Harry Reid Gutted, Turned Into Shark Bait

Harry Reid Jawbone SC

The 2014 primaries are still months away, but I want to make an early prediction.

I predict that the Democrat-led U.S. Senate will look substantially different next year. In fact, I believe the Senate won’t be Democrat controlled at all.

You see, Republicans smell blood in the water. They’re well-positioned to capture the majority in the 2014 elections, and it has them dreaming of Harry Reid hopping a plane for Nevada.

Truthfully, the math is working against the Democrats. Republicans only need to seize six seats to derail what’s left of the Obama socialist agenda. Meanwhile, the left must defend 20 seats, including seven in states that President Obama lost in 2012.

Better yet, a host of Democratic incumbents have already thrown in the towel. Why fight another grueling campaign when you could retire to fat pensions and lobbying contracts?

But not every race will be so easy. So how will some other important swing states vote come election season?


Democrats control this seat with a weak freshman, Senator Mark Begich. But Obama lost Alaska in both 2008 and 2012, and Begich’s win was a fluke. He won by just 1% of the vote, despite longtime Senator Ted Stevens being under a U.S. Justice Department investigation at the time.

Anti-Obama sentiment will likely be Begich’s undoing. Plus, several strong Republican candidates are vying for the primary, including 2008 GOP Senate nominee and Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller; Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell; and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up this seat (+1).


The president is very unpopular in Arkansas, where he received just 36.9% of the vote in 2012. Obama’s low approval rating will likely bring down Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. On top of that, Pryor voted for Obamacare, which is extremely unpopular in The Natural State.

Meanwhile, we learned from Sen. Pryor’s latest fundraising report that he’s spending more than he’s taking in, which is a terrible sign for an incumbent who’s also behind in the polls. Pryor lost about $200,000 between the third and fourth quarter.

Rep. Tom Cotton, a rising conservative star, will be a formidable challenger to Pryor. Cotton is an Iraq War veteran and a favorite of conservative groups including Club for Growth.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up a seat (+1).


Senator Tom Harkin, a fixture in Iowa politics for decades, is finally retiring. So despite the fact that Obama carried the state in 2012, Iowa remains very competitive for Republicans.

However, this will likely be a bruising primary for the GOP. The competitors include former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, a former Chief of Staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley named David Young, State Senator Joni Ernst, and conservative radio host Sam Clovis. On top of that, the former CEO of Reliant Energy, Mark Jacobs, is preparing to enter the race, along with well-known pro-life leader Bob Vander Plaats.

Early prognosis: Republican infighting settles down, and the GOP rides Obama fatigue to victory (+1).


The Pelican State has been trending Republican, even though Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu was re-elected with 52% of the vote in 2008. As a longtime office holder, Landrieu has to be considered the favorite – but it’s not out of the question that the GOP could get the best of her.

The challenger preferred by the GOP establishment is Rep. Bill Cassidy. He will face a tough race from Rob Maness, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and Tea Party favorite, in the Republican primary.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up a seat (+1).


Nobody thinks of Michigan as Republican; but because of Detroit’s insolvency, the state has turned to the GOP for fiscal answers. Obama carried Michigan in the presidential race, but the GOP did very well down ticket.

On top of that, longtime Democratic Senator Carl Levin has decided to retire, providing Republicans with an opening. The race was supposed to be a cakewalk for Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, though in reality it’s anything but.

Emerging as a formidable candidate is former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. In fact, she’s taken a commanding, eight-point lead in the latest poll of Michigan voters.

Early prognosis: Between Detroit’s bankruptcy and a strong Republican candidate, the GOP gets another seat (+1).

North Carolina

Democrat Senator Kay Hagan rode Obama’s coattails into office in 2008 and defeated incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole.

But in 2012, North Carolina swung hugely Republican. Now, every poll has Hagan below 50%, which is definitely a good sign for Republicans. Optimism is high in The Tar Heel State.

Early prognosis: The GOP should easily win here (+1).

South Dakota

Winds of change led three-term incumbent Democrat Senator Tim Johnson to tuck tail and retire. Popular two-term Republican Gov. Mike Rounds has announced his intention to run, and he should basically be a shoe-in.

Early prognosis: The Republicans will only lose this one if they really screw up (+1).

So there you have it. Six states that could see a decidedly Republican shift in the 2014 elections. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on these important races as the primaries get closer.


This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

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