Who are the Democrats in the Senate most likely to jump ship and vote with the new GOP majority?
Talking Points Memo
outlines six lawmakers who could align themselves with 54 Republicans on key congressional votes, helping to break any filibusters — with the needed 60 votes — that would hold up big reforms on everything from Obamacare and approval of the Keystone Pipeline.
The six Democratic senators are: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Angus King of Maine and John Tester of Montana.
The six either represent conservative-leaning states or have voted with Republicans in the past on major issues, TPM said.
TPM also noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely have different motivations than his predecessor Harry Reid.
While Reid sought "functional government," McConnell is leading a coalition largely against the policies of the president, and "could conceivably decide that the GOP is better off politically if the partisan stalemate continues ahead of the 2016 election, because presidents take the lion's share of the blame for inaction," TPM said.
Republicans may have difficulty hanging on to their majority in 2016, The Washington Post
reported, noting possible short-terms gains.
Doing the math in a presidential election year, it's an uphill climb for the GOP, noted the Post, as Republicans would have 24 seats to defend versus 10 seats for Democrats.
"Seven seats held by Republicans — Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — were carried by President Obama in 2008 and 2012," the Post noted in handicapping the next big election. "And there is chatter about potential Republican retirements in Arizona and Iowa. If either John McCain or Chuck Grassley decided to call it a career, each of those races would be major Democratic targets."
Republicans gained control of the Senate last week, sweeping to victory and marking a new majority that will is expected to reshape Obama's last two years in the White House, USA Today
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