Ohio has the lowest Bush approval rating of any state that Bush won in the 2004 election, coming in with 37%. This gives us an idea of where the political momentum in Ohio is headed. Mike DeWine is already trailing Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown, and the political tides are against him.
Rhode Island, the state where Bush is reviled most with a 25% approval rating (and a 72% disapproval rating), for some reason has a Republican as a Senator. Although Lincoln Chaffee is a very liberal Republican (perhaps even more liberal than a few Democrats) he is still blocking a seat that should be occupied by a far more liberal Democrat. 72% of people who disapprove of Bush spells trouble for any Republican, no matter how liberal in Rhode Island.
In Montana, Abramoff buddy Conrad Burns is quickly slipping to Democratic challengers John Morrison and Jon Tester. Morrison is a centrist Democrat, and Tester is a progressive organic farmer turned Montana state senator. Both are either tied or leading Burns in the polls now that it has been revealed that Burns has taken more money from Abramoff clients than any other elected official.
Missouri has the third lowest Bush Approval rating of any state that went to Bush in 2004, coming in with a 39% approval rating. This is good news for Claire McCaskill, who is in a statistical dead heat with Republican incumbent and cobag Jim Talent.
So four of the five states where Democrats threaten to pick up a Senate seat from Republican incumbents have a Bush approval rating of less than 40%. This means that the Republican incumbents in these states will have to distance themselves from the President, which won't inspire the Republican base very much. It's an uphill battle for Republicans in these states. In Montana, Bush still has a 50% approval rating, but the Abramoff-Burns connection should take care of that. Wins in each of these states would mean equal representation in the Senate, bringing the Democratic total to 49 (plus Independent Bernie Sanders from Vermont, who will certainly caucus with the Dems). So the Senate will be split 50-50 (although Cheney would be the tie breaking vote, and Republicans would still chair the committees). This assumes that all Democrats will hold their Senate seats, and not get upset by a Republican challenger. A Republican upset looks unlikely, however, in any state.
It may take a miracle to win all five of these seats, but it certainly is possible. And races such as Tennessee, Virginia and Arizona remain on the fringe of competition for Democrats.
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