Ouch! Four Democratic Double Whammies?

Former Rep. Pat Toomey. | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/skye820/5005730104/">TaniaGail</a>

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If the prospect of massive losses in the House and a thin Senate majority weren’t depressing enough for Democrats, here’s yet another downer of a factoid: In a handful of races, Democrats face a double whammy, with candidates losing both their Senate bids and their vacated House seats going to the GOP.

I’m talking about candidates including Reps. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), Paul Hodes (D-NH), and Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.). For the 2010 election, these three congressmen launched bids for the Senate, but facing a Democratic backlash and anti-incumbent wave, all have struggled to gain traction with voters. Melancon, challenging incumbent Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), has trailed “Diaper Dave” by double digits since August; a recent Magellan Strategies poll put Vitter ahead by 17 points. In New Hampshire, Hodes’ bid to replace retiring Republican senator Judd Gregg has floundered, with GOP candidate Kelly Ayotte leading by a 16-point average, according to Real Clear Politics. It’s the same story in Indiana, where Ellsworth is being trounced by GOP lobbyist and former congressman/senator Dan Coats by around 20-points.

It’s bad enough that Melancon, Hodes, and Ellsworth’s odds of winning are practically zilch. But to make matters worse, the campaigns of all three Democratic candidates angling to replace them are flailing, too. Raj Sangisetty, the Democratic candidate for Melancon’s seat in Louisiana’s 3rd district, has trailed his opponent by around 10 points for months; Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight puts Sangisetty’s chances of winning at a measly 16.5 percent. Likewise, Hodes and Ellsworth’s potential Democratic replacements trail their GOP opponents by healthy margins, and have little chance at keep those seats in the Democratic aisle.

Oh, and there’s one other potential double whammy, this one in Pennsylvania. While the outcome of Rep. Joe Sestak’s Senate race against conservative Pat Toomey is far less assured, Sestak’s would-be Democratic replacement, Bryan Lentz, trails Republican Patrick Meehan by 5 points, according to FiveThirtyEight. Should Lentz lose to Meehan and Sestak lose to Toomey—FiveThirtyEight puts Toomey up by about 4 points, with a 97 percent chance of winning—we’ll have a fourth Democratic double-loss on Election Day.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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