How Every Endangered Senate Democrat Will Win In November, Because Why Not
In 2012, Silver famously predicted the winner of every Senate race, which was an impressive achievement for him but so boring for us. It was like finding your Christmas/"holiday" presents early. You'll go through the motions of unwrapping your Regrets Her Abortion Barbie and Nature Despoiled II: The Warmening For Sega SexBox, but there's no climax. The moment is flaccid; that is to say, unsuited to penetrating intercourse, never mind entertainment.
In that spirit, here's how Senate Democrats can defy the odds and beat off all comers, with votes.
Mark Pryor (D) vs. Tom Cotton (R); Cotton leads +5.5 (RCP)
Incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor trails challenger Cotton in recent polling, but there are questions about the polls' survey methods and sample size. For example: What? When? If so, how come? And ultimately, will this be enough to let Pryor sneak by? Yes.
Mark Begich (D) vs. Dan Sullivan (R); Sullivan leads +4.4 (RCP)
Dan Sullivan and his parents' money give Republicans another lead in Alaska, but Alaska is basically not even attached to the real United States, did you know that? We'll be watching this story very, very closely.
Mark Udall (D) vs. Cory Gardner (R); Gardner leads +3.8 (RCP)
Much has been made of the fact that the letters in "Mark Udall" can be rearranged to spell "a dull mark", but that won't be enough to distract voters from the key issue of the one we made up for Cory Gardner: "red rag crony". Shameful...
Mary Landrieu (D) vs. Bill Cassidy (R); Cassidy leads +4.8 (RCP)
Another incumbent Democrat trails a Republican challenger in Louisiana, but then again, Louisiana has never elected a man named Bill Cassidy to represent them in the Senate. Mary Landrieu is on record as being firmly not a man named Bill Cassidy, but what about Bill Cassidy? The history here is on Landrieu's side.
Jeanne Shaheen (D) vs. Scott Brown (R); Shaheen leads +2.6 (RCP)
This race is an outlier: the incumbent Democrat has a narrow lead. But challenger Scott Brown knows what it takes to win as a Republican in Massachusetts. But also too, he knows what it takes to lose as a Republican in Massachusetts. WILD CARD: New Hampshire is not Massachusetts, and neither is Jeanne Shaheen. Advantage, her.
Kay Hagan (D) vs. Thom Tillis (R); Hagan leads +2.0 (RCP)
North Carolinians know Kay Hagan. They like Kay Hagan. Thom Tillis, well, who even knows? What's he stand for? Ebola? It's in the news, look it up. Thom -- "Thom" -- is that like the normal American name "Tom"? You just don't know. Kay Hagan, you could chug a beer with her, go bowling with her, do a quilt, whatever. She'll bring a casserole.
ON THE OTHER HAND, CLASSIC PUNDIT HEDGE
Maybe boring old Nate Silver is right and the Democrats are going to lose many of these races, and with them, control of the Senate. If that happens, look for Democrats to pin their hopes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg finally grasping that most elusive, tantalizing dream of eternal life, perhaps as a cyborg.
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