For the first time this year, Republican strategists believe they’re within striking distance of taking back control of the Senate, thanks to untimely Democratic Senate retirements and red-state Democratic recruits deciding not to run for Congress. The latest blow to Democrats: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s surprising decision Saturday to pass up a campaign.
Republican recognize that they only need to win three Senate seats in the most of conservative of states — Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska — and Mitch McConnell could be a Majority Leader in 2015. (That is, if McConnell can hold onto his own Kentucky seat.) The latest developments underline how punishing the map is for Democrats for 2014, and little margin for error they have.
Democrats can afford to lose up to five Senate seats and still maintain their majority, but they already risk conceding over half that number before campaigning even gets underway.