5 Democratic Senators Facing Uphill Battles for Reelection
With Congressional elections growing closer, some Senators will be facing a more difficult road to reelection than others. Incumbency is often an advantage, but after the year we’ve had, some will be struggling to get the votes they need. Democrats historically have struggled in midterm elections, something President Barack Obama pointed out in early March, reminding Democrats in Congress of how much they have riding on the election. In the Democratic party, there are five that stand out more than the rest as having their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at the specific political challenges headed for to this group.
1. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Senator Begich is likely feeling especially blue in his red state this year, with increasing pressure from Republicans hoping to exploit voters’ frustration with President Obama and Congress’ inactivity as a whole. He said, according to The Washington Post, that he doesn’t “care to have [Obama] campaign for” him. As a result, Begich — like many other Democrats — is putting some distance between himself, his party, and the Obama administration. His ad campaigns use rhetoric like “standing up to the Washington Bureaucracy,” and “Begich has fought to cut wasteful spending and government red tape,” revealing the extent to which frustration with Congress is influencing many Democrats’ campaign strategies. His ads also focus on his father, his family history in the state, oil drilling successes, and anti-Koch brother sentiment.
However, what’s making things even more difficult for Begich is the outside influence being exerted on his state and on Republican campaigns there. As Jerry McBeath, a political scientist at the University of Alaska Fiarbanks, told Bloomberg Businessweek, Alaska is pulling in a great deal of funding and focus for campaigns. “And in tight races,” he explained, “this additional contribution of outside funds, which currently favors the Republican Party more than the Democratic Party, can be critical.” Bloomberg Businessweek also notes that Alaska, with one of the four smallest populations in America, is currently showing more political ad targeting than all but four Senatorial races.