Rasmussen Reports has started a new feature called Senate Balance of Power, which will be updated periodically based on current poll results. Currently, Rasmussen sees 50 seats leaning Republican, 47 leaning Democratic and three up for grabs. While it’s possible the Dems could win those three and achieve a 50-vote tie–which is Paul’s current prediction–Rasmussen says that “At the moment, it’s difficult to find a sixth takeover opportunity that would give Democrats control of the Senate.”
Rasmussen lists the seats now held by Santorum and Chafee as probable Democrat pick-ups; Chafee would be no loss. The other seats the Democrats need to win are in Missouri, Ohio and Montana, all pretty good states for Republicans. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Republican candidates’ chances improve in all three between now and November.
Currently, Rasmussen sees no Republican pickups. But that, too, could change, depending on what happens in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and–I think–Minnesota.
The bottom line hasn’t changed for a while. The Democrats will probably pick up some seats, but are unlikely to take control. I think that pretty much everything that can go wrong for Republicans already has; while the landscape for Republicans has clearly darkened over the past several months, I think it is more likely to get better than worse by November.
PAUL adds: In this connection, check out Michael Barone’s blog, which analyzes the job approval ratings of incumbent Senators, as found by Survey USA. Among Republican incumbents in competitive races, the news is best for Missouri’s Jim Talent, and worst for Montana’s Conrad Burns (but see here) and Ohio’s Mike DeWine. Among such Democrats, the news is worst for New Jersey’s Robert Menendez.