News reports are out today analyzing the financial health of the national parties… and it doesn’t bode well for Republicans.
First, consider the United States Senate. Neither Senator Bill Nelson nor Senator Mel Martinez stand for re-election this year. Which may be a good thing for Republicans, but let’s look around the country.
The partisan balance is currently 49 to 49, and there are 35 seats up for election this year – 23 for the GOP and 12 for the Dems. According to the Cook Political Report, the Republican seats that are in danger:
- Senator Roger Wicker in Mississippi, appointed by Gov. Barber to fill Trent Lott’s term.
- Senator John Sununu in New Hampshire.
- Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota, although facing Al Franken should make this safer.
- Senator Wayne Allard’s seat in Colorado, an open seat.
- Senator Gordon Smith in Oregon.
- Senator Ted Stevens in Alaska, with his bridge to nowhere.
The seats the Democrats will likely pick up
- Senator Pete Domenici’s seat in New Mexico, an open seat. (Lean D)
- Senator John Warner’s seat in Virginia, an open seat. (Likely D)
The closest Democrats come to losing a seat is Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, which is still a “Lean D” seat.
The current outlook, according to Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy, the Democrats will pick up “five to seven” seats this year.
Could it be more?
Consider the financial advantage. The Democrat Senate Campaign Committee currently has $46.2 million cash on hand. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee only has $24.6 million cash on hand. That is a lot more TV commercials and direct mail pieces for Democratic candidates.
Up next – The United States House of Representatives.