As I’ve said all along, I think this election is going to have a lot of surprises. I never really believed that Republicans were going to take the Senate, and now the numbers are starting to move in the Dems’ direction. One of the things that’s so stupid about pundits’ overly confident predictions is that unexpected things always happen, just like they did in 2006 and like they did now:
As the 2014 Senate midterm elections were heating up, pundit predictions were all over the map, but on this much they agreed: Democratic seats in Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota were sure to go to Republicans, and Kentucky and Kansas, without question, would remain with the GOP.
Headed into the homestretch now, a bizarre series of events has upended that calculation. A corruption scandal and a third party candidate in South Dakota have thrown that race wide open, while Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) finds himself badly behind an independent challenger after the Democratic nominee dropped out.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) finds himself trailing in a recent survey and Republican Georgia candidate David Perdue, the former head of Dollar General, is under fire for declaring how proud he is of his record of outsourcing. HuffPost’s Pollster model still has McConnell and Perdueahead.
But Kansas, South Dakota, Georgia, Kentucky — these are not the states Republicans were most worried about.
Seizing the opportunity in South Dakota, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is putting a million dollars into the race to succeed retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D), despite comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggesting that the seat had already been lost.
Bloomberg Politics first reported Wednesday that the DSCC would commit money to television ads bashing the Republican nominee, former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds.
Recent polling has shown Rounds stuck in the mid-30s with both Democratic nominee Rick Weiland and former Republican Sen. Larry Pressler, who is now running as an independent, trailing just a few points behind. There is also one more independent in the race, Gordon Howie, who may also draw conservative votes away from Rounds.