How Are Our 2010 Prospects In The Senate Looking?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

There was initial concern for Republicans in the 2010 election, particularly in the Senate. George Voinovich is retiring in Ohio, Kit Bond in Missouri, Judd Gregg in New Hampshire, and Mel Martinez in Florida. Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to not seek reelection in Texas, and will instead likely issue a primary challenge to incumbent Governor Rick Perry. Jim Bunning is in major trouble in deep-red Kentucky, and the NSRC is hoping he retires.

But the Democrats have also found themselves in major trouble in states that would normally be a lock. Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, and Barbara Boxer are all in trouble in the states of Connecticut, Nevada, and California.

The most alarming of these findings is this Rasmussen Poll showing incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer holding only a 4 point lead over potential Republican opponent and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Fiorina has said she will consider a run for the seat, and with her trailing Boxer by only 45% to 41%, it would seem likely that she will go for it, even in deep blue California. Dissatisfaction with Democratic legislators in the state may be enough to push Boxer out of office. It would seem that Boxer's recent shennanigans in the Senate may contribute to this.

Chris Dodd is in major trouble. His approval ratings are terrible and he trails former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons by 9 points. Simmons is a moderate Republican but would be a major improvement over all-around loser Chris Dodd.

Recent polling shows that Democrat Arlen Specter is in trouble in blue-leaning Pennsylvania. Specter now leads hard-line conservative Pat Toomey by only 1 point. A month ago, Toomey was trailing by 11. This is likely attributed to Specter's vote for the now-failing stimulus package.

There was some initial concern in New Hampshire upon the announcement by incumbent Senator Judd Gregg that he would not seek another term. Most polls showed the seat to be leaning Democratic until this week, when popular Attorney General Kelly Ayotte announced that she has formed an exploratory committee and will likely run for the seat. Ayotte is considered by some to be too conservative for a swing state like New Hampshire, but her moderate-to-conservative social views and hardline fiscal views could mirror that of Senator Gregg and be enough to make the seat lean GOP. Ayotte leads Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes by 1 point in a poll conducted by DailyKos. Make of that what you will. UNH polling has her up by 4.

Illinois is also a potential win for Republicans, as the seat is vacant thanks to the retirement of that strange man, Roland Burris. The problem? The likely nominee is RINO Mark Kirk, who was one of the congressman to vote for cap-and-trade. Still an improvment over Barack Obama and Roland Burris.

Stay tuned as more polling will become available for other potentially close races, in New York, Ohio, Nevada and Missouri, among others.


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