Analysis Of The Senate Races: One Month Out.

Currently, there are 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Dems in the Senate. That means the Dems need 9 more seats to get to 60, which would allow them to shut down any Republican filibuster attempts at will.

At the moment, the situation is particularly precarious for the GOP. McCain is down by 5-7 points nationally, the GOP’s spineless capitulation on the bailout has taken the wind out of conservative sails, and the political environment is still slanted heavily against the Republicans. Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, there doesn’t appear to be a single seat held by the Dems in the Senate that’s seriously in jeopardy.

However, the same can’t be said on the GOP side. Here’s how I am currently assessing the GOP’s Senate prospects (seats that look safe aren’t included)…

Republican Seat Strongly Leaning Democrat Takeover

Jim Gilmore (R-VA) vs. Mark Warner (D)
Steve Pearce (R-NM) vs. Tom Udall (D)

Republican Seat Leaning Democrat Takeover

(I) Ted Stevens (R-AK) vs. Mark Begich (D)
Bob Schaffer (R-CO) vs. Mark Udall (D)
(I) John Sununu (R-NH) vs. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
(I) Gordon Smith (R-OR) vs. Jeff Merkley (D)

Republican Seat That’s A Toss-Up

(I) Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) vs. Kay Hagan (D)

Republican Seat That’s Leaning Towards Retention

(I) Norm Coleman (R-MN) vs. Al Franken (D)
Roger Wicker (R-MS) vs. Ronnie Musgrove (D)
(I) Saxby Chambliss vs. Jim Martin (D)
(I) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vs. Bruce Lunsford (D)

As you can see, the Democrats look likely to pick up at least 6 seats right now. That could easily be 7 if Liddy Dole doesn’t get going. Her numbers have dropped considerably over the past few weeks.

Furthermore, the GOP seats in Colorado and Minnesota are leaning the right way today (there is a Star Tribune poll showing Franken ahead, but their polls are always ridiculously skewed to the left), but that could easily change by election day.

Worse yet, If McCain were to drop further, as opposed to making up a little ground, it’s not out of the question that the Democrats could win ALL of these seats. That would be very unlikely, but it’s possible.

My best guess today? A 7-8 seat pick-up for the Dems. Although that wouldn’t get the Dems to 60, all it would take to stop a filibuster would be 2-3 squishes refusing to go along. Anything over a 55 seat majority has the potential to be big trouble for the GOP if Obama makes it to the White House and the Dems are almost guaranteed to hit that number and then some.

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