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I have been unconvinced of Democrats' chances of taking over the Senate for some time. With the need to pick up six seats in order to gain control, especially when there are 18 Democratic seats up this year, and only 15 Republican seats up, it seemed impossible to gain the six needed to gain control. But recent events have changed that outlook. While I though GOP control of the Senate looked 70-30 before, Senate control is a clear 50-50 now.

Right now, not a single Democratic seat other than New Jersey (my home state) looks possible for a Republican pickup. Amy Klobuchar is running away with double digit leads in Minnesota and Michigan, Washington State, Vermont, Florida, West Virginia, and Nebraska look very safe for the Dem0crats running there. The landscape has changed dramatically. All of these states were once viewed as competitive, but now, each looks secure for Democrats.

In Maryland, Cardin looks strong after his primary win to beat Steele this year. But he will need to raise cash fast and enormouslt outreach to the African-American community to win.

In New Jersey, Menendez is facing a very tough race. The ethics investigation that the GOP US Attorney is launching on Menendez is politically motivated. But Menendez should keep the focus on Bush and the war, which he is doing. If the discussion is Iraq and Bush, Menendez should win handily; if the discussion is about ethics, Menendez has a tough race on his hands.

But basically, it looks very possible, if not extremely likely, that Democrats will hold onto all of their seats. The same cannot be said for Republicans.

Pennsylvania is going to elect Bob Casey, who has had a statistically significant lead over Santorum for over a year and a half now, and there's no indication that that will change.

Montana, according to a new Rasmussen poll, shows Tester up nine points, 52-43.

Rhode Island, according to a new Rasmussen poll, shows Whitehouse up eight, 51-43.

Ohio, according to a new Rasmussen poll, shows Brown up six, 47-41.

Missouri, according to a new Rasmussen poll, shows McCaskill up three, 45-42.

And in Tennessee, Rasmussen shows a tie 45-45, and SurveyUSA shows Ford up three, 48-45.

In Virginia, Zogby has Webb up eight, 51-43, and Rasmussen has Allen up seven, 50-43. But a good pollster, Mason-Dixon, shows Allen up four, 46-42, and SurveyUSA has Allen up just three, 48-45. This is a race trending our way.

Arizona has been trending towards Pederson too, but he's still down five to ten points.

In New Jersey, Menendez is tied or slightly down to Kean. And this is where it matters, if Menendez wins, we will have a 50-50 shot of taking back the Senate. If he loses, there is no chance.

Just some updates.


Ben said...

I think it's optimistic, but unlikely that we will take the Senate. Cook was right a few months ago when he said it was possible for the Dems to take back the Senate, but they would have to run the table which is extremely difficult if not impossible.

There are 33 seats up for reelection. The dems have 27 seats and the GOP has 40 seats not up for reelection. I see Nelson (FL), Bingaman, Conrad, Feinstein, Carper, Akaka, Kennedy, Clinton, Kohl, Byrd, Nelson (NE), Cantwell, Cardin, Klobuchar, Tester, Brown, Casey and Stabenow winning.

For independents, I think Lieberman and Sanders both win.

For Republicans, I think Kyl, Allen, Lugar, Snowe, Lott, Ensign, Hutchison, Hatch, and Thomas all win.

That gives the Dems 45 seats, the Republicans 49 seats, and Independents 2 seats. I think the races in NJ, Missouri, RI, and Tennessee are all way too close in the polls to call at this point. So even if the Dems win all four we tie the GOP, giving Cheney the tiebreaking vote.

So, maybe one or two of the races I gave to the Republicans go Dem, but it seems to me that taking the Senate back just isn't going to happen this year. That being said, there's still a month and half left and that's an eternity in politics.