With the stunning news that Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh will not seek re-election in 2010 today seems like a good day to post the first in a monthly series of Midterm updates at the FreeStater Blog. These assessments will be based on reviews of polling data as well and district or state trends as well as national dynamics. Democrats currently hold a 255 to 178 majority in the House and a 57 to 41 seat majority in the Senate (with two independents who caucus with Democrats). Republicans need 40 House seats and 10 Senate seats to reclaim control of each chamber.
Here's how things stand today -
In the House
AL-2, AZ-5, AZ-8, CO-3, CO-4, FL-8, FL-24, MO-4, ID-1, IN-9, KS-3, MD-1, MI-7, MS-1, NV-3, NH-1, NH-2, NM-2, NY-13, NY-29, ND-AL, OH-1, OH-15, OH-16, OH-18, PA-7, PA-10, PA-12, SC-5, TN-8, TX-17, VA-2, VA-5, VA-9, WA-3, and WV-1
Democrats will pickup 2 seats:
IL-10 and LA-2
That would be a net gain of 34 seats for Republicans, 6 shy of the number needed to reclaim control of the chamber and the GOP may make inroads in New England in 2010. Keep an eye on CT-4 and CT-5 as well as MA-10.
In the Senate
If the election were held today the Republicans would pickup 7 seats:
AR, CO, DE, IN, NV, ND, and PA
Democrats would not win any Republican seats.
That would be a net gain of 7 Senate seats for Republicans, giving them 48 seats - 3 shy of a majority. That makes contests in CA, IL, NY, WI, and WA must wins for Democrats - if Republicans pickup 2 of the 5 they would reach 50 seats and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) could become a kingmaker.
So, with 8 months until the 2010 midterms Republicans would reach 212 seats in the House and 48 seats in the Senate - if the election were held today. Democrats would retain the majority, but those numbers should send shivers of fear through the party's leadership. Based on current trends, Republicans have a better than even chance of reclaiming the House. The Senate is still a long shot, but another surprise announcement like Bayh's could shift that dynamic sugnificantly. Stay tuned for the next update.
Note: This midterm update reflects the opinion of Professor Todd Eberly.