Sorry for the long wait but, as Bill Murray said so eloquently in Caddyshack, "I was unavoidably detained." There's certainly a lot to talk about and I'll try to get an issue up every day.
A few quick Senate notes: Pete Hoekstra's entry into the Michigan Senate race makes it quite winnable for the GOP. Debbie Stabenow's positive/negative numbers are clearly underwater and she'll need help from Obama's GOTV efforts. A key for Hoekstra will be the Republican presidential nominee. If he's strong (a clear unknown at this point) it will help downballot candidates. It will take a lot of heavy lifting to get a GOP Senate winner in Michigan but I believe it will happen.
Pennsylvania doesn't look as good for the GOP. There's been no strong GOP challenger to Bob Casey who is clearly vulnerable. His numbers are much better than Stabenow's but the GOP is stronger in the Keystone State and just won the other Senate seat and the Governor's chair.
Sherrod Brown will lose in Ohio. Ben Nelson (NE), Claire McCaskill (MO) and Jon Tester (MT) all are gone. Along with open seats bound to fall in North Dakota and Virginia that gives the GOP 52. The Republicans have solid chances in the already mentioned Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida. With some luck they can pick off a couple more in New Mexico, Minnesota, and West Virginia. New Jersey and New York are possiblities but they'd need just the right candidate. If they were to run the table right now they could get about 58 but I think a more reasonable number is about 55. They'll clearly have a majority, it will just be a question whether or not it will be a workable one to pass their legislative agenda (provided a Repubican is elected President).
Redistricting should give a marginal edge to the GOP. They'll pick up seats in Utah, Nevada, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and perhaps a couple other places but that will be offset by Democratic gains primarily in California and Illinois. Right now the GOP has 240 seats and I believe they'll gain about 5 in the next election. At any rate, the House GOP caucus will be able to pass any legislation they would like to in 2013. It will be the US Senate where the fight will really take place.
Tomorrow we'll talk about the President's lowsy approval numbers and how he could be the first person reelected with an approval rating of 45%.