If All Goes Well, Control of the Senate Rests On Missouri

I kind of saw the campaign breaking this way last week when I last made a Senate Update, and it holds true today as well: the path toward Missouri as the deciding state in the Senate continues right on schedule. Webb continues to rise in Virginia, and Menendez has seized the lead in New Jersey as well. Tester continues to hang on in Montana, as does Cardin in Maryland. With Ford struggling a bit in Tennessee, despite internals showing him up five, the Senate thus comes down to one race: Missouri.

The last two phone polls from Missouri show the race exactly tied, 49-49 and 47-47. You have to like Democratic chances to scoop up the final undecideds in a friendly election such as this, and with Jim Talent's re-elect and job approval both below 45%. Then again, you have to wonder about the Republican "firewall" of resources in Missouri, Talent's huge cash edge, and Republican turnout operations in red states. Not to mention that this race could hardly have been any closer from start to finish.

Watch Missouri, and watch it closely. For a campaign this important, it is stunning how little press coverage it has received outside of Michael J. Fox. I'm not saying that there couldn't be some surprises on Election Day that would shift Missouri's position as the deciding factor, but I am saying that it currently strikes me as impossible for Democrats to win the Senate if we don't win Missouri. I am also not saying that we have a good chance to retake the Senate--I still think the odds are against us. However, with surges by Webb and Menendez, the brass ring is within our grasp once again. Right now, I'd peg our odds for Senate control at around 10-20%, because we do have to sweep all of the close races in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Montana for Missouri to be the deciding factor.

On the web: Claire McCaskill for Senate.

3 Blunt Political Ads for Dems

Check out the youtube link below for the following
three spots:  Dead or Alive, George Allen Doesn't Know War and Time for a Change.  

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=k6pi ctures

They were submitted to the likes of the DNC, DSCC, September Fund, etc. where they were ignored.  Feel free to post a comment to help us improve our ads in the future.

K6 Pictures, LLC

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MD-SEN: Push Poll for Michael Steele

I just got off the phone with a recorded push poll for "Common Sense Maryland," an apparent offshoot with "Common Sense Ohio" at http://www.commonsenseohio.org/. It seems to be a right-wing nut organization. I didn't listen too carefully and I thought at first it was "Common Cause." Then I heard the questions:
(1) Am I voting for Michael Steele?  No.
(2) Am I voting for Ben Cardin? Yes.
(3) Don't I want someone who won't raise my taxes? No answer.
(4) Do I really want someone who will remove the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance?  No answer.

The poll voice then said it would end the poll.

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Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Welcome to our new sponsor, and my former employer / political trainer, the AFL-CIO! They will be appearing on both the Senate and House forecast pages. I will have a new House forecast tomorrow. Please, take part in their fabulous Had Enough? program. Labor is our GOTV--Chris

The new Senate Forecast is up. The forecast has shifted from a 4-6 seat Democratic pickup to a 3-5 seat Democratic pickup. My specific forecast has shifted from a five seat pickup to a four seat pickup. Here are the major changes:
  • Minnesota upgraded from "Likely Democratic" to off the board entirely
  • Washington upgraded from "Likely Democratic" to off the board entirely
  • Pennsylvania upgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic"
  • Maryland downgraded from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic"
  • New Jersey downgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss-up"
  • Virginia upgraded from "Lean Republican" to "Toss-up"
  • Tennessee downgraded from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"
Check out the whole forecast. I will have a new House forecast up tomorrow, but I am so very, very tired. I wonder again if I have the endurance to be a major political operative. I have always made up for my lack of energy and speed in my work with an intense, single-minded focus. This time of the year, you need all of those attributes. But I intend to keep fighting until I pass out.

Control Of The Senate Still a Longshot

Before our euphoria gets too crazy, keep in mind that Republicans still have the inside track to maintain control of the Senate. Here are the five poll averages in the races that will determine control (updated for last night's new polls):
  • Rhode Island: Whitehouse (D) 47.4%--41.6% Chafee (R)
  • Montana: Tester (D) 47.4%--42.0% Burns (R)
  • New Jersey: Menendez (D) 46.2%--42.6% Kean (R)
  • Missouri: Talent (R) 46.8%--45.4% McCaskill (D)
  • Virginia: Allen (R) 47.6%--46.0% Webb (D)
  • Tennessee: Corker (R) 47.6%--44.8% (Ford (D)
Democrats need to win five of these six races in order to take control by a single seat, and that doesn't not even factor in Lieberman. We have seen some slippage in Missouri lately, and even more slippage in Tennessee. On the flip side, we are clearly gaining in Virginia. But, like I said, we need five of these six races to take control, and Republicans are currently leading, with cash advantages, in the three border states.

Never once in this cycle have I predicted Democrats to take control of the Senate, and I will be stunned if we manage to do so on November 7th. I do still hope for a pickup of four or five seats in the Senate, taking control of the House, winning the majority of Governors, and doing some real damage in state legislatures. To say the least, that wouldn't be half bad. Republicans controlling the Senate would be an extremely unfortunate event, but with Republicans defending 40 of the 67 Senate seats up for election in 2008 and 2010, we would have a very good chance to take a large majority going into the 2012 elections. Even if Republicans were to win 34 of the 67 seats up for election in 2008 and 2010, that would mean Democrats pick up six seats. As we sprint to the finish line this year, it needs to be remembered that taking back our country is a long-term project.


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