Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Senate 2010: Range of Possibilities

The Senate numbers we're releasing tomorrow in Arkansas will show Blanche Lincoln trailing a couple of her potential GOP opponents by amounts well within the margin of error.

I think this will be the first poll this cycle showing Lincoln trailing anyone, which got me to thinking about how many seats up next year that there has been at least one poll showing a party change for.

Here's what I came up with:

-Republican seats going Democratic: Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina

-Democratic seats going Republican: Connecticut, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, North Dakota, and New York

This would seem to suggest a possibility of anything from Democrats picking up 5 seats to Republicans picking up 9.

Of course there are a lot of caveats here. The only polls showing Richard Burr trailing were against Roy Cooper, who's now out. Likewise in Colorado where only Bob Beauprez showed a lead against Michael Bennet.

Beyond North Carolina the other four potential Democratic takeovers are clearly winnable with the candidates already running.

On the Republican side the only three seats that appear to be clearly winnable with the folks already in are Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Arkansas, Nevada, and Colorado all have weak Democratic incumbents but at this point have equally weak GOP fields. It remains to be seen whether the Republican candidates in those places will be capable enough to mount winning campaigns that take advantage of the incumbents' vulnerability.

North Dakota, Delaware, and New York are all contingent on a single person running. If John Hoeven, Mike Castle, and George Pataki decide to get into the race in their respective states it will be very competitive. If any of them don't those seats likely remain safely Democratic.

So while Republicans may have more places where it appears they could play offense, the quality of those opportunities is perhaps not as strong as it is for the Democrats.

And Texas, Louisiana, and California could be competitive as well, although no polling yet has shown a party change in any of those states that I'm aware of.

The bottom line is that there is a very wide range of possibilities for what could happen next fall, there's still a lot up in the air about where those battlegrounds are going to be, and no one can tell at this point how any of this is going to shake out.


Anonymous said...

You're putting a lot of "hope" into those seats in MO, NC, KY, and OH going democrat.

Rasmus said...

Uhm, no? The Dems are leading in MO and OH, and don't forget NH as a very good pickup. KY and NC are hard, but doable.

Let's reverse the game: You're putting a lot of "hope" into those seats in NY, AR, ND, CO, DE and IL going Republican.

Because each of those seats is less likely to change hands than MO and OH.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a poll for Ohio. Competitive Senate race and competitive Governor race. Also, Missouri Senate. I don't see NC and KY flipping. Not a chance.

jason, Asheville said...

NC is certainly not "doable" for a Democrat Senator in 2010, at this time. Governor Perdue's abyssmal numbers, Kay Hagan's support of socialized health care and the state democrat contolled corruption mess in Raleigh are going to usher Burr in for a second term, especially with Cooper out of the picture. This is in addition to Obama's tanking poll numbers in the state. Furthermore, black North Carolinians will not come out en masse to vote for or against Richard Burr as they did last year to vote for Obama and against Dole. Nope, sorry, with all of that going, other than Burr's low approval numbers and high unknown/undecided numbers, it's absurd to believe that NC is currently "doable" for a seat change in 2010.

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