The Battle For the Senate in 2016- June Happenings

A lot to get to, so let’s go:

California:  The Golden State held their primary on June 7th and a Democrat will replace the retiring Democrat, Diane Feinstein.  Kamala Harris, the current state attorney general, will face Loretta Sanchez, a Democratic House member, in November.  Harris has the backing of most of the Democratic powers-that-be and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say Obama has a crush on her.  Look out, Michelle…keep Barry on a short leash.

Colorado:  After all the legal wrangling and appearances in courts and accusations of forged signatures, Darryl Glenn- the El Paso County commissioner who raised the roof at the state convention- emerged victorious against four other opponents.  He will take on Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet in the fall.  This may be an interesting race to observe in the coming months and after Nevada, perhaps the only place where the GOP has any chance of picking up a seat in the Senate, no matter how slim those chances.

Florida:  Wow…just wow!!!  After months of deflection, Marco Rubio announced that he would run for reelection this year.  Citing a plethora of reasons, the presidential wannabe made a serious about-face.  Stating that both Clinton and Trump represented a danger in the White House, Rubio essentially cleared the field of any serious competition.  David Jolly had dropped out previous to Rubio’s announcement which fueled speculation Rubio would run after all.  Rubio’s friend, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, said he would defer to Rubio and did.  What is surprising is that Ron DeSantis, who led in some polls and had conservatives excited in Florida, also ended his 13-month campaign and decided to run for reelection in his District.

It is understandable that some Floridians are upset about the decision, but Jolly represents the best chance to keep the 13th District and DeSantis will retain the 6th.  Things got a little more promising on the House side and although some would have loved to see a Murphy-DeSantis match-up in the fall, polls indicated a Republican loss.  Not that Rubio is out of the woods- he has to face a primary challenge.  I don’t know if it can be done in Florida, but Republicans should play Democratic shenanigans and cross over and vote for Grayson in their primary.

As for the Democrats, their preferred candidate Scott Murphy is apparently having some trouble shaking the somewhat ethically-challenged and bombastic Alan Grayson.  As some mystery and drama settled on the GOP side, the plot thickens on the Democratic side.

Iowa:  Charles Grassley ran unopposed in the GOP primary and he will face Patty Judge, the preferred candidate of the Democrats, in the fall.  Judge had to hold off Rob Hogg and didn’t break 50% of the vote.  Grassley is a fairly popular incumbent Senator in Iowa and Judge faces an uphill battle.  Thus far, her main attack has been regarding the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Ignorant of facts, most voters place the Garland nomination very low on their list of priorities.  So keep attacking those windmills, Patty Judge.

Nevada:  As expected, it will be Joe Heck for the GOP against Catherine Cortez-Masto for the Democrats in the fall in the fight to succeed Harry Reid in the Senate.  Either way, America’s cure for insomnia and the political equivalent of Jason Mraz (zzzzzz….)- Harry Reid- will be gone come January 2017 and none too soon.  Both Heck and Cortez-Masto won with over 60% of the vote.  Will this end the political career of Sharron Angle?

North Carolina:  Republican Richard Burr is urging the state to reconsider their HB2 transgender bathroom bill.  Stating that Charlotte created the problem and the state furthered it with the law, he wants the state legislature to reconsider certain aspects of the bill, especially restoring the right to sue in state court for discrimination.  Recently the 4th Circuit refused to re-hear a case favorable to transgender rights and this is most likely Burr’s motivation in trying to deal with the controversy over the law.

Ratings changes- Florida goes from “Danger” to Toss up; Missouri goes from safe to keep an eye on:

R. Shelby- AL C. Grassley- IA J. McCain- AZ M. Kirk- IL
L. Murkowski- AK R. Blunt- MO M. Rubio- FL R. Johnson- WI
J. Boozman- AR R. Burr-NC K. Ayotte- NH R. Portman- OH
J. Isaakson- GA P. Toomey- PA
M. Crapo- ID
(D. Coates-IN) OPEN
J. Moran- KS
R. Paul- KY
(D. Vitter- LA) OPEN
J. Hoeven- ND
J. Lankford- OK
T. Scott- SC
J. Thune- SD
M. Lee- UT
(B. Boxer- CA)- OPEN M. Bennet- CO (H. Reid- NV)- OPEN
R. Blumenthal-CT (B. Mikulski-MD) OPEN
B. Schatz- HI
C. Schumer- NY
P. Leahy- VT
P. Murray- WA