The Senate Posted by: McQ
on Monday, July 07, 2008
The House is lost to Republicans and the numbers there are predicted to be worse after the November election.
The Senate has been the Republican's only bastion of power in this Congress, albeit as a minority party. But in the Senate, being the minority is a very powerful position to hold, if the majority held by the other party is a slim one. That, of course, is the case now, with Democrats holding a 51-49 majority in a body that requires 60 votes to get just about anything done.
But how are the races shaping up for November?
As it turns out, Republicans are defending almost twice as many seats as Democrats (23R/12D) and it isn't looking particularly good for the Republicans.
In June of last year, the Cook Report, well respected in political circles, considered only one Republican seat to be in jeopardy. Now it is of the opinion that 7 Republican seats are in play.
Of course, last June, Trent Lott (R-MS) hadn't retired. Nor had Senator's John Warner (R-VA), Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) or Wayne Allard (R-CO) announced their intention to retire.
That has put all 4 of those seats in contention (as it is always easier to win as an incumbent than when vying for an open seat).
As for the Dems, only one seat is being seriously contested and that's the Louisiana Senate seat of Mary Landrieu.
Other contested races are in AK, MN and OR. ME has Collins who is outpolling her Democratic rival, not that it necessarily means much to the Republican balance of power in the Senate.
The point to be made, of course, was echoed in a letter Obama wrote to Democrats urging them to give to the Senate campaign effort:
"Big changes don't happen without big Senate majorities."
The possibility of such a majority is beginning to loom.