To 51.

The short version is… it’s doable.


I’m using this map to do the calculations, by the way: it’s already adjusted DE & NH to Likely Democrat and Tossup, respectively (which looks accurate to me, although the latter at least is volatile and speculative).

  • We start at 41.
  • First wave is everything of ours legitimately at risk (FL, KY, LA, MO, NC, NH, OH). Just to be on the safe side, subtract NH, for the time being and until new polling comes out reflecting the new situation (PPP’s does not actually tell you what the poll numbers were). The rest are reasonably safe at the moment. Net 40.
  • Second wave is our more or less guaranteed pickups (AR, IN, ND). Net 43.
  • Third wave is races where it’s reasonable to bet that we’re going to pick up seats (PA). Net 44.
  • Fourth wave is toss-up territory (CO, IL, NV). We absolutely must get all three; NV is the riskiest, but Angle’s still in there and messing up Reid’s day. Assuming all three, Net 47.
  • Fifth wave is where this gets hairy (CA, CT, WA, WI, WV). We’ll need four of those to hit 51. Of them: CA, WA, & WI look fairly good right now, but the Democrats will firewall those states, if they firewall no others. CT’s McMahon has a good campaign team and lots of money, and she needs both. WV’s Manchin is surprisingly weak in his Senate bid, but he’s got home-field advantage.

Conclusions?   …Well, it’s going to be easy to get to 46.  Deceptively not-impossible to get to 48.  51 is going to be hard.  The good news is that NH may not actually be affected by whatever changes take place, which will make the fifth wave a heck of a lot easier to deal with: three of five is better than four of five.  But note that even then I have to assume a sweep of the fourth wave in order to get to the fifth.  I also have some slightly annoyed things to say about the state of the NY-SEN races, but we’ll let that slide for the moment.


  • Skip says:

    No question it made 51 (with Snowe/Collins/Graham, etc. driving the agenda) much harder. But we need 53-54 to actually enact a conservative agenda, and I don’t think it hurts our chances for that in 2012 at all, and 47-50 will be just fine for holding off the Democratic onslaught, especially with a House majority.

    And besides, 50 without DE means that I suspect Ben Nelson could be flipped, and I think he’d actually be a more reliable 51st vote than Castle, if he flipped.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Skip: I want veins in teeth. The Democrats didn’t get their majorities – and their four-year looting window – by pulling punches. And the bigger the wave, the more hard Democratic seats in the House get inundated. 🙂

  • Phil Smith says:

    One hell of an idea on Nelson, skip.

  • alwaysfiredup says:

    Isn’t there also an argument to be made that having control of the house and 47-50 in the Senate (nominal Dem control) is best for GOP presidential electoral chances in 2012?

  • […] by picking her over Castle, only time will tell us what we want to know. We may even still get to 51 without […]

  • […] by picking her over Castle, only time will tell us what we want to know. We may even still get to 51 without […]

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