Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Senate Firewall

It was reported earlier this week that the Democrats regarded the states of Iowa; North Carolina and Colorado as key to holding control of the Senate. There are other important races - but these are the ones that they see as key to the final outcome of this years Senate campaigns.

Colorado is currently held by Mark Udall, who won it in 2008. Republican Wayne Allard had been the Senator whose seat was up for re-election, but he retired. In the year that Barack Obama won the presidency (with 54% of the vote in Colorado), Udall won with 52.8% of the vote. Obama lost ground in 2012 with a majority of 137,858 over Romney. That constituted a Democratic vote of just 51%. Cory Gardner is the Republican challenger.

Iowa is an open Senate seat, with the retirement of Tom Harkin - who was one of the so-called "Watergate Babies" elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, and who won election to the Senate ten years later. Bruce Braley for the Democrats, and Joni Ernst for the Republicans have been fighting a close battle. Obama won the state in 2008 (54%) and 2012 (52%) - losing 6,396 votes on the way. This a race to keep a close eye on!
Kay Hagan has her work cut out to hold on to her Senate seat representing North Carolina. At the last presidential election, Romney beat Obama by 50% to 48%. At the same election a Republican, Pat McCrory, won the race to be governor by 55% to 43%. The two houses of the State Legislature are held by the Republicans. In the US House of Representatives the NC delegation has 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Politics in America 2014 commented, "Republicans are eager to knock off Hagan in the 2014 elections, but her actions as a first-term senator have set her up for a spirited defense." The Republican challenger is Thom Tillis, the current Speaker in the State House of Representatives.

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