Missouri Senate race, despite mounting pressure from broad swathes of the Republican and conservative establishment urging him to step down.
The only person who seems to want him to stay in seems to be his opponent, Claire McCaskill, which I find to be bad form personally. She really ought to stay out of this lest she set herself aflame.
Perhaps he doesn’t plan to drop out? The Missouri Senate candidate, who was rumored to be dropping out as of yesterday afternoon, appears to be at least trying to salvage his campaign right now, releasing this ad. Akin didn’t have the best day on Monday, facing sharp rebukes from his own party and skipping out on “Piers Morgan Tonight” at the very last second. Akin drew stern criticism over the weekend after he claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape” — a claim that suddenly gives Claire McCaskill a chance to win re-election.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard that infuriating, ignorant, uneducated quote by Rep. Todd Akin, who is running against Claire McCaskill for her Senate seat from Missouri.
Apparently, conservatives are now abandoning the jackass, too. For what reason, I can only begin to speculate. I mean, it’s not like comments of this nature and blatantly anti-woman behavior coming from their politicians have bothered them before.
Amazing that these calls for Akin to step out of the race come as he has a statistically significant lead on McCaskill, so, again, who knows? Part of me just wants to say that the Republican voters made their bed and should sleep in it, but on the other hand … Akin’s about as ignorant as they come and shouldn’t be anywhere near the office of dogcatcher, let alone a Representative or a Senator.
And here’s his phone numbers:
(314) 590-0029 St. Louis office
(866) 236-3392 Toll Free
(202) 225-2561 DC office
(636) 949-6826 St. Charles office
And here’s his fax numbers:
(202) 225-2563 DC office
(314) 590-0037 St. Louis office
(636) 949-3832 St. Charles office