The Republicans’ good chances of gaining majority control of the US Senate just got even better. With the announced retirement of Senator Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska, the Democrats must now defend 23 Senate seats in 2012 while the Republicans have only 10 seats to defend. So to win control of the Senate in 2012, Republicans will need to gain 4 seats (if Obama wins the presidency) or just 3 seats if Obama is defeated. Many political pundits are now predicting a steep uphill battle ahead for the jackass party.
The retirements of both Nelson and fellow prairie Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota dealt “a significant blow to Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report.
Democrats are “defending eight out of the 10 most competitive seats in the country,” Gonzales said in an interview. Other competitive races include freshman Democratic Senator Jon Tester’s bid for re-election in Montana, where he is being challenged by Republican Representative Denny Rehberg.
By contrast, the “two most vulnerable Republicans” are Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Dean Heller in Nevada, Gonzales said. Both of their races are tossups as well, he said. Bloomberg
The elephant in the room when it comes to the 2012 elections is turning out to be the Republican party as it lumbers it’s way toward the Senate chamber.