Any Senate Predictions? I'm Guessing 52 - 48, Dems.
A year ago, I told my mom there was, "a 99, no, a 99.9 percent chance the Republicans will take back the Senate in 2012."
When I made it, that prediction seemed safe. The current Senate split is 53 Dems, 47 Repubs. But in the seats up for election this year, the Dems have to defend 23 seats, the Repubs only 10. The Dems butt kicking in '06 gave them that 23 to 10 split, but 6 years later, it means they've got to play defense all over the place.
To take back the Senate, all the Republicans have to do is win 14 out of the 33 Senate elections. Adding to their chances, the Dems had 7 incumbents retire, leaving 7 open seats to defend versus only 2 open seats for the Repubs. In addition, since '06 was such a Democratic landslide, some of the seats the Dems have to defend this time are in pretty red states, including: Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri and Indiana.
So, a cinch, right? The Republicans in a walkover. That's what I thought, too. But suddenly Republican Senate nominees can't stop shooting themselves in the foot:
Rape-gate # 1: Todd Aiken in Missouri went from a 5 point lead to a 5 point deficit with his "if it's a legitimate rape" comment.
Rape-gate # 2: Richard Mourdock in Indiana also stuck his foot in his mouth concerning rape when he suggested that a child conceived by rape was part of God's plan. He's gone from 5 points up to 5 points down.
Memo to Republican candidates for anything: Stop saying the word "rape."
In addition, Democrats lead in five Senate races in battleground states (Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio), while Republicans only lead in one (Nevada).
Two other seats in Massachusetts and Connecticut were close over the summer, but their underlying blue state-ness has given both Dems 3 to 5 point leads.
Republicans haven't fared as well on their home turf, with surprisingly close Senate races in North Dakota, Arizona and Montana. I think they'll win all three, but Montana's super close.
Add it all up and I give the Democrats a 90% chance of retaining the Senate, although I still look for the Repubs to pick up a seat. If I had to make an exact call, I'd say the Democrats will win 22 seats, the Republicans 11, + 1 for the Repubs, but leaving the Senate in Democratic hands, 52 - 48.
Any other political junkies or degenerate gamblers or better yet, both, have any opinion?