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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:33 PM


The Senate, the filibuster, and gerrymandering

One of the reasons why there is a Democratic majority in the Senate is that Senators are elected at-large from each of their states, and thus the Senate is immune to gerrymandering. That is one of the reasons why you will occasionally hear R's state they want to repeal the Constitutional Amendment which established direct election of Senators, and go back to having Senators elected by the respective state legislatures.

Should the Senate Republicans continue to obstruct to the degree they have so far, then in the absence of filibuster reform, they have to own their obstruction, and answer to their at-large state electorates. With filibuster reform, their obstruction is blunted, but so are the electoral consequences of obstructing popular legislation.

Which Senate seats are up for election in 2012?

Put another way, which R senators need to have a sign saying "obstructionist" hung around their necks as the next two years proceed?

At present, it looks like this:

Alabama Jeff Sessions Republican Running

Alaska Mark Begich Democratic Running

Arkansas Mark Pryor Democratic Running

Colorado Mark Udall Democratic Running

Delaware Chris Coons Democratic Running

Georgia Saxby Chambliss Republican Retiring

Hawaii Brian Schatz Democratic Running

Idaho Jim Risch Republican Running

Illinois Richard Durbin Democratic Undecided

Iowa Tom Harkin Democratic Undecided

Kansas Pat Roberts Republican Running

Kentucky Mitch McConnell Republican Running

Louisiana Mary Landrieu Democratic Running

Maine Susan Collins Republican Running

Massachusetts (John Kerry) Democratic

Michigan Carl Levin Democratic Undecided

Minnesota Al Franken Democratic Running

Mississippi Thad Cochran Republican Undecided

Montana Max Baucus Democratic Running

Nebraska Mike Johanns Republican Running

New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Democratic Running

New Jersey Frank Lautenberg Democratic Undecided

New Mexico Tom Udall Democratic Running

North Carolina Kay Hagan Democratic Running

Oklahoma Jim Inhofe Republican Running

Oregon Jeff Merkley Democratic Running

Rhode Island Jack Reed Democratic Running

South Carolina Lindsey Graham Republican Running

South Carolina Tim Scott Republican Running

South Dakota Tim Johnson Democratic Undecided

Tennessee Lamar Alexander Republican Running

Texas John Cornyn Republican Running

Virginia Mark Warner Democratic Running

West Virginia Jay Rockefeller Democratic Retiring

Wyoming Mike Enzi Republican Running


I note that McTurtle is up in 2014. Is it better, for him, to have been perceived as having continued to make deals with Harry Reid under which Republican ability to obstruct is marginally weakened, or to have something imposed upon him?

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