As reported at The Hill, the GOP is poised to take the US Senate in 2012. Although in the political world two years is a long ways away and any thing can happen between now and then, the sudden rash of Senate retirements have caused alarm for Democrats and their quest to retain power. Democrats presently have a 53 – 47 advantage in the Senate; however, Democrats have 23 seats to defend, while the GOP only has 10.
The first edition of The Hill’s 2012 race ratings puts five Democratic-held seats in the toss-up column. Republicans need a net gain of at least three seats to win the Senate.
Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are the two incumbents that top of the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats in 2012. And, thanks to retirements, another three Democratic-held seats are toss-ups — the ones held by Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Jim Webb (Va.).
The Hill has called the following five present Democrat seats as “Toss ups”: Tester (MT), Nelson (NE), Bingaman (NM) – OPEN, Conrad (ND) – OPEN, Webb (VA) – OPEN and the following four as “Leaning Democrat”: Nelson (FL), McCaskill (MO), Brown (OH), Manchin (WV). With so many Democrat seats in jeopardy, it would seem hard to believe that Democrats can retain power in the Senate, especially after the election trends of 2010. Montana, North Dakota and Nebraska are “red” states, while Virginia Missouri and Ohio have trended to the GOP lately.
This seems to also fall in line with what Charlie Cook stated in that the Democrats are going to have a difficult time and a grim future in the US Senate in 2012 and 1014.