From Rothenberg Political Report Nov 18, 2011
The Senate has been “in play” for months, but Republicans continue to expand the playing field by adding unexpected candidates in states from Hawaii and Michigan to Connecticut – all states where the GOP shouldn’t even be in the ballgame.
Even if the races in those states don’t go down to the wire, national Democratic strategists won’t be able to ignore them entirely, possibly forcing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to spend scarce resources in states it once expected to take for granted. Democrats are now defending four of the six most vulnerable Senate seats – and eight of the most vulnerable ten.
But the national political environment can’t be entirely comforting for either party.
The GOP brand continues to look damaged, and polls show the public’s opinion of Congressional Republicans falling to staggering low levels. President Obama’s job approval isn’t as low as Congress’s is, but that should be little comfort to Democratic candidates in 2012, who have to worry that voters dissatisfaction with the president could play out down-ballot against Democrats running for the House and Senate.
This is particularly true in states with competitive Senate races and where President Obama is not popular, including Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Missouri….
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