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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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Photo: AFP/Mark Wilson

With less than a year to go until the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are feeling bullish about their chances of winning a majority in the U.S. Senate. The GOP needs to gain a net of six seats in order to claim the majority, and with 21 Democratic seats in play — including seven in states that Mitt Romney won in the 2012 presidential election — there are ample opportunities for Republicans to grow their caucus.

Open seats in South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia — where incumbent Democrats Tim Johnson, Max Baucus, and Jay Rockefeller all chose to retire — are likely to transfer to Republican hands in the upcoming elections. That would leave the GOP needing three more victories for the majority — assuming, of course, that they don’t lose any seats of their own.

In other words, control of the upper chamber of Congress will probably come down to just a handful of elections across the country. Here are the six races that are likely to decide which party controls the U.S. Senate:

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Faraday_Cat

    Do we even have a chance? If it exists, what does the gerrymandering look like for these seats?

    • Paul Bass

      Senate seats are elected statewide, therefore there is no gerrymandering for these positions, the senate district includes the entire state.

  • On Guard!

    Recognizing that free markets will not supply law enforcement well does not imply that free markets should be cast aside in other instances.

    • Allan Richardson

      Why not have free market police? Replace all the socialistically funded police with private bodyguards. If you have something worth stealing, hire a bodyguard to protect it. If you can’t afford a bodyguard, then neither your life nor your property is worth protecting. That’s how they do it in third world countries like Somalia, right?


      • On Guard!

        1st of all, socialism is an ideology, not government.

        Obviously, security forces, roads, and fire departments were around long before Karl Marx conjured up the primitive superstitions of socialism in the 19th century.

        • Allan Richardson

          That was exactly my point. Marx was misguided about means, but his ideal that governments, as long as they exist, should be for the good of all people, not just a specific group, is the same as the ideal of democracy. Police and armies started out as the KING’S bodyguards in monarchies, but as a necessary part of maintaining the king’s rule, they also tried to maintain order in the kingdom, and keep foreign kings from taking over. I used the “socialist” term sarcastically because the logical implication of extreme libertarianism is that people who can afford to hire armed and/or bulky men to protect themselves should not be “forced” to pay for those armed and/or bulky men and their weapons to protect the poor also! And the analogy to fire departments is not as wrong as you may imagine. In the U.S. fire protection started out as a privatized service paid for by dues collected voluntarily from property owners. If the property owners did not pay their dues, these firefighting groups would just let the buildings burn down … along with poor tenants who had no say and no funds to have approved the dues paying (but you can bet the landlords would still use the courts to try to collect RENT on the burned out premises!), and EXPERIENCE also showed that a fire would burn through uninsured buildings and spread to insured buildings, by which time it was too big to be put out. So paying dues to the fire department to protect YOUR property did no good if your NEIGHBORS did not pay. Hence, the modern municipal taxpayer supported fire department.

          And the Tea Party radicals use the word “socialist” to describe almost ANYTHING government does for the benefit of all citizens, even though, as you said, the Marxist form of “socialism” was not named that until the mid-19th century (at a time when firefighting in the US was still privatized). And by the way, Marx did not invent the WORD; he was only the first to say that democratically enacted laws would not bring its benefits, only violent revolution. And of course, he made the OPPOSITE logical error that TP radicals make today: that ALL problems could be solved by HIS kind of government, imposed by violent revolution.

          So no, I was not calling public safety agencies socialist, except sarcastically, since other programs the TP calls socialist are no more so than these. It is the TP radicals who do not see the difference between moderate programs that use everyone’s money to do things to help everyone, and the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Mao nightmare of the 20th Century. Still, since the US did not provide universal public support for firefighting and schools until AFTER the works of Marx were published, …

  • itsfun

    Don’t forget Michigan. Carl Levin is retiring. The Republican candidate is a former Michigan Secretary of State under a popular Republican Governor.