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Dems Poised for Big Senate Gains in '08

All eyes and ears may be tuning into the Presidential prospects of '08, but WaPo's Chris Cillizza takes an early peek at the '08 Senate races in The Fix's The Friday Line, and the view is very good. As Cillizza explains:

A cursory evaluation of the 2008 Senate playing field shows Democrats seemingly well-positioned to build on their 51-seat majority. Of the 33 seats up for reelection, just 12 are held by Democrats. And of those 12, only two Democratic incumbents received less than 54 percent of the vote in 2002 -- Sens. Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Mary Landrieu (La.).

....Republicans must defend 22 seats and have more obvious vulnerabilities. At first glance, just three GOP senators -- Norm Coleman (Minn.), John Sununu (N.H.) and Wayne Allard (Colo.) -- look vulnerable, as each won in 2002 with less than 54 percent of the vote. But the complicating factor for Republicans is that there are a number of rumored retirements that may come before 2008, creating more open-seat opportunities for Democrats.

Cillizza also provides a race by race run-down. Bottom line is that the nine seat pick-up needed for a fillibuster-proof Senate majority is within reasonable range, but a 16 seat-pick up needed for a veto-proof majority is probably not. Ironically, Dems probably wouldn't need it, because if we pick up nine Senate seats, we will likely win the presidency as well. (corrected 11/20, thanks to Kevin Drum)