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Meet the 2014
|WHO HE IS:||Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Senator Mark Begich has always fought for what’s right for his state. Senator Begich is an independent voice for Alaska who works with Republicans to deliver for his state and fix the culture of Washington.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Begich's reputation as an independent fighter for Alaska has put him in a strong position for re-election. The Republican nominee will be weakened by a chaotic primary and charges that he or she is not looking out Alaska’s best interests.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Republicans are bracing themselves for a bloody, divisive primary like in 2010, when Tea Party candidate Joe Miller defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski. This will result in a Republican nominee who is too extreme for Alaska, and is not advocating for what is best for the people of the state.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Mark Pryor understands that no man, woman or political party has all the answers. Instead, by listening to Arkansans and reaching across the political aisle, he has a proven record of finding common ground and bipartisan solutions. Putting Arkansas first, regardless of political consequences, is his trademark in the Senate.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Pryor is very popular in Arkansas. He has already built a strong, well-funded reelection campaign and is leading in the polls. His constituents know that he is a thoughtful leader who will work with both sides of the aisle, and is not afraid to respectfully disagree with his own party when he thinks it is right for his state.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Republican Congressman Tom Cotton was just elected in 2012 but has already proven time and again that he puts the reckless and irresponsible agenda of Washington special interests ahead of the concerns of Arkansas residents.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Udall is known for reaching across the aisle and has a track record of bipartisan accomplishments. He has become a leader on national security and renewable energy policy, working to put Colorado at the forefront of sustainable energy development.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Colorado has voted Democratic in recent elections, reelecting President Obama in 2012 and electing Senator Michael Bennet to a full term in 2010.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Republican Congressman Cory Gardner has been named the 10th most conservative House Republican - farther to the right than Tea Party ideologues like Michele Bachmann. It's no surprise national media has said he is not the type to "reach across the aisle, pass important legislation, and/or demonstrate a unique expertise in key issues."|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Coons’ top priority in the Senate is fighting for American jobs. He has worked to promote American innovation and invest in education and job training. Senator Coons has quickly established himself as a popular leader in his state.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Chris Coons is up for reelection to a full term after being elected in 2010 by 17 points to fill the seat of Vice President Joe Biden. President Obama and Senator Tom Carper both won the state by wide margins in 2012.
|WHO SHE IS:||Michelle Nunn brings to this race the experience of a CEO, a career devoted to service, and deep bipartisan working relationships in Georgia going back generations. Nunn is a pragmatic, results-oriented problem solver, at a time when everyone agrees Washington isn’t working.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Michelle Nunn's strong candidacy and an extreme right wing primary, combined with the state's changing demographics, make Democrats confident we can win.|
|HER OPPONENT:||Extreme Republican David Perdue emerged from the Georgia primary.|
|WHO HE IS:||Formerly the Lt. Governor of Hawaii, Senator Brian Schatz was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the death of Sen. Dan Inouye. Senator Schatz has spent his career serving Hawaii as a community advocate and a public official, and he's quickly established himself as a progressive leader in the US Senate.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||In 2012, Hawaii not only elected President Obama with 70 percent of the vote, but also elected Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono by more than 20 points and two Democrats to the state’s Congressional delegation by wide margins.
|WHO HE IS:||Bruce Braley has represented Iowa’s 1st congressional district since 2007, where he has proven himself to be a fighter for Iowa values and middle-class families. Bruce is well known for his relentless work ethic on behalf of Iowans – the Des Moines Register said Bruce “sets the standard for what Iowans should expect from their representatives.”|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Braley has faced many difficult House races in his swing district, and is already picking up major endorsements from leaders across the state.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Joni Ernest emerged from a crowded primary field as the by supporting efforts to privatize Social Security, end Medicare as we know it, eliminate the federal minimum wage, and deny reproductive rights even to victims of rape and incest. Her agenda is bought and paid for by special interests and won her the support of Sarah Palin, and puts her out of step with Iowans.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Dick Durbin has been a strong voice advocating for Illinois’ working families. As the Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Durbin has been a leader in America’s economic recovery, the effort to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, and protecting consumers in Illinois and across the country.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Durbin’s reputation as a strong leader for Illinois has made him one of the most popular political figures in the state.
|WHO SHE IS:||Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes was elected to state-wide office in 2011 with 60% of the vote. A native of Central Kentucky, Alison has dedicated her career to expanding opportunity for all Kentuckians.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Alison's strong campaign and statewide experience have given her a lead in many of the polls. The incumbent Republican Senator and self-proclaimed "guardian of gridlock", Mitch McConnell, is deeply unpopular due to the unprecedented level of obstructionism he has caused in the Senate.|
|HER OPPONENT:||Mitch McConnell consistently polls as one of the least popular members of the Senate. He caused 470 filibusters (and counting), and the government shutdown. He moved even farther to the right in his primary, yet won with the lowest support of any Kentucky Senator since 1938.|
|WHO SHE IS:||Senator Mary Landrieu has spent her career serving Louisiana as a centrist, pragmatic leader in Washington who will do whatever is in the best interests of the people of her state.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Time and time again Republicans have targeted Senator Landrieu, and time and time again she beats them, because Louisianans know that she is exactly the kind of tough, independent advocate they need in Washington.|
|HER OPPONENT:||Senator Landrieu will face off against a number of Tea Party Republicans, including Congressman Bill Cassidy, retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, and others. If Senator Landrieu does not secure 50 percent of the vote then there will be a run-off election in December.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Ed Markey was sworn into the Senate on July 16th following his decisive victory in the June special election. In the House, Markey spent his career fighting for middle class families and working people, and he is a national leader on environmental issues. He continues to fight for these issues and for the people of Massachusetts in the Senate.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Democrats took nothing for granted in the 2013 special election and will again fight hard to ensure Senator Markey is re-elected in 2014.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||At this time there are no declared Republican candidates.
|WHO SHE IS:||Shenna Bellows, the former head of the Maine ACLU, is building her campaign to challenge Senator Collins. The daughter of a carpenter, Bellows plans to focus on middle class values, work ethic, and political courage.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||In the fourth quarter, Bellows outraised her opponent Sen. Collins with $332,000, nearly 82% from small dollar donors. She is building a strong grassroots campaign that is already talking to independent and undecided voters across Maine.|
|HER OPPONENT:||Republican Senator Susan Collins has supported a national Republican agenda that is unpopular in Maine, a state that has turned increasingly Democratic in recent years.
|WHO HE IS:||Congressman Gary Peters is a veteran of the Navy Reserve, who volunteered to serve his country after 9/11 and has fought to help small businesses and Michigan’s middle class.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Peters has won three tough races for the House – he knows what it takes to win. Michigan has trended Democratic recently, electing Senator Stabenow and President Obama by wide margins in 2012.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||National Republicans suffered a major recruiting loss when Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Dave Camp declined to run. Terri Lynn Land is not considered an impressive candidate, but her dangerous Tea Party views and support for Ted Cruz make her a serious threat.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Al Franken has spent his first term working in a bipartisan way to improve the lives of Minnesota families. He quickly built a reputation in Washington as a hardworking, effective legislator who is willing to work with anyone to deliver for his state. He has been a champion for veterans, health care reform, and Minnesota’s small businesses and middle class.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Republicans will try to challenge Senator Franken, but polls show him well-positioned for reelection. He has built a strong grassroots campaign and Republicans face an unpredictable primary on their side.
|WHO HE IS:||Mississippi is the latest pick-up opportunity for Democrats in a deep-red state. Former Congressman Travis Childers recently announced he would run for the U.S. Senate. Born in Booneville, Mississippi, Childers served in the House of Representatives from 2008-2011.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Childers has a record of winning over conservative voters. In fact, the seat he held in Mississippi was actually more conservative than the state as a whole. Childers' candidacy is already drawing comparisons to Joe Donnelly's 2012 victory over Richard Mourdock in Indiana.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Senator Thad Cochran survived a bitter primary challenge from extreme Tea Partier Chris McDaniel.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Cory Booker brings incredible talent and passion to his office. He is well known for tackling the toughest challenges and uniting people to find new and innovative solutions. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Booker served as Mayor of Newark.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Booker's decisive win in the 2013 special election shows his ability to forge a strong statewide coalition to win. His hands-on approach and dynamic leadership style make him the strong favorite for re-election in 2014.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||At this time there are no declared Republican candidates.
|WHO SHE IS:||Senator Jeanne Shaheen has a strong record of fighting for New Hampshire’s middle class and small businesses throughout her career. She is the first woman in New Hampshire to serve as both Governor and U.S. Senator.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Shaheen's work on energy initiatives and her commitment to fiscal responsibility make her a particularly strong candidate in New Hampshire, which has trended Democratic in recent cycles. In fact, New Hampshire not only supported President Obama by six points in 2012, but voters there also elected two new Democrats to the state’s Congressional delegation.|
|HER OPPONENT:||Republicans in New Hampshire could face a divisive primary between former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and a number of conservative Republicans who are actually from New Hampshire.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Tom Udall has spent his career fighting for New Mexico’s middle class and his record as a distinguished, principled leader will make it tough for Republicans to mount a challenge against him.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Udall won in 2008 with more than 60 percent of the vote, and New Mexico has become more reliably Democratic in recent years, electing a new Democratic Senator, Martin Heinrich, and overwhelmingly voting for President Obama in 2012.
|WHO SHE IS:||Senator Hagan has been a fierce advocate for North Carolina families, our military and veterans, sound fiscal policy and quality education. Hailing from a proud military family, Senator Hagan has fought to make sure that America’s service members and veterans never fall victim to the partisanship in Washington.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Hagan's strong record of results for North Carolina, combined with a strong campaign, put her in a commanding position to be successful in 2014.|
|HER OPPONENT:||House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is the ethically-troubled poster boy for the reckless and irresponsible policies of the North Carolina legislature.|
|WHO HE IS:||The first in his family to go to college, Senator Jeff Merkley has spent his entire career fighting for Oregon’s working families. Since defeating an incumbent Republican senator in 2008, Senator Merkley has become a leader in efforts to protect consumers, increase access to health care, and ensure Oregon’s economy is growing and creating good-paying jobs. Senator Merkley has also helped lead the effort to reform the filibuster and stop Republican obstructionism.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Oregon has become increasingly Democratic and supported President Obama by double digits in both 2008 and again in 2012.|
|HIS OPPONENT:||Republican nominee Monica Wehby is a deeply flawed candidate whose agenda is completely out of step with Oregon. When asked where she differed with national Republicans, she "couldn’t point to any specifics." Maybe that’s why she’s been endorsed by Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, and drawn praise from Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell.|
|WHO HE IS:||Senator Jack Reed is a strong voice for Rhode Island’s middle class families. A senior member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Reed helped author the Wall Street Reform bill, protecting consumers and helping families struggling from the housing crisis. Reed is a former Army Ranger who served for two decades on active duty and in the reserves.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Reed has had strong success in statewide elections, winning reelection by 46 points in 2008. President Obama carried Rhode Island by almost 30 points in 2012, making it a Democratic stronghold.
|WHO HE IS:||After winning his seat by 31 points in 2008, Senator Mark Warner has delivered on his promise to work toward bipartisan solutions in the US Senate. Senator Warner has been a leader in the effort to build bipartisan consensus to reduce the federal debt and has also been a fighter for small businesses, veterans, and military men and women.|
|WHY HE'LL WIN:||Senator Warner is one of the most popular leaders in all of Virginia, where voters elected former Democratic Governor Tim Kaine to the Senate in 2012 and once again voted for President Obama.
|WHO SHE IS:||Coming from a long line of teachers and the youngest of seven children, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant has always put West Virginia families first. She is an independent leader with a proven record of making government more accountable, growing businesses, and helping military veterans, like her husband who served in Afghanistan.|
|WHY SHE'LL WIN:||Tennant's strong campaign -- combined with the nearly two to one voter registration advantage of Democrats over Republicans -- makes this a very competitive race.|
|HER OPPONENT:||After more than 12 years, Republican Shelley Moore Capito has become part of the problem in Washington, voting against West Vriginia mine workers, against minimum wage, and in favor of massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security.|