- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

How big of a Democratic gain will occur in the Senate come November? We know that this is the right question to ask in a year of a spirited Democratic primary, much enthusiasm in the party of Jackson and lopsided Senate terrain. Twenty-three Republican-held Senate seats are up for grabs, of which five are incumbent retirements, compared to just 12 Democratic seats and no Democratic retirements. Enthusiasm plus tilted terrain equals big problems for Republicans.

Here’s National Republican Senatorial Committee, counts among his chief duties rallying the Republican troops. Mission not accomplished.

The Cook Political Report figures upon a 5-7 seat handover. The Minnesota round out the “most vulnerable” list.

There are also a handful of wildcards. Incredibly, the seat of Sen. Chuck Hagel’s .

Behind the scenes, Republicans tell each other that they can live with the Cook Report’s 5-7 scenario, since even a seven-seat Senate loss only brings Democrats to a 58-seat caucus. They also wonder whether Connecticut independent and famous Democratic dissenter, may be lured out of the fold completely, alleviating the impact. This, at least, sounds a lot better than top party chieftains who advise their charges to “run scared.”

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