Senate races

Chief strategist predicts ‘very Democratic Senate’ after 2016

Senate Democrats’ top campaign strategist predicted a “very Democratic Senate” after the 2016 elections.

{mosads}”I predict my hair will finish turning gray by 2016 and that we will have incredibly high voter turnout and energy resulting in a very Democratic Senate,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Tom Lopach said to laughs and applause at a panel hosted by EMILY’s List.

Lopach rattled off nearly half of the upcoming Senate contests when discussing possible pickups, including extreme long shots like Oklahoma and Arkansas. But when pressed, he said Democrats’ strongest opportunities were against Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.).

“If I were going out on a race, I’d go out on New Hampshire,” he said.

Lopach warned at the event that Democrats needed to win back Senate control now. They have a very favorable map this year — 24 Republicans are up for reelection compared to just 10 Democrats — and conditions are prime to cut into the GOP’s 54-46 seat advantage. But the map will flip back to a GOP edge two years after.

“We need to make 2016 outrageously successful; 2018 may be another tough year,” he said.

House Democrats are facing a tougher situation. They need to gain 30 seats to win back control of the lower chamber, many of them in Republican-leaning districts.

Kelly Ward, the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said “30 seats is a lot but it is doable,” and she promised Democrats would be on offense this election cycle.

Tags Kelly Ayotte Mark Kirk Ron Johnson
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