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Posted by Tim Bryce on February 7, 2012


While the media and public have been focused on the presidential races, we must be cognizant there is more to the November 6th elections than just the White House, much more. There are 33 Senate seats up for grabs as well as all 435 seats in the House. Although we are currently paying little attention to these races, we must be mindful of their impact on the balance of power in the Capitol. Currently, the Democrats are in control of the Senate, and the Republicans of the House. Consequently, it is little wonder why we have gridlock in Washington which is something we all should have expected following the 2010 elections. Now we have a chance to change it.

There are many Democratic congressmen up for re-election and it will be interesting to see if they try to run on the coattails of a president with low approval ratings. Discussions about Obamacare and the president’s Stimulus packages are currently treated like poison. Yet, they didn’t get enacted by themselves, and certainly not by the Republicans in Congress. I’m betting the Democrats up for re-election will try to distant themselves from the president and disavow any knowledge of the role they played in the passage of his programs. It is up to the voter not to forget. In all likelihood, the president will not be asked to make too many personal appearances on behalf of Democrats. Basically, they are on their own.

In the Senate, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, including two independents who are aligned with the Democrats. Of these, seven are retiring, and 16 are seeking re-election, including:

Democrats/Independents retiring (7 seats)
– Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (Independent)
– Daniel Akaka of Hawaii
– Ben Nelson of Nebraska
– Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico
– Kent Conrad of North Dakota
– Jim Webb of Virginia
– Herb Kohl of Wisconsin

Democrats/Independents seeking re-election (16 seats)
– Dianne Feinstein of California
– Tom Carper of Delaware
– Bill Nelson of Florida
– Ben Cardin of Maryland
– Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
– Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
– Claire McCaskill of Missouri
– Jon Tester of Montana
– Bob Menendez of New Jersey
– Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
– Sherrod Brown of Ohio
– Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania
– Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
– Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Independent)
– Maria Cantwell of Washington
– Joe Manchin of West Virginia

These all represent battleground elections which will be highly contested. In contrast, Republicans are expected to have only 10 seats up for election. Of these, two are retiring, and eight are seeking re-election, including:

Republicans retiring (2 seats)
– Jon Kyl of Arizona
– Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas

Republicans seeking re-election (8 seats)
– Richard Lugar of Indiana
– Olympia Snowe of Maine
– Scott Brown of Massachusetts
– Roger Wicker of Mississippi
– Dean Heller of Nevada
– Bob Corker of Tennessee
– Orrin Hatch of Utah
– John Barrasso of Wyoming

These too represent battleground elections.

Over in the House, all of the seats are up for grabs, thereby making every contest important. In particular, there are 19 Democratic seats becoming vacant due to retirement, including:

Democrats retiring (19 seats)
– AZ-8, Gabrielle Giffords
– AR-4, Mike Ross
– CA-6, Lynn Woolsey
– CA-18, Dennis Cardoza
– CA-51, Bob Filner – to run for Mayor of San Diego *
– CT-5, Chris Murphy – to run for the U.S. Senate *
– HA-2, Mazie Hirono – to run for the U.S. Senate *
– IL-12, Jerry Costello
– IN-2, Joe Donnelly – to run for the U.S. Senate *
– MA-1, John Oliver
– MA-4, Barney Frank
– MI-5, Dale Kildee
– NV-1, Shelley Berkley – to run for the U.S. Senate *
– NM-1, Martin Heinrich – to run for the U.S. Senate *
– NY-22, Maurice Hinchey
– OK-2, Dan Boren
– TX-20, Charlie Gonzalez
– WA-1, Jay Inslee – to run for Governor of Washington *
– WI-2, Tammy Baldwin – to run for the U.S. Senate *

* Voted for Obamacare

(Too bad we couldn’t get Nancy Pelosi on this list.)

Republicans retiring (13 seats)
– AZ-6, Jeff Flake – to run for the U.S. Senate
– CA-2, Wally Herger
– CA-24, Elton Gallegly
– CA-41, Jerry Lewis
– FL-14, Connie Mack, IV – to run for the U.S. Senate
– IN-6, Mike Pence – to run for Governor of Indiana
– KY-4, Geoff Davis
– MO-2, Todd Akin – to run for the U.S. Senate
– MT-at large, Denny Rehberg – to run for the U.S. Senate
– ND-at large, Rick Berg – to run for the U.S. Senate
– OH-7, Steve Austria
– PA-19, Todd Platts
– TX-14, Ron Paul – to run for President

Although all of the House races are important, those where members are retiring usually represent important struggles. If your state and/or district is listed above, and you care about the future of your country, now is the time to get involved. The presidential race is but one part of the puzzle, winning both the Senate and the House are equally important. Just don’t look for any of the Democrats to ride the coattails of the President to victory. If anything, the President will try to ride the coattails of the congressional candidates instead.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


  1. Those candidates up for re-election would be wise to distance themselves from Obama. Almost every Obama-backed candidate lost in 2010. While I’m not a fan of supermajorities, it could happen – in Republican favor this time.


  2. Tim Bryce said

    An A.B. of Arizona wrote…

    “Washington is seriously BROKEN, all these specimens with law degrees and not a clue one how to BALANCE a budget, amusing at best. It’s putrid. I’m hoping to VOTE THEM ALL OUT, (my friends bumper sticker)!”

    A J.D. of Columbus, Ohio wrote…

    “Great post–it takes people getting involved. Thanks for listing that all out too. I’m willing to get someone else elected besides snooty Sherrod Brown of Ohio!”

    A J.P. of Toronto, Ontario wrote…

    “I very much fear paralysis will continue, partly because as Tip O’Neil famously observed, ‘all politics are local,’ and partly because of the very real philosophical divides out there across the nation. As I have indicated before, the very nature of your system makes it difficult for one, united political party, with a clear agenda, to get conrol of both the legislative and executive branches and implement a coherent, policy program.

    In terms of Obama and his relatively low approval ratings, the Congress seems even more unpopular by double digits. Relatively speaking, the people seem to approve of no one, but like their current President a lot more than their current Congress. Romney, the most likely challenger, does not seem so far able to attract sufficient enthusiasm even within his own party. If he does become the Republican nominee, he may be the most reluctantly followed and supported Republican leader in a very long while. Equally, important parts of Obama’s Democratic base are not happy with him, but see no alternative. One possible result may be low voter turn-out at the polls, which in turn will impact on the Senater and House elections as well.

    That being said, there is a chance within reason for the Democrats to re-capture the House and hold fifty percent plus in the Senate and hold the Presidency. Equally, there is a chance within reason for the Republicans to capture the Presidency, continue their majority in the House and, maybe, even get 50% of the Senate. I do not consider either of these scenarios likely at this time, but I recognize both as rational possibilities.”

    A P.M. of Palm Harbor, Florida wrote…

    “You bring up some very valid points. At our next meeting, I will stress the importance of keeping the American public aware of the truth concerning the issues that we need to focus on in order for us to win back the White House, increase our majority in the House, and regain the Senate. There will be a couple of issues that I will bring up at the next meeting. I will encourage our members to write letters to the editors, talk to friends and acquaintances, and of course write to their elected officials. We can do this individually or in groups.

    The latest constitutional stomper by the Obama team concerns the Catholic Church and their unwillingness to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization, and birth control. Since the church will not cooperate with the administration, they have defunded Migration and Refugee Services, a counseling branch of the Catholic Church that aids victims of sexual trafficking. Now the Obama gang is bringing out the women who are advocating for the Obama administration by stating that the birth control policy is a good one, because it concerns women’s health. This is not only disingenuous, but women are now being used as pawns in order that the 1st amendment rights of the church be denied in the name not of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in the name of ‘women’s health’. We have been sold one bill of goods.”

    A C.V. of Lansing, Michigan wrote…

    “EXCELLENT and useful article Tim! I’m going to Tweet and FB this ASAP!”

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “I’m agreed on cleaning the House and Senate. The current members have had ample time to prove their integrity by following the directives of their constituents. We cannot afford to allow them any more time. Our country has serious problems and we need committed, well-qualified and honest representatives to solve them. Let’s throw out the pork barrel, cut way back on legislative salaries and benefits, and git ‘er done.”


  3. […] to pass legislation to move the country forward again. Back in February, I wrote a column entitled, “Who is going to run on the coattails of the President?” Here we are, eight months later, and Democrats are still keeping the President at arm’s […]


  4. […] to pass legislation to move the country forward again. Back in February, I wrote a column entitled, “Who is going to run on the coattails of the President?” Here we are, eight months later, and Democrats are still keeping the President at arm’s […]


  5. […] to pass legislation to move the country forward again. Back in February,I wrote a column entitled,“Who is going to run on the coattails of the President?” Here we are,eight months later,and Democrats are still keeping the President at arm’s length. […]


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