Senate projection: R+8 (+/-2)

Reading some of the online and viewing some of the media pundits projections of Senate races leaves me thinking that they are way off right now.  As such, I’ve compiled my own projections:

Highly likely pickups:

1.  ND – Gov. Hoeven is a shoo-in for Senate.  There is no credible opponent. 

2.  AR – Sen. Lincoln badly trails not 1, but 5 potential candidates.  She polls anywhere from 10-15 down and in the mid-30s.  They hate her in AR and she is finished. 

3.  NV – Sen. Reid may have a war chest and connections, but both Lowden and Tarkanian are in the  RealClearPolitics.com average double ahead of him.

4.  DE – Castle is running and Biden is not. 

Fairly likely pick-up:

1.  CO – Freshman appointee Sen. Bennett is unpopular on health care and not well liked.  Norton is polling 45-36 ahead of Bennett on Rasmussen Reports’ most recent poll (12/8).

2.  PA – Snarlin Arlen faces a bruising primary which he is likely to survive, but two recent polls put him at 49-40 and 45-31 behind Pat Toomey.  Toomey’s Club for Growth and social conservative bona fides put him in good shape in PA to unseat the turncoat Specter.

Other vulnerable Dems:

1.  IN – Yes, Bayh has a warchest and high name recognition, but he’s polling below 50, has pissed off the liberal base, and IN is a conservative state in a conservative year.  If Hostettler gets in this, I think he’s got a great chance to pull it out. 

2.  WI – Feingold polled recently 47-43 behind Tommy Thompson.  He is vulnerable.

3.  WA – Murray recently polled 45-43 behind Rossi. 

4.  NY – Gillibrand is polling behind Pataki.

Outside chance:

1.  NY – Schumer has never been a huge electoral success despite huge numbers. While Gillibrand is an easier target than that windbag Schumer, I think with a good opposition candidate, we could have something going on Schumer.

2. IL – Not too enthused about Kirk. He’s trending in the wrong direction, the Dems are still solidifying behind Giannoulis, and I’m just not seeing his base.

3. CA – Boxer is easily one of the worst 5 Senators in the country, maybe the worst. But, again, opposition candidates matter. Campbell is not impressing me, Fiorina has issues with both the base and her business profile is not going to be a big sale in CA. I like Devore best, but unless he’s the GOP’s nod, this seat is an unlikely target for takeaway.

4. CT – Blumenthal is cruising, right now anyways. We’ve got a great candidate there, but at least right now, no momentum.

Final tally:

Highly likely pick ups +4 (out of 4)
Fairly likely pick ups +2 (out of 2)
Other vulnerable dems +2 (out of 4)
Outside chance +0 (out of 4)

I believe that if we get at least +9, Lieberman will caucus with us and we’ll seize control of the Senate.