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For Republicans Is the Senate in jeopardy as well?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 01, 2006

Seems possible that's for sure. From USA Today, the formula:
In the Senate, Democrats need to gain six seats, which would require winning at least two races where Republicans are now favored. The statewide polls found some GOP senators already in trouble:

• In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum trailed Democrat Bob Casey by 18 percentage points among likely voters, by 14 points among registered voters.

• In Ohio, Sen. Mike DeWine was behind Democrat Sherrod Brown by 6 points among likely voters, by 2 points among registered voters.

• In Montana, three-term Sen. Conrad Burns, who has faced questions in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, was in a close race with Democrat Jon Tester. Tester led by 3 points among likely voters; Burns led by 2 points among registered voters.

• In Missouri, Sen. Jim Talent held a 6-point lead among likely voters over Democrat Claire McCaskill. The two were tied among registered voters.

• In Minnesota, where Republicans hope to pick up an open seat, Democrat Amy Klobuchar led Republican Mark Kennedy by 10 points among likely voters, by 7 points among registered voters.
IOW, USA Today is saying that a 4 seat gain is pretty much in the bag for Dems which leaves only the problem of picking up two more seats in races which would normally go to the Reps.

I'm not sure where USA Today is getting it's Santorum numbers but per RealClearPolitics, the lead by Casey is 6.3%, not 14-18. The DeWine numbers look right (RCP has him at 6.3% average behind Brown as well). Testor has an average 3 point lead in Montana and leans Democrat. In Missouri, RCP has the average at 2% for Talent, making it a much tighter race than given in the article (and in the "toss up" category).

Minnesota is an open seat (Mark Dayton - D) and it looks like it is going to remain a Democratic seat as Amy Klobuchar seems to be pulling away from Republican Mark Kennedy. She holds a 7.5 point lead with no indication that's going to change. But I'm not sure why USA Today included this one in the possible "Democrat pick up" section of their analysis. It is presently a Democratic Senate seat.

So in essence, precluding any surprises in any of the other Senate races, control of the Senate all boils down to 4 races - PA, OH, MT and MO. If any 2 of those 4 go to the Dems, they will control the Senate. I'm already of the opinion they'll take the House. So does USA Today.
In the House, the number of seats independent analysts rate as up for grabs has been swelling. Since January, Stuart Rothenberg of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report has doubled the number ranked "most competitive." Of 39 seats now in that category, 35 are held by Republicans. He predicts Democrats will pick up the 15 seats they need to control the House.
Frankly I'm alright with that as I think a Democratically controlled House would answer a blogger's prayer for "bread and circuses." Blogging heaven, coupled with divided government. However I don't want the Senate in Democrat hands as well (although I would predict that if it happens we'll see more than one veto in Bush's remaining two years).

So I'm pulling for 3 out of 4 Republicans to win their races ... most likely OH, MT, and MO. I think Santorum is history although I have to say, he's certainly closed the gap with Casey. So while I'm not quite ready to count him out completely, I still feel that he'll eventually lose.

Interesting political times we live in.
"The environment for the majority party is extremely bad," says political scientist David Rohde of Duke University. "There's certainly plenty of time for things to be shaken up ... (but) it would take something really huge" to turn around GOP fortunes.
Well don't count that out either. "Huge" could happen. As one of our commenters alluded to earlier, we could see ourselves "questioning the timing" of some event which just happened to coincide with the last days of the election cycle.

Stranger things have certainly happened.

UPDATE: You know I'm not sure why the Allen/Webb contest in VA wasn't up there either (cue Jon). While Allen still holds a sizable 8 point average lead, there has obviously been turmoil in the race and Webb has gained (as RCP says, there's been "significant tightening" in the race). While it still leans Repbulican, I'd have to say it has gone from "solid Republican" to "leaning Republican", and that could change as well if the Allen campaign isn't able to overcome some of the problems it now faces.
 
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Comments
I’d rather have the Democrats take the Senate than the House. The Democrats already have somewhat of a working majority in the Senate, what with the votes they can count on from the half-dozen plus RINOs. Were the Republicans to lose control of the Senate, provided the remaining GOP senators weren’t spineless, they could tie up whatever the Democratic majority wanted to do, just as the Democrats have tied up the GOP-controlled Senate for the past few years.

On the other hand, losing control of the House could be a bit of a disaster for conservatives... and libertarians (I know you all don’t like much of what the GOP does, but do you really think you’re going to get left alone with Democrats in charge?). With House rules, a one vote majority is pretty gold, unlike in the Senate, where their rules often require 60 votes to move legislation.

With a Democrat-controlled House and a Senate that is effectively controlled by the Democrats, the only thing standing in the way of some really bad legislation would be Bush. It wouldn’t be bad enough that he is in favor of some things that already have more support from Democrats than Republicans (open borders, expansion of federal spending on just about everything), for, as I have written before, since Bush puts everything else on a back burner to the Iraq conflict, I don’t see him standing athwart the ramparts, firing vetoes back at the Democrats. Even a rollback of his tax cuts could be offered up as a concession to keep the Democrats funding the war in Iraq.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
McQ: I’m really on the fence as to whether I want the Dems to take both the House and Senate (fence-sitting made more vexing by Jon’s recent good news). Certainly I’ve tended to support a GOP agenda for judicial appointments, and Dems taking the Senate could thwart the only remaining reason I have for being pleased with Bush — as long as his supporters won’t let him, as they clearly won’t, pack SCOTUS with mediocre sycophants like Harriet Miers.

On the other hand, the "non-activist" justices on the High Court have not exactly been delivering. But then, the "liberals" often do not either. I don’t want any more Thomases on that Court for purposes of the issues pertaining to Bush’s radical notions of Executive power.(It remains undetermined whether Sam Alito will be a Thomas on such questions, but I hope not, and I love his Commerce Clause jurisprudence.) So, I’m even somewhat ambivalent about whether it would be good or bad for Dems to have the power to block appointments.

Of course, there are other issues as well, and I just can’t make up my mind.

At this point I’m taking various views — including yours — under advisement, and mulling.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
McQ,

I’m trying to follow your math. How do you figure that if the Democrats pick up 2 Republican seats, they’ll get control of the Senate?

The GOP has a 5 seat majority. And the Democrats actually need to pickup six seats to win control. If the Senate is equally divided in January, the vice president will cast his tie-breaking vote (in the GOP’s favor, I’d imagine).

(Also, if Joe Lieberman wins, we’re assuming here that he’ll keep his promise to caucus with the Democrats. And probably he will; but I wouldn’t bet the equity in my home on it.)
 
Written By: Paul
URL: http://rightrainbow.com
Hummm...
Mis-representing the PA polling, not mentioning the fact that MN is already a Dem seat - couldnt be that USAToday has an agenda.
Frankly I’m alright with that as I think a Democratically controlled House would answer a blogger’s prayer for "bread and circuses." Blogging heaven, coupled with divided government.
Unless your primary source of income is this blog McQ, I hope this is somewhat in jest. Hoping for a particular election outcome merely for amusement isnt very... grownup. And speaking of grownups, if the Dems were, I’d be with you re divided government (as opposed to the RINO congress we have now), but they are not.

Alcee Hastings as House Intel Chair?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
I’m trying to follow your math. How do you figure that if the Democrats pick up 2 Republican seats, they’ll get control of the Senate?
As I said in the post, I’m using USA Today’s formula where they have the Dems picking up 4 contested seats and at least 2 more where "Republicans are favored". IOW, they’ve thrown 4 to the Dems already (MD, RI, MN and WA). So they need 2 more to take the majority. That would be 2 of the 4 mentioned.

I’d include Allen/Webb. But I’d also include NJ as a possible Rep win (Menendez has less than a 1 pt. lead).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Unless your primary source of income is this blog McQ, I hope this is somewhat in jest. Hoping for a particular election outcome merely for amusement isnt very... grownup.
Lighten up bains ... when handed lemons, make lemonade. Not much I can do about it, I do want the Dems to take the House (for reasons previously stated) and, as an extra bonus, doing so will make it heaven for bloggers. I mean, talk about a blogging rich environment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
For this to happen the Dems have to maintain all of their seats, and NJ and MD are becoming problematic for them- will require massive resources they won’t won’t have to spend elsewhere they can make a pickup
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
If the Republicans lose the House, it will be because they became the corrupted tools of special interests they condemned the Democrats for, before 1994. Worse, they only serve the rich and the Religious Right.

Speaking as a Republican - If the Republicans lose, they deeply deserve the loss.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
For this to happen the Dems have to maintain all of their seats, and NJ and MD are becoming problematic for them- will require massive resources they won’t won’t have to spend elsewhere they can make a pickup.
Or win 4 of 4 of the one’s noted.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Worse, they only serve the rich and the Religious Right.

Speaking as a Republican - If the Republicans lose, they deeply deserve the loss.


Well yeah CFord after all they can’t represent the Buchanan interests, he left, we threw him out, yet you stayed...oh well.

OF COURSE we serve the Rich and the Religious... they pay the bills. Why would we represent the poor? They don’t have much money and like Bullworth says, they really don’t vote, so of course we represent the Rich!

And the Religious Right, well again YEAH, the Religious Left and the Atheists HAVE a party, you know THE DEMOCRATS! It’s like abortion why would my party become PRO-Abortion; there’s already ONE PRO-ABORTION PARTY, so the Republicans are the ANTI-ABortion Party, you know getting in on a market of voters? So too, the Religious Right, you see unlike the Poor they vote AND contribute and since the Democrats have all the ANTI-Religious I guess we’ll go for the RELIGIOUS.

Sadly, YOUR political demographic is small, economic nationalists and Paleo-Con’s and left our Party, so we ought not really pander to you. I’d recommend the Reform Party. And take heart the Reform Party and the Buchanan Brigades [Battalion/Small Platoon(s)] net more votes than the Libertarian Party.

I know I’m only an ideologue, but what the HEY...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
What’s going to be interesting after the GOP loses control is watching the MSM portray the results not as the result of the GOP alienating its core and opening its wallet to those seeking special favors, but rather as a combination of the public’s repudiation of Bush’s not-so-excellent adventure in Iraq and a turn away from conservative principles.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
As I said in the post, I’m using USA Today’s formula where they have the Dems picking up 4 contested seats and at least 2 more where "Republicans are favored". IOW, they’ve thrown 4 to the Dems already (MD, RI, MN and WA). So they need 2 more to take the majority. That would be 2 of the 4 mentioned.
McQ,

Using USA’s Today formula, the math still doesn’t work out. The seats in Maryland, Minnesota and Washington may be contested, but they’re also now held by Democrats. Democratic retention of those seats cannot count as Democratic pick ups.
 
Written By: Paul
URL: http://www.rightrainbow.com
There are 12 contested seats. Dems need 6 to take the majority. 5 are leaning Dem. 1 is defintely Dem. That leaves 6 seats. 2 go Rep. 4 are toss ups.

Oh man, you’re right, it’s not quite tracking is it? Screw it.

Here, here is what Larry Sabato says:
The Republicans are defending 15 seats and Democrats have 18, counting the Senate seat of the lone Independent-Democrat, Jim Jeffords. A handful of incumbents have decided to retire. The number of open seats is five, with Bill Frist (R-TN) calling it quits on the GOP side. Along with Jeffords, Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Mark Dayton (D-MN) are hanging it up on the on the Democratic side. In addition, with Jon Corzine’s (D-NJ) election to the New Jersey governorship, Bob Menendez (D) is his newly appointed replacement, and he is running for a full term, never having been elected to the seat. All of these seats are somewhat less secure than they would be with an incumbent running, although at least one incumbent (Dayton) was considered very weak.

On the whole, it will be surprising if Democrats do not pick up two or three seats, net. Of course, they are hoping for a big wave, which would enable them to win the six net seats they need to take control. A wave is only visible at the end of October or the beginning of November, so those Democratic hopes have a long wait.
We will see but if Sabato is correct, I’d be fine with that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It looks like Republicans have taken the exact same path to losing their majority as the the Democrats did in 1994: They started acting like Democrats. The only thing left for Republicans is to pass a tax increase and they will have completed their big government transformation.

It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. In the Nixon era Republicans started acting like Democrats and we all know how that worked out. What they should have learned then is that if you can vote for a party that behaves like Democrats why not just vote for the real thing? The only hope is that in his last 2 years Bush will start to use his veto pen.

I could care less about the Republican party, but the country is worse off when no serious party pushes for small government, low taxes and laisse fair economics. We have been without one of those since at least the late 1990’s when the Republican party figured out that the way to get re-elected is to take other people’s tax dollars and distribute them to their constituents.

Unfortuntately, the lesson will not be learned because it will all be blamed on Iraq.

GOP RIP.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
...when no serious party pushes for small government, low taxes and laisse fair economics. We have been without one of those since at least the late 1990’s when the Republican party figured out that the way to get re-elected is to take other people’s tax dollars and distribute them to their constituents.
As a LIBERTARIAN-COnservative Republican I share your frustration, BUT I will point out; THE VOTERS DON’T SEEM ENAMOURED OF THIS APPROACH. Or have you forgotten the Government Shut Down Debacle? I hear lots and lots about how the Republicans have "betrayed" their cause, only the Cause wasn’t too popular. So mayhap the Republicans have betrayed YOU, but have they betrayed the People?

In short, less complaining about the GOP and more efforts to explain WHY small government is best would be useful.

Further, it takes TIME, the New Deal was introduced in 1932, reintroduced in 1936, as of the 1950’s the Federal GOvernment was ~5-6% GNP. The expansion took place in the Great Society, thirty years AFTER the New Deal. It took time to get here, it’ll take to get out of here.

Bottom-line: Develop a sense of history, Proselytize, and be patient.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I don’t think that the Dems taking either house or senate is a foregone conclusion. The polls overstate their strength, and I don’t think they adequately reflect the "all politics is local" factor in the House races.

That said, as a true believer in the benefits of divided government, I also would prefer to see the Dems take the house and the Reps keep the senate. Niskanen and Van Doren’s follow-up paper to the 2003 Cato article shows that a divided congress (senate/house) is even more beneficial than a divided government (executive/legislature).

If it plays out that way (D-House, R-Senate), and assuming that incumbent advantage re-asserts itself in ’08, that would argue there is no "divided government" vote for President. Government will be divided regardless. May the best man/woman win.

 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/

 
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