Georgia has not been called for Chambliss because he has not yet won 50% of the vote. If he fails to get that amount, there will be a runoff election between him and Jim Martin. Sadly, the third party candidate was a libertarian and so his portion of the vote will probably go to Chambliss, the scum bag who painted Max Cleland as some kind of traitor and terrorist sympathizer. This was one seat I wanted the Dems to pick up if only to balance out the karmic scales. What I do notice by drilling down into the county level data is that a number of the counties where Martin did well have not yet had all precincts report in, so his numbers may grow a little. In any event, if there is a runoff, all the Democratic powers that be had better get their butts down to Georgia to stump for Martin and try to turn the race. It's not often that you get a second chance.
North Carolina was a delightful win and both removes a total loser of a Republican and puts another Democratic woman into the Senate. More like this, please. It is particularly wonderful that the seat she won was previously held by Jesse Helms.
New Hampshire gave us Jeanne Shaheen and removed John Sununu. Another excellent exchange.
Oregon is a nailbiter to be sure, but Merkley may just pull it out. The chief reasons are Washington County with 22% of precincts still to report and a large population, Multnomah County, the most populous county in the state and 52% of its precincts still to report plus it is going for Merkley 2-1, and Lane County, home to Eugene, very populous, going strongly for Merkley, and has 55% of its precincts still to report. There are a lot of Merkley votes out there that haven't been counted yet.
The Udalls will be a solid addition to the Senate, particularly for environmental concerns.
Alaska is still not decided. There is only a 3353 vote margin betwwen Begich and Stevens, and if the outstanding precincts are Democratic ones, we may squeak this one out.
I've always regarded the Minnesota senate race as a joke all the way around (and not a particularly funny one), so I am unsurprised to see Franken coming up short. A recount may flip things our way, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Five more seats for 56 in January and three more that are possibilities that could bring us to 59. I think our best chance there is Oregon. The run-off in Georgia would be a dream if we could pull it off, so no reason not to take a bunch of money from war chests (hint, hint) and throw it into that contest. If we could take all four, that's 60, and we don't have to count Lieberman.
First off, we need to make the filibuster as onerous as humanly possible for the Republicans to uphold. No more gentlemen's agreement that we fold in the face of a possibility of a filibuster. Make the bastards sit their butts on the floor of the Seante and talk until they drop.
Next, start lining up the battles for 2010. It's going to take 2 years to get serious legislation written and vetted anyway, like Hillary's UHC, so plan to bring the big ones to the floor with the next Congress. Who to target?
- AZ - McCain. I've never much liked the guy and it's time for him to retire.
- FL - Mel Martinez. Make him work to defend it.
- GA - If Chambliss is vulnerable, so is Isakson.
- IA - Chuck Grassley. Better yet, appoint him to the cabinet, and let the Democratic governor appoint a Democrat to replace him. Then fire him.
- KY - Jim Bunning. We came very close to defeating Mitch McConnell this year. Let's keep pushing our luck.
- NH - Judd Gregg. Is there another high profile Democrat in NH who could be enlisted to do a Seante run? Let's turn New England blue.
- OH - Voinovich. Ohio is turning blue. Keep the trend going.
- PA - Arlen Specter. He'd be turning 80 and might like the idea of retirement. Let's encourage that thought
The danger is that some of our senators are going to be targeted as well. Schwartzenegger is term limited out as the Governator in CA and makes no secret that he wants to take away Boxer's seat. Blanche Lincoln will be targeted in Arkansas. Inouye and Byrd are no spring chickens, and we may be having to fill seats.
The Republicans have not had a filibuster-proof Senate majority since 1909, and yet Democrats have allowed them to run things like they have a super-majority. There is no excuse for not not putting forward the most ambitious agendas and daring them to stand in the way.
Act like a majority for once, OK?