POLITICS

Good news for GOP Senate hopes

By |
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

Despite all of the doom and gloom about the future of the Republican Party following the 2012 election, the reality is that Republicans actually have a chance of retaking the Senate in 2014. Those hopes improved on Wednesday as Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said that barring a serious illness or another catastrophe, she plans to run for reelection.

In 2014, Democrats will be defending a total of 21 seats, including seven states Mitt Romney carried — Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. In contrast, Republicans will be defending 14 seats. All of those seats are in Romney states, except for one — the Collins seat in Maine.

Though it would be tough for most Republicans to win in Maine, Collins has been able to do so. In 2008, she got reelected with nearly 62 percent of the vote in a state that Obama won by 17 points. After fellow moderate Maine Republican Olympia Snowe retired, Republicans lost control of the other Maine Senate seat last year.

Cook Political Report rates Maine a “likely Republican” Senate win in 2014 as long as Collins runs.

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