Thursday, January 21, 2010

Barbara Boxer: "Every state is in play"

California Sen. Barbara Boxer with the ubiquitous Chuck Schumer*

It's nice to see that Senate Democrats agree with my analysis that in the aftermath of Scott Brown's explosive victory in Massachusetts, they are all in trouble -- at least those up for reelection in November. Politico reports:

The Republican victory in Massachusetts has sent a wave of fear through the halls of the Senate, with moderate and liberal Democrats second-guessing their party’s agenda — and worrying that they’ll be the next victims of voters’ anger.

“If there’s anybody in this building that doesn’t tell you they’re more worried about elections today, you absolutely should slap them,” said Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
So does that really mean everyone? Apparently, yes, it does:

Several Democratic incumbents said later that none of the 19 Democratic seats up this year are safe — and that fundamental parts of the agenda need to be re-examined to win over voters back home.

“Every state is now in play,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who faces the toughest reelection battle of her career — most likely against wealthy Republican Carly Fiorina.
What's the problem? At least one Senator is willing to say on the record that it's Democrats' own over-reaching agenda, particularly on health care:

Asked if red-state Democrats up in 2010 and 2012 should be nervous about the electorate, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told POLITICO, “Oh, yeah.”

“I think part of the problem is the agenda itself,” said Conrad, who doesn’t face voters again until 2012. Instead of spending so much time on health care reform, Conrad said Democrats should have focused first on reducing the national debt and a bipartisan energy bill — and that President Barack Obama should have done a better job of explaining that the economic situation he inherited was “far worse” than he’d originally thought.
Well, at least Conrad got the message.

My take yesterday that the Democrats could be reduced to 51 seats after November got a boost from respected independent analyst Larry Sabato who says the Democrats would wind up with 52 seats if the election were held today. While the Democrats can take heart from the fact that the elction is nearly 10 months away, giving them time to get their act together, Sabato adds more gloom by suggesting that even such hitherto untouchable incumbents as Minnesota's Russ Feingold and Washington's Patty Murray (as well as New York's Kirsten Gillibrand and Indiana's Evan Bayh, both on my list of the newly endangered) could be in trouble.

* According to a recent Marist poll, Schumer may have his own problems with an approval rating dropping seven points in a few months as he's visibly fronted for health "reform."

What are your thoughts? Post a comment.

RELATED -- Stuart Rothenberg has moved Blanche Lincoln's Arkansas seat from a "Toss-up" to "Lean Advantage" to the GOP.

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