Perhaps, given the energy generated by the Scott Brown campaigns in such a short space of time that the rules of political campaigns in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century have been thrown out the window. Maybe a candidate won’t need to announce until a few months before the election. Still, I think that any candidate who wishes to win statewide office in this November’s elections will have to have lain the groundwork for his campaign by the end of this month.
Right now, in four of the winnable Senate seats for Republicans, Indiana, New York (Gillibrand), Washington State and Wisconsin, there is no particularly strong GOP candidate who has tossed his hat in the ring or is readying a run. With seven Democratic seats (ND, DE, NV, AR, CO, IL and PA) solid GOP or trending Republican, the Republicans need only three more seats to recapture the majority. No wonder Democrats were so eager to get Chris Dodd out of the picture. Were he still running for reelection, there would be eight likely GOP pickups.
Wonder how many Democratic House seats would be ready to flip if strong Republicans challenged the incumbents. A number of Republicans are lining up to take on Bill Delahunt in Massachusetts 10th Congressional District. But, in the wake of Brown’s victory, he’s not the only Democrat in the Bay State who should be nervous, Jim McGovern, Niki Tsongas and John Tierney all represent districts where Brown did well, two of them represented by Republicans as recently as the 1990s, the other where a Republican ran strongly in a 2007 special election.
So, keep your eyes peeled this month. See if any Republicans are launching Senate bids in a few states and congressional bids across the country. This month could well determine the size of the Republican wave this fall.