Disclaimer- Must Read: While, I have no problem with personal endorsements and other contributions that are positive towards a certain candidate, political philosophy, or party, please try to focus on the races themselves. This is a projection thread, not a political debate thread. It's also not a battleground to flame other posters. Please, keep that in mind. I created spoilers, so it would be easier for people to read and navigate my opening post. I have also tried to make it easier to understand, for those who do not follow United States politics closely. By no means do I declare myself the ultimate expert of the 2010 Senatorial elections of the United States, so please do not address me as a know it all. I never claimed that. Notes: I will get to more senatorial races, if all goes well. I may even add a proper closing . Any more I add, I will try to edit into this post. If you believe I made a mistake or was being harsh towards a party, please let me know. It is not my intention to trash either of the political parties. At least, it is not my goal in this thread. Feel free to post any graphics, maps, etc... that you want. I'm looking for your input on how you think the Senate will shape up, so I can compare it to what I'm seeing. If you are going to post separate races, I would recommend spoiler tags. Spoiler Introduction/Background : The Senate races are now looking for trilling now than they did in late 2008, when everyone simply expected the Democrats to take a few more seats including Missouri and New Hampshire. When Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania flipped (sorry, but that is a flip-flop, if there ever was one) to the Democratic Party, it only looked worse for the Grand Old Party. That gave the Democrats 58 seats with two independents aligning with them, making the precious 60 seat 'supermajority.' Controlling these 60 seats makes it easier to suspend debate and call for a vote. This is critically is getting legislation passed quickly. Unfortunately for the Democrats, one of their 60 Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent Democrat, was not cooperating with them on healthcare reform. This led to a long drawn out process, where support for the initiative was wavering back and forth. Eventually, support fell low enough to the point where both Democrats in Congress and the president himself took approval rating hits. Some were angry about no reform being passed. Others were angry at how liberal (in The United States, it means left-wing) the legislation was. They were demanding more cooperation with the Republicans on the legislation, in order to moderate it. One common misconception is that these people want no reform. The reality is that polls indicate that the majority does want reform, but it simply does not like the current legislation. A third group actually considers the legislation too conservative. All three of these groups play a vital role in the United States Senatorial Elections of 2010. In early 2010, the Republican Party managed to take the seat formerly held by the late Senator Edward Kennedy in a heavily Democratic state. Scott Brown of the Republican Party ran on the notion of being a 41st Senator. The 41st Senator would mean blocking the liberal and/ or poorly constructed legislation in favor of more cooperation on healthcare. Lieberman was more cooperative by this point, so the Democrats were getting their 60 back. Browns opponent ran a terrible campaign and did not believe she needed to do the little things such as going out to a sports stadium and shaking peoples hands. The loss sent shock waves to the Democratic Party. The most shocking thing was that the late Edward Kennedy was the chief architect behind healthcare reform. As a result, we currently have 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans, and 2 Independents that are aligned with the Democrats in the United States Senate. Now, that I have given some background information; lets get into the specific elections being held. Spoiler Pennsylvania (Currently D, Barely lean R) : Pennsylvania is known to lean towards the Democratic Party. As you know, Arlen Specter had defected to the Democratic Party. He faces two challenges. First, he must win the primary against a more liberal Democrat. While Specter is currently favored to win this primary with ease, there is a risk of him being labeled as not Democratic enough to earn the nomination. His second challenge is much harder. His likely Republican opponent Pat Toomey has opened up a small lead on Specter. Some say this is Toomeys to lose, but I think the race is too close to say that. Still, Toomey has a slight advantage with liberal Democrats disliking Specter for not being Democratic enough and many of the moderate Republicans and Republican leaning independents hating his defection. Spoiler New York Special Election (Currently D, Likely D) : New York is considered a Democratic stronghold. However, their candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is not exactly beloved among the New York population. Her advantage is she has no strong opponent in a heavily Democratic state. Unless former Governor George Pataki runs (rather doubtful), this is Gillibrands seat to lose. If he does run, then Gillibrand is in for a tough fight. Spoiler New Hampshire (Open R, Lean R) : New Hampshire is considered to lean to the Demcorats, but it is also known for its independent streak. Kelly Ayotte is one the biggest Republican names in the state of New Hampshire and the likely Republican candidate for the seat. Paul Hodes is the Democratic opponent, who rather consistently trails Ayotte by several points. While Hodes is not gaining ground, Ayotte needs to make sure to keep the campaign going strong. She needs to increase her lead relatively soon to help her ability to win. Is she can do that over the next couple of months, I would call this likely R. If things remain the same, Hodes has a decent shot. However, Ayotte would still be favored. Spoiler Connecticut (Open D, Likely D) : Connecticut is considered a Democratic state. This race looked like a possible pick up for the Republicans, before the now unlikeable Senator Dodd decided not to run for re-election. Now, it appears that the Democrats do not have the burden of running with the baggage that Dodd gave them. This seat should remain in Democratic hands. Richard Blumenthal is the Democrat, and Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon are the likely Republicans. Spoiler Florida (Open R, Likely R) : Florida is also known for having an independent streak; however, it leans a bit more towards the Republican Party. There are two likely Republican candidates. Marco Rubio is the more likely of the two to win the nomination. His primary opponent is Governor Charlie Crist (who obviously is not running for governor this year ). Crist is seen as too liberal to Republican primary voters, paving the way to the once dark horse Rubio. Rubio is also a Cuban-American and fiscal conservative, which play out well with the Cuban-American voters who are bound to vote in the primary. The Democratic opponent is Kendrick Meek. Meek is losing to both Rubio and Crist in the polls by fifteen to twenty points. The only reason why I refuse to rate this as safe Republican is because Florida is not considered a Republican state, only Republican leaning. If this trend continues over the next couple of months, then Meek has no chance. Spoiler Ohio (Open R, Barely lean R) : Ohio is currently a swing state. The anti-Democratic fervor has hit Ohio, give Republican Rob Portman a slight edge in a race against Democrats Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner. However, there are still many undecided people out there. It really can go either way.