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Senate Polls: Close Races in Key States

9:37 AM, Oct 15, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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With more than a year to go before the 2014 midterm elections, these polls in these key states show Republicans in a fair position to win gettable seats in the Senate. Events and personalities can and will affect these numbers. It's unclear, for instance, how the politics of the current government shutdown and budget impasse will affect Democrats in the Senate or Republicans in the House (like Cotton and Cassidy). There's also the factor of Obama and his signature domestic achievement, Obamacare. The president is unpopular in all three of these states, more unpopular than the incumbent Democratic senator. That could be a blessing for Democrats—with Obama not on the ballot in 2014 and not able to run for reelection in 2016, Begich, Pryor, and Landrieu can try to distance themselves from a president who will be a lame duck in 2015.

At the same time, all three senators voted for and have continued to support Obamacare, which remains unpopular throughout the country and particularly in their home states. Just as some Republicans were able to run in 2010 against Democratic senators who supported Obamacare—defeating Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, for instance—so too could the implementation of Obamacare be an electoral boon for Republicans in these states.

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