how likely is a democratic filibuster-proof majority in the senate?

how likely is a democratic filibuster proof majority?

Do all democrats want it to happen or do some of you dread it? (assuming Obama wins).

Nate Silver puts it at about 30%, and I’d be hard-pressed to gainsay his math. There are two certain Democratic pickups (VA and NM), two very likely pickups (NH and CO), two likely pickups (NC and OR), and two more likely than not pickups (AK and MN). That puts it at 59 total, and one more needed to prevent filibustering; that is most likely to happen in MS or GA, if anywhere, but even if Wicker and Chambliss are both reelected, Collins, Snowe, and Gregg could probably be relied on to turn in a pinch. I have heard some speculation that Obama might appoint Collins to some position in his cabinet, and thus allow the Democratic governor of Maine to replace her with a 60th Dem senator. predicts the Senate will be 59 Dems, 41 Pubs – one shy of a filibuster-proof majority.

How is Liberman being counted in all that – IIRC he’s now an independent who conferences with the Democrats. If he continues the trend (and ev’s prediction is true), does that give them the 60? Does that make him the most powerful man in the Senate?

I’m of mixed feeling regarding a supermajority. I think a good couple years of housecleaning could be good, but on the other hand, a couple years of power like that can be awfully dangerous. Even if it were restrained for a while, any party in power like that can’t last for long before things go awry (for good and ill intentions). I’d hate to think of Palin or something like her riding the backlash.

In my opinion, here are the possible scenarios:

  1. Democrats achieve 61+ seats, promptly tell Lieberman to take a running jump.
  2. Democrats achieve 60 seats, Lieberman stays where he is. If he gets too cantankerous, Reid may tell him “Look, if you leave, our job is harder, but not impossible. Shut up.”
  3. Democrats achieve 59 seats. Lieberman stays where he is, and Reid may have to suck up to him a little.

What about Bernie Sanders? He is not a dem.

Democrats cannot achieve a filibuster proof majority except in theory. Keeping 60 Democrats together without drawing at least a few Republicans has never been done to the best of my knowledge. We will never keep 60 together. I’d say give Lieberman the boot as soon as the new Senators are seated. Dem committee seats (and chairs) should not be given to people who endorse Republicans for President and trash Democrats at the Republican National Convention.

Nate Silver’s model mentioned above counts both Sanders and Lieberman as Democrats, for that count. If you leave off Lieberman, then the probability for 60 is less than 20%, and without either of them, it’s about 10%. Sanders probably should be counted, though… He considers himself a socialist, right? He’d be even less likely to side with the Republicans than a Democrat would.

I’m with you on this. Ideally I would like to see the Dems own the lot for one go till the midterm elections then restore enough Repubs back to provide a check on the Dems power. Partly to punish the Reps for the disaster they have wrought and hoping losing this much power would cause them to regroup and go back to their original principles and toss the far right and partly to allow the Dems two years of free reign without and obstructionist slate of Reps standing in their way.

But too much power is a bad thing and I believe our government works best when there is balance between the two sides and they need to work together to make things happen.

Don’t forget the potential for Obama to call up a Republican into the cabinet. Say, Senator Snowe.

It looks like it might happen.:

:eek: :cool:

Not to beat the drum over and over, but the 60 seat thing is NOT that big a deal. Not that I came up with the idea on my own; Nate Silver’s made the same point and so have many Dopers. At this point, House Republicans are sticking it to Obama on some issues but the Senate Republicans generally aren’t. I guess this is good news for Obama’s judicial nominees, but he was already popular and the Democratic majority was already likely to grow past 60 in 2010.

What? The Democrats might get 58 plus Lieberman and Sanders, but the minute that the math works out that way, Lieberman becomes the crucial swing vote, and uses it. It’s a very minor gain.

Naw. Collins, Snowe, Voinovich, Specter, and the other Republicans up in 2010 in states Obama won still need to look appealing to their constituents.

Voinovich is packing it in. So are Bond, Martinez, and Brownback, probably Hutchison, and maybe Bunning. On the other hand, that decision frees them from having to support their party instead of using their own judgment about what’s the right thing for the country, during their remaining tenures. On the other hand, there aren’t reality-based GOP replacements for them in sight, so the chances of their seats flipping in 2010 are pretty good (well, maybe not Hutchison’s).

And on the other side of the aisle, there are also Democrats who won’t support Obama on particular issues. The 60 seat threshhold is very fuzzy, with fuzziness significantly larger than a single [del]pixel[/del]seat. This becomes especially true when you realize that the ®s that can be most plausibly flipped to (D)s will tend to already be on the left edge of the Republican party.

With as much as 60 seats has been hyped, though, I actually think that the Dems would be better off with 59. That way, for anything that the administration accomplishes, they can point to at least some measure of bipartisan support, and it’s not completely a matter of “We tried to stop it, but the Evil Democommies rammed this down our throat”.

And, conversely, if the pubs do filibuster something, they can be painted as obstructionist and unwilling to do what the majority wants.

Agreed – the Dems are better off with 59. The magic number 60 is mostly a myth.