Yes, it's that time again. I tried getting this started last fall but it was just too early to get into it. But now I'm really getting into it. If the American public's baffling insistence on taking a McCain/Romney ticket seriously has you down, this should cheer you up.
This Senate election could not be less favorable for the Republicans. It is as if Howard Dean was given permission to design the rules and pick which seats would be up. Remember when the GOP talked about their "firewall" (which failed) to protect the Senate majority in 2006? I can't even imagine what the NRSC strategy for 2008 looks like. The most logical one might be to expect total failure and be pleasantly surprised when something slightly less terrible materializes.
Am I being objective? Yes. Consider the variables:
No, it isn't a pretty year to be a Republican running for the Senate. Maybe this is why Ron Paul and his lunatic army want to repeal the 17th Amendment. Between the 5 GOP retirements and the unfavorable geography of the incumbent Democrats up for re-election, the absolute best-case scenario is still grim. I mean if everything goes the Republicans' way – Iraq turns into a garden paradise in the next 6 weeks, the economy executes a miracle recovery, Obama beheads Michael Phelps during his convention speech – they will only lose 3 or 4 seats. A more likely scenario is a loss of 5 or 6, with a worst-case scenario of 9 to 11.
Good luck with your nominations, President McCain.
*35 seats are open instead of the usual 33 because of two seats which became open in the middle of a term. John Barrasso (R-WY) is running to remain in the seat vacated by the death of Craig Thomas while Roger Wicker (R-MS) was appointed upon Trent Lott's resignation.