Poll: Which Senate Seats Are Likeliest to Flip?

Michael Catalini, Naureen Khan and Peter Bell

Which of the following retirements of current senators is most damaging to their respective party’s prospects?


Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.: 7%
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa: 10%
Tim Johnson, D-S.D.: 35%
Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.: 48%

Saxby Chambliss

“The GOP will put out a Richard Mourdock/Todd Akin clone and lose yet another winnable seat.”

“Red Georgia is ripe to go blue, especially with the lousy GOP field.”

Tom Harkin

“A for-sure keeper seat now up for grabs.”

“As a purple state, Iowa becomes a battleground that D’s will have a hard time holding in the off year. Not a great lead-in to the 2016 caucuses.”

Tim Johnson

“Iowa is salvageable; South Dakota is tough.”

“After a nearly 50-year run with McGovern/Daschle/Johnson, the seat almost assuredly going Republican makes South Dakota the ‘People’s Republic of South Dakota’—one party in absolute total control of the state.”

“Those big, empty, rectangular states are tough for us.”

Jay Rockefeller

“Rockefeller could have held his seat with his money advantage and his seniority in this small state that knows what seniority delivers. Hard to imagine any other Democrat keeping it.”

“Democrats have a weak bench in West Virginia compared to South Dakota and Iowa.”

“At least Johnson has some decent potential replacement candidates. West Virginia is about as Republican a state as it gets nowadays.”

“South Dakota was a goner, with or without Johnson. And Iowa is gettable. But West Virginia is lost now.”

“West Virginia is basically an Old South state that acts closer to Mississippi than Virginia.”

“Harry ‘Kill Coal’ Reid will cost his caucus this one.”

“Between the coal industry and the National Rife Association, West Virginia will be tough for Dems to hold.”



Which of the following retirements of current senators is most damaging to their respective party’s prospects?


Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.: 8%
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa: 14%
Tim Johnson, D-S.D.: 39%
Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.: 39%

Saxby Chambliss

“Paul Broun, aka ‘the guy who makes Todd Akin look good,’ will cost us a Senate seat.”

“The Republicans could very well screw this up with a terrible candidate.”

Tom Harkin

“If Dems lose the seat in Iowa, hard to see them keeping a majority, given the other seats they have to defend.”

“The purplest of purple means the TV stations in Iowa will rake in the cash in 2014.”

Tim Johnson

“Johnson’s retirement all but ensures this seat will flip to the Republicans in the 2014 election cycle.”

“Two solid Republican candidates against Washington lawyer-lobbyist Stephanie Herseth [Sandlin] or a Johnson family member with a sense of entitlement.”

“South Dakota is ripe for a pickup and has a decent bench of GOP candidates.”

“Seat should remain Republican forever.”

“Johnson’s retirement is as good an opportunity the GOP will get to win the majority.”

Jay Rockefeller

“Hard to see someone taking on Shelley Moore Capito, who has been ruthless in waiting for the right chance to come to the Senate.”

“The West Virginia move is more significant long term, because West Virginia will follow Arkansas and Oklahoma as former Southern Dem strongholds that move permanently into the Republican camp.”

“His retirement exposes an empty bench.”

“As long as we refrain from screwing this up internally, Shelley Capito is the next senator from West Virginia, in a walk.”

“Democrats have turned their backs on West Virginians, particularly on the issue of coal. This is a GOP pickup.”

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