The Democrats’ surprisingly complicated 2016 Senate problem.

Interesting list of potential Democratic retirements from the Hill, here:

  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Barbara Boxer0%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard0%, 74
  • Joe Manchin, 67
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Patrick Leahy4%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4%, 74
  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Barbara Mikulski0%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard0%, 78
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry Reid11%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard11%, 74

Manchin’s on the list because he’s doing all the things that Senators who are planning to run for Governor do: to wit, talking about how much he hates Washington DC, and letting the state party apparatus dip their beaks into his fundraising war chest. Boxer is… tired, I think. Also, not raising money. Of the other three: Leahy is actually younger than I thought he was; he’s probably staying. Reid has two years of pain ahead of him. Mikulski… Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Barbara Mikulski0%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard0% would be 80 in 2016. That’s old for a reelection campaign.

This is all relevant because – assuming a 54-46 GOP/Dem Senate – retirements are going to be exceedingly important in 2016. The current ratio of Republican seats being defended to Democratic ones – 24 to 10 – would be potentially bad enough; complicating it is that of the five other Democratic Senators running, only Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Michael Bennet2%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard2%t of Colorado is considered to be seriously at risk. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Patty Murray0%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard0% of Washington State is a possible sleeper, because hope springs eternal.

On the other hand, looking at the other side things aren’t quite as bad for the GOP as all those breathless articles were insisting before the election. Assuming nobody retires from the Senate to run for Governor or President …read more    

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