Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Merkley’

Before it gets too late, I want to note my predictions for the downballot races.

Senate:
The Democrats currently hold a 51-49 majority. They need to a net gain of 9 seats tonight to get a 60-seat supermajority. These are the races which will ultimately determine the size of the new Democratic majority in January.

Alaska: Ted Stevens (R) v. Mark Begich (D)
Begich wins by 8-11 points.

Colorado: Bob Schaffer (R) v. Mark Udall (D)
Udall wins by 7-10 points.

Georgia: Saxby Chambliss (R) v. Jim Martin (D)
Chambliss wins by 2-5 points.

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell (R) v. Bruce Lunsford (D)
McConnell wins by 3-6 points.

Louisiana: John Kennedy (R) v. Mary Landrieu (D)
Landrieu wins by 6-9 points.

Maine: Susan Collins (R) v. Tom Allen (D)
Collins wins by 7-10 points.

Minnesota: Norm Coleman (R) v. Al Franken (D)
Franken wins 2-5 points.

Mississippi: Roger Wicker (R) v. Ronnie Musgrove (D)
Wicker wins by 4-7 points.

New Hampshire: John Sununu (R) v. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
Shaheen wins by 8-12 points.

New Mexico: Steve Pearce (R) v. Tom Udall (D)
Udall wins by 10-13 points.

North Carolina: Elizabeth Dole (R) v. Kay Hagan (D)
Hagan wins by 4-7 points.

Oregon: Gordon Smith (R) v. Jeff Merkley (D)
Merkley wins by 4-7 points.

Virginia: Jim Gilmore (R) v. Mark Warner (D)
Warner wins by 24-27 points.

If my predictions are correct the Democrats will pick up 8 seats, leaving them at 59-41 in the Senate, one seat short of the supermajority. The GOP firewall in the South will hold, but if they lose McConnell or Chambliss the Dems hit 60.

House of Representatives:
The Democrats currently hold a 236-199 majority. Expect them to pick up between 25-30 more seats tonight. I also expect the Republicans to claim one significant Democratic scalp: John Murtha, largely due to his self-inflicted wounds when he said western Pennsylvania was racist.

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Downballot Senate Republicans are warning of Democrats controlling the Washington trifecta with a Senate supermajority:

WASHINGTON — In the waning days of the 2008 elections, Republicans from the top of the ticket on down are making a remarkable appeal: Vote for me, because the rest of my party seems headed for defeat.

A spate of new ads paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee are premised on Barack Obama beating John McCain. Some even say that Democrats could pick up enough Senate seats to have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes. McCain, meanwhile, is arguing that a vote for him is a check against a Democrat-dominated Congress.

“Sending Jeff Merkley to the U.S. Senate could give one party a blank check … again,” says an announcer in an ad for Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, a Republican in a close race with Merkley, a Democrat. “Especially in this economy, Oregon needs an independent voice in the U.S. Senate.”

In North Carolina, where Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole is at risk of losing to Democrat Kay Hagan, the announcer intones, “Who’s the Senate race really about? Hagan or Dole? Neither one. It’s about liberals in Washington. They want complete control of the government … The left wants 60 votes in the Senate.”

In Louisiana, another ad paid for by the Republican committee said of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu: “Landrieu votes with Barack Obama 81% of the time. Landrieu endorsed Obama. … Don’t give Washington liberals complete control; don’t give them a blank check.”