Early '06 Senate Outlook
The Senate is 55 GOPs-45 Dems with Dick Cheney as VP so the dems need a net gain of 6 seats here to retake the majority.
Here is a list of what the real Larry Sabato is saying about the races:
In '06 there are 15 GOP seats and 19 dem seats.
Rick Santorum (PA) Trailing Bob Casey (D) 53-38
Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Mike Dewine (OH) Leads 45-40
Conrad Burns (MT) Tied at 45-45 with John Tester (D)
Jim Talent (MO) Trailing Claire McCaskill (D) 46-43
Bill Frist's open seat (TN)
Jon Kyl (AZ)
Mark Dayton's open seat (MN) Very close
Bob Menendez (NJ) Trailing Tom Kean (R) 42-35
Ben Nelson (NE)
Maria Cantwell (WA) Leads 51-36
Paul Sarbanes open seat (MD) Michael Steele (R) leads 45-40
Bill Nelson (FL) Leads 54-31
Joe Lieberman (CT) Leads 47-25
Robert Byrd (WV)
An interesting thing about these polls is that while many expect the GOP to be in trouble, these polls numbers show just the opposite. 3 dem seats have GOPs leading or tied, while 3 GOP seats are losing or tied with dems. Also, the threatened GOP seats aren't really a factor of negative feeling toward the national GOP. Everyone has known Santorum is in trouble, DeWine is more so b/c of the scandal in Ohio. Even though the dems will be defending more seats than the Republicans, the dems need to capitalize on GOP weakness right now. If they come out of '06 with a net gain of 0, they will be very badly positioned to retake the majority in the near future. From my perspective though, thats a good thing. Even so, it is still early and anything can happen in 9 months.
I will have a post on Governor's races soon.