There was a time when it was hard NOT to conclude that the GOP was on the verge of claiming a Senate majority after the 2012 elections. The Democrats, with that huge class of 2006 coming around for their inaugural reelection bids, were defending more than twice as many seats as the Republicans. Even Democratic politicos for whom optimism is practically a job prerequisite were describing the prospects of a continued majority as “tough.”
But things have changed fairly substantially in the past couple of months. A sure GOP hold in Maine seems to have fallen by the wayside, unless the GOP can bargain with Angus King and get him to join their caucus. As we have catalogued here for weeks, Indiana Republicans are on the verge of replacing a 100 percent chance of reelection with a conservative firebrand whose prospects are about 50/50. And now, a combination of a better-than-average Democratic candidate and a weaker-than-expected GOP candidate has made an unthinkable Democratic hold of their open seat in North Dakota eminently plausible.
Here are the numbers, including the first new numbers in North Dakota in quite a while:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-46)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-45)
NORTH DAKOTA (DFM Research for the ND Democratic Party): Romney d. Obama (51-32)
KY-06 (Public Opinion Strategies for Barr): Rep. Ben Chandler (D) 49, Andy Barr (R) 42
NC-GOV—D (PPP): Walter Dalton 36, Bob Etheridge 26, Bill Faison 5, Bruce Blackmon 3, Gardenia Henley 3, Gary Dunn 2
ND-SEN (DFM Research for the ND Democratic Party): Heidi Heitkamp (D) 49, Rick Berg (R) 44
Some thoughts, as always, just past the jump.