The Daily Rundown | November 26, 2012
>>> one of the tasks of political strength, how do you fare in unfriendly it territory? in today's deep dive we're taking a look at the democratic senators holding seats in some of the reddest presidential spots on the map. take a look at this. in the new congress a dozen democrats will hold seats in states that voted for mitt romney . one in alaska, ed north dakota , south dakota , missouri, arkansas, louisiana, indiana and north carolina . democrats hold both senate seats in west virginia and montana. two members of that democratic class were newly elected this year. joe donnelly knocked off mourdock despite romney won by ten. heidi heitkamp . three more elected in red states including claire mccaskill over ed todd akin in missouri. john tester is your vafd a tight race to win by four in montana. the third was west virginia 's joe manchin . he literally flipped romney 's numbers completely securing a 25-point victory in a state where obama took a 26-point loss. how about the republicans ? nine republicans will hold senate seats in states that voted for president obama . that list includes senate veterans chuck grassley , susan collins of maine as well as wisconsin' ron johnson , mark kurt, rob portman , pat toomi, marco rubio and kelly ayotte . nevada's dean heller was the only to win in a blue state in the 2012 cycle. he narrow will he won over shelly berkeley despite the president winning the state by six. they have a none of the above . susan collins was the only other senator on the list to face voters while president obama was on the ballot. she won her third it term in 2008 . the other seven were all elected or re-elected in the big republican wave of 2010 . could republicans take back some of that territory in 2014 is this joining me now political analyst and editor and publisher of the cook political report , charlie cook . charlie, we have a senate announcement today. this is happenstance. we planned this last week and we can talk about 2014 and jay rockefeller .
>> at least shelly capito had the decency to wait until after thanksgiving.
>> mike brown announced two weeks ago he was running in 2014 .
>> see, i wasn't paying attention then.
>> fair enough. is this all chalked up to bad recruiting by the republicans , the success rate?
>> i think what we've seen is two cycles in a row of very disappointing senate elections for republicans , that the time before 2010 they needed ten seats. they picked up six. which was a lot but not comparable to the 63 seats they picked up in the house. the thing is, i think the crew that you had this cycle and last cycle, i do it first rate. they're as good as any place. i think it's something larger. thumb one, i think they are having a hard time getting the same caliber candidates they used to get. that these people are choosing not to go in and i don't think it's for a lack of effort. number two, sometimes when they do get in, they're not able to win their nominations because the party base has gotten so exotic and gone off overboard with other people or, three, when they do win the nomination, a lot of times the brand is so damaged in bad states like hawaii for linda, new mexico for heather wilson --
>> and great candidates, perfect candidates. you couldn't have asked for better candidates.
>> and the brand is so badly damaged they can't win.
>> i feel like -- is this deja vu for you? i know you have been dealing with senate elections going back to the '70s. and if you look at the democratic party of the '70s and '80s, their senate primaries used to be like republican primaries . so labor would force their candidate to win a primary. they couldn't get the good candidate and republicans would come in with a smile.
>> i think that's exactly right. part of what's happened is this. the old-fashioned republican party , they have sort of pulled back from active roles in the party. some of them have stopped voting in primaries altogether. and i think in one case some cases they don't even call themselves republicans anymore in polls they call themselves republican leaning independents which is one reason why --
>> it seems a little off.
>> right. and it's why romney thought, hey, we're doing so well with independents. they're former republicans that are all they are and so i think you have a real problem with the republican party and it's not a problem --
>> it's special interest politics. basically they don't know -- they haven't figured out how to manage the interest groups even though it's different interest groups than the democrats had in the '80s.
>> a lot times you have people with the stature you want looking at where the republican party is and saying i don't want to go there. i don't think they're getting the same caliber of people. they're trying to get them but those people are saying, no. i don't want any part of that.
>> all right. let's talk about the map in 2014 . i feel like this is deja vu . it's a similar map as in 2012 . democrats defending more seats. this was the big '08. this was all these guys elected in '08. they're defending more seats in red states . you have alaska, the surprise victory there. you have landry, prior, some tough areas. and then there's a whole bunch of senate democratic veterans, jay rockefeller , tom harkin , dick durbin , baucus --
>> who may very well retire.
>> that's what i was going to say. the first step to follow how well they're going to do.
>> it's interesting. this last cycle was 2310, this is 2013 . there's only one republican seat up that romney didn't win by a huge margin and that was in maine where olympia snowe -- i mean susan collins -- where romney lost by 15. the most vulnerable, just going by romney numbers, the most vulnerable seats up, chambliss and georgia cochrane, graham in south carolina , sessions in alabama.
>> and only in a presidential year could any of those remotely, potentially be --
>> maine is the only place democrats have any plausible target at least at this point. so that's the difference from last time. the dscc went out and recruited in places that looked laughable at the time. and hit gold a bunch of times.
>> the big question is primaries. does chambliss get primary? two guys who may not fit what people think the southern republican conservativeship should look like.
>> it's a question can republicans expand the tent back, get back to the big tent .
>> it's how they're going to win in minnesota. how they're going to win in iowa.
>> their tent has gotten very narrow and too narrow to win in a lot of swing states .
>> all right. back her to start handicapping. we'll see.