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Monday, July 19, 2010

Election 2010- Is The Senate Winnable For GOP?

Wall Street Journal charts a path to the GOP taking control of the Senate in the November 2010 election, something that wasn't seen as possible months ago and still is not probable, but to which would change the political landscape considerably.

Democrats for the first time are acknowledging that Republicans could retake the Senate this November if everything falls into place for the GOP, less than two years after Democrats held a daunting 60-seat majority.

Leaders of both parties have believed for months that Republicans could win the House, where every lawmaker faces re-election. But a change of party control in the Senate, where only a third of the members are running and Republicans must capture 10 seats, seemed out of the question.

That's no longer the case. The emergence of competitive Republican candidates in Wisconsin, Washington and California—Democratic-leaning states where polls now show tight races—bring the number of seats that Republicans could seize from the Democrats to 11.

Personally I think that is a long shot, at best. Then again it has gone from an "impossibility" to a long shot, so I could be wrong.

FiveThirtyEight, a left leaning polling site, also notices the changes and gives the GOP a 12 to 17 percent chance of taking the Senate in 2010.

The model gives Republicans a 17 percent chance of taking over the Senate if Charlie Crist caucuses with them, up significantly from 6 percent three weeks ago. If Crist does not caucus with them, their chances of a takeover are 12 percent. However, the model does not account for the contingency that someone like Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson could decide to switch parties, which makes their chances slightly better than we suggest here.

Emphasis mine.

While 12 or 17 percent is a very low figure and no one should get cocky, a six point jump in three weeks should be very concerning to Democrats.

FiveThirtyEight goes on to explain the difference between polling likely voters vs registered voters and how the GOP fairs better when the likely voter model is used.