Will the Senate go blue?

Stephen W. Stromberg
June 30, 2004 2:03AM (UTC)

The July 5 issue of Time has an article on improving Democratic chances for retaking the Senate in November. Polling data from tight races in the South and the West indicate that popular local Democrats have a good shot at winning in Red states across the country.

"Seven months ago, the Democrats' quest for the Senate appeared hopeless, and Republicans, who cling to a slim 51-to-48 majority (with one independent), were confidently predicting they would widen that lead. Especially in the Republican-friendly South, Democrats were staring at a wipeout, with five of their Senators -- Fritz Hollings of South Carolina, John Breaux of Louisiana, John Edwards of North Carolina, Zell Miller of Georgia and Bob Graham of Florida -- all deciding to retire."


"But Democrats have since recruited credible-enough candidates that the party now has a shot at holding on to three or four of the Southern seats -- in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. And in the West, Democrats are hoping to nab the open seats left by the retirement of Republican Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado and Don Nickles of Oklahoma, and to take on the vulnerable Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. So suddenly the math has changed: Democrats can see their way to a net gain of two seats, which would give them a slim advantage in the Senate. 'We're at the cusp of a victory in November,' says Senator Jon Corzine, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."

Needless to say, losing all of those Senate seats would be a perfect storm for Republican strategists.

Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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