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60 Senate Seats in Sight?

Senate Democrats, who once pooh-poohed the idea of winning a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the fall election, are growing increasingly willing to float the possibility as November nears.

The latest evidence of Democrats' increasing optimism comes in the form of a fundraising Web video sent out by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.).

The fundraising appeal notes that Republicans filibustered more than 90 times during this Congress -- the most in history -- and that the 2008 cycle offers a unique chance to build a lasting Democratic majority in the Senate.

"We need your help because we have so many red states where we have a once in a generation opportunity," says Schumer in the video.

While both sides tend to use hyperbole in their fundraising pitches, it's clear that Democrats are now talking much more openly about the possibility of 60 seats.

(As regular Fix readers know, we have been intrigued by the 60-seat conundrum for some time. We declared it a "pipe dream" in the space in late 2007 and by April of this year we were setting the bar at 57 seats.)

"Our goal is to pick up as many seats as possible," said DSCC communications director Matt Miller. "The map this year includes a lot of red states, so getting to 60 would be very, very difficult, but it's not out of the question."

Is Miller right?

Let's start with the basics.

Thirty five seats -- 23 held by Republicans, 12 held by Democrats -- are up for re-election in the fall.

Of those 35 seats, the three top Senate handicappers in the business -- Charlie Cook/Jennifer Duffy and Stu Rothenberg -- consider roughly one-third truly competitive. The Cook Political Report lists 12 Republican seats and two Democratic seats in their competitive columns while Rothenberg sees 11 GOP seats and just one Democratic one as truly up for grabs.

That puts the playing field at between 12 and 14 total seats, the vast majority of which are held by Republicans.

Two open seats -- Virginia and New Mexico -- appear all but certain pick-ups for Democrats, a fact that Senate Republicans seem resigned to when they argue their best case scenario in the fall is a two seat loss.

A second tier of seats -- generally classified as toss ups by Cook and Rothenberg -- range from leaning toward Democrats slightly to true toss ups to leaning against them slightly.

Here's how we would break down each category:

Leaning toward Democrats: Alaska, New Hampshire, Colorado

True Toss Ups: Mississippi, Louisiana

Leaning toward Republicans: Minnesota, Oregon

There's no question that Democrats have strong chances to split the races in those three categories -- at worst -- and could well hold on to their only true vulnerability in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (La.) seat.

But, even if Democrats win every one of the seven races listed above they control 59 seats -- one short of the magic number.

Elizabeth Dole
Former NRSC Chair Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) would like to keep the Democrats under 60...by winning. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

To take a filibuster proof majority then, Democrats must not only take care of business in Virginia and New Mexico and run the table of toss ups but they must also find a way to beat one of a handful of GOP incumbents who, at present, look solid: Sens. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine).

Democrats are running serious and well financed challengers in each of those races but none of the three are leading and in only one race -- Maine -- is the incumbent's edge less than 10 points, according to an aggregation of survey data provided by pollster.com.

If you extend the playing field slightly further (and some Democrats do) then you add Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts and Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe to that longshot yet possible list. (We're not there yet although the DSCC released a poll this week that showed Chambliss in a dog fight and state Sen. Andrew Rice in Oklahoma is running a credible race with some nice looking ads.)

Seen in that light, the path to 60 is decidedly -- if not impossibly -- uphill.

Rebecca Fisher, communications director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, threw her own bucket of cold water on the idea. "The Democrats are making the case against a 60-seat Senate for us every time they do the bidding of extreme environmentalists and union bosses," she said.

Our take: Senate Democrats will pick up a significant number of seats but still seem likely to come up short of the 60-seat barrier. A more likely best-case scenario is 57 seats or 58 seats; the latter total would give Democrats more states than at any time since 1978.

For more on the fight for the Senate, don't forget to check out The Fix on Friday when we offer out latest rankings in the Senate Line.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 13, 2008; 6:29 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Posted by: Unni Krishnan Atiyodi | August 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

For the Senate to have 60 Democratic Senators is what I am hoping for. I also hope that these 60 Senators will have the sense to vote for the good of our people & the country. We will need a good, strong, Senate to prevent any bill that either McCain or Obama puts forth which is foolish, unwise, too expensive, too far to the left or too far to the right. Neither one of these candidates has suggested a plan that seems wise or inexpensive or good for the nation. Congress will have to be the monitor! It is essential, tho, that we do get rid of those GOP Congressmen who are obstructive & kill all bills which they fear will be beneficial
to the Dems, regardless of the worthiness of the bill. Thus, a do-nothing Congress.
How sad, that these GOPers are so uncaring for their constituents & for the country they are supposed to be serving.

Posted by: qfed27 | August 14, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I love it. The Dems keep electing Republicans. How long until the Democrat party is actually conservative? They won't know what hit them.

Posted by: cd | August 14, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Could happen. They certainly have 57 sewn up. But what's the difference, the Democratic Party is so useless that McConnell will be calling the shots in the senate and Boehner will be calling the shots in the House.

Posted by: DexterManley | August 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

related issues: 8.14. 2008
1. president musarref should not be forced out of pridency for creating new prolonged trouble in south asia. general musarref was truly very disciplined administrator of Pakistan. Pakistan was hot seat of terrorist prone militants beyond islamic religion and alqueda taliban factors in the regions of asia. followers of late ms bhutto and mr nawab had their regimes and had lingering problems of corruptions. Issue was vibrant and were not resolved at all. Mr mussaref may be left alive for his term of presidency or he may be allowed to face impeachment in Pakistan by ruling coalition there in rule. The idea of forcing mussaref out by any other tactics are wrong. the impeach process if any can bring pakistani issues pending for one half of century since independance of pakistan in 1947 from British rule. Pres. bush must not abruptly support the removal of mussaref by the "New Kings" and advisors of ruling coalition, as the pending issues of pakistani rules by military of political parties in corruptions making settlements in interests of we the people of otherwise promising nation of south asia. and the regions. The opinion was abriged form of expressed view of the rev dr kamal karna k roy m b a (1974 id 578804399; s u ny maritime college, new york, ph d (management)d d (doctorate in religions from foreign accredited schols and universities). adv certificate of accomplishment ( 1972 I d 578804399, United states dept of agriculture, washington d c) etc etc : author of many books and publications: search web by search of words in combination :"kamal karna roy hopeful president gop 2008"
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Kamal karna roy gop hopeful for bing legal nominee or rebel nominee moved u s district court sdtx houston:why?
court action civil filed in the u s district ourt for southern district of texas in houston kamal karn roy et al v homeland security dept of u s c/o u s president's office , white house , washington dc on 7.21. 2008 that two u s presidential hopefuls b obama and john mccain gop were not u s citizens on birth by pursuant to any u s statute or u s constitution, the u s constitution defined natural born citizen of ua and naturalised citizens of usa, only us born citizens were stipulated to de u president, at the tme of births obama dob 1961 & john mccain dob 1938 were out of jurisdiction of us any kind or no staute existed to make them natural born citizen of us. they or nobodyfor them filed for their lawful residence in usa and 100 % scopes did in fact exist that they are undocumented aliens in usa. the homeland security dept of usa was demanded to take obama and mccain in their custody for their civil violation to try to violate u s constitution to become u s president in 2008 .
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Posted by: rev msdeepamala roy biswas, democratic reforms agent world wide , world religions group | August 14, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

related issues: 8.14. 2008
1. president musarref should not be forced out of pridency for creating new prolonged trouble in south asia. general musarref was truly very disciplined administrator of Pakistan. Pakistan was hot seat of terrorist prone militants beyond islamic religion and alqueda taliban factors in the regions of asia. followers of late ms bhutto and mr nawab had their regimes and had lingering problems of corruptions. Issue was vibrant and were not resolved at all. Mr mussaref may be left alive for his term of presidency or he may be allowed to face impeachment in Pakistan by ruling coalition there in rule. The idea of forcing mussaref out by any other tactics are wrong. the impeach process if any can bring pakistani issues pending for one half of century since independance of pakistan in 1947 from British rule. Pres. bush must not abruptly support the removal of mussaref by the "New Kings" and advisors of ruling coalition, as the pending issues of pakistani rules by military of political parties in corruptions making settlements in interests of we the people of otherwise promising nation of south asia. and the regions. The opinion was abriged form of expressed view of the rev dr kamal karna k roy m b a (1974 id 578804399; s u ny maritime college, new york, ph d (management)d d (doctorate in religions from foreign accredited schols and universities). adv certificate of accomplishment ( 1972 I d 578804399, United states dept of agriculture, washington d c) etc etc : author of many books and publications: search web by search of words in combination :"kamal karna roy hopeful president gop 2008"
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Kamal karna roy gop hopeful for bing legal nominee or rebel nominee moved u s district court sdtx houston:why?
court action civil filed in the u s district ourt for southern district of texas in houston kamal karn roy et al v homeland security dept of u s c/o u s president's office , white house , washington dc on 7.21. 2008 that two u s presidential hopefuls b obama and john mccain gop were not u s citizens on birth by pursuant to any u s statute or u s constitution, the u s constitution defined natural born citizen of ua and naturalised citizens of usa, only us born citizens were stipulated to de u president, at the tme of births obama dob 1961 & john mccain dob 1938 were out of jurisdiction of us any kind or no staute existed to make them natural born citizen of us. they or nobodyfor them filed for their lawful residence in usa and 100 % scopes did in fact exist that they are undocumented aliens in usa. the homeland security dept of usa was demanded to take obama and mccain in their custody for their civil violation to try to violate u s constitution to become u s president in 2008 .
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Resolved Questions in Elections
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Posted by: rev msdeepamala roy biswas, democratic reforms agent world wide , world religions group | August 14, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The democrats appear to have significant problems with mathematics.

Which is scary.

FIRST THIS IS THE THIRD BUSH TERM COUNT !

Next, the democrats keep on proposing MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS which they have no way of paying for except to RAISE TAXES WHICH WILL PLUNGE THIS COUNTRY INTO STAGFLATION.

The democrats are irresponsible people who have horrible math skills. They constantly run budget deficits and their personal corruption runs to new heights every year. The democrats hurt this nation everytime they hold an office.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: BAN RADIATION WEAPONS! | August 14, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Boy, the crazies are out on this one. Who in their right mind would want Hillary Clinton when we have a phenomenon like Barrack Obama? Republicans masquerading as Democrats; most likely. Now to the Senate balance: the result of the election will probably not deliver 60 votes, but President Obama's personal skills will. Expect him to have good relationships with any and all Republicans who will work with him. This process, which is called achieving consensus,will isolate the conservatives and break the gridlock that the Republican leadership is relying on. Even if Collins, Coleman, and Smith ALL win reelection, they will be expected to work with the Dems rather than obstruct. Somehow, though, after watching Lieberman betray the voters of Connecticut, I can't see the liberal voters of Maine, Minnesota, or Oregon trusting a Republican to keep their word. And Lieberman will be ostracized for his failure to support Obama (big mistake!). So in reality, 60 votes will be the norm, not the exception.

Posted by: Jungle Jim | August 14, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to say I'm happy to sacrifice Mary Landrieu to oust Coleman.

And I wanted to ask Chris' speculation on what happens if the Dems get to 60 and there's massive pressure to eject Lieberman from the caucus. Would he caucus with Republicans? By himself? Any chance he'd vote with Dems to end filibusters? Because if not, and finishing anywhere from 51-59 seems to me like a sure pink slip for Lieberman, then the magic number is really 61 and not 60. Sixty is unlikely, but possible. Sixty-one will not happen.

Posted by: JonSM99 | August 13, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

My prediction at this point is still 57. (Didn't John Ensign say not long ago that their best case scenario was a THREE seat loss?) In 2006 I predicted 51, pretty consistently. National winds affect Senate more than House races, and major surprises that fundamentally shift the ground inevitably pop up (Mark Foley, Macaca, Jim Bunning's 2004 insanity). It seems odd that Elizabeth Dole is more of a target for Dems now than Susan Collins. Tom Allen is a solid candidate, and Maine is an independent/Democratic state. The home of George Mitchell and Ed Muskie. Not to mention that by running for a third term, Collins is breaking her 1996 term limit pledge, unlike Wayne Allard.

It's a little deflating to see OR and MN listed generally as leaning Republican. I know all too well how that can shift to tossup and leaning Democratic, but next door OR is a progressive state much like WA, and in a big Democratic year, that's a seat we should be able to take. Minnesota is a totally unique case because that seat belonged to my hero, Paul Wellstone, who would've won a third term and might be retiring now if he hadn't been killed in a plane crash 11 days before the election. Norm Coleman is phony and without principle. His marriage is a sham, and his alcoholism and womanizing are well known in MN. Furthermore, MN has gone longer than any other state without voting for a Republican presidential candidate (1972), and Amy Klobuchar easily captured Mark Dayton's seat last cycle. Al Franken is good, if not the ideal candidate in the best of all possible worlds, and after electing Obama, no other race anywhere is nearly as important to me as getting Norm Coleman out of Wellstone's Senate seat. However, the bigwigs ranked Wellstone's last race Leans Republican at times, based largely on bad polls showing wild swings over two weeks (Hi Zogby!), while in the end all the polls had Wellstone up by about 5-11 points. Mondale was also up until the Wellstone memorial service, which the GOP effectively exploited and misled on while DFLers were paralyzed in grief.

Al Franken has to win. He still can though.

Posted by: JonSM99 | August 13, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

60 Democratic Senate seats - never going to happen ... it's 56 or 57 seats.

Posted by: Justin | August 13, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The VP slot should go to Richardson (my choice) or Kaine (my governor), and keep the Senate count in play.

This time around it may be that NO incumbent should be burned to fill the VP slot. Better Howard Dean than an incumbent. So who out there, Other then Richardson or Daschel is available?

Posted by: ceflynline@m,sn.com | August 13, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Better hope for one more Dem gain somewhere, because Lieberman may not like being relegated to the boonies for his support of George and John.

Then again, the Republicans, especialliy the administration, seem to go out of their way to give Dems ammunition in this election.

Party boy has (finally) surfaced and denounced Russia. FROM TEXAS, while on vacation, of course. Remind you of Louisianna?

Hang George around every Republican running for office. Make them run away from their President. That gets lots of support for Bob Barr, and whatever libertarian is running for Senate in those states, a fact that perhaps needs to be considered.

In fact, are there potential spoilers in any of those Senate races?

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | August 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The 60 Democrat filibuster-free Senate in one of those meaningless media obsessions. Even I, a despised Brit, can see the threshold could be a lot higher depending on the number of Southern Democrats elected in November.

Posted by: Michael | August 13, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

God help us if the Dems get 60 seats. May as well throw the Constitutional guarantee of limited government out the window. The Democrat party has been captured by the Socialist wing of the party and they are Hell bent on turning the US into a full blown Euro-socialist dystopian state. The Dems have succeeded in turning us from a nation of self-sufficient grown-ups into a nation of government dependent teat-sucking adolescents who expect the nanny state to meet their every need.

Posted by: Eric | August 13, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I really don't think anybody has a clue what the turnout is going to look like. There might still be a 'Wilder' effect for Obama, or there might be an extra large groundswell of black voters for him. The hard part is trying to look at this election through a prism that doesn't reflect the last two campaigns. My guess is still the Dems get Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia, and probably Colorado. The Republicans hold Minnesota, Oregon, North Carolina, and Mississippi, and you can flip a coin on Louisiana. The only one I can see possibly being an election day surprise is New Hampshire, because everyone was ready to crown Shaheen the victor until she unexpectedly lost on election day, but I would say, barring a Macaca moment, that's what's going to happen.

Posted by: TexasProud | August 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If young and black voters come out to support Obama at historical levels, there could be some down ticket surprises. I imagine that new voters brought in by Obama will vote D straight down the line.

Posted by: JR, Boston | August 13, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD (if that's you):

My opinions are not lies. They are my opinions.

Of course, you could spend all day parsing my words, which offered a reasonable analysis.

Your nit-picking seems overdone. Why is what I think and write so important to you, so much that you are driven to diagram my sentences?

That "freedom of speech" thing is really a b**ch, isn't it?

Have a nice day.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

James CH:

Not to prolong this, but there's lots of info mentioned on the site which could take you where you want to go, if you want to go there.

Thanks for checking in.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

There are ZERO leads to other sources in that link. All that you find on that site is links to other blog entries, all of which are part of pro-Hillary groups. Nothing but purely biased entries.

As for my being a member of the "Politboro". The Democratic National Convention is a rally for the Democratic Party, an opportunity to discuss the platform for the next four years, and the medium used to officially select the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

For a delegate to the convention to publicly support the opposition is a slap in the face to the Democratic Party. She is not "voting her conscience" if she throws her support behind someone who doesn't represent any of the Democratic Party's values out of spite. That's called sour grapes, pure and simple.

I have no problem with Hillary Clinton's name being submitted for nomination. She deserves that. But her supporters choosing to vote for someone who's issue profile is the antithesis of the Democratic Party simply because their candidate lost are not Democrats. They are members of a cult of personality.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 13, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD (or the disinformation troll posting under his name):

You've got my 4-1-1. Take it in, and believe what you want to believe. Check back with me in three weeks.

Have a nice day."

I don't think I've ever seen a posting under my name which wasn't my own.

But where's the accountability? I can make outrageous predictions over an essentially anonymous forum and tell people to wait and see. Then when the day comes and nothing happens, then whatever.

Of course you do have the right to say whatever you want, to post wild predictions, to spread unsubstantiated lies.

But we also have the right to think you're full of nonsense.

So don't get upset if we think you're lying. You might not be, but there's absolutely no reason to think you aren't.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 13, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Paulie:

The quote you cite is not from anything I posted. You apparently have mistaken me for another poster.

Bad intel.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I really never got this whole thing with Hillary. I mean, yeah, its reasonable to think she was the best candidate, but people thought Richardson was the best or Biden, or Edwards. Howard Dean in 2004, or whatever. So many primary candidates have lost. I have never seen so much nonsense over a particular one.

Sure, she's more experienced than Obama, but not by a lot. Her senate experience gap is less than a single term more than Obama. On the issues, the two are virtually identical. If I were a Hillary fan, I'd be happy to see Obama carrying the mantle with pretty much the same views.

And yeah, the media was bad to her, but that's hardly Obama's fault if Tucker Carlson talks about clenching his minuscule testicles together. PUMA people would be better served in boycotting the advertised products on these shows.

Anyone want to clue me in? All my Hillary supporting friends are now Obama supporting friends, so I can't really ask them.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 13, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

re: "add...Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe to that longshot yet possible list." Yes. PLEASE. In fact,
if you've seen Inhofe "in action" --just listen to global warming hearings on C-SPAN radio...I think you'd reverse the "long shot" odds...

How could the ppl of Oklahoma possibly re-elect someone so out of touch, who has been proved SO WRONG on so many issues. As one conservative pundit said regarding his continuing to deny global warming holding up newspaper headline that buffalo got hit by record snowstorms, "he's an embarrassment."
Rice, I don't know you, but if you can't beat Innahof, perhaps you should choose a new field? Go to Senators from CA for advice, I think they could give you earful, much ammunition having had to put up with him as chair of science committee and his ridiculous "black is white, up is down, hot is cold, etc." statements all these years. he's just awful. Go Rice.

Posted by: Pls! No more Inhofe! | August 13, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD (or the disinformation troll posting under his name):

You've got my 4-1-1. Take it in, and believe what you want to believe. Check back with me in three weeks.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

god you're a loser, scrivener.. do you really have nothing else to do all day than sit here talking to yourself?

'The Democrats are making the case against a 60-seat Senate for us every time they do the bidding of extreme environmentalists and union bosses,' she said."

'extreme environmentals' -- I roll my eyes. jesus, how much more juvenile can the repugs get? and union bosses -- oh my god, the horrible unions--you know, the ones that protect the rights of working people.

the republicans really really hate working people.

Posted by: Paulie | August 13, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

IS THIS STALIN-ESQUE OR WHAT?

The state party reserves the right to withdraw the credentials of a delegate. And, a delegate that makes her intentions to vote for the opposition known no longer represents the interests of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 13, 2008 12:41 PM

******************************************

SO THE PLAN IS TO DISENFRANCHISE DELEGATES who dare to vote their "conscience," which is allowed under the bylaws?

You, Sir, sound like a member of the Politburo. Contrary to what some on the right may say, the Dem party isn't a bunch of Soviet-style commies...

...although it's starting to sound that way under the Obama-nists now running the DNC.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"You want me to reveal my "sources and methods"? "

How about a way to substantiate what you're saying?

Posted by: DDAWD | August 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

James CH:

I said it would LEAD to sources. I pointed you in the right direction, so now you go get your own sources.

You want me to reveal my "sources and methods"?

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

scrivener,

Ok, I went to your link and found NO sources. The Denver Group is one of a handful of small groups that think that they can stage a coup d'etat on the floor of the convention.

So they spread unsubstantiated claims of waffling superdelegates, or Obama trying to prevent a roll call. None of which can be sourced.

They are attempting to use the viral nature of the Internet to spread what is, at best, sketchy information.

In the meantime, they claim to represent the 18 million people who voted for Clinton in the primaries. However, even the most dire of polls has 54% of Clinton supporters throwing their support to Obama.

So, stop with the "18 million" lie. At most, these groups represent about 8 million. And I'm betting it is a lot less.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 13, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

blarg:

I protect my sources. Okay, what the hell. It's out there. You just have to look (or want to look) in the right places.

This will lead you to "multiple sources."

http://thedenvergroup.blogspot.com/

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 12:37 PM

The right places?? Another "pro Hillary" website? Give me a break.SHE LOST IN THE PRIMARIES AND SHE WILL LOSE THE NOMINATION. GET OVER IT.


Posted by: Dave | August 13, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

You are about to be able to take Mississippi off the question list. Former Gov. Musgrove (D) is facing looming questions about his involvement in a failed business and the poltical money he took from that business's owners. Indictments could soon be coming...more to follow

Posted by: Magnolia | August 13, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that in all likelihood the Senate will return to its historical norm of being guided by its centrists. Reid and company will be able to muster 60 votes on some bills, but McConnell (or his replacement) will be able to hold on to 40 votes on others. Those 10 or so votes in the middle will be difficult to whip because there will be little incentive for them to vote party line. Or, perhaps more aptly, there will be scant disincentive for them to stray.

Posted by: novamatt | August 13, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Democrats fall short of 60 on election day they could control the Senate by some Republicans defecting formally or informally. Given that some GOP moderates may not feel welcome in the party anymmore
and the could be on the winning side and not irrelevant in the minority it could be interesting. Why stay in a party that treats you as a step child when you join the Dems and maybe get a committee or sub committee chair out of it?

Posted by: Franco | August 13, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the PUMA crazies operate under some delusion that Obama and the DNC are trying to keep them from being heard.

Nobody is doing that. Representatives of Obama and Clinton have met to discuss how this should be handled. The only ones claiming that Obama doesn't want her name submitted for nomination are those who want to stage a coup on the convention floor. A coup that will never, ever happen.

I know that the PUMA crazies are pointing to the case of Debra Bartoshevich, the Wisconsin Clinton delegate that was dismissed by the state party. However, the case against her is that she publicly announced her intention to vote for John McCain in November.

The state party reserves the right to withdraw the credentials of a delegate. And, a delegate that makes her intentions to vote for the opposition known no longer represents the interests of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 13, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Barack's campaign, if they can get off their smug seat of complacency"

Its not that he's being complacent. The Obama campaign is doing a good deal of behind the scenes work. Setting up their field offices, trying to gauge how each state stands, etc. Right now, they are kind of trying to find out who their supporters are. You'll see the real action next month.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 13, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

sui:

Nice comeback, probie!

Posted by: eyes on U-2 | August 13, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

blarg:

I protect my sources. Okay, what the hell. It's out there. You just have to look (or want to look) in the right places.

This will lead you to "multiple sources."

http://thedenvergroup.blogspot.com/

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Two other points: It is the ecomony stupid, and the enthusiasm gap between D and R this year.......plus the very high Black voter turnout affecting races in MS, NC, and possibly GA, a high probability that I'd wager is not properly accounted for in polling because they are working from historical voter turnout patterns, that don't take into account the historical nature of this election.

Posted by: suigenerous | August 13, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Why hasn't anyone at this paper, as far as I can tell, covered Lieberman's outrageous comment yesterday saying McCain puts his country first and Obama does not? Publicly questioning Barack's patriotism by one of McCain's leading supporters and a likely high level official in any McCain administration should be a major story.

Also, as Maureen Dowd currently writes in her column at "The New York Times," the Clintons are hardly trying to hide their ambitions to see Barack defeated this year.
Why isn't this story also being covered and highlighted in this paper?

McCain is becoming the Barry Goldwater circa 1964 CE, with his bellicose warmongering rhetoric, of contemporary American politics. Barack's campaign, if they can get off their smug seat of complacency, should portray McCain as the warmonger he certainly has lately appeared to be.

Posted by: Independent | August 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

LOL--is everyone on this site that bad at math--what is the nation coming too?

The Dems control 51 seats, including LIEberman, if we get VA and NM, plus the seven seats you discuss.........that is 60!

You can argue the definate need to throw the senator from CT, but he still does caucus with us -- as of today anyway.

Cheers, and get some flash cards!

Posted by: suigenerous | August 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Rebecca Fisher, communications director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, threw her own bucket of cold water on the idea. 'The Democrats are making the case against a 60-seat Senate for us every time they do the bidding of extreme environmentalists and union bosses,' she said."

That's not a bucket of cold water. That's a stock phrase they trot out when they have nothing to say. It's the same as someone else saying, "Ummmmmmmmm ..."

If they had any cold water to throw on the idea of 60 seats -- which I think is a long-shot -- they would do it. But the GOP is scared that the wave may take them down and make them a true minority party with no one in the White House, a dwindling minority in the House and a Senate minority to small to filibuster.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Because [Obama's] people have surveyed the superdelegates and are now being confronted with mass defections that seriously endanger his ability to win the nomination on the first ballot."

Source?

Posted by: Blarg | August 13, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

To: patrick nyc

What you call "the crap that you harp on" will be, within three weeks, the biggest political story of the cycle.

Before you engage in the typical personal attacks of the disinformation troll, let's give it a couple weeks, and we'll see who's right.

Okay, probie?

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

WHY OBAMA IS HIDING IN HIS HAWAII BUNKER...

Because his people have surveyed the superdelegates and are now being confronted with mass defections that seriously endanger his ability to win the nomination on the first ballot.

That's why, behind the scenes, the Obama people are trying to come up with a way to alter the roll call procedure to ensure that Hillary delegates can't place her name in nomination in the absence of a written declaration by the candidate.

It would be the first time since conventions began in 1884 that an open, fair and democratic roll call was not permitted.

The Obama personality cult now is exhibiting a Stalin-like iron hand.

This is the story that the Washington pundits refuse to cover.

This is the story that confirms those longstanding charges of the right: that the Washington press corps is in Obama's pocket and cannot be trusted to report the full story to the American people.

Obama is being checkmated. He knows it. That's why he's hunkered down, trying to figure out what to do.

Apparently, for Barack Obama, democracy is a real (rhymes with "witch") in more ways than one...

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's the Denver Post story from a couple of days ago... how come this story has eluded the inside-the-Beltway regulars?

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 11:34 AM
-------------------
Because most people with brains ignore the crap that you harp on. Get a life.

Posted by: patrick nyc | August 13, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Its the economy stupid

Posted by: nclwtk | August 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

NY OBSERVER, DENVER POST ARE COVERING THE GATHERING STORM --
THE HILLARY CONVENTION REVOLT-IN-THE-MAKING...

• Is the mainstream media "pulling an Edwards?"


Here's the Denver Post story from a couple of days ago... how come this story has eluded the inside-the-Beltway regulars?

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_10132808

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The Senator that represents Israel Chuck Schumer and the libs are dreaming if they think that the Democraps will pick up enough to have a 60 seat majority in the Senate. There's no way an effeminate white-hating and America-hating racist like Barack Obama will win in the general election--Americans are not that dumb. McCain's coattails will carry many Republicans in the close races.

Posted by: sparksUSN | August 13, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

What this means is that the Dems should forget the idea of total control of Congress and begin working out compromises on important legislation, like energy, with the Repubs now. The Republicans should be similarly motivated, because they will not get better deals next year.

Posted by: Bill | August 13, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

HERE'S WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING 'ON THE GROUND' -- A DEM REVOLT ON FAST BOIL!

http://www.observer.com/2008/politics/defiant-clinton-women-refuse-support-obama?

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported "vigilante injustice" squads are targeting Americans outside of the bounds of the law:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

wil Americans vote to give dems, those who will raise your taxes and make millions of latinos citizens, uncontested power? Are they that stupid?

Posted by: Dwight | August 13, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin:

I'll see your Chambliss and raise you an Inhofe. Anti-science, anti-environment, pro-torture ... I don't know if I agree with him on anything (I'll bet he still thinks the world is flat). I don't know much about his challenger, but Rice has to be better than Inhofe.

That's not to say that I wouldn't be happy to see Chambliss lose as well.

Posted by: mnteng | August 13, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I think realistically what you have is Alaska, Virginia, New Hampshire, and New Mexico soild Democrat at this point. Colorado is likely democrat, but still to close to call. Minnesota is likely republican, Oregon is a republican lean at tis time, and Maine is safe. So we are looking at 4 or 5 pickups for the dems, and Louisiana is a pure tossup. So you are looking at 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans, barring a 'macaca' moment.

Posted by: TexasProud | August 13, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: PJ451 | August 13, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Chris I think running the table on the races you listed isn't out of touch at all. I think the riskiest race for the Dems is Oregon where Smith has run a great campaign. NC on the other hand will be a suprise I think due to a huge black turnout for Obama. Not to mention that Dole won last time partly by taking a significant amount of the female vote. She won't have that advantage this time around, and I think with some media commitments from the DSCC Hagan could pull it out.

Posted by: Andy R | August 13, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Chris--

You also left out one other factor--that a candidate could make a blunder that will sink their candidacy. George Allen would likely have won had it not been for Macacagate. We're also seeing it now in Alaska with Ted Stevens (who could end up on a bridge to prison). But such events rely on luck, not skill. In the end, I agree with your assessment--the Democrats will get to 57, possibly 58, but will fall short of the magic number.

Posted by: Ron | August 13, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

senate rules question asks
"What are the rules for replacing a senator who resigns mid-term (which bayh would do if chosen and they win the election)? Isn't it that the sitting governor appoints a temporary senator and then must hold a new election within a few months?"

Yo - its not a senate rules question, its a state rule question. The answer varies by state. Usually, so far as I know, the Governor appoints a replacement until the next scheduled election. In some states the Gov is required to select a replacement from the same party.

Posted by: bsimon | August 13, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Sherry,

Go away. Just because you hate Barack Obama doesn't mean that you can come around here and waste our time with your particular brand of nonsense.

Just because he's a more interesting story than a 71-year old who can't remember the difference between Sunni and Shia doesn't mean that the media is in the bag for Obama. They go where the ratings are.

If you have nothing remotely useful to say, then go get paid by the post by the GOP somewhere else.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 13, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

At this point, the only way the Dems pick up MN is if video turns up showing Coleman oiling Ventura's 'brain' on a secluded beach somewhere.

Posted by: bsimon | August 13, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Silly Chrissy,
Nope there is no way your out of touch with
reality Democrat Fanasty of the Dimwits
winning 60 seats or your buddy Der Leader
Messiah Barack Hussein Obama being elected
President is going to happen,you WAPO OBAMA
and DNC Shil,Silly Gurly Man Chrissy.

Posted by: Sherry Kay | August 13, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

What are the rules for replacing a senator who resigns mid-term (which bayh would do if chosen and they win the election)? Isn't it that the sitting governor appoints a temporary senator and then must hold a new election within a few months? If so, then I would think obama and bayh would campaign heavily in Indiana to help elect a democrat to replace bayh. Could you clarify this?

Posted by: senate rules question | August 13, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Cannot see 60 happening, as noted in the article they would need to run the table.

Looking ahead, though, R's will again have more seats to defend in the next cycle, so 60 could be realistic in 2010 for D's if they can get to 57-58 this year.

Great comments as always by MarkInAustin.

Posted by: CJMiva | August 13, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters who are standing up for Susan Collins. She's an honorable public servant and deserves to win, even is she is a Republican. The one I HOPE will go is Saxby Chambliss. I am hoping that Obama is going to be strong enough in Georgia to take the electoral votes and defeat the man who so shamefully attacked Max Cleland to win a seat. I also agree that veto-proof majority is no as important as a majority that is committed to working together. There is no question that this election is going to be one of the most important in many years. There is a chance, and just a small one, that alternative energy can finally take off. As long as Repubs seem to recognize the economics of the situation and are willing to get on board legislation that may have the effect of handing the Dems a legislative "victory". My sense of Susan Collins is she is that kind of Republican.

Posted by: dch | August 13, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris --

Good analysis, but I detect an unstated premise: that the Dems would stand a better chance of reaching 60 if the presumptive choice for the top of the ticket was doing better in the polls this close to primetime.

Obama's coattails look to be very short indeed, if he does emerge from Denver as the nominee (something I still maintain remains in doubt).

Bayh would be a bad choice for VP due to the Senate seat factor; if Obama went with Biden, there's a good chance that the strong Delaware GOP would recapture the seat at the end of interim appointee's term.

One factor you didn't mention: Joe Lieberman. Looks like he's going all the way over to the GOP. So the Dems have to make up that deficit, too.

Your guess that the Dems could have 57 seats at best seems reasonable.

Final point: Has anyone polled the Dem superdelegates lately? How many of them are seriously thinking of withdrawing support from Obama in favor of Hillary (who may turn out to be a stalking horse for Al Gore)?

And how about the talk that the DNC may finesse the roll call so there's no chance of a floor fight, should Hillary forces try to insist on placing her name in nomination?

There's never been a Dem convention without a binding roll call; do the Obama forces dare to tinker with party democracy?

Seems like that's what some in the Obama camp may attempt to do. If so, there's going to be a bloody revolt in two weeks.

Posted by: scrivener | August 13, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why Coleman, won't tell the,
American people what went wrong, with
his six year witch hunt against,the
Sec.General of the United Nations,in
the Food for oil scandal, what's up Norm
are you man enought to apologize to MR.SEC.
and to Minnsotians,for misrespenting,our
state and country,at least Pawlently
did give Obama to praise about running a civil campaine. but Norm you are the lowest
politication I have ever witness,you are part of the Larry Craig wing,of your party.

Posted by: miller | August 13, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Interesting analysis, Chris.
This does not take into account the possibility (a strong one, I think) that Lieberman will caucus with the Republicans in the next Congress.
Still, having 57-59 seats is pretty darn strong. Republicans would have a very very hard time filibustering and *not* look like whiny losers or obstructionists. (Then again, that may be all they can hope for in the next 4-6 years.)

Posted by: DB | August 13, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

You also do not take into account that Lieberman will probably officially jump ship to the R's when he is stripped of his chairman position.

Posted by: DCS | August 13, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Taking up Blarg's point about raw numbers, I would add that the "who" is more important than the "what". For Ds, beating McConnell is a biggie. Beating Collins or Smith does not change much at all.

As a moderate Indie, I deplore the loss of moderates in either party and hope that Collins holds her seat. However, IMO, Chambliss losing would be a blessing - his D replacement would likely be a conservative D, in other words, a blue dog moderate.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 13, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Don't count Minnesota as red leaning,
or they out of their mind,Sen.Norm Coleman
has to go.Hopeful to JAIL, less known the,
back to his fraudent senate he stole from
senator Paul Wellstone, we will not forget
what you done Norm1

CHANGEYOU CAN BELIEVE IN!

Posted by: scott | August 13, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The importance of 60 seats is overrated. Don't assume total party unity. On most votes, a few moderate Republicans vote with the Democrats, and some conservative Democrats (and Lieberman) may vote with Republicans. And attendance is rarely 100%, even at major votes.

The Democrats aren't notably more powerful at 60 seats than they are at 59. It's not like that one last seat gives them total control of the Senate.

Posted by: Blarg | August 13, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

ponpal - You make a strong point against Bayh, whose seat would surely go the Republicans. Biden's seat is safely Democratic.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | August 13, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

If the democrats can not count to 3 and clearly state that THIS IS THE THIRD BUSH TERM then they have no business being around the National Budget or Tax Policy or anything that has to do with finance.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone at WaPo noticed the extraordinary number of Rs who have endorsed BHO?

Former Rep. Jim Leach, former Sen. Lincoln Chafee and Rita Hauser (a national
intelligence expert who served in the Bush administration),Tom Bernstein who coowned the Texas Rangers baseball team with GWB, Oregon's First District GOP Congressional Nominee Joel Haugen, Reagan policy advisor Bruce Bartlett, Delbert Spurlock, who was Assistant Secretary of the Army under Reagan, ex Senator (and Governor) Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, Tony Campell, a former GOP congressional candidate from Maryland, Douglas Kmiec, a Republican who served in the Justice Department under President Ronald Reagan, Dorothy Danforth Burlin, a lawyer who is the daughter of former U.S. Senator John Danforth, and
Susan Eisenhower, president of the Eisenhower Group.

Interesting article in the LAT:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-trailleach13-2008aug13,0,515257.story

I cannot see how this translates into votes right now, for BHO, or for Ds in the Senate - it seems to me more a barometer of dissatisfaction.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 13, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

With the Senate seat count so close to the magic number, why on earth is Barack Obama (or the MSM on his behalf) giving so much consideration to taking Bayh or Biden or whoever out to be VP? The truly nuttiest idea would have been to take Mark Warner away from a shoo-in takeover of a Republican Senate seat to be VP. The VP slot should go to Richardson (my choice) or Kaine (my governor), and keep the Senate count in play.

Posted by: ponpal | August 13, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Chris:
Your stories are conflicting.
On the one hand you seem to say that Evan Bayh is a front runner for VP on Wednesday, August 27, when Natl. Security will be the theme when a VP is nominated.

Now you say that Democrats want to pick up Senate seats.
You fail to mention that if Obama chooses Bayh, Democrats will lose a Senate seat in Republican IN that may not be won back for Decades.

However, if he chooses Joe Biden, it is likely that a new Democratic Governor in Delaware will choose a Democrat for the vacated Senate seat of Joe Biden who Will win reelection.

Yesterday, I received the 2nd Email from Joe Biden since he dropped out of the Presidential race. Coincidence? And if Obama promises to keep his VP a secret, why would he parade his choose in front of the media (Evan Bayh).

No, I think Obama has you all fooled. Obama is confident that he will not be overshadowed. He probably has already selected Joe Biden, the best Natl. Security person in the Nation, as his VP. Biden was tested on all the programs in May and again in mid-June and he did great.

IMO, Biden will be named either Thursday or Monday and Evan Bayh is just a back-up.
I really don't understand how anyone could not see that Biden and Bayh are the only probable options for Obama.
Biden though has big advantages in that he IS an attack dog and he is friends with Obama (Obama does listen to Joe for advice) and voters will see Obama as more experienced if he chooses Biden.

Posted by: jerry25 | August 13, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats will do very well in the election... http://www.enewsreference.wordpress.com

Posted by: eNews Reference | August 13, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

The democrats appear to have significant problems with mathematics.

Which is scary.

FIRST THIS IS THE THIRD BUSH TERM COUNT !

Next, the democrats keep on proposing MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS which they have no way of paying for except to RAISE TAXES WHICH WILL PLUNGE THIS COUNTRY INTO STAGFLATION.

The democrats are irresponsible people who have horrible math skills. They constantly run budget deficits and their personal corruption runs to new heights every year. The democrats hurt this nation everytime they hold an office.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

While supporting Obama, I have to state that one party controlling the Presidency and both the House and Senate is a mistake. We've seen what that accomplished until 2006. Checks and balances are the bedrock of this country. May they continue.

Posted by: No Dem Troika | August 13, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

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