2016: A Democrat Blowout? Maybe Not.

With the 2016 elections approaching, prognosticators have been quick to point out the difficulties Republicans will have in maintaining the Senate. It is easy to argue that there are 24 Senate Republicans up and only 10 Democrats. And of those 24 Republican seats, Obama carried seven of the states Republican Senators represent twice. With a Republican majority of 54 seats this could be a problem.

However, Democrat Senators are retiring. While only one Republican has announced his retirement -- Coats from Indiana -- three Democrats have: Boxer of California, Mikulski of Maryland, and Reid of Nevada. And one wonders if any of these Democrats would be retiring if they believed Democrats would once again be in the majority after the 2016 election.

All three states could be in play in 2016. In Nevada's 2010 race, Reid won by less that 6% against a weak candidate. And in 2012, Republican Dean Heller won a Senate seat even though Obama carried the state. A conservative candidate can win in Nevada.

Even in heavily blue Maryland, where a Republican hasn't been elected to the U.S. Senate since 1980, the election of Larry Hogan as governor signals a possible shift of the liberal leanings of that state. Hogan won what can be considered the upset of the cycle by beating the liberal Democrat Lieutenant Governor by almost 5% of the vote. And yes, even in California, which hasn't voted to elect or reelect a Republican Senator since 1988, there is a chance for Republicans with a strong candidate.

It is too early to tell which way the tide will flow in 2016. One thing is certain, Republicans will have a much better chance to maintain the Senate than the mainstream media will have you believe.

Posted April 02, 2015
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