Read ‘Em and Weep

I can’t really quarrel too much with this ranking of Senate Seats by Real Clear Politics ordered by which is most likely to switch parties:

1. VA: (Open – R)
2. NM: (Open – R)
3. AK: (Stevens – R)
4. CO: (Open – R)
5. NH: (Sununu – R)
6. NC: (Dole – R)
7. OR: (Smith – R)
8. MN: (Coleman – R)
9. KY: (McConnell – R)
10. GA: (Chambliss – R)
11. MS: (Wicker – R)
12. LA: (Landrieu – D)
13. ME: (Collins – R)
14. NJ: (Lautenberg – D)
15. NE: (Open – R)

A nitpick: Chambliss’s seat might be slightly more likely to switch than McConnell’s.  But the main story’s the same: it’s a bad place to be in when 11 of the 15 most likely seats to switch are held by Republicans.  And right now, looking at current polls, here’s how I’d rate the chances of contested seats held by Republicans:

Very Likely Democrat (Switch)

1. Virginia

2. New Mexico

Lean Democrat (Switch)

3. AK

4. CO

5. NH

6. NC

7. OR

8. MN


9. GA

Lean Republican

10. KY

11. MS

Likely Republican

12. ME

13. NE

Assuming they don’t lose any seats (not a risky assumption at this point), Democrats will need to sweep 9 or 10 of these 13 seats in order to gain a filibuster-proof majority.  If things keep heading south for the GOP, other seats could become vulnerable.  Let’s see if we can get a few more seats leaning Republican.

A few random thoughts:

Dole (NC)’s support has collapsed since this summer.  Can she get her mojo back, or has she decisively lost support here?

Coleman (MN)’s support seems to have just collapsed in October.  He still might have time to push back against Al Franken.

Ted Stevens in AK could still pull this one off.  Scandal charges, not political positions, are pulling him down, and he’s a tough fighter.  One of the most senior figures in Alaska politics, Stevens seems so far to be holding his own.

Sununu (NH) has managed to make his race close.  His Democratic opponent’s support has fallen from earlier in the year; she used to have double digits, but her lead’s now fallen below 10.  Sununu could gain the momentum.


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