The Hotline's Senate Race Rankings: Christmas Edition
Our complex methodology includes a delicate balance of poll numbers, both public and private; fundraising performance; message resonance; buzz on the trail; and, the key ingredient, our gut feelings. From those five factors, we answer a fundamental question: Which candidate would we rather be? In Nebraska, we'd rather be in the GOP's position than in Democrats' place, for example.
The ultimate conclusions are subjective, of course, and we promise they endear us to neither side (Our phones will ring off the hooks with loud complaints from both Democrats and Republicans the moment these rankings are published). But they represent months of close scrutiny of each race, and our best conclusions as to where the Senate is headed in the 113th Congress.
#10 HAWAII (Open, D, Sen. Daniel Akaka retiring) (LAST MONTH: 11)
What the Wisconsin primary is to Republicans, the Hawaii primary will be to Democrats—a minefield. Hawaii will be the state in which the Democratic primary has the biggest impact. Republicans see ex-Rep. Ed Case as their most difficult potential opponent, but the DSCC is lining up behind Rep. Mazie Hirono, thanks to Sen. Daniel Inouye's influence. Ex-Gov. Linda Lingle's fundraising report is going to scare Democrats when it comes out in January.
read … Scared Hawaii Democrats Run Thru Minefield