Super Majority Dreams
Just to follow up on the previous post, a supermajority is not possible in the Senate simply due to the math. There is a great shot this year to pick up about 7 Senate seats and potentially 3 or more in addition. The states I think are most likely to become Republican are the open North Dakota and Delaware seats given strong candidates and weak opposition, followed by (in no particular order) Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Indiana, Colorado, and Nevada. After that, the list moves to Illinois and California, with Wisconsin, New York, and perhaps Washington in play depending upon the candidates. Some states with an outside shot are Connecticut and Hawaii (but Hawaii would only be so if health issues arose from the 86 year old incumbant). So a pickup of 2 is nearly a done deal, 7 would surprise no one, 9 makes it a 50-50 senate (with some speculation that Joe Lieberman would caucus with the R’s, thus shifting control). Anything more would be be a huge surprise. It will be interesting to watch the polls over the next couple days.
On the Republican side, the only seats in real danger are open ones in New Hampshire, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio. Ayotte has led every poll I’ve seen in NH for the R’s, Missouri voted McCain, so I’d think that will hold, and I just don’t see the Democrats winning in Kentucky barring pure stupidity from the front-runner Rand Paul (Ron Paul’s son). Ohio scares me a bit, but I think the Republicans hold that as well.
As for the House, the Republicans would need to pick up 109 seats to be veto proof. Most of the professionals pundits are saying about 25- 30 with an outside shot at 40 seats and the Speaker’s gavel (you know, the giant gavel the Nancy Pelosi carried through the crowd yesterday).
The Health Care bill makes Democrats more enthused about the upcoming elections, and in a midterm, that is not to be underestimated. It all depends on if the Republican voters remain significantly more excited, and how engaged the independents are.
The most important thing about the Senate especially is not that the new senators in the next Congress are Republicans, but whether they are principled conservatives. And we need at least 41 of those. I’ll follow this post up soon with a look at the potential Senators in the next Congress and if they can both switch control AND maintain a conservative fillibuster.