Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is the Senate In Play?

Last night's win by Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois coupled with the announcement Dan Coats will come out of retirement to challenge Evan Bayh in Indiana has led to speculation control of the Senate may be in play. Chris Cillizza of The Fix notes the NRSC has wasted not time pointing out the weaknesses of Alexi Giannoulias by releasing the following ad:

Handwringing at The Fix:

With the developments in Illinois and Indiana over the past 24 hours, theCook Political Report now carries 10 Democratic-held seats in their most competitive categories -- meaning, theoretically, that if Republicans ran the table (and lost none of their own toss up seats in Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio) they could get to 51 seats and the Senate majority.

Is it a longshot? Absolutely. But, remember that recent history has shown that in a national political landscape tipped in favor of one party a strong majority of toss up contests tend to fall that party's way.
Charlie Cook has been sounding the alarm bells for Democrats much longer than  most and has warned the enthusiasm of the right puts everything in play:
Democrats would have to set up machine-gun nests to keep these people from voting, while the lethargy among Democratic voters is palpable.
 With momentum on our side, we still need strong candidates in key areas as well:

"Now? No. Absolutely not," said Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report. Republicans "would need top-tier candidates in places like Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington and New York, and after that, they would need everything to fall in place."

"Right now, they don't have serious opportunities in 10 states with Democratic-held Senate seats up this cycle," he said.
Momentum has a way of shaking stronger candidates out of the trees.  The Senate may still be a long shot but it is looking less like a long shot than it did before Massachusetts.   There is a lifetime politically between now and November, but as of now, the ball is clearly in our court:

The long-shot bid by Republicans to retake control of the Senate is suddenly in play, as the prospect of high-profile Republican candidates entering the fray has pushed the GOP even or ahead in polling for 10 races.

The potential candidacies of former Republican Govs. George E. Pataki in New York and Tommy G. Thompson in Wisconsin are improving the polling fortunes of the party as it pursues seats long in the hands of Democrats, while the anti-government “tea party” movement has provided momentum to Republican challengers in states such as Florida, Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

“If the election were held today, the Republicans could come close to winning back the Senate, if not actually win it,” said pollster John Zogby.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Web Analytics