GOP rising star to make 2014 Senate bid
July 31st, 2013
01:34 PM ET
12 months ago

GOP rising star to make 2014 Senate bid

Washington (CNN) – Get ready for what could be another crucial and bruising 2014 Senate battle, this time in Arkansas, which could ultimately decide whether the Democrats keep control of the chamber.

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton plans next week to announce a 2014 bid for the U.S. Senate, according to a GOP operative in Arkansas, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

Incumbent two-term Sen. Mark Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election next year.

Cotton, who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is considered a rising star in the GOP, and is a favorite of many neo-conservatives. The representative, who was just elected to Congress this past November, has been a frequent guest on cable news channels, including CNN.

According to the operative, Cotton's announcement will come Tuesday night.

Read more: Freshman's House office search foreshadows the legislator he might be

Next year, the Democrats will try to maintain their majority in the Senate, where they currently hold a 54-46 edge (including two independents who caucus with the party) over the GOP. They hope to expand that to 55-45 following October's special Senate election in New Jersey, which they are favored to win.

But they most likely will be defending 21 of 35 seats up for grabs in November 2014.

Republicans are optimistic about capturing seats in three states that vote red in presidential elections and have Democratic incumbents retiring: Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

If the GOP captures those three states, it only needs three more seats to reach the magic number of 51.

Republican eyes are focused on four Democrats facing tough battles next year: Pryor, Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, and Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska.

Take three of those four races and the Republicans will do what they couldn't do in 2010 and 2012: win back the majority. Democrats are also defending retirements in Iowa, where Sen. Tom Harkin is not running for a sixth term, and Michigan, where Sen. Carl Levin is not bidding for a seventh term. As of now, both of those seats appear to be safer for the Democrats.

Democrats hope to put Kentucky in play, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who's running for a sixth term, is facing a challenge from Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, and is also facing a possible primary challenge from a tea party-supported candidate. Democrats further hope to put an open GOP seat in Georgia (where Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring) into play.

GOP Sen. Mike Johanns is also retiring next year, but his seat in Nebraska seems safe for Republicans.


Filed under: 2014 • Arkansas • Congress • Senate • Tom Cotton
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    the 2014 election will be known as the revenge of obamacare. the american people will be going to the polls to vote out democrats in record numbers yet again for what they did to our healthcare system.

    July 31, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    To CNN every new candidate is a "rising star". What's with that?

    By the way, I AIN'T PICKIN' NO COTTON, in the fields or on the ballot. Take that to the bank.

    July 31, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    Cotton, who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is considered a rising star in the GOP, and is a favorite of many neo-conservatives.
    -----------------
    A favorite of neo-conservatives means that he would be a favorite of Karl Rove. I guess that means that he will get a primary challenge from the neo-libertarians. Those are the two primary factions waging civil war for control of the Repubilcan Party.

    July 31, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. it must be said

    Republicans in those red states where there are Democrat Senators need to full court press and go all out. There is no reason those Senate seats should remain in the hands of Democrats, especailly after the Democrats assault on the 2nd Amendment and the train wreck of Obamacare.

    The new rule is no more Democrats from red states. Democrats hate red states and the people that live there. Just read the comments in this place. Endless hate and contempt. Time to reward the Democrats for that hate and contempt.

    July 31, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Reid has the turned the Senate into nothing but an Obama controlled entity.

    July 31, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. emskadittle

    you all thought the same thing last election cycle, how did that work out for you?

    July 31, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. uhhuh

    If the GOP captures those three states, it only needs three more seats to reach the magic number of 51.

    -–

    The magic number is 60.

    July 31, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. The REAL Truth...

    @just sayin – the 2014 election will be known as the revenge of obamacare. the american people will be going to the polls to vote out democrats in record numbers yet again for what they did to our healthcare system.
    ---------------------------------–
    The sad truth is that we have yet another example of a typical low-information right winger... do, please educate yourself and turn off Fox for 15 mins. Ask yourself how Obama's far left policies (he's actually more conservative than Reagan) are impacting the economy since the GOP refuses to pass any of his policies !! Employers have been shifting to temp, contract and part-time labor for years before the advent of ACA. Most small business owners are exempt, so you can ignore their whining.. Larger companies mostly have plans for their employees (and their rates have come down over the last 2 yrs) and those that don't are eligible to purchase from the insurance pools whose rates have shown to be lower than expected.

    Instead of attempting to repeal ACA 38+ times, the GOP should grow a pair and offer improvements or alternatives. Don't hold your breath.. they detest the black man in the white house and will not give him the time of day if they didn't have to. And keep dreaming about 2014... it's like winning the lottery for you folks.. you got shellacked last Nov... it will happen again.

    July 31, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. The REAL Truth...

    @Rick McDaniel – Reid has the turned the Senate into nothing but an Obama controlled entity.
    ------------------------------–
    And the House is a GOP-controlled entity.. next!

    July 31, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. it must be said

    uhhuh
    If the GOP captures those three states, it only needs three more seats to reach the magic number of 51.
    -–
    The magic number is 60.
    -

    Maybe they will give Harry Reid nad the Democrats what they wanted and get rid of the filibuster? That's what all you lefties want right?

    July 31, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Senate Majority Leader McConnell has such a nice ring to it.

    July 31, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. uhhuh

    Maybe they will give Harry Reid nad the Democrats what they wanted and get rid of the filibuster? That's what all you lefties want right?

    -
    The magic number is 60. That is not left or right, it is a fact.
    I believe it was Rick Perry who called it "mob rule", That's what all you righties want, right?

    July 31, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    This guy is plain mean. He's got the empathy of a cobra for those less fortunate than him;whether by nature or environment. Oh, he does like political power;for it's own sake.

    July 31, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    it must be said

    Republicans in those red states where there are Democrat Senators need to full court press and go all out. There is no reason those Senate seats should remain in the hands of Democrats, especailly after the Democrats assault on the 2nd Amendment and the train wreck of Obamacare.
    --------------------
    Do you think no one has noticed the nationwide assualts on the 1st and 14th Amendments being carried out by Republicans? They're trying to ignore the concept of separation of church and state. They're trying to attack the citizenship of people born in this country. Even worse, there's lots more that I could cite. But, this will do for now.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha."

    July 31, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    it must be said wrote:

    Maybe they will give Harry Reid nad the Democrats what they wanted and get rid of the filibuster? That's what all you lefties want right?
    ---------------
    Wrong. Democrats have been considering eliminating the filibuster on Cabinet appointments, department heads, and other critical posts that comprise a President's inner circle of policy implementers. It makes sense that a President should be able to choose his own Cabinet without the other side saying, "No."

    That's it, no more. Not judges. Not general legislation. Not what they're telling you in the right wing media.

    July 31, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. jinx9to88

    Sounds like alot of crying GOP trolls on here. You bloggers act like the GOP have helped Obama since he became president. GOP has done nothing but try to make Obama a one term president. Reality is that the GOP should not worry about the Senate and start worrying about the House, it is looking more and more that the Dems will get the House back. LMAO!!

    July 31, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. it must be said

    uhhuh
    Maybe they will give Harry Reid nad the Democrats what they wanted and get rid of the filibuster? That's what all you lefties want right?

    The magic number is 60. That is not left or right, it is a fact.
    I believe it was Rick Perry who called it "mob rule", That's what all you righties want, right?

    But Harry Reid just threatened to get rid of the filibuster and all you lefty loons are constantly clamoring for it in here. Yeah, just 51 votes to pass anything. Yeah, democracy, that's how it should work.

    Do I sense a sudden change of heart when the possibility of being in the minority looms large??? Do I sense total hypocrisy on your part? Yes, I do.

    July 31, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. sonkarlay

    What happen in 2012, those clowns are nothing but waste of tax payer money, obama care will do just fine and the shame will come on those good for nothing republican

    July 31, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. jinx9to88

    @ Fair is Fair

    Senate Majority Leader McConnell has such a nice ring to it.
    --------

    Mitch "the turtle man" McConnell is gonna lose to Bevin. McConnell with a 30% approval rating in a red state is hilarious.

    July 31, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    it must be said wrote:

    But Harry Reid just threatened to get rid of the filibuster and all you lefty loons are constantly clamoring for it in here. Yeah, just 51 votes to pass anything. Yeah, democracy, that's how it should work.

    Do I sense a sudden change of heart when the possibility of being in the minority looms large??? Do I sense total hypocrisy on your part? Yes, I do.
    --------------
    Having 51 votes to "pass anything" is not the proposal. I sense the lies of the dark side in you.

    July 31, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Chris

    Midterms usally have a low Democrat turnout. Thats how Republicans took Congress back from the Do Nothing Democrats. Democrats had control of Congress and Senate under Bush sounds familar.

    July 31, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. jinx9to88

    Wont be long before Cotton will be bent over by lobbyist!!

    July 31, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Brian

    So, here we are again, with the Republicans thinking they have a serious shot at taking back the Senate. This is exactly where they thought they were last year, and they ended up losing 2 seats. This time, desperation must be setting in, because if they don't make gains this year, look what happens after that. In 2016, the Republicans will be defending 24 of 34 seats up for election. More than that, the 2016 class of Republican senators is the class that last faced election in 2010 (the Tea Party's big year), 2004 (got a boost from all the anti-gay and anti-abortion ballot initiatives that helped GWB), and 1998 (right in the midst of the Lewinsky scandal). In other words, many of the Republicans in that group only won/held their seats due to massive Republican momentum in their election years, and the Democrats in that group are the ones that survived that momentum. Since that momentum is highly unlikely to reoccur in 2016, as the economy continues to improve, Obamacare fails to bring about the apocalypse, and Hillary likely heads the Democratic ticket, the Republicans are going to be in big trouble that year. If the Republicans can't make serious gains this year, no one's going to be asking whether they can reach 51 in 2016, they'll be asking whether they can hold 40.

    July 31, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. it must be said

    Rudy NYC
    it must be said wrote:
    Maybe they will give Harry Reid nad the Democrats what they wanted and get rid of the filibuster? That's what all you lefties want right?
    -----
    Wrong. Democrats have been considering eliminating the filibuster on Cabinet appointments, department heads, and other critical posts that comprise a President's inner circle of policy implementers. It makes sense that a President should be able to choose his own Cabinet without the other side saying, "No."
    That's it, no more. Not judges. Not general legislation. Not what they're telling you in the right wing media.
    --

    Oh yes, of course.... Just this lone little thing. Before it was just matters of finance that couldn't be filibustered and required 51 votes. And now it is just these appointments and not anything else. And tomorrow it will be another item because you want that too. Yeah, the game is all too obvious. Like everything else the left does, chip away one step at a time until it is destroyed. It is working on our country as well.

    Leftist Democrats can't accept the way our government works when it interferes with thier far left agenda. If Obama wants people approved then he needs to nominate people acceptable to everybody with a say in the matter. He does not get to dictate to the Senate who he wants. Why even bother having Senate consent if that is the case?

    July 31, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Data Driven

    Another neoconservative imperialist. Yippee!

    July 31, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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