How Bleak is the Senate Landscape for 2008?

For Republicans, it’s pretty bleak, no doubt about it. The raw numbers, in terms of open seats and candidates up for re-election, heavily favor the Democrats. Still, the picture may be lightening a bit. In the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza writes that the Democrats’ giddy hopes of achieving a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority are fading:

For a few months this fall, it appeared as though Senate Democrats had a real chance at controlling 60 seats after the 2008 election. Not only were Republican incumbents retiring at a rapid rate (in Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado), but other, less obvious seats were emerging as targets. Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-Miss.) resignation, Democrats’ takeover of the Kentucky gubernatorial mansion and Sen. Ted Stevens’s (R-Alaska) continued ethics problems put three seats in potential jeopardy and opened up the real possibility of 60.
But, as quickly as the talk rose, it faded, thanks to a series of events that makes 60 seats in 2008 a pipe dream for Democrats.

Cillizza attributes the GOP’s improving prospects not to anything Republicans have done, but to the Democrats’ failure to entice top-drawer candidates into races in Nebraska, Kentucky, Texas and Mississippi. Still, he foresees a Democratic pick-up of between one and six seats. That’s not great, but, given the odds the Republicans faced at the beginning of the election cycle, it could be worse.
To comment on this post, go here.


Books to read from Power Line