Rich Galen

In another sign that all is not well in Obama-land, the campaign sent its manager, Jim Messina, up to Capitol Hill to reassure Senate Democrats "who," according to Politico.com "have grown increasingly nervous about the race."

According to the article, Messina described the "campaign's state-of-the-art ground game aimed at getting voters to the polls and targeting swing voters in battleground states."

There is nothing wrong with sending a high-ranking campaign staffer to smooth talk high-ranking office holders during a tight re-election campaign. But, Senate Democrats are staring down the barrel of a very, very close election result themselves and don't want to be dragged down by a fumbling, faltering Obama re-election campaign.

Messina's visit did its job. Senators coming out of the meeting were quoted as saying they were confident in an Obama victory.

Most of the political geniuses in Washington, DC believe the outcome of the 2012 Senate races will be somewhere in the vicinity of 51-49 D, 50-50, or 51-49 R when its all said and done. The current Senate makeup is which is 51-49 Democrat (including two so-called independents who caucus with the Ds).

After the election of 2000, the Senate was tied at 50-50. Then floor leaders, Trent Lott (R-MS) and Tom Daschle (D-ND) worked out a "power-sharing agreement" which provided for equal numbers of Senators on Committees and SubCommittees, equal recognition for the leaders in floor debates and many other issues.

That all changed in May, 2001, when Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont switched his affiliation from R to I, but agreed to caucus with the Democrats thus giving them control of the Chamber.

Jeffords got the chairmanship of the Environmental Committee for his troubles, but it did help define who was in charge of what for the rest of the Congress.

All that to say there is no small amount of angst among Senators who expect to be returning next year as to which party will run the show and if either Obama or Romney begin to falter as we move through the election cycle, you will see significant moves from that candidate's party to shore up U.S. Senate campaigns outside the Presidential efforts.

Meanwhile, across the aisle, Karl Rove was making the rounds of TV studios and the Wall Street Journal editorial pages touting what he called a "3-2-1" strategy for Gov. Mitt Romney to win in November.

In 2008, Sen. Obama beat Sen. John McCain by 365-to-173 votes in the Electoral College.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.