Dick Morris: GOP Has Shot at Regaining Senate Control in 2014

Monday, 20 Jan 2014 10:37 AM

By Todd Beamon

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This could be the year that Republicans regain control of the Senate, political strategist Dick Morris tells Newsmax.

In an exclusive interview, Morris did the math and explained what it will take for the GOP to succeed in November's congressional elections.

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"Republicans need six seats to win control of the Senate," he said. "Democratic retirements are likely to give them three or four of those seats."

Three — in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia — are in states that Mitt Romney and John McCain carried in the 2012 presidential election. The fourth state with a retiring Democrat is Michigan.

"In addition, there are four seats now held by vulnerable Democrats who are running for re-election," Morris added. "Republicans would need to win three of these four to pick up control," he said.

The seats in question are held by Sens. Marie Landrieu in Louisiana, Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Kay Hagan in North Carolina, and Paul Begich in Alaska.

"All four are very much within reach," Morris said.

Here is Morris' take on these Senate congressional races:

Montana

"Where Max Baucus is leaving, Steve Daines, the at-large Republican congressman, is likely to defeat John Walsh, the lieutenant governor and likely Democratic candidate.

"He led 52-35 percent in a Public Policy Polling survey in November."

South Dakota

"Where Sen. Tim Johnson is retiring, former Gov. Mike Rounds, the Republican, is likely to defeat any of the minor Democrats still in the race.

"When Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, the former at-large congresswoman dropped out of the race, the Democrats were left without a good candidate.

"Rounds beat Rick Weiland, the possible Democrat, by 50-32 percent in a Nielsen poll in October.

West Virginia

"Where Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, the daughter of the former long-time Gov. Arch Moore, is far out in front of the likely Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

"The Public Policy Polling survey in September had Capito ahead by 50-34 percent."

In addition, Morris said, "Republicans have a chance of a pick-up in Michigan, where Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is retiring.

"Terri Lynn Land, the former secretary of state, is likely to be the Republican candidate against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters.

"Surprisingly, both recent polls have Land ahead: Harper Polling in January, by 44-36 percent; and PPP in December 2013 by 42-40 percent.

"The other vacancy that could produce a Republican takeaway is in Iowa, which President Barack Obama won twice," Morris added. "Here, Sen. Tom Harkin is leaving.

"But the Democratic candidate, Rep. Bruce Braley has the early lead," Morris added. "Bob Vander Plaats, a social conservative activist who has lost four statewide races, is the Republican front-runner — and Braley led him 46-40 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll in December."

In addition, "Republican vacancies in Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are likely to stay in GOP hands," Morris said.

But, he cautioned, "to complete their chances for a Senate majority, Republicans will have to focus on unseating the four Democratic incumbents seeking re-election.

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