The Secrets Behind The Midterms

There’s a hidden history to the nasty midterm election campaign that will, mercifully, end on Nov. 4. What’s not being widely talked about is as important as what’s in the news.
Under appreciated fact No. 1: The number of Democratic seats that are not in play this year.In planning their effort to take control of the Senate, Republicans shrewdly launched challenges to Democrats in states that would not automatically be on a GOP target list. “Broadening the map” is wise when you’re in a strong position.

Two of the states on that extended list, Colorado and Iowa, have paid off for Republicans. It’s still far from certain that they will defeat Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado or Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa, who is trying to hold retiring senator Tom Harkin’s seat. Republicans have a clear shot at both, and this has strengthened their chances of taking the majority.

Just as striking is how many Democrats seem to have nailed down races the Republicans had once hoped to make competitive. This has narrowed the GOP’s path to a majority. Among them: Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan, who is likely to retain Sen. Carl Levin’s seat. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is also polling well, though he was always favored against former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is in a tougher race with former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, but she has led most of the way.

Read full article @ Washington Post