You’ve asked us for more coverage of key Senate races, so we asked Cenk Uygur and our own “Epic Politics Man,” Michael Shure, for some analysis and even predictions. Here’s a recap of a special week of U Block segments.
ELIZABETH WARREN vs. SCOTT BROWN (MASSACHUSETTS)
“Let me explain to you why that makes no sense at all,” Cenk says about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Scott Brown. “It’s not about guns. It’s about Scott Brown supporting the banks and Elizabeth Warren challenging the banks!”
In order to be the final filibuster-preventing vote on Dodd-Frank, Scott Brown shifted $20 billion in direct tax from the banks onto taxpayers, a move that Cenk feels exemplifies the difference between the two candidates. “In one Senate race, it is all about the financial laws that have and haven’t been changed in this country,” says Shure. “It’s fascinating.”
LATEST POLL: Warren 53%, Brown 46% (Suffolk University 10/30/12)
CHRIS MURPHY vs. LINDA McMAHON (CONNECTICUT)
“It’s a brilliant and vicious ad at the same time,” Shure says of the above ad, which urges Obama supporters to vote for GOP candidate Linda McMahon on the Independent line. “Its brilliance lies in the fact that it’s taking people who don’t pay a great deal of attention, saying ‘It’s OK to vote for Linda McMahon if you’re voting for Barack Obama,’ and there’s a bit of viciousness there.”
LATEST POLL: Murphy 48%, McMahon 47% (Rasmussen 10/21/12)
JOE DONNELLY vs. RICHARD MOURDOCK (INDIANA)
“The reason that all of this is happening is not because they find Mourdock so despicable because of his remarks [on rape] yesterday, that didn’t figure in the poll,” Shure says, citing Mourdock’s contentious primary race as one possible reason for his struggle in the polls. “The [Richard] Lugar people have not come over to his side. They’re going to Donnelly or they’re staying home.”
After Shure offers his prediction that this race is over, Cenk marvels at the idea that Democrats are starting to take over Senate seats in the Midwest. “How bad are the Republicans running this that they’re going to lose Indiana?”
LATEST POLL: Donnelly 47%, Mourdock 38% (GSG 10/31/12)
LINDA LINGLE vs. MAZIE HIRONO (HAWAII)
“One of the interesting things here for Hirono is that Don Young, a colleague of hers in the House, the at-large representative from Alaska, endorsed her in the primaries with this ad,” Shure says.
LATEST POLL: Hirono 55%, Lingle 40% (Civil Beat Poll 10/28/12)
TOMMY THOMPSON vs. TAMMY BALDWIN (WISCONSIN)
“A race really the Republicans should be winning by a larger margin,” Shure says, “when you consider the success they’ve had electorally recently between the Walker election and the Walker recall.” However, the race is tighter than expected because Thompson keeps putting his foot in his mouth.
“Can you imagine an American politician out on the stump in Wisconsin in 2012 saying, ‘I want to end Medicare and Medicaid’?” Shure marvels.
Cenk explains how politicians like Thompson can make gaffe after gaffe and still stay in the race. “They run deceptive ads, and they have a tremendous amount of money to run them.”
LATEST POLL: Baldwin 47%, Thompson 43% (Marquette University Law School Poll 10/31/12)
SHELLEY BERKLEY vs. DEAN HELLER (NEVADA)
“[This race] is a margin that has been closed,” Shure says, referencing poll numbers that show Berkley within 2 points of incumbent-by-default Heller. “Harry Reid’s machine — that delivered him a victory against Sharron Angle last time — is also, they’re saying, going to be responsible for delivering the presidency and possibly this Senate seat, which no one thought because Shelley Berkley was shrouded in controversy.”
“I’m always amused by these anti-corruption ads that Republicans do,” Cenk says. “Not because they’re wrong. … It’s that these guys institutionalized corruption and then turn around and go, ‘Can you believe they take money?’”
“This would be a pickup,” Shure says. “Again, we’ve been talking about states that Democrats are flirting with. If they win this, this is a pickup.”
LATEST POLL: Heller 46%, Berkley 40% (Las Vegas Review-Journal 10/30/12)
CLAIRE MCCASKILL vs. TODD AKIN (MISSOURI)
“The most talked-about Senate race,” Shure says. And he’s calling it too. “Todd Akin will not win this seat.” In fact, due to Akin’s inability to keep his foot out of his mouth, McCaskill was able to simplify her campaign strategy:
“That seems to be good news,” Cenk says. “This is one [seat] that was really in danger at the beginning of the season. The Republicans were very confident that they were going to pick it up.”
LATEST POLL: McCaskill 47%, Akin 42% (Real Clear Politics 10/30/12)
Which Senate races will you be watching on Nov. 6?