Reid: ‘Miracle’ Needed for Democrats to Win Back Senate

‘Miracle’ needed to win back Senate (Washington Times)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid raised a few eyebrows yesterday on the Senate floor when he said it would take a “miracle” for Democrats to win enough races next year to take back the Senate. “I would like to think a miracle would happen and we would pick up five seats this time,” he said during a floor debate over the filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees. “I guess miracles never cease.”

Republicans were delighted by what they called an “admission” from the highest-ranking elected Democrat in the country.

An amusing moment of candor. Reid is certainly correct, though, that a five seat gain is highly unlikely. Look at the 2006 Senate match-ups: More Democrats (15 plus the Jeffords seat) are up for re-election than Republicans (13) and more Democrats are retiring (3 counting Jeffords vice 0 Republicans). And Jon Corzine is almost certainly going to leave to run for governor, adding one open Democratic seat.

I’m not familiar enough with the local dynamics in several of the races to make predictions, but there are no Republicans up for re-election who are obviously fighting for their lives other than Rick Santorum. The others are either in very Red states or, like Lincoln Chaffee and Olympia Snowe, quite popular as RINOs in Blue states.

By contrast, several of the Democratic seats are vulnerable. Mark Dayton, who declined to run for a second term, will almost certainly be replaced by a Republican, probably Rep. Mark Kennedy. Jim Jeffords was re-elected in 2000 as a Republican, although admittedly a RINO. It’s not inconceivable that another Republican could take the seat back now that it’s open.

In any case, Reid is right.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Two more miracles and he could become a saint.

  2. Josh Narins says:

    Do you really believe what you wrote, or are you speaking from ignorance?

    Chafee is very behind in the polls.

    Vermont has _no_ chance of electing a Repbulican. They aren’t fond of their GOP Governor, and Jeffords was of the pre-64 strain of the branch.

    Why will Minnesota go GOP? I am having a hard time believing the most liberal state in the country, that almost elected Walter Mondale and _did_ have Wellstone, will now send another GOPster to DC.

    Hey, how’s the purple ink feeling right about now? I don’t know how you got in the Google News listings, but I’m going to write them to have you removed. This is a blog, and an ill-informed one at that.