Including two Independent senators who caucused with the Democrats, the Democrat party has a total of 55 seats in the Senate while the Republicans have a total of 45 seats. To equalize the number to 50/50, Democrats need to lose five seats to the Republicans.
Four senators appear particularly vulnerable to loss this next election because they are Democrats serving in red states; namely, Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Obamacare may prove key to non-survival of red state Democrats.
1. Referring to Obamacare in glowing terms, Senator Mark Begich (AK) has commented,
“Preexisting conditions are no longer reasons to deny insurance, seniors are going to get better reimbursements on prescription, the Alaska Native Healthcare System was finally reauthorized after 19 years of pending in the US Senate and House. Now it’s permanently reauthorized.”
After voting for Obama's health care law, he later said he had issues with it.
Any Republican challenger to the well-financed Begich should pounce on his lack of knowledge stability. He (or she) "can remind Americans that when someone admits to having 'issues' with something they are directly responsible for, that it’s probably a good idea to send them packing before they can wreak further havoc on our budget that they pretend to care about." Source
Thus far, there are three maybe challengers to Begich: Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, Joe Miller, and Sean Parnell.
2. Senator Kay Hagan (NC) supports Obamacare to which Claude Pope, Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, responds:
“ObamaCare will crush small business in North Carolina. North Carolinians will remember Hagan’s allegiance to President Obama and his signature initiative ObamaCare, and vote to elect someone else who reflects North Carolina values.”
Nevertheless, she leads against potential Republican challengers in the polls at this time. Finding a strong statewide candidate to change the tide is still possible.
3. Mark Pryor (AR) stands by his vote for Obamacare and is even proud of it.
"(Obamacare) has been a success," Pryor said, while admitting that "probably we did get 80 percent [right], we have to go in and work on the 20 percent."
Challenger Tom Cotton's campaign cries out,
"Mark Pryor cast the deciding vote to make you live under Obamacare," a narrator says. "But Pryor votes himself, and everyone in Congress, special subsidies so they're protected from Obamacare."
They (Cotton and Pryor) are running neck and neck in the polls. However,
"There are also signs the atmosphere in Arkansas has grown less hospitable to Democrats as President Barack Obama’s popularity has nose dived in the state. Just 42 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s job performance, while 57 percent disapprove." Source
4. With Mary Landrieu (LA) loving Obamacare and claiming, "If I had to vote for the bill again, I'd vote for it tomorrow," voters are increasingly alarmed. The law is currently drawing a 62% opposition in her state.
Her most prominent challenger is U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy. In regard to defunding Obamacare, Cassidy has been quoted as saying,
"It depends on what you mean by shutting down the government. If you mean that the guys on active duty don't get bullets, or that their spouses who are stateside don't have a check to pay their rent, I am not willing to do that. But you're asking me to imagine what a bill looks like, and I can't do that."
Between Landrieu and Cassidy, the polls show Landrieu with a slight lead.
Other Democrat seats up for re-election are in the states of:
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Minnesota (Al Franken)
Here's to hoping Americans will vote a Republican Senate majority in 2014.