Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Fillibuster-proof Senate is Conceivable


The current projection for the Senate is 58 Democrats and 42 Republicans. Currently Democrats are poised to pick up Republican seats in Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia. Could the Democrats actually win 60 seats in the Senate? A year ago that was unthinkable. With the current state of play, they need only two more. The candidate states are Minnesota, where Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is in a close battle with Al Franken (D) and Mississippi-B*, where appointed senator Roger Wicker (R) is fighting former governor Ronnie Musgrove (D). While it is unlikely that the Democrats can get 60 seats, it is now at least conceivable, a huge change from a year ago. Before the 2006 election, the Democrats had 45 seats and were looking despondent. Now 60 is within their grasp. Much of the change has been due to a singularly effective DSCC chairman, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a pair of singularly ineffective NRSC chairs, Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) last time and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) this time.

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