Recapture Senate in 2010?
Okay, not likely. Maybe impossible. But though very improbable, there are at least 10 seats we could take back to even this out:
1. NV – Even the liberal Daily Kos polling outfit notes Reid as trailing both of his challengers – Danny Tarkanian, son of Jerry Tarkanian by 45-40, and Sue Lowden by 44-40. As Obama continues to press Reid into pushing a crazy liberal agenda, the generally conservative Nevada may throw him out. Reid has moved significantly left over the past two years.
2. CT – Dodd has been hit hard over sweetheart mortgage deals and lobbyist ties and Quinnipiac’s most recent poll (in mid-July, which means its probably worse for Dodd now) has him trailing Simmons 48-39.
3. DE – Though I’ve seen several forecasts rating this as a safe hold for Democrats, the PPP (D) has Mike Castle defeating Biden 44-36, and Susquehanna has Castle over Biden 55-34. Both polls were done in the spring, and I have not seen more recent polling data, but I would think the summer has made things worse for the junior Biden.
4. IL – Kirk (R) leads Giannoulias 41-38 in Rasmussen Reports. PPP and Daily Kos have it a tie and plus 8 (D) respectively, but they are partisan polling outfits generally polling several points left of actual results. The Burris scandal and Blagojevich scandal have the Dems in Illinois in worse shape than usual, and a strong challenger like Kirk stands a shot.
5. NH – Hodes is only polling a couple points ahead of Bass, again with no polling since mid-July, and over 20% are undecided. This would not be a pick up, but as most people thought the Dems would take it, its worth mentioning.
6. PA – Toomey has been on and off ahead of Specter and Specter has a bruising primary set up with Joe Sestak.
7. NY – If Pataki runs, this could be competitive. Gillibrand runs behind him in the most recent Siena and Marist polls.
8. AR – Blanche Lincoln is running behind multiple opponents who have name recognition in single digits in a red state with tough votes ahead of her.
9. ND – If popular Governor Hoeven enters the fray, Dorgan could be finished. Particularly if his health care co-op plan becomes unpopular.
10. HI – Yes, Inouye could coast to reelection. But the guy is about 90 and Gov. Lingle could present a strong challenger, defeat any younger replacement, and maybe even give him a run for his money.
11. KY, OH, and MO should be competitive but the GOP should be able to hold at least KY, probably MO, and have a very strong candidate in Portman in OH. All 3 GOP candidates have polled ahead at various points, and never more than a couple points behind.
12. The tenth seat to take from the Dems could be Colorado as Bennet is considered vulnerable and some forecasts have it as a toss up or just lean dem.
10 seats gets us to 50-48. If Lieberman does not choose to support the Dems for majority of the Senate, we could retake control. Given how Obama and crew are proceeding in Iraq, Afghanistan, the broader middle East and Israel, its all very possible.
A dream? Yes. A pipe dream? Yes. Still, its nice to think about it.