First on CNN: Memo says GOP competitive in five more Senate races
April 18th, 2014
07:00 AM ET
3 months ago

First on CNN: Memo says GOP competitive in five more Senate races

Washington (CNN) – The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.

In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.

That's in addition to nearly 10 Senate seats the NRSC has been aggressively targeting.

CNN: Key races to watch in 2014

Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the upper chamber, including two independent senators who caucus with them. They're defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win a majority.

The NRSC has already had been trying to take down vulnerable incumbents in red or purple states, such Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Republicans also feel confident about their chances in races in South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana—states where Republicans would gain seats. The NRSC feels the GOP has also picked up momentum in open races in Michigan and Iowa.

The memo cites Republican and Democratic-leaning polls that show Republican candidates doing well in those races. It also points to fund-raising figures and analysis by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report to help bolster its case.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Recent campaign announcements are also tilting the battle for the Senate further in the GOP's favor, the memo argues. With the entry of Rep. Cory Gardner in the Colorado race and with former Sen. Scott Brown now running in New Hampshire, Republicans view those states as potential pick-ups.

In Virginia, the NRSC acknowledges that incumbent Sen. Mark Warner leads in the polls, but the group points to Republican challenger Ed Gillespie's $2.2 million cash haul in the first quarter, about half a million behind Warner's.

CNN's 2014 analysis rates those three races as "tilting Democrat."

As for the other two states that are "expanding" the map for Republicans, the NRSC cites polling that shows Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in Oregon and Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota are more vulnerable than the NRSC expected.

CNN rates those two states as "safe for Democrats."

The memo doesn't mention a major toss-up race and what some political observers expect to be the most expensive contest of the year. Democrats are hoping to throw Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell out of his seat in Kentucky, and they point to Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes as a threat. Grimes outraised him for the second time in the past three quarters, though McConnell has far more money in his campaign war chest.

McConnell also faces a challenge from the right from businessman Matt Bevin, who enjoys tea party support and financial backing from major conservative groups in Washington.


Filed under: 2014 • NRSC
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Fed Up

    It appears we have a 3-party system now. It seems the tea party are operating as their own entity and their only agenda is infiltrate and destroy from within. God help us all if they ever gain control. I think it ironic the ideals they espouse are the brand of tyrant the true and original tea party fought against!

    April 18, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Vence

    Snake oil report from GOP!

    April 18, 2014 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  3. croaton

    Incumbent democrats will all be held accountable for parroting the presidents lies in November

    April 18, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  4. devil's advocate

    Sure they are.

    April 18, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. lamestreammedia

    The GOP may win 60 seats in the Senate, if Obama keeps lying about ObamaCare and trying to spike the football , despite its massive failures..

    April 18, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. lamestreammedia

    The GOP may get to 60 seats, given that the President keeps lying about Obamacare and hiding the critical statistics about its failures.

    April 18, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    They need six and that a stretch in my book. Now they think they have a chance at 15 out of 21 up for grabs and currently held by dems!!
    If tea party candidates do well in Republican primaries, I really believe that success will in the end be bad news at the actual election in November as even in certain republican strongholds ( because or more people saying they are independents) and provided dems " turn out" its possible for republicans to lose seats in both house and senate in places no one may expect.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    April 18, 2014 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. Dead Bear

    Wishful thinking... Just ask President Mccain or Romney.

    April 18, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. jackbenimble333

    The Tea Party types are indeed tyrants! They support smaller, fiscally responsible government and adherence to the U.S Constitution including the various Amendments. Basically they stand for freedom and this platform has appeal to the political center. Despite the massive smear job by the left-wing media, that is all the Tea Partty has ever stood for. Oh the horror!

    Now, that said, there are some Tea Party Members who also have other conservative ideas which fall outside the platform of the Tea Party. Probably the ones you object to the most are the social conservatives. They kind of turn me off too but if they are in favor of reigning in the out-of-control growth of the Federal Government then I will vote for them in a flash.

    April 18, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. Bill

    Dream on GOP.

    April 18, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Tampa Tim

    A person has to have the intellectual curiousity of an amoeba to not fact check the lies from the Kochs, Fox and extreme media. Over 290 million Americans are now insured despite the $1 billion spent by the domestic terrorists to stop it.

    April 18, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Harold Read

    The Democrats have nothing to fear!
    Obamacare was a huge success!
    - millions lost their policies even after being told that they could keep their policies. Just new Obamacare customers. Who really cares if they were lied to.
    - millions of dollars spent on a website that sort-of works
    - people forced to get insurance or face tax fines
    - deadlines constantly pushed back. It just cost insurance companies millions to adjust, they'll just raise premiums to cover.
    - part-time employment to prevent Obamacare taxes
    - companies more apt to go overseas to avoid Obamacare taxes

    April 18, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. MTATL67

    The GOP are not doing as well as the press makes out. Remember they need the sensationalism for headlines

    April 18, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Harry Read – Once again, you cry about millions spent on the website that works after a slow start, you whine about people with pre existing conditions being insured, you rant that over 290 million Americans now have insurance and that 1.2 million with junk policies were inconvenienced though they can keep their junk policy. Yet you celebrate the $24 billion wasted in the republican government shutdown, the trillions lost in the republican credit downgrade, the trillions lost in the unnecessary republican wars, the trillion lost in the bank bailout, and the trillions of revenue lost in the unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy.

    April 18, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. devil's advocate

    Hey Harold how is life in the fox bubble? Hook in mouth.

    April 18, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. smith1

    as the affordable care act gets better and better republicans will keep showing their stupidity and regurgitate the same propaganda they have been fed. Vote them all out in the mid terms or be stuck with this phoney group of lier's and the crazies that support them

    April 18, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. devil's advocate

    That's just it jack, the tea party were responsible for the rule change that forced the shutdown, they changed the rules to get what they wanted, to destroy our government, they too have been hijacked by big money, the Koch brothers, and most Americans are all for preserving our constitutional rights, but the gop is running through it like they own it, right to work, citizens united, this last supreme court ruling on money in politics: were screwed man, that's all there is to it.

    April 18, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Anonymous

    "As for the other two states that are "expanding" the map for Republicans, the NRSC cites polling that shows Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in Oregon and Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota are more vulnerable than the NRSC expected.

    "CNN rates those two states as "safe for Democrats."

    It won't stop the GOPers from continuing to dupe their faithful into believing if they give enough money these seats will become Republican in a Mitt Romney has the momentum (donate, donate, donate) cycle of lies.

    April 18, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |