This is the political silly season. The final postmortems from the last election have been written, and everyone is busy speculating about 2016.
Curious piece in today’s National Journal. The National Governors Association is meeting in DC, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock, head of the DGA has been busy promoting Joe Manchin and [mc_name name=’Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H001069′ ] as really good candidates for 2016.
Would that it be so. Be still my heart.
Were this come to pass, it could possibly give the GOP two new senators in 2016, definitely do so in 2018, and pretty much doom any slim hope the Democrats have of retaking the Senate.
If anything could bump up [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] and Chuckie Schumers’ blood pressure, this would surely be it.
WV is now solidly red. However, Manchin remains very popular in the state. Without him running, the GOP will most likely capture the state house.
It’s far easier for Manchin to separate himself from liberal national Democratic policies as governor. He’s also expressed disdain for the way the Senate, and Washington works.
The WV GOP should be able to play it smart, and work a deal here. Have Manchin switch parties, endorse him for Governor. He wins in a walk-over. In return, he promises to appoint a caretaker Republican to his Senate seat.
If he won’t cross the aisle, then he’ll face a tough race. He’ll be running not only against his GOP opponent, but also Obama and Hillary Clinton. It’s not a sure thing.
Heitkamp’s a different kettle of fish. She lost a race for governor in 2000, and won a very close Senate election in 2012, due mainly to GOP mistakes. ND is becoming redder, in big part because of the economic boom caused by fracking..which liberal Democrats vigorously oppose.
She obviously has calculated that she has a better chance at winning the state house in 2016 than she does re-election to the Senate in 2018. That depends in part on her prospective opponents.
If she declares for governor, there’d likely be a lots of pressure on her to resign her Senate seat. She probably won’t do so…it would give the GOP an instant Senate seat. I suspect that her holding onto one job while running for another won’t play well in ND . It could cause her to lose. And if she loses in 2016, she’s probably a goner in 2018 as well.
Were she to win the gubernatorial race, she’d no doubt maneuver to name a Democrat to fill out her term. But as the ND Dem party has a very weak bench, that pretty much assures the GOP winning the seat in 2018.
The Democrat party in both WV and ND is atrophying. Two popular individuals currently in the Senate…and good prospects to win re-election in 2018, are pretty much all that remains as the face of the party..one in each state.
It’s natural that the state Dem parties desperately want to regain/keep control of the state houses..that’s where the power and patronage is. To do so, they are more then willing to cannibalize the Democrat Senate caucus.
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