Novak: GOP Preparing for Loss of Four Senate Seats
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 11:07:44 AM EDT
Republicans are getting a bit
mum glum about their chances in 2008 -- and apparently aren't shying away from letting Bob Novak know it. From this week's Evans-Novak Political Report (via email):
The call for a small Iraqi troop reduction by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) strengthens the belief that he soon will announce that he is not seeking re-election next year. His probable successor is former Gov. Mark Warner (D). Republican Senators are now talking about losing four seats in 2008. [emphasis added]
You don't come out more than a year out from election day warning about the possibility that you're going to lose four Senate seats unless you really believe it -- or otherwise that you think you may be in store for losing more than four Senate seats. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is already being outgunned, out-financed, out-recruited and generally out-campaigned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and making public sentiments like these isn't going to make the NRSC's task any easier.
Looking through the race rankings from The Cook Political Report (.pdf) and The Rothenberg Political Report (in due time we at MyDD will have our own set of regularly updated race rankings on the books), the numbers and the current dynamics give the Democrats a clear advantage in the race for the United States Senate. As of today, Cook sees 11 races as competitive or potentially competitive, nine of which are being defended by the Republicans. These races do not include Virginia, which is expected to be among the Democrats' best pick-up opportunities in the likely event of a retirement by John Warner, nor do they include Nebraska, which could also be a top pick-up opportunity for the Democrats should Chuck Hagel retire as expected. The Rothenberg race rankings, which are about a month old (and thus have not changed to reflect the situation in Idaho), show 13 competitive or potentially competitive races, of which the Republicans must defend 11 seats. The Republicans currently hold the three most competitive seats, as well as six of the seven most competitive seats.
So with numbers like these, perhaps the Republicans are in fact underestimating just how much trouble they are in. Perhaps a loss of four seats is a bit optimistic...