In the last few days, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has undermined the Republicans’ ability to recapture the Senate on November 6th. By making the gaffe he made and by refusing to step aside, Akin has in many people’s minds cost us the Senate seat in Missouri. The Missouri seat should have been a cakewalk because incumbent Claire McCaskill has been polling double digits behind all three of the main Republican challenges, Akin, Steelman, and Brunner. Now, many on the Right have written off Missouri as far as the Senate is concerned. Assuming that’s true, there are a few more recent developments that are long shots, I know, but if they hold, we may regain the Senate in a way no one ever thought possible.
So walk with me through a wildly unconventional way to Republican control of the Senate:
1) In yesterday’s Washington Post, Marc Thiessen makes the case that Maine is not a lost cause yet. Many have written off Maine because Olympia Snowe is retiring. According to a Portland Press Herald poll from early July, independent former governor, Angus King, had a 28-point lead over Republican Maine Secretary of State, Charlie Summers, with Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill a distant third.
But after two weeks of the Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce going in there and blazing an ad campaign against King, his lead over Summers has dropped by 10 points. Thiessen makes the case that because Maine is a cheap state to run ads in, they should go in there and make the investment. If $400,000 could blanket ads against King during the Olympics on every network and drop a 28-point lead to an 18-point lead, imagine what 2 ½ months of this could do. Not only that, but Charlie Summers is a small-business owner and former Small Business Administration official plus a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the rest of Thiessen’s piece here.
2) This morning, our good friend Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air pointed out an incredible development in Connecticut: Linda McMahon, who lost to Richard Blumenthal in 2010, is now ahead 49% to 46% against Democrat Congressman Chris Murphy in the latest Rasmussen poll. McMahon has a 24-point lead among independents and an 18-point lead among seniors. She has a slightly better favorable rating than Murphy and a 17-point gap between her and Murphy on “favorability” among independents. See the Rasmussen poll and Morrissey’s analysis.
3) And another one from Ed Morrissey: according to the first likely-voter PPP poll out of Massachusetts, incumbent Republican Scott Brown has a 49% to 44% lead over his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren. Even though Brown is below 50%, which is not a good place to be for an incumbent to be, the poll also points out that 50% of independents think that Warren’s philosophy of “nobody got rich on their own” too liberal for their tastes. Morrissey speculates that could become an even bigger problem for Warren when she speaks at the DNC in 2 weeks. See the PPP poll and Morrissey’s analysis.
We may end up losing in Missouri, but if current trends hold, we are closer to keeping Maine (which was assumed to be lost), Massachusetts (which we all knew would be a struggle to keep), and picking up a seat in Connecticut. It’s still too early to tell, but anything is possible in elections. Also of note, the last Rasmussen poll done on the New Mexico Senate race had Heather Wilson down by 4 points (46% to 42%). When there is another poll commissioned, we will have updates. Who would have thought that Republicans would have a shot like this in the Northeast? Certainly not I, but we will see. If Republicans end up losing an easy state like Missouri only to pick up Connecticut on election night, maybe someone will ask, “Do you believe in miracles?”