October 18, 2004


8 Senate Races Key To Democrats' Hopes (Charles Babington and Helen Dewar, October 18, 2004, Washington Post)

With Republican senators retiring in Oklahoma and Colorado and a third battling for her seat in Alaska, Democrats have a chance to pick up three seats on Nov. 2. That would be enough to control the chamber, where there are 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and one independent who sides with the Democrats. But Democrats still would have to retain three or four of their five threatened seats to prevail.

Those are huge ifs. In addition to Daschle's all-out battle, Democrats are trying to hold seats left open by retirements in three states that President Bush is virtually certain to carry -- North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana -- and in the toss-up state of Florida. Georgia is considered unwinnable, but Democrats are positioned to grab Illinois's GOP-held seat, so they would offset each other.

With Bush favored to carry seven of the eight states with highly competitive Senate races -- and Florida considered a dead heat -- Democratic nominees are focusing on local and nonpartisan issues as much as possible.

That Democratic hopes rest on 8 states the President will win suggests how much more likely it is that the GOP will add seats.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 18, 2004 7:10 AM

I'm still calling for GOP +4 (GA/IL offset, hold OK, CO, AK, gain NC, SC, FL, LA) and possibly more with SD, WA, and WI not out of the question. If Bush continues to pull away in the polls my scenario of +4 may begin to look to conservative.

Posted by: AWW at October 18, 2004 11:20 AM

The GOP is at 51 now. They are going to lose Illinois, but gain in GA, NC, SC,and probably FL and Louisiana. They will hold OK. I put Colorado, South Dakota and Washington in the category of seats that could switch but are unlikely to. For better or worse, Specter appears solid in PA.

A 55-45 or 56-44 breakdown looks likely.

Posted by: Bart at October 18, 2004 12:18 PM