Landrieu Inching Toward Safety
U.S. Senate 2008
Democrats – 53
Republicans – 41
Independents – 2
Tossup – 4
REPUBLICANS NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION (26)
SAFE REPUBLICAN (6)
Ala. (Sessions), Tenn. (Alexander), MS-A (Cochran), S.C. (Graham), WY-A (Enzi), WY-B (Barasso)
LIKELY REPUBLICAN (3)
Kan. (Roberts), Neb. (Hagel), Ok. (Inhofe)
LEAN REPUBLICAN (6)
Ga. (Chambliss), Idaho (Craig), Ky. (McConnell), Maine (Collins), N.C. (Dole), Texas (Cornyn)
Minn. (Coleman), MS-B (Wicker), N.H. (Shaheen), Ore. (Smith)
LEAN DEMOCRAT (3)
Alaska (Begich), Col. (Udall), La. (Landrieu)
LIKELY DEMOCRAT (2)
N.J. (Lautenberg), N.M. (Udall)
SAFE DEMOCRAT (11)
Ark. (Pryor), Del. (Biden), Iowa (Harkin), Ill. (Durbin), Mass. (Kerry), Mich. (Levin), Mont. (Baucus), R.I. (Reed), S.D. (Johnson), Va. (Warner), W.Va. (Rockefeller)
DEMOCRATS NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION (37)
INDEPENDENTS NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION (2)
Some of the changes in this projection list is quite possibly float within the margin of error in the recent polls, especially since a number of Senators were on the cusp of a category change and saw just enough of it to flip.
Case in point: New Hampshire. Her poll numbers have drifted inside of 10 points, and my metric shifted her to tossup in part due to Sununu’s cash advantage. I still think the dynamics of the race put Sheheen in control, and she is close to my own “lean” category, but she will need to watch out for an ad blitz coming her way.
Likewise, Minnesota’s Gordon Smith is using every chance he gets to tie himself to Barack Obama, hoping that Oregon’s voters will appreciate his bipartisanship. But the dynamics seems to be keeping his Democratic opponent competitive.
Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss drew a stronger than expected opponent out of the primaries, and the resulting poll bounce for Jim Martin has tighten up the race a bit, into “lean” status. But the cash disparity between the two candidates still means this is Saxby’s to lose, and I doubt Obama can provide much help here to the Democrat.
The last category shift here is Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. A new poll after her ad blitz labeled John Kennedy a hapless flip-flopper shows the ads have worked and now have moved her solidly ahead in her re-election campaign. If this keeps up, she will be in “likely” category very soon.
New Mexico’s polling has tightened up a but, but Udall’s cash advantage and still double-digit lead means this remains his race to lose. Generally, it remains quite a difficult challenge for the Dems to get to 60 seats – they’d have to sweep all of the tossups and then break into the “lean Republican” category, especially if you anticipate as I do that Lieberman will be forced out of the Dem caucus after his performance at the GOP convention.
Overall: Dems 54, GOP 41, Tossups 4, Lieberman 1.