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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Ballot Box: GOP In 'Solid Shape' To Take Control Of Senate In 2012

Via The Hill:

An early spate of Democratic Senate retirements has put Republicans in solid shape to retake the majority in the upper chamber next year.

The first edition of The Hill's 2012 race ratings puts five Democratic-held seats in the toss-up column. Republicans need a net gain of at least three seats to win the Senate.

Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are the two incumbents that top of the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats in 2012. And, thanks to retirements, another three Democratic-held seats are toss-ups -- the ones held by Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Jim Webb (Va.).

In 2012, Democrats will have to protect 23 Senate seats and Republicans only 10, the breakdown as follows, according to Ballot Box's Race Ratings:

Democratic Seats (23)

Safe Democratic: (8)
Feinstein (Calif.)
Carper (Del.)
Cardin (Md.)
Klobuchar (Minn.)
Menendez (N.J.)
Gillibrand (N.Y.)
Whitehouse (R.I.)
Sanders (Vt.)

Likely Democratic: (6)
Lieberman (Conn.) - OPEN
Akaka (Hawaii) - OPEN
Stabenow (Mich.)
Casey (Pa.)
Cantwell (Wash.)
Kohl (Wis.)

Lean Democratic: (4)
Nelson (Fla.)
McCaskill (Mo.)
Brown (Ohio)
Manchin (W.Va.)

Toss-up: (5)
Tester (Mont.)
Nelson (Neb.)
Bingaman (N.M.) - OPEN
Conrad (N.D.) - OPEN
Webb (Va.) - OPEN

Republican Seats (10)

Safe Republican: (5)
Lugar (Ind.)
Wicker (Miss.)
Corker (Tenn.)
Hatch (Utah)
Barrasso (Wy.)

Likely Republican: (3)
Kyl (Ariz.) - OPEN
Snowe (Maine)
Hutchison (Texas) - OPEN

Lean Republican: (0)

Toss-up: (2)
Brown (Mass.)
Ensign (Nev.)