Who to Support to Hold the Senate

Senate forecasts are looking favorable for the Dems lately. It appears the Democrats have a strong chance of holding the Senate. But there are still six weeks to go until the November 6th election and the conservative SuperPACs are starting to unleash a deluge of money and attack ads. The game is far from over.

In 2006 I wrote up a guide for my friends on which candidates they should support to help take back the Senate. Of the 6 candidates I recommended, 5 won, and the Dems took control of the Senate.

With the flood of information spewing out during this unending election cycle, it might be a bit confusing for those looking to donate money. And more importantly, where to spend that money so it will make the biggest impact.

The Senate is key. Although there is a distant chance the Democrats could take back the House, the Senate MUST BE HELD. To help you better understand where to focus your support and dollars, I’ve compiled the following hand chart. Candidates are ranked in order of recommendation. For details about the categories, the candidates, and information on how to donate, click to read more after the image.

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has identified the races in which your small contribution would mean more to the candidate based on total amount of dollars being pumped into the race.

Based on various reports, I’ve identified where the GOP and SuperPACs are spending huge sums of money to defeat the Democratic candidate. This includes, as of today, Todd Akin in Missouri. (The Right has apparently forgiven him for his idiocy and is willing to spend money on him again.)

I’ve also indicated the progressive candidates, and races in which a win would be a net gain for the Democrats (Republican currently holds the seat).

Elizabeth Warren (donate here): A true progressive and populist challenging incumbent Scott Brown. It is imperative we get her elected to take back Teddy’s seat.

Chris Murphy (donate here): Also a progressive, and important that we hold this New England seat. Running for an open seat vacated by Lieberman.

Claire McCaskill (donate here): I love me some Claire. She’s a tough incumbent Senator and is a great Dem representative for Missouri. Also, we can’t let “legitimate rape” Akin into the Senate.

Tim Kaine (donate here): While Tim doesn’t do a lot for me personally, he would be a reliable vote on important issues to the Democratic Party. He’s running for the open seat in VA.

Shelley Berkeley (donate here): While she’s a centrist, she represents a great opportunity to turn both of Nevada’s Senate seats Blue. She’s running for the open seat vacated by retiring scandal-ridden John Ensign.

Tammy Baldwin (donate here): Okay, first she’s a progressive (and has headed the House Progressive Caucus). Second she’s family (aka she’s lesbian). Third, her opponent Tommy Thompson is on record saying he would help destroy Medicare and Medicaid like they did to Welfare. This is a MUST WIN, especially because the seat was previously held by retiring Dem Herb Kohl.

Jon Tester (donate here): Jon is defending his seat and he made my list back in 2006. I donated then and I’ll donate now. I like the Blue streak that manages to pop up in Montana. I don’t agree with all his positions, but he’s a great Dem candidate for a center-Right state.

Heidi Heitkamp (donate here): This one’s a long shot, but she has a distant chance of winning. North Dakota has had its Dem days. This is an open seat vacated by retiring Dem Kent Conrad.

Final note: I almost included Joe Donnelly from Indiana on this list. But given his insistence that Obamacare is broken and that all Bush tax cuts should be extended (including for the very wealthy) I could not, in good conscience, endorse him. Even if the race is close and he has a chance of winning.

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