Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two Western Senate Seats in 2014 Fight

In the thirteen western states, only a handful have competitive appearing races in the 2014 midterm. Already attracting national attention are the senate seats in Alaska, where Democrats will be defending an incumbent (Mark Begich) and in a newly open seat (Max Baucus) in Montana, both states that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.

There are several Republican governors and senators defending seats in western states that gave Barack Obama their electoral votes. Governors Brian Sandoval in Nevada and Susana Martinez in New Mexico must defend their first terms in states Obama won (7 points Nevada and 10 points New Mexico).
Also interesting races to watch, even though they may not appear competitive, will be the replacement for Jan Brewer in Arizona, which is open due to term limits. The senate race, which Jeff Flake finally won after a tough race, indicates the state is competitive if the Democrats can find a good candidate.
Although Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall do not appear threatened today, Colorado’s transition to a left-leaning state is so new that if the Republicans could figure out how to deal with independent voters while holding their base, they could be competitive.
Finally, Jerry Brown will slide into the second term of his second career as governor without working up a sweat. If he combines his political prowess with righting the ship of state, Democrats would be so thankful that Brown would once again be a national player.

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