Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to Election 2012 - Races to Watch

Ladies and Gentleman - Welcome to Election 2012

Races to Watch

Today marks the beginning of what we've all anticipated over the last year, the Iowa Caucus. The 2012 Presidential Elections officially begins today. As the Caucus gets underway today, I would like to draw your attention to the races across the country that I think we should all keep a close eye on. These races will grow intense as the months move forward and the strategies implemented by each campaign will give us a glimpse into the strategy we can expect by the controlling party in 2013.

Tim Kaine - Running for Senator in Virginia

Former Governor of Virginia and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tim Kaine will deliver an electrifying campaign and his race his a MUST watch. He will face former U.S. Senator and Virginia Governor, Republican George Allen. By his own admission, Kaine is a slow starter and somewhat of a trailer in polls. So, don't expect to see any sudden surges by Kaine early on, but do expect to see a robust grassroots campaign and a strong alliance with the President's campaign.

Elizabeth Warren - Running for Senator in Massachuetts

This race will tie with the Kaine race for excitement. Elizabeth Warren is a public voice for the people and someone who stands to be a formidable force in the U.S. Senate. Her passion and courage will be most reminiscent of the late Ted Kennedy. She will face the incumbent "I'll pretend to be a moderate/liberal republican" to win an election, even though I embraced the Tea Party to win the seat in the first place, Senator Scott Brown. Scott Brown has played the game very well, but has proven he is not representative of the ideals and values that Massachusetts voters hold most dear to them.

Olympia Snowe - Three Term Incumbent Senator from Maine

Senator Snowe, don't we all love having her in the Senate so much. On one hand, its apparent that her moderate views and willingness to negotiate and compromise are identical to the values of her constituents from Maine. On the other hand, Senator Snow is frustrating to most of us and it worries me that she will eventually become a target for the more extreme members of her parties. Either way, Senator Snowe faces two primary challengers, Scott D'Amboise a conservative and Andrew Ian Dodge a Tea Party Conservative.

Scott D'Amboise

Andrew Ian Dodge

Claire McCaskill - Senator from Missouri

The incumbent Senator is currently polling ahead of her potential opponents. However, this is by no means a safe seat and will prove to be a tough reelection for McCaskill. This race will heat up by mid-March. Its still too early to predict if McCaskill will embrace the Democrats and their record or will she attempt to distance herself from the party and the President, in an attempt to appeal to independent voters.

Bob Casey Jr. - Senator from Pennsylvania

Senator Casey beat Republican incumbent Rick Santorum in 2006, turning this seat blue for the first time in over forty-years. After the White House inflicted disaster that was Toomey/Sestak/Specter, let's hope that the Obama White House gets this endorsement right and throws their support early on, behind the right candidate. This race is a key race, as it's directly tied to the Presidential election. If all parties act accordingly and get this right, we should expect to see an alliance between the Obama reelection campaign and the Casey U.S. Senate reelection campaign. Again, I anticipate a robust grassroots campaign focusing on voter registration, galvanizing of union workers, blue collar and working class voters. My prediction, if Casey looses this race, Obama looses Pennsylvania and vice versa.

Retirement or Not Seeking Reelection

Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska both announced in 2011 that they would be retiring leaving their seats up for grabs. Rumors circulated that Barney Frank's consistently blue congressional district fell victim to redistricting, making it harder for the Democrat to hold on to the seat. Ben Nelson had long been a thorn in the asses of all Democrats across the nation. It will be interesting to watch the elections of both seats, especially Nelson's Nebraska seat. Will Nebraskan's move forward and put a real conservative in the seat or will they opt for a moderate to right-leaning Democrat has they had in Nelson. Mike Pence is will not seek reelection to his 6th District Indiana Congressional seat. Pence is expected to go head-to-head against current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination. You may recall Governor Daniels creating quite a bit of negative attention over the last few years with his support of anti-union worker and anti-women's reproductive rights legislation. Ron Paul is running for President and we finally have an opportunity to throw him out of public office once and for all. It will be very interesting to see how the elections turn out for each of these seats.

Lastly, the ultimate race to watch is the Presidential Election. At some point today, we should be somewhat closer to knowing who President Obama's possible opponent could be. In a later post, I will delve into details of what I expect to see from the President's Campaign as a reelection strategy. In the meantime, ladies and gentleman - Let the Games Begin!

Welcome to Election 2012!

Which races are you most excited about?

Will the Presidential Election of 2012 unify the country again?

Which races should the Obama reelection campaign partner with?

Are there any candidates listed above that you would like to see lose their bid for reelection?

Will the candidate embrace the records of their party or will they attempt to distance themselves? if so, who do you anticipate and what will their strategy be?

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