The Daily Rundown | March 19, 2012
>> many senators are facing tough re-election battles this year. there are always 33 or so up. orrin hatch in utah is facing a tough challenge from the right. others are newer faces like massachusetts senator scott brown fighting to keep his seat in a blue seat. joining me to discuss who is in trouble, our guests. we have four buckets of senate races i want to talk about. the first bucket is probably the race as far as new york/washington amtrak corridor is concerned. that's massachusetts susan page . elizabeth warren and scott brown . winner gets to run for president in 2016 . loser gets a talk show .
>> that's right. we saw something where you would think democrats would win massachusetts senate race. should be a done deal. we saw one reason why you couldn't this weekend with the st. patrick's day stuff in massachusetts which is scott brown comes across as a regular guy. a guy you would love to have a beer with. the same kind of appeal that helped him win in that state before.
>> what's interesting is they are both trying to hit the other for being a little elitist.
>> i learned that things change fast in politics. for instance, one day scott brown is aer? fold for "cosmo" and next a poster boy for goldman sachs .
>> i hope you didn't get lost leaving cambridge again today.
>> there you go. one trying to hit him for being a little bit of a star and embracing stardom which we do notice every now and again and this harvard/cambridge hit.
>> the way that republicans win this, if you look at the numbers here, scott brown should lose. the way that republicans win is to say to those south democrats, socially conservative , very fiscally liberal but long-term democrats that are conservatives. he has to win those. you do it by saying from harvard.
>> maine is one. it's complicated. we'll get to that later. let's talk about republicans having to deal with primary challenges. we talked about orrin hatch . he looks to be in better shape that he's prepared for this fight and his twin here is dick lugar . both came in in 1976 . if they win, lugar gets to be senate president . if republicans get control --
>> because it's the bigger state?
>> you know this stuff. if lugar obviously if only one wins and that stuff. this is for the most senior post inside the senate republican party . dick lugar two polls out. one from democrat and one from republican firm showing lugar under 50.
>> if lugar loses the primary, we could be talking about indiana in the fall as a competitive race, right? congressman joe donnalley running for republican seat. we think of indiana being a safe republican place. if the tea party candidate wins the nomination, it's possible this could be in play. also amazing that being the senior senator may not be such an appealing label in a year when everyone hates washington.
>> i was going to say. if lugar loses, he loses the way other guys have lost when it looks like they've lost touch with home. tom daschle we saw it happen with him. santorum in a senate race.
>> he came into the leadership.
>> he got dinged for not living in pennsylvania.
>> lugar we found out last week can't vote in indiana . how do you -- another one to add while we're at it. elizabeth dole . same problem. the problem for lugar , if lugar loses, it's his own fault. he refused to walk back moderate positions he took.
>> his own fault but --
>> in a primary like this, he --
>> that's right. they both face tea party challenges. one said i'm with you. the other said i am who i am.
>> is barack obama 's favorite republican senator also not a label you want to have when you are being challenged by --
>> there it is. i got two other buckets i want to get to quickly. one is democrats having to hold seats in red states . montana, north dakota . nebraska. by the way, it's missouri . even though claire mccaskill would like to think otherwise.
>> i think nebraska and north dakota are hard for democrats to win.
>> they outrecruited the republicans in both cases.
>> yes. both quality candidates in a presidential year you have to overperform by so much. missouri . we focus so much on the republican race and the republican field is bad. it makes republican presidential field look like an nba all-star game. it's a bad field. i don't think president obama spends one real dime in missouri because i don't think it's a state they can win. that might help mccaskill. it's going to be a republican state and she's going to struggle.
>> she needs president obama to get 47. she needs him to go get it. if he doesn't, then there's trouble.
>> you saw her breaking with him on energy on the keystone pipeline .
>> the question is if you look cable television ever in 2008 campaign, she was his main surroga surrogate. that's a problem.
>> with the decision in maine by olympia snow , so goes control of the senate . we have virginia. nevada. you can throw in michigan. definitely ohio. it is clear. wisconsin. presidential battleground, new mexico even. the senate battleground are intertwined.
>> we polled 12 states. seven of them have competitive senate races. that's got to be some kind of record. the overlay of the states with competitive senate races. that's why republicans are alarmed about rick santorum getting the nomination because in these battleground states he could have a really hard time .
>> so many of them are going to be so close. the senate races. it could matter. one or two points at the top of the ticket. if obama pulls out of a state or mitt romney pulls out of michigan at some point. now debbie stabinow looks stronger. the margins are what we'll talk about. a lot of races are close.
>> wisconsin and florida feel like the two that are more so than anymore. most impactful. we'll see. we'll see. we got to 15 senate races in ten minutes. that was good. you're the only one with a team left.
>> go kansas.
>> they will continue to make it look hard. up next, the $100 billion question on