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Republican Best Case Scenario: 53 Seats in US Senate

This is not a prediction nor have I lost my mind completely. This post simply answers the question: What is the best case scenario for Republicans in the Senate in November?

Or conversely, how bad could it get for Democrats in the Senate?

As of today, August 22, 2010 Republicans could pick up a maximum of 12 seats in the US Senate giving them a total of 53 seats. And not one seat more.

There are 37 seats up for grabs this year. Of the 37 seats, 19 are presently in Democrat’s hands, 18 belong to Republicans. So, theoretically, the Republicans could walk away with a filibuster proof majority of 60 seats if they hold all 18 and gain all 19 seats that are in Democrat’s hands right now. But that is simply not possible. The Democrats are going to hold onto 7 of those seats as it now stands, no doubt about it. And Republicans are going to hold onto 12 of their 18 seats and they will pick up 3 from the Democrats, no doubt about it.

Additionally, Republicans have pretty good leads, (but not definite victories) in 7 more states.

To recap the math, Republicans will have 15 seats when the voting is done and Democrats will have 7 for sure. Republicans will also – most likely – gain the 7 closer, but not runaway states as well. That is a total of 29 seats already spoken for. Which leaves only 8 seats to do battle over. And of these 8, only Florida is in Republican hands today.

So, with 41 seats in the US Senate presently, the Republicans can count on picking up Arkansas, Indiana and North Dakota as a sure thing. Probable pickups for Republicans will be Delaware and Pennsylvania. So, a minimum of 46 Republican seats – a pick up of +5 – will most likely happen. Most predictions for Republicans in the Senate hover around 45 or 46.

So which states are in play?

  1. Colorado
  2. Florida
  3. Illinois
  4. Nevada
  5. Wisconsin
  6. California
  7. Connecticut
  8. Washington

Only Florida is currently a Republican seat.

Some of these states will be difficult for Republicans to pull off, no doubt. But they are all within striking distance.

How many seats Republicans will actually have when the election is over is anyone’s guess, but as of today, the maximum seats Republicans could possibly have is 53, or a net pickup of 12 seats.

Here is where we currently stand on the 8 states “in play”.

Toss Ups


Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias are tied in a Rasmussen Poll in the Illinois’ race for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Barack Obama. Both candidates have been dogged by ethics issues, which is apparently the norm in Illinois. One Democrat poll, PPP has Giannoulias up by 2 points.


You would have to be sleeping to not know that Democrat Harry Reid was not in serious trouble against Republican Sharron Angle for Reid’s seat. Reid pumped out millions in negative ads against Angle, which may have initially helped his bid for reelection, but Angle has been hitting back of late, and most polls have this as even.


Wisconsin holds a Republican primary on September 14, so polls in this race are likely to change after the primary. Incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold will likely face Republican Ron Johnson, who is expected to win the Republican primary. They are essentially tied with polls showing one or the other leading by a couple of points.


Again, you qualify as living under a rock if you are unaware of the race between long time incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer and her Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. Of the two latest polls, one shows Boxer up by 5% and the other shows Fiorina up by the same margin. This race will be one to watch as we get closer to November. Boxer should be winning this handily. But she is not. If polls are close by late October, this could spell a bad day for Democrats, and push Republicans towards the best case of 53 seats.


Democratic Incumbent Senator Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi are in a close race in Washington’s U.S. Senate election. Rossi leads in a SurveyUSA poll by 7% while a Rasmussen poll conducted at the same time shows Murray leading by 4%. Looking at the numbers behind the polls, the SurveyUSA poll may have under sampled Democrats while the Rasmussen poll oversampled Democrats a bit. This race is a toss up, but Washington State is definitely in play.

In Play – But Leaning Republican


Republican challenger Ken Buck and incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet are in a close one in Colorado. Both won their primaries last week and turn their attention to each other. The first post primary poll was done by Rasmussen and shows Republican Buck with a 5 point lead over the Democrat. Another one to watch as the fireworks are just getting started.


Another race with a Democratic primary yet to go. Republican Marco Rubio will face the winner of the Democratic primary, but the real race is expected to be between Rubio and Florida Governor Charlie Crist with the Democrats all but counted out in this race. Rubio and Crist were locked in a nasty Republican primary with Rubio up by large enough margins that Crist dropped out to run as an independent, which actually brought his chances up quite a bit. Although Crist was a Republican, it is clear he is willing to align himself with anyone – or no one – in his quest for power. Most circles consider Crist a Democrat because of his alignment with Obama on a number of issues. The numbers should start to solidify after Tuesday’s primary, but right now Rubio holds a lead in Rasmussen polling of likely voters while a Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows a lead for Crist. Since this election is going to be about turnout, the Rasmussen poll of likely voters is more accurate in this race, so the lean goes to the Republicans despite the Quinnipiac results. In no case does this race go to the Democrats. Crist’s numbers also seem to vary depending on the winner of Tuesday’s primary.

In Play – But Leaning Democrat


Democrat Richard Blumenthal is running against Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race.

Blumenthal, the state’s longtime attorney general, picks up 47% of the vote, while McMahon earns 40% in a recent Rasmussen poll.

This race has been getting tighter with the Democrats lead shrinking and the Republican’s lead growing. This one is in play but currently leans Democrat, but is trending Republican.


Keep an eye on these 8 races. While Republicans are unlikely to win them all, the odds favor a number of them going the Republican’s way. With two and a half months remaining before election day, a lot can and will happen. Never underestimate the Republicans ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and Democrats are dangerous when they are down.

These 8 races will most likely set records for both spending and nastiness in the days ahead. Both sides will be tossing cash to all of these races as control of the Senate is within the reach of Republicans, if they play their cards right. And the Democrats cannot afford to drop these seats if they are to stay in power.

Powerful motivation, power. The control of the senate comes down to the Republicans picking up 6 of these 8 seats, and with only one leaning Democrat, it is not an impossible task.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

4 Responses to “Republican Best Case Scenario: 53 Seats in US Senate”

  1. Sandy Sanders

    Nice analysis for the Senate. To go from 41 to 53 would be a tremendous electoral victory.


  2. GoneWithTheWind says:

    With one house they could convene committees to look into some of the things he has done. And perhaps get a special prosecutor. I am looking forward to some perp walks. With two house the Republicans could repeal some of the worst anti-constitutional crap the Democrats passed. I would also favor some kind of claw back of the money given to the unions and perhaps another special prosecutor ot two just for those crimes. It would also be possible to impeach. Yeah! yeah! I know what you are thinking. First of all the Republicans are gutless and will never do it especially after their cowardice when dealing with Clinton. But It may be impossible to save the country with this crook in office for two more years. Impeach Biden too…


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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