…it would be a shame if anything was to happen to it.
That’s the GOP’s Senate position going into 2016, because it closely mirrors the Democrats’ position this year. The Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik explains:
Republicans find themselves in almost the same position Democrats did four years ago, when the 2012 election cycle was taking shape. The GOP is defending 24 seats, while the Democrats only need to protect 10. The 2016 map is also the product of not just one previous big Republican victory, but two. In 2010, the last time this Senate class was contested, Republicans netted six seats. And six years before that, in 2004, Republicans netted four seats.
It gets worse:
All 10 current Democratic seats are in states that President Obama won in 2012 by at least five points, and only two of those states — Colorado and Nevada — are swing states in a competitive presidential election.
Meanwhile, of the 24 states the Republicans are defending, Obama won seven in 2012: Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Republicans are defending North Carolina, which Obama won in 2008 and only lost by two points in 2012. [Emphasis in original]
18 months of playing it (mostly) safe, followed by a sane Senate GOP primary process, and a strong Presidential nominee with some coattails — that’s all it should take to maintain, maybe even build on, the current majority.
But I’m afraid we’ll get the “safe” part, which is also the most distasteful part, along with a Akin or two to tarnish the party, and a milquetoast presidential nominee — and my liver can’t handle a repeat of 2012.
Neither can the country.