**Posted by Phineas
So, let’s face it. The mess in Missouri is depressing, with Rep. Todd Akin putting his personal desires ahead of the good of the nation and his party. (1) Most observers expect the next Senate to be closely divided, even if the Republicans do gain control, and that was before Mr. Akins turned what had been an almost sure win into, at the outside best, a toss up with his ignorant comments about rape and biology. As Jim Geraghty wrote in this morning’s Jolt:
In a race where a right-leaning ham sandwich could win, Akin leaves us yearning for the common sense, message discipline, and far-sighted vision of a right-leaning ham sandwich.
With the developments in Missouri, the goal of undoing ObamaCare and the other Democratic legislative and fiscal atrocities seemed more like a fading dream.
Or maybe not. In a later article, Geraghty surveys other Senate races and sees signs of… hope for conservatives?
All they have is Nebraska, where State Senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in a seat where incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring, and North Dakota, where Rick Berg is up 9 on in a seat where incumbent Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring…
and Montana, where Rep. Denny Rehberg has a small but consistent lead over incumbent Jon Tester…
and Wisconsin, where Tommy Thompson has an increasing lead over Tammy Baldwin to fill the Senate seat occupied by the retiring Herb Kohl…
…but they have to make up the likely loss in Maine, where either a Democrat or Democrat-leaning Independent are likely to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe… they need to keep Sen. Scott Brown in office in Massachusetts where the latest poll has him… er, only up by 5…
… and they have to hold Indiana in a presidential year, when Rasmussen has Mourdock slightly ahead… and make sure that Sen. Dean Heller keeps his consistent lead in Nevada…
There’s more, so read it all. Aside from the above, Jim also sees decent-to-good prospects in Connecticut, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. And he fails to mention Maryland, where Dan Bongino is very impressive. If we ignore Missouri and assume Democrat-leaning Independent Angus King wins in Maine, but otherwise run the table, the Republicans could net eight or nine seats. (2) That would put us at 55-56, and leave self-serving squishes like Lisa Murkowski helpless to hold the party caucus hostage by threatening to join the Democrats.
I doubt we’ll win that many, though; the odds are awfully high. But 4-6 seems not unreasonable.
So here’s what we do. Unless Akin comes to his senses and seeks a court’s permission to withdraw (Or switches races? See this Daily Caller article for an intriguing possibility), let’s concentrate our efforts on these other, more promising Senate races. While the loss of a sure thing in Missouri is discouraging, we shouldn’t get permanently depressed. Pick a candidate, volunteer, and donate.
All Senate races are national, and too much is at stake.
PS: If I can toss in a longshot, my own state’s Elizabeth Emken has a chance, albeit a small one, of defeating Democratic incumbent Diane Feinstein. I think she fits California well and would make a good senator. Her position papers are solid, and she is gaining in the polls. But California is a tough, expensive market for a Republican: statewide candidates start off in a registration hole (Democrats have about a 20% edge), and the major media markets are expensive. But it can be done! Elizabeth’s donation page is here. If you’re in a safe Republican state, consider sending a donation our way. Who knows, we just might really steal one from under the Democrats in November.
PPS: Looks like ST and I are on the same wavelength.
(1) No, I don’t think Akin has a serious chance against McCaskill. If he committed this big a faux pas this early, there are surely more coming.
(2) We’d need at least four, if -gulp!- Obama wins reelection.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)