Sean Sullivan looks at how the Senate landscape has changed:
Nate Silver calculates that “Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber.” His rather large qualifier:
There are 10 races that each party has at least a 25 percent chance of winning, according to our ratings. If Republicans were to win all of them, they would gain a net of 11 seats from Democrats, which would give them a 56-44 majority in the new Senate. If Democrats were to sweep, they would lose a net of just one seat and hold a 54-46 majority. So our forecast might be thought of as a Republican gain of six seats — plus or minus five. The balance has shifted slightly toward the GOP. But it wouldn’t take much for it to revert to the Democrats, nor for this year to develop into a Republican rout along the lines of 2010.
There’s nothing like happy-face propaganda in the sorryass face of facts. Should Silver’s facts re-shift in favor of Democrats, he will again be hailed by the DSCC as America’s one statistician who has never erred.
So, let’s say Republicans retake the Senate this fall. Can they keep it in 2016? Much of that depends on just how many seats they win in November. Yes, they technically need six seats for the majority. But, they probably need to pick up in the neighborhood of eight or even nine seats in order to ensure themselves a fair shot at holding the Senate for more than two years.
Here’s why: There are 23 Republican seats up compared to just 10 for Democrats in 2016. (This is the class that got elected in 2010, a great year to be a Republican.)