The Cook Political Report is the latest bearer of bad news for Democrats:
Sens. Mark Begich in Alaska, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina are moving to the Toss Up column. In each of these races, polls show the races generally within the margin of error [or] tied. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, who has been in the Toss Up column for months, has comparable numbers to these incumbents . . . . When GOP Rep. Cory Gardner announced his bid against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado three weeks ago, we moved that race to Lean Democratic. With former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s announcement that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire also goes into the Lean Democratic column. . . . While Democrats have not completely written off the three open seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia that make up the Tier One Vulnerable Democratic Seats, they concede that each is very tough. From our perspective, South Dakota is pretty much gone and West Virginia is very difficult but not quite as bad. Democrats have some hopes that Montana will be salvaged on behalf of former Lt. Gov. John Walsh now that he has been appointed to the Senate to replace Max Baucus. Maybe, but it is still uphill.
Throw in some “Tier Three” seats like Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia and you see multiple ways for the GOP to get to a majority. Only lonely Georgia remains a potential pick up for the Democrats. With an outlook like this, soon turnout and fundraising become problematic, making matters worse.
Liberal pundits and White House lackeys, it seems, have gone through their own five stages of processing the potential death of the Senate majority:
Denial: We’re going to run on Obamacare! It’s popular!
Anger: Those stupid Obamacare rollout people — they’ve blown it for us! And besides, the GOP is “lying” about Obamacare.
Bargaining: Maybe if we can make it about something else, we can win. Maybe if we give Max Baucus an ambassadorship, we can save this thing. We’ll go to women voters and beg them to turn out, you’ll see.
Depression: Obama is killing us. I can barely stand to watch even MSNBC. We don’t even want the Senate anymore — what a pain it is to govern.
Acceptance: So we lose it. At least we still have Hillary Clinton to look forward to.
In fact, it is always better to win than lose in the Senate. The power to block bad nominations (especially for the bench), the power to control the agenda, the power to force the other side to take embarrassing votes, the power to investigate and the power to present to voters a conservative reform agenda are very much worth having. And in his final two years of his presidency, faced with a domestic and foreign policy legacy worse than Jimmy Carter’s, Obama might find out how to actually bargain with the opposition and sign some legislation. Other than planning his presidential library, that’s about all he will be able to do.