Archive for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Political analyst predicts Republicans will reclaim U.S. Senate

April 15, 2014


A well-respected political analyst told a Lawrence audience Tuesday night that Republicans appear likely to take command of the U.S. Senate following this year's midterm elections.

Charlie Cook, an election forecaster who founded The Cook Report, a non-partisan publication, appeared in front of over 100 people at the Dole Institute of Politics Tuesday to share his impressions of near-future elections.

Cook said the deck is stacked against Democrats this year, with a disproportionate amount of their seats up for election in traditionally conservative states. He said there are six seats where the respective state sided for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by 14 points or more in 2012.

Six seats are all the GOP needs for majority rule.

"The map just works really, really, really against Democrats," Cook said.

But where Democrats may find more success, Cook said, is in gubernatorial races. He explained that the last time these seats were up for election, in 2010, was a time when Republicans had plenty more momentum than their opponents, resulting in some GOP candidates winning under "extraordinary circumstances."

Now, some of those incumbents — specifically in Michigan, Florida and Ohio, Cook said — have a "unique vulnerability."

Where that vulnerability may not reach, however, is Kansas, according to Cook, where Paul Davis, the state house minority leader, has emerged as the principle Democratic challenger to Gov. Sam Brownback.

Although Cook admitted to not having first-hand knowledge of the gubernatorial election in the state, he still said the race currently didn't look competitive, but has "some potential."

"There's some reason to believe it could possibly get competitive," he said. "It's pretty hard for a Democrat to win state-wide (in Kansas)."

Cook also offered a forecast for likely 2016 presidential candidates. He estimated there to be a 70 percent chance that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would decide to run, which he believed would persuade Vice President Joe Biden not to.

From the GOP, Cook predicted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not recover from the scandal revolving around the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. He said the most likely Republican presidential nominee out of the senate would be Rand Paul of Kentucky, and the most likely nominee out of the pool of governors would be Scott Walker of Wisconsin.


William Weissbeck 4 years, 2 months ago

The map may be against the Democrats but Landreau, Pryor and Hagan are in strong positions. They aren't hated and can't be pigeon holed as liberals. And if Brownback isn't vulnerable, then somebody has been putting something in the water.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 2 months ago

You say "liberal" like it's a bad thing. The branding of that word as something "dirty" is fast slipping away. The biggest threat to Koch money are Millenials. The Baby Boomers are fast dying off and the M's now outnumber them. These are people newly in the job market seeing their own parents still making 12 and 13 dollars an hour when a gallon of milk now costs four dollars and it takes forty to fill your gas tank.
In truth, the pendulum is swinging back, sir.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 2 months ago

The Republicans probably should have taken the Senate in 2012, but they have a habit of picking bad candidates in the primaries.

And I still say Brownback is almost unbeatable. He has won total four statewide elections.

As far as the 2016 elections, the Republican Primaries will be a bloodbath so it's way to early to pick a frontrunner.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 2 months ago

He admitted to having no knowledge of the Kansas gubernatorial race while speaking in Lawrence? The very first skill I used to teach in speech class was audience analysis- know your crowd and adapt your speech accordingly.

James Howlette 4 years, 2 months ago

He's going by the idea that Kansas is going to go Brownback because of their presidential vote and totally ignoring both historical gubernatorial votes in this state and how very, very unpopular Brownback is in polling.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes and Mitt Romney was Supposed to have won by a Landslide in the last Presidential election. Sorry, I do not put a lot of FAITH in Political analysts predictions. Some of them are Paid to say certain things. Thank you all for your predictions. I will be ready to vote next election. I hope everyone will be. Then we will just have to see...

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 2 months ago

@ Thomas Bryce - What pollster had Romney in a landslide? There were a lot of polls that had him up 1 or 2 pts and several more that had him down 2 or 3 pts. Any pollster that had Romney winning said that it would be a narrow margin if at all. Thanks anyway for the obfuscated facts.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 2 months ago

The Polls had him exactly as you said. The Landslide remarks were Fox News and Glenn Beck, Limbaugh Basically wishful thinking on their part. The facts were there. They just spin it for their base listeners. And, granted, they DO have alot of them. Also I was Referring to Political analysts, Not pollsters.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses - Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Kansas to Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Sam Brownback is not a republican so are we saying the ALEC Political Party may be looking forward to some defeats. Music to my ears. Sam Brownback works for the Koch brothers’ political empire.

Meet Aegis Strategic, the latest affiliate of the Koch brothers’ political empire.

The consulting firm plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Kochs' free-market, limited-government agenda, and groom them to win elections. "We seek out electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels," the company notes on its website.

Aegis says it can manage every aspect of a campaign, including advertising, direct mail, social media, and fundraising.

Aegis' president is Jeff Crank, a two-time failed Republican congressional candidate who ran the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity and served as the chief operating officer of the national organization. The firm's six-person staff boasts two others with connections to the Kochs.

The group's lead strategist is Karl Crow, a former project coordinator for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, where he focused "on how political advocates for economic freedom are identified, trained, and promoted," according to his bio on Aegis' website.

Crow, who was scheduled to speak at an invite-only Koch donor summit in 2010 on the subject of voter mobilization, subsequently worked for Themis, the Koch brothers' voter microtargeting operation.

Brad Stevens, the former state director for Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska, is Aegis' director of candidate identification.

William Ballard 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Cook needs to do some more research before making his predictions. Three independent polls give Paul Davis a lead over Sam Brownback, and Mr. Cook doesn't realize how hated Sam Brownback is by many Kansans. Charlie Cook might just be in for a surprise come November 4th.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Sam Brownback will be afforded a high dollar or should I say a spending budget that is beyond reality to run a very very nasty campaign full of lies and misinformation.



Bob Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

The role of the Republican party in the fragmentation of Pangaea has never been fully investigated.

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