Senator John Cornyn says no, but Larry Kudlow is more optimistic.

There are 18 Democratic senators up for grabs. Right now, the GOP is in excellent shape to take Illinois (President Obama’s seat), Delaware (Vice President Biden’s seat), Nevada (Harry Reid’s seat), and North Dakota (Byron Dorgan’s seat). So that’s four. It would give them 45 seats. So they need six additional seats out of 14.

If Scott Brown can do it, riding the tidal wave of conservative, populist, low-tax-and-spend, free-market revolt, including tough stands on terrorism and national security, then the GOP should be proclaiming a tidal wave that could carry them to Senate victory this fall.

On top of all that, it’s not out of the question that independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut could switch parties. Nor is it out of the question that beleaguered Ben Nelson of Nebraska could switch parties. So I was very disappointed in my friend John Cornyn for making this statement.

I'm optimistic about the House, but I've been skeptical about a Republican takeover of the Senate (despite my prescient wife's optimism).

In December, Karl Rove thought that a Republican Senate takeover was unlikely despite stellar recruits, but his article didn't mention Scott Brown or Massachusetts even once, so his views may have changed.

Predictably, Wikipedia has a good laydown of the facts surrounding the 2010 Senate elections.

The Senate is currently composed of 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Of the seats currently up for election in 2010, 18 are held by Democrats and 18 are held by Republicans.

So Republicans would need to keep all 18 seats they already control and then win 10 of the 18 seats currently controlled by Democrats. Six of these seats look to be pretty safe: Hawaii, Maryland, Schumer in New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. If that's true, then Republicans need to win 10 of the following 12 seats:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Nevada
  • New York (Gillibrand)
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

North Dakota, Nevada, Delaware, and Arkansas all seem to be within easy reach for the Republicans. I can imagine New York splitting their seats and giving the seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand to a Repblican. Arlen Specter is growing increasingly unpopular in Pennsylvania. That's six.

The rest are more of a stretch, in my inexpert opinion. Scott Brown's election in Massachusetts had completely overturned my expectations, and at this point I won't be surprised by anything. It will be a very exciting year!

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