Even if McCain wins, the Democrats are still going to make gains in Congress. It is unlikely the Democrats will pick up nine seats to overturn a fillibuster. The Democrats will probably get about 5 to 6 seats. With this large majority, Harry Reid can move "Traitor" Joe to the other side of the aisle. The Democrats will have an easier time pushing their agenda. If McCain does become president, he will have a nightmare facing the heavily Democratic Congress. If Obama becomes president, the Democrats will steer the agenda for two years and 2010 will probably be a Republican year. We have a list of the seven Senate races that are most likely to switch parties. The Senate race with the 1 next to it is the Senate race that we believe has the best chance of switching parties. Enough chitter chatter, onto the list.
7. Louisiana (held by Democrat)
Mary Landrieu is up for reelection and she won 52%-48% in her last election. She will be facing state treasurer John Kennedy(R) who is a former Democrat. Landrieu will definitely be helped by Obama. He will probably bring large numbers of African Americans to the polls. The African American population of Louisiana was 32%. That number has probably dropped a bit after Katrina and it remains to be seen how many African Americans there are in Lousiana after Katrina. Currently we believe this race is slightly tilting Democratic.
6. Mississippi (held by a Republcan)
Although Thad Cochran is pretty safe, the new Senator Roger Wicker (R) is having a tough time holding onto his seat. The former governer of the state Ronnie Musgrove (D) is running against Wicker. Wicker has never held statewide office before. He was the Representative from the 1st Congressional district of Mississippi. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to fill Trent Lott's open U.S Senate seat. Musgrove is a conservative white Democrat so he must get enough whites to vote for him so he can win along with the African American turnout Obama will bring. Currently, this race is a toss up.
5. Alaska (held by a Republican)
Although Ted Stevens has been a Senator from Alaska for 40 years, this may be the last term for the longest serving Senator from the Last Frontier. He is facing Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage and the son of former congressman Nick Begich. Stevens usually wins reelection by a wide margin but that will not happen this time. Recently, the FBI raided his house due to an ethics charge. Polls show Stevens and Begich attracting about the same percentage of their own party. The reason for this race being close is that Begich has a large lead of unaffiliated voters. Expect this race to be one of the closest of the cycle. This race is currently a toss up.
4. Colorado (held by a Republican)
Since 2004, Democrats have been making gains in Colorado. They control the Governership, the state Senate and state House along with one U.S Senate seat. Wayne Allard who holds the other U.S Senate seat is retiring. Rep. Mark Udall (D) from Boulder and former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) from the 4th district which contains Fort Collins and the eastern part of the state are both running for the seat. Recent polls show Udall with a lead and Obama will be contesting Colorado. Those two factors may be enough for Udall to pull off a win. This race currently leans Democratic.
3. New Mexico (held by a Republican)
We were not sure whether to give this spot to New Hampshire or not but we decided to give this to New Mexico. Pete Domenichi (R) is retiring and Rep. Tom Udall (D) who is the cousin of Mark Udall who is running for Senate in Colorado won an easy primary. Rep. Steve Pearce (R) will be running for the seat too. Pearce barely won the primary 51%-49% against Rep. Heather Wilson. Pearce is heavily conservative which is why he won the primary but that will probably not play well into the general election. Udall also is the son of Stewart Udall who was the Secretary of the Interior when Johnson and Kennedy were president. Polls show Udall with a lead which is why we think this race currently leans Democratic.
2. New Hampshire (held by a Republican)
This is not the first contest between former Governer Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Senator John Sumunu (R). In 2002, they ran against each other and Sumunu won only 51%-47%. Now Shaheen is back and polls show she is leading Sumunu in the high single didgits and the low double didgits. Sumunu is a moderate to conservative Republican and McCain is on the top of the ticket which may help Sumunu. Democrats have been doing really well in New Hampshire. Since 2004, Democrats gained the governership, both of New Hampshire's U.S house seats, control of the State House and State Senate. It looks like this may be Sumunu's last term even if McCain does win New Hampshire. This race currently leans Democratic.
1. Virginia (held by a Republican)
This race is almost certain to fall into Democratic hands. John Warner (R) is retiring and former Governer Mark Warner (D) is running for the seat. Former Governer Jim Gilmore (R) is running too but it looks like there is no chance for him. A recent Rasmussen poll shows Warner leading in the high teens. Now that Warner said he will not run for VP, it is certain he will be the Junior Senator of Virginia next year.
These our the opinons we have of the Senate Races most likely to switch this cycle. We plan to soon post rankings of the Senate seats like the rankings for the states in the presidential. In the future, we will make make the list of the Senate races most likely to switch longer.
If you have any thoughts on this list, please feel free to comment it.