Inspired by this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=347803
It’s understandably simpler, sexier and a whole lot more fun to try to handicap a presidential race than a congressional election. But we have no way of reliably predicting the political conditions in 2008, and three years is such a long time in politics that events could easily render meaningless any speculations we might make at this time. In the nearer future, we have a “mid-term” congressional election cycle coming up.
What are the Dems’ prospects of winning a majority in the Senate next November?
" " the House of Representatives " "?
What are the Republicans’ prospects for winning an even greater majority in either house?
What should the Dems do, if they want to win either?
What role will gerrymandering play in this? What national aggregate vote margin will the Dems need just to win a bare majority in either house?
To what degree will this election by influenced by the Bush Administration’s declining popularity? To what degree will the election be, or be perceived as, a referendum on the Administration?
Assuming the Dems win both chambers, how will that affect political conditions for the succeeding two years?
" " one chamber but not the other, " "?
for Senate seats in 2006
Ben Afflect bought a house in Virginia, and may vie for Sen. Allen’s seat?
Give me a break
BTW, is there a similar site for House races?
Very, very slim. Of the 33 seats up for election, only 15 are held by Republicans (plus independent Jim Jeffords). It would be pretty amazing for the Democrats to grab seven of those. Not only that, but at least three Democrats - and Jeffords - are retiring. The only Republican retiree we know of right now is Bill Frist. If Santorum loses and the Democrats go from 44 seats to 47 or 48, that’ll be an achievement. I figure Bernie Sanders will get Jeffords’s seat, so that will stay independent.
There are 33 seats up for election in the Senate, Given the number of
Also slim, I think - maybe even slimmer - given the size of the Republican majority. It’s hard to beat an incumbent, really.
I think the Democrats will get closer in both chambers, which will put them in better position for the next Congress and for 2008. Bush’s problems and the corruption scandals may be a drag on the Republicans, but I don’t think they’ll outweight local issues so much as providing a kind of backdrop and a general theme for Democrats ("Honesty. Integrity. No, really, we mean It.) The main reason I expect the Democrats to gain is that I just don’t see how the Republicans would sustain these majorities.