How many seats do you estimate will be lost by Dems in the November elections ?
Quite a bit will depend on what happens before Nov.
There are 58 Democrats, two independents who vote with them and 40 Republicans. At least 36 seats are up.
Democratic leader Harry Reid is unpopular in Nevada. Six Republicans are competing for the chance to topple him the way GOP Sen. John Thune of South Dakota did to then-Democratic leader Tom Daschle in 2004.
The GOP is going after three Democratic-held seats filled with appointees after Obama chose sitting senators for his administration. Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado is seeking his first full term; Sens. Ted Kaufman of Delaware, who has Vice President Joe Biden's old seat, and Roland Burris of Illinois, who has Obama's old seat, aren't running.
Republicans also have in their sights Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, a state John McCain won last fall; Chris Dodd in Connecticut, hampered by a mortgage controversy; Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, the party-switching former Republican; and Barbara Boxer in California, a frequent GOP target.
Democrats want to pick up seats left open by retiring GOP senators in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio. They also are seeking to overtake scandal-scarred Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and are eyeing GOP Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina, where Obama won last fall.
Democrats control it 258-177.
The party in power typically loses seats in a midterm year; Democrats lost 54 seats — and the House — in 1994. Even Democrats expect to see double-digit losses next year. Republicans would need to pick up 41 to regain control.
Far more Democratic seats are vulnerable than Republican ones. About two dozen Democratic districts are especially ripe for a switch, compared with about a dozen GOP districts.
Democrats will campaign on legislation they passed, including the $787 billion economic stimulus package that the administration says helped ease the recession and, perhaps, a health care overhaul. But Republicans also will force them to defend those votes on legislation assailed as too expensive, as well as on an energy measure that critics call a job killer.
Republicans are targeting a slew of freshmen House Democrats elected on Obama's coattails in moderate-to-conservative districts that McCain captured last fall and in places where the victories were achieved largely because of record-breaking turnout of blacks and youth with Obama on the ballot. The GOP also is going after Democrats in traditional swing-voting seats.'
I know history does not indicate future results, but it's as good a place to start as any:
''History will favor Republicans in 2010. Since World War II, the out-party has gained an average of 23 seats in the U.S. House and two in the U.S. Senate in a new president's first midterm election. Other than FDR and George W. Bush, no president has gained seats in his first midterm election in both chambers.
Since 1966, the incumbent party has lost an average of 63 state senate and 262 state house seats, and six governorships, in a president's first midterm election. That 2010 is likely to see Republicans begin rebounding just before redistricting is one silver lining in an otherwise dismal year for the GOP.''
I think they will lose seats in both houses, but will still retain their majorities.