Oh yeah… the Senate

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While the Presidential race, specifically the Democratic primary, sucks all of the air out of the political discussion leaving little left over for the fate of the House and Senate, WHYY’s Election 2008 map has added a new wrinkle.

You’ll notice now that a “Senate” tab has been added to help you keep track of the 1/3 of the states that happen to have races for U.S. Senate this year.  A fun little check box allows you to isolate those which are considered “possible turnovers.”  Apparently, it’s good to be a Democrat this year since none of the five states that are regarded as possible turnovers have Democratic incumbents.

If the map is to be believed, 5 currently GOP seats are on shaky ground – Sen. Norm Coleman in MN, an open seat in Colorado, an open seat in New Mexico, Sen. John Sununu in NH and an open seat in Virginia.  Success in all five would push the Democratic lead in the Senate to 54 plus 2 independents who caucus with the Dems over 44 GOP Senators.  This is still short of a filibuster proof 60 but there could be some surprises in other states (AK, ME, OR and who knows? maybe MS) that aren’t currently considered possible turnovers on this map.

The map also allows you see which states are considered strong GOP, lean GOP, toss-up, lean DEM and strong DEM.

Clicking on state reveals all of the background information you need for each race and an evaluation by NPR’s Ken Rudin on which way the state is leaning.  You’ll also learn why both Senate seats in WY and MS are up for election this year.

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