This cycle, there are more than enough seats in play for Senate Democrats to lose the majority.
But party aides remain confident in their eight first-term Democrats up for re-election — all of whom won GOP seats six years ago.
Some in the class, such as Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan — the only two from states that the president lost in 2012 — are more vulnerable than others.Also see Kyle Kondik's analysis of Senate classes.
But all of them are no longer running with an Obama wind at their backs — or against an unpopular war in Iraq and outgoing President George W. Bush.
Although vulnerable House Republicans voted yes on VAWA, another group voted no. The Huffington Post reports:
Senate Democrats just won themselves some fresh ammunition in the next election cycle: nearly all of the potential 2014 Senate Republican candidates in the House voted against the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill on its way to the president's desk.
Thirteen likely or declared Senate candidates voted "no" on the VAWA bill that passed Congress on Thursday. Among them: Reps. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Steve King (Iowa), Bill Cassidy (La.), John Fleming (La.), Justin Amash (Mich.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Tom Price (Ga.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Austin Scott (Ga.) and Tim Graves (Ga.).
Broun is the only one out of the group who has formally declared his candidacy.
That vote is all but certain to be used against them if and when the Republicans ramp up their Senate campaigns. Republicans took a beating in the 2012 election cycle for opposing a broadly supported Senate-passed VAWA bill, which is similar to the version that Congress just passed. Democrats spent months tying their opposition to a so-called "war on women," which resonated with voters.But note that 9 of the 13 are from socially conservative states in the Deep South. Two are women and thus may have some insulation from the "war on women" charge. But King in Iowa and Amash in Michigan could have trouble with the issue if they make it to the general election.