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As the Tea Party continues the takeover of the Republican party, replacing mainstream candidates with their own, a scenario is shaping up that puts the Democratic party well within range of doing quite well in the Senate this election season. I find it depressing that so fine a line divides the Democratic party from an unmitigated disaster and a pretty rosy result for a mid-term election. Then again, that same thin line offers me a lot of hope.

Lets look at the races and be optimistic for a moment. Let's look at what we can reasonably achieve with a lot of hard work.

Races Democrats are almost certainly going to lose seats:
Indiana
Arkansas
North Dakota

Democrats minus 3

Races Democrats with a slight amount of optimism may pick up seats
New Hampshire

Democrats minus 2

Toss Up States-
California-
Colorado
Illinois
Nevada
Washington
Wisconsin

Democrats minus 2, minus 3 or  minus 4

If the Democrats can increase turnout from current polling levels to something easily achievable, not one of these races is at risk. Lets pray we win them all. It really isn't going to be that hard. These are the key states to pour money into. The only state I truly worry about is Colorado. We will win the rest.

Democrats worst case scenario optimistically speaking is minus 3 or  minus 4 seats. The best case scenario would be minus 2.  

I predict after the election, the Democrats will have lost three seats.

Wild cards after the election.
Ben Nelson
Olympia Snow
Joe Lieberman

Nelson and Lieberman are likely to stay in the Democratic party should the Democrats lose no more than 7 Senate seats. Olympia Snow will also play a role in any decision either of the other wild cards might make. Should Lieberman and/or Nelson defect to give the Republicans control, Olympia Snow may do the same and reverse the situation. In the days and months after the election, Olympia Snow may reverse Democratic losses to anywhere from minus 1 to minus 3 seats. If the Democrats come out of this election with 58 or even 56 seats in the Senate, the Republicans will have very miserable result to spin. I'm going to say something I never thought I would hear myself say. Thank you Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck!

OK, ruin my night. What have I got wrong? For the first time in a while, I am optimistic about this election.

Originally posted to brkramer on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 06:07 PM PDT.

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