Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

As I reported in Breaking Blue a couple of hours ago, for the first time ever Democrats now hold leads in enough Senate races to take narrow control. Here are the five-poll averages from Pollster.com on the thirteen races I still have on the board:
  • Minnesota: Klobuchar (D) 51%--40% Kennedy (R)
  • Washington: Cantwell (D) 50%--41% McGavick (R)
  • Pennsylvania: Casey (D) 48%--39% Santorum (R)
  • Maryland: Cardin (D) 47%--40% Steele (R)
  • Montana: Tester (D) 49%--43% Burns (R)
  • Rhode Island: Whitehouse (D) 46%--40% Chafee (R)
  • Ohio: Brown (D) 47%--42% DeWine (R). Note: this average reflects the new Survey USA poll on the race.
  • New Jersey: Menendez (D) 45%--41% Kean (R)
  • Tennessee: Ford (D) 47%--44% Corker (R)
  • Missouri: McCaskill (D) 46%--44% Talent (R). Note: this average reflects the new Survey USA poll on the race.
  • Virginia: Allen (R) 48%--42% Webb (D)
  • Arizona: Kyl (R) 49%--40% Pederson (D)
  • Connecticut: Lieberman (CfL) 50%--39% Lamont (D)
If these polls accurately reflected the final results, that would make the Senate 49-49-2, Depending on what Lieberman does, that would be enough for a Democratic majority, but not quite enough for Democratic control. It also is pretty unlikely that Democrats would pull out all of these close races, and in these averages Democrats lead in all of the four closest states.

Still, for Democrats to have drawn even with Republicans at 49 apiece is a landmark in this campaign. This is the first time during the entire two-year cycle that Democrats have pulled that one off. While this is our highwater mark so far, there is certainly no guarantee it will stay this good. Further, at the risk of tempting hubris, I know that most, if not all of us, would actually like to see our situation get even better. Either way you look at it, there is no reason to be complacent. Still, it is nice to look at these numbers and see that we are inching forward in almost every close race.

Tags: polls, Senate 2006 (all tags)

Comments

42 Comments

Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

"Depending on what Lieberman does...."  That would virtually guaranty Liebreman's nomination as Defense Secretary.

by buddy 2006-10-12 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too
He would probably accept too, thrilled to have a ahcne to throw control to R's. It wouldn't be all bad though--that would mean that in 2008 Lamont could wax whatever pathetic Republican was appointed to replace Lieberman. Not to mentiont aht Lieberman would be out of hte Senate, and out of politics once Bush's term was over.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-12 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Are you sure that the Republican appointee would have to go through an election in 2008? That makes a Lieberman win a lot less horrible sounding.

by Joe Gabriel 2006-10-12 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too
Yes, I am certain of that.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-13 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

...which people have been predicting here for the last two years...

by johnny longtorso 2006-10-12 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

hey chris,

why don't you update the house forecast...that new bucket of polls sure should have helped :)

You still have Reynolds as a Tier 3 race, I don't need to point out the other ridiculous positions

by thorgrim 2006-10-12 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too
Because I am fucking exhausted.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-12 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Careful....somebody said "I'm exhausted" over at Kos the other day and the readers mobilized half of Boston to make sure she was OK.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-10-12 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

These races with the exception of Klobuchar, Cantwell and Casey are real close. Races also tighten on election day as the hard core base votes on partisan lines. Since most recent elections have been pretty close, I suspect the winner will the candidate that was most successful in getting their extended base to the booth and depressing their opponents wavering supporters.

Will the Dem base show up in numbers on election day?

by ab initio 2006-10-12 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Loserman if he wins and I sure hope he does not will caucus with the Repubs. That's my prediction.

Despite the polls I still feel Lamont will pull this  one out. He sure lost momentum after the primary expecting Loserman to pull out. But hindsight is 20/20.

Its all going to depend on who completes the absentee ballot and shows up at the booth on Nov 7th. If the Dem base show up to insure their Congressional reps make it, then Lamont will also squeak by.

by ab initio 2006-10-12 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

The great part is, we shouldn't be in an offensive position in the Senate during this cycle. If I recall correctly, 19 Democrats (or their vacant seats, if any) are up for election compared to 15 Republicans (or their vacant seats, if any) since, as I'm sure most MyDDers know, the Senate is never up for full election precisely so that temporary electoral mood swings can't affect both houses simultaneously. In most even-numbered years, for a party that has more to lose, even winning two seats would be considered a great success.

I'm at work and I can't pull up the numbers, but I believe 2008 is supposed to be a scary year for Republicans. They have some real embarrassments up for re-election then. Perhaps 49-49-2 in 2006 and then an outright majority with sympathetic independents in 2008?

by falsified 2006-10-12 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Anyone have a complete list of the Republican senators up for re-election in '08?  Allard in CO (if he runs again) is the most obvious target that comes to mind.
by stuckinsf 2006-10-12 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too
All I know is hat in 2008 and 2010, Republicans have to defend 40 seats, and Democrats have to defend only 27 seats. If we win those races 34-33, we pickup seven seats.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-12 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

Go here.

The R's have 21 seats up to 12 for the Dems.  Remember these are the folks who were elected in 2002, like Saxby Chambliss.  James Inhofe and Pat Roberts are up as well.  Some are getting old and may retire, like John Warner, especially since he couldn't continue as chair of Armed Services even if the R's won, and Ted Stevens.  There could be some real culling here.

by Mimikatz 2006-10-12 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

Allard in CO would be a prime target with the Colorado Dems resurgance. Also, I expect Warner in VA to retire, and Mark Warner is now a prime candidate for that seat. Coleman in MN will have a bullseye on his back, and I've heard rumors that whichever ME twin is up is going to retire, so that is a huge pickup chance as well. dont forget domineci in nm either.

by AC4508 2006-10-12 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

One more: look for current two-term NC gov Mike Easley to challange Dole for her seat. Its a great map for the Dems.

by AC4508 2006-10-12 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

I'm hoping Dole, and a bunch more of the GOPers, will just retire rather than put up with being in the minority.

Besides, we have had horrible luck with Senate races in N.C. lately.  John Edwards was the only Democrat to win in the past 6 Senate races -

90 Helms
92 Faircloth
96 Helms
98 Edwards
02 Dole
04 Burr

That's just a shameful list - except for Edwards.

by Bear83 2006-10-12 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

I seriously doubt that Gordon Smith in OR is going to get a pass either.  Dems should have a good shot in that very blue state.

by msstaley 2006-10-12 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

Is their a pact between Smith and Wyden similar to in Nevada between Reid and Ensign.

by CMBurns 2006-10-12 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

Nothing I've heard of.  I expect we'll hear about it if there is.

by msstaley 2006-10-12 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate 2008

The most vulnerable Republican Senator up for re-election in 2008 are
1)Allard-CO- Allard narrowly won in 2002, Colorado is trending blue- due to Salazar brother victory,Ritter winning the Colorado Governorship in 2006 and Perlmutter victory to the open Colorado US House Seat. Allard has a mediocre job approval rating and Democrat Mark Udall is a credible candidate.

2)Coleman-MN
3)Sununu-NH
4)Chambliss-GA
5)Dole-NC

Freshman Republicans who won with less than 55% of the popular vote.  Chambliss-GA survives

Dole-NC is vulnerable is Mike Easley-NC challenges her.

Sununu-NH is vulnerable if current or former Governor Lynch or Shaheen challenges him- However I expect Sununu to win due to the fact Sununu is a household name in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is a conservative state in the New England Region.

In Minnesota- a Klobuchar,Hatch and Wetterling victory will make Coleman the second most vulnerable Republican Senator up for re-election in 2008- possible candidates are Minneapolis Mayor R.T Ryback or St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman or US Rep Betty McCollum.

Open Seats are
1)Alaska- Stevens- (Republican Hold)
2)Kansas- Roberts-(Republican Hold)
3)Mississippi-Cochran-(Republican Hold)
4)New Mexico-Domenici-(Democratic Gain-if open.)
Tom Udall,Diane Dinesh
5)Oklahoma- Inhofe-(Republican Hold)
6)Virginia- Warner-(Democratic Gain if open)
Mark Warner or James Webb assuming he comes up short of unseating Allen

Vulberable Democratic Senators in 2008 are
1)Iowa- Harkin always faces tough races
2)Michigan- Levin- if open- seat is vulnerable if he runs again- Safe Democratic
3)New Jersey- Lautenberg- seat is vulnerble regardless. but Democrat favored to win
4)Lousiana- Landrieu- most vulnerable Democratic Senator
5)South Dakota- Johnson- if Governor Mike Rounds runs-

by CMBurns 2006-10-12 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Man, i think it is fair to say that the money that howard dean is using for 50 states strategy, money that is spend in states that doesnt even have one democratic challeneger contending, could be used better for a strong GOTV.

If we fall short of taking over the senate by 1 seat, then i think you could easily blame dean because the MONEY will be the only reason it could happen since the GOP doesnt hold no other strong ace in their pocket.

I know people likes dean, but one must wonder whether all this money that he's throwing in states like Mississippi, could had been better use to dump into a strong GOTV nationwide??

I like the 50 states strategy, but i just dont like it this year because this year is unlike any other years..I dont think someone could say the reason why we might take over the house is because of the 50 states strategy and that'll be overstretching it...the reason why we're take back the house is because of the war in iraq, george bush, mark foley..If you take one of those stuff out, then there's no way we would have such a strong shot at both houses.

Therefore, this is the reason why i just hate the fact that dean is spending money where we dont need it..cant he halt his stupid 50 states strategy just for this year? and start it back up after the election?/  If we fall short by one, it would be because of GOTV money and althought i dont like emmanuel, i can understand his frustration that this could be a chance that they will never have again.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-10-12 04:25PM | 0 recs
50 State Strategy

If it is dumped this year don't expect it to come back any time soon.  Don't forget that there are other races besides the US Congress.  There are many state legislative and even county level races that will be decided this year and that is the true value of the 50 State Strategy.  Those new legislators and county commissioners are going to be the future Democratic Congresspersons and Governors.  The 50 State Strategy will help create a deeper bench for Democrats so that we can continue to compete for every seat in future elections and generate more resources for Democrats to draw on so that when voters learn about the various Republican screw-ups Democrats are well positioned to take those seats.

by msstaley 2006-10-12 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: 50 State Strategy

Don't forget that there are other races besides the US Congress.  There are many state legislative and even county level races that will be decided this year and that is the true value of the 50 State Strategy.  Those new legislators and county commissioners are going to be the future Democratic Congresspersons and Governors.

so good it had to be repeated

I am taking a very optimistic view, but then not only am I old enough to remember the Democratic landslide of 1974, I remember 1964. It feels like that kind of year.

by Alice Marshall 2006-10-12 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: 50 State Strategy

It is a little hard to be for the 50 state strategy except for in close election years at the federal level.  Do you fire all the organizers and shutter the programs every other year?

The 50 state program is about walking and chewing gum at the same time.  For those of us who always demanded more from the Democratic Party we shouldn't be questioning this.  We should be figuring out how we walk, chew gum and whistle for the next two years.

by Orlando 2006-10-12 06:07PM | 0 recs
You know, it's not too late to raise more

And if I could spend it, I'd buy broadcast television by the barrel. We've got the moose on the run; no sense in telling everybody one at a time.

An energized Democratic base can do plenty of GOTV with shoe leather and telephones.

There's rarely been a better time in history to ask Democrats for money.

by stevehigh 2006-10-12 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

2006 US Senate Race
Safe Democratic
1)California- Fienstien
2)Delaware- Carper
3)Florida- Nelson
4)Hawaii- Akaka
5)Massachusetts- Kennedy
6)Michigan- Stabenow
7)Minnesota- Klobuchar
8)Nebraska- Nelson
9)New Mexico- Bingaman
10)New York- Clinton
11)North Dakota- Conrad
12)Washington- Cantwell
13)West Virginia- Byrd
14)Wisconsin- Kohl

Safe Republican
1)Indiana-Lugar
2)Maine-Snowe
3)Mississippi-Lott
4)Nevada-Ensign
5)Texas-Hutchison
6)Utah-Hatch
7)Wyoming-Thomas

Safe Independent
1)Connecticut-Lieberman
2)Vermont-Sanders

Leans Democratic
1)Maryland-Cardin
2)Montana-Tester
3)Ohio-Brown
4)Pennsylvania-Casey
5)Rhode Island-Whitehouse

Leans Republican
1)Arizona-Kyl
2)Virginia-Allen

Tossup/leans Democratic
1)Missouri-McCaskill
2)New Jersey-Menendez
3)Tennesee- Ford

The Senate make up is 49D 49R and 2 Independent

Sanders(VT)will caucus with Democrats. 50D 49R and Lieberman(CT)is a question mark.

We have a much better chance of helping James Webb unseat George "Macaca" Allen. then Lamont unseating Lieberman.

by CMBurns 2006-10-12 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

The DSCC is helping webb and already gave him millions , therefore, he doesnt need the netroot..Lamont doesnt take money from pacs so its harder for him to get a lot of money, so this is why we need to help lamont and please, stop with this " lets stop helping ned and help webb"..WEBB IS ALREADY GETTING MILLIONS FOR THE DSCC, HOW MUCH DOES HE NEED??  LAMONT HAS TO SELF FINANCE BECAUSE HE'S NOT GETTING ANY KIND OF SUPPORT FROM THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-10-12 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

And Lamont has millions of his own. A big part of what made the idea of him challenging Lieberman in the primary was that Lamont was capable of self-financing the bulk of the race so as that we'd not have to blow a lot on what was at least nominally a Democratic seat.

I love Lamont, I hope he wins big time. People should volunteer for him if they're in CT or nearby and can travel there, but I at least think that netroots money would be best utilized helping to increase the size of the Democratic gains in the house by contributing to the marginal seats that Constituent Dynamics just polled. Seats that are competitive already, but would be that much more likely to by won if they got some cash.

by Quinton 2006-10-12 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

I wouldn't throw NV into the safe Republican group.  The Carter camp is pushing hard these final weeks and I won't be too surprised at a Carter victory with a Democratic wave.  Polling has been sparse in this race and the polls that have been done are diametrically opposed to one another.  Hopefully the combined campaigns of strong Democratic candidates for Governor, NV-02, NV-03(and the weak R in NV-01) and the Senate will cause a significantly larger Democratic turnout this year and we will see a lower Republican turnout.

by msstaley 2006-10-12 04:49PM | 0 recs
Plenty of good candidates in Nevada this year

Not only the ones you mentioned, but we also have top Democratic nominees for attorney general and secretary of state. That may sound like reaching downticket but both are on the air with effective commercials. Right now Democrats don't hold a single statewide office among the six and it's frustrating as hell. We have Berkley and Reid and that's it.

I think one reason I'm cautious about expecting a huge Democratic year is I don't feel it here and I talk to people every day. Republicans tend to outperform Democrats in Nevada during midterms, high turnout in the rural areas. The GOP turnout in the August primary was superior to our turnout even though the dynamics were very similar, lopsided senate races with moderately competitive gov primaries.

Make no mistake, the toughest race by far is the senate seat. Ensign maintains strength in southern Nevada. He held the NV-1 House district in Las Vegas from '94 to '98. There is only one statewide method for a Democrat to prevail; dominate Clark County and withstand the GOP slant of the rest of the state. In that regard it is the easiest state in the country to handicap. Polling is historically accurate. Statewide upsets are almost unheard of, particularly in major races.

by Gary Kilbride 2006-10-12 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Plenty of good candidates in Nevada this year

I agree that there are other good Democrats in Nevada running for other statewide seats and all that will come together positively for Democrats.  As far as polls being historically accurate in NV do you go with Rasmussen or Mason-Dixon?  They both can't be right.  Either there is a Senate race or there isn't.  I am encouraged by the number of good Democratic candidates in Nevada and the number of poor Republican candidates.  Jack Carter has been able to bring in some big Democratic names to help energize the people on the ground.  President Carter and First Lady Rosalynn, of course, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Wes Clark, etc. have traveled to NV to support the Carter campaign which also helps out the other Democratic races.  

by msstaley 2006-10-12 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

I still have hopes for Jack Carter to pull a miracle in Nevada. But then, I am old enough to remember the Democratic landslides of '74 and '64.

by Alice Marshall 2006-10-12 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Im starting to think that all those democrats coming here begging the netroot to re direct their money to webb instead of ned, are all democratic aides that wants lieberman backs in the senate and wants ned to loose...dont take those rhinos seriosuly..

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-10-12 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

I do not understand why you are classifying Lieberman as an independent.  If he calls himself a Democrat and votes for Reid as majority leader, then I believe the Senate rules would classify him as a Democrat.  The official count would be 50 D, 49 R & 1 I.  

I understand that some of you guys hate Lieberman, but you do not have the power to throw him out of the Democratic Party.

Francis Vecellio
Kinderhook, NY

by Francis Vecellio 2006-10-12 05:03PM | 0 recs
ConLie

We don't have to throw him out - he withdrew from the Democratic party to run as a party of one.

by Bear83 2006-10-12 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Based on recent elections, when we get two weeks away, a margin of 8% or more has usually been safe. At 7%, only very, very few will reverse.

But that means only two pickups look solid at this point, so we cannot back off for a second.

As Hesiod noted in the House post, momo is critical now. In the final two weeks, undecideds generally start moving to the perceived winner.

The polls clearly show that Iraq is the gorilla issue. We can expect Rove/Bush to make noises about new directions there, since it's now certain that their meaningless 'stay the course' is inspiring electoral defection. Every Dem running better have solid answers so voters can understand that they'll be pushing hard for better results fast, or forcing Bush to bring our troops out, the better to go after Bin Laden.

Gingrich was forced out for failing to deliver in midterms, but it provides nothing if Hastert stays to Election Day, because he'll be forced out of the top spot by voters then. Stepping down in advance might limit the damage on Election Day, so you can bet on Hastert stepping down no later than 10/20.

I've kept a running list on our American Street website of mostly competive Dems for House, Senate and Governor. But being pro-human/equal rights, I've dropped all those who limit women's rights, who are inflexible in denying existing immigrants paths to citizenship, who supported Bush's right to torture, or who back Bush still in Iraq. I'm no liberal purist but I still believe in voting for those with principles and the courage to avoid compromising them.

I recall how Cuomo repeatedly got elected despite remaining anti-capital punishment, when 60% of NYers were pro. Thus, I've dubbed it my Cuomo Courage List, and Chris' numbers today show most of them remain in good shape.

Keep up the good works, mates, and let's finish this even stronger than these numbers!

by KevinHayden 2006-10-12 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Francis, I think the fear is that if we control the Senate 51-49 counting Sanders, that Joe will sell out and defect, thus handing all power to Cheney.

So supporting Lamont still makes good sense because Joe's still a risk unless we win 52.

by KevinHayden 2006-10-12 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

Lieberman ha already stated that he will not forget all the democrats that wouldnt support him and he owe the GOP something back.

I think it is too risky to just hand lieberman the CT senate seat because he will blackmail the shit out of harry reid who's so weak as a leader..Lieberman will be the real majority leader and he will controll everything including whether we change direction in iraq.

by Maria19Rodriguez 2006-10-12 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

The really good shots for the Dems are MT, PA, OH, and PA.  They need another 2, and if national trends continue, they could find another 2 to tip that way.  Senate races can't be gerryamandered, so they are relatively more competitive than House races.  Remember in 04, the Rep won 5 seats vacated by Dem incumbents.

If the scenario of 49-49-2 holds out, the Dems will have a majority as Sanders and Leiberman will definitely go with the Dems.

Perhaps the most interesting race is MO, as this state is considered the most representive of the country of the whole.  McCaskill was on Meet the Press and looked very good debating Talent, who reminded somehow like the misguided-David Brooks.

I pray for NJ, as the more I know about Menendez, the more I feel he is a solid progressive.

I saw Tester debating Burns on C Span tonight, and he is a GREAT candidate.  He has the right persona, the right delivery, and the right platform.

by edonyoung 2006-10-12 07:28PM | 0 recs
Mark Kennedy

Minnesota: Klobuchar (D) 51%--40% Kennedy (R)

But Mark Kennedy is such a great candidate...  for me to poop on!

by fwiffo 2006-10-12 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Inching Closer In The Senate Too

a new poll posted on pubdef shows talent 10 points behind.

by jcarl568 2006-10-13 05:50AM | 0 recs

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