Chances of Republicans taking the Senate in 2014

Republicans need to pick up six seats to retake the majority they lost in 2006, and recent history suggests that the task is doable, if difficult. More concerning for Republicans, however, is whether they will again have to endure nasty primaries that produce either triumphant insurgents with limited appeal or establishment survivors who underperform with conservative voters in the general election. …WaPo

A big passel of Dems are resigning. Republicans may be universally unloved, but they have a nice (for them) electoral advantage next year. Trouble is, they’ve got candidates in places like Iowa, Michigan, and Louisiana they see as “less than desirable.” Certainly Steve King of Iowa fits that category, a real junker.

In contrast, look at the Dems.

…For Democrats, playing defense will be nothing new.
In November, they had to defend 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for grabs in 2012. They could afford to lose only four seats to maintain a majority, and several of their veterans retired after long runs representing conservative states.

But instead of losing ground, Democrats gained seats —which seemed unthinkable in March 2011 — by holding all 23 and picking off two from Republicans.

Moreover, in the past four elections, just two Democrats lost reelection bids, while 12 GOP incumbents fell. …WaPo

And Mitch McConnell, who’d love to be majority leader, is in trouble in his home state. He’s “running hard.” Which could make a fall even more painful. But is it possible?

…The much anticipated Democratic candidacy of actress Ashley Judd fizzled as she abandoned the race before it started. With Judd out, Democrats are turning to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, 34, whose father was state Democratic chairman and a friend of former president Bill Clinton. …WaPo

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NPR had an interesting report this morning on DOMA and what its appearance in the Supreme Court is doing to Republicans. The Defense of Marriage Act is, of course, the the offspring of Republicans in Congress, specifically Republicans in the House. Not only is their counsel before the Court presenting a very weak, not to say embarrassing, case, but Republicans in the House are out-to-lunch or out-of-town 0r not-available when it comes to commenting on the Court case, much less when it comes to defending DOMA.

Fact is, Republicans need all the support they can to win in 2014 and suddenly the tide has turned against DOMA. Codgers over 70 and raging evangelicals just aren’t enough to guarantee a Republican win. So the silence is deafening.

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Actually, forget “ragin’ evangelicals”! Turns out evangelicals — some notable ragers, anyway — are calming down and perhaps changing their minds. Or are simply tired of being out-of-step with most of America. Check out the developments at Liberty University.

… In the last six or seven years, opposition to gay marriage has gone from a unifying ideology on Liberty’s campus to an issue that is tiptoed around by students and faculty members, and that no longer forms a major plank of the worldview shared by many young evangelical Christians. …Daily Intel

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather