James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

If GOP doesn’t grab the Senate this year, it might in 2012

October 28, 2010

Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics has a great analysis of the 2010 Senate races and beyond:

1.  To take the ten seats they need to win the Senate, Republicans have to either run the table in every state that is D+5 or better, or make up for any misses in even bluer states. To put this in perspective, for House Republicans to pull off the same feat, they would have to pick up about 123 seats!

2. Put in this context, Senate Republicans have actually fared about as well as the House Republicans, if not somewhat better. Republicans are favored to carry almost all of the even seats or better, and have put the D+1 to D+6 seats mostly into play. They’ve even managed to put some of the D+7 or better seats fully into play.

3. Republicans are largely running the table in EVEN states or better, and are keeping D+1 to D+5 states competitive. The only thing keeping the Democrats from being decimated in the Senate is how few seats they hold in competitive states.

4.  There are twice as many Democratic Senate seats in Republican leaning states in 2012 as in 2010 (eight); the same is true of 2014. There are seven Democrats in D+5 or worse states in 2012 and another seven in 2014. If the current GOP tsunami had hit in those years, it’s likely we would see losses on a scale we’ve never before seen – around thirteen or fourteen Democratic Senate seats would probably be Tossups or worse. If the economy and public perceptions of the Obama Administration don’t turn around in the next twenty-four months, it’s possible that’s where the Democrats could find themselves in 2012.

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