The Senate Map Gets Tougher for Democrats in 2012

Posted: Nov 08, 2010 11:26 AM
Tucked inside a delightful front page story about the ongoing post-election Democratic circular firing squad in yesterday's Washington Post is an important point about the next election cycle:

Republicans also have some important political factors working in their favor as they look for additional gains in 2012. Not only is Obama potentially more vulnerable, but he will no longer have crucial gubernatorial allies on the ground in such swing states as Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

And the Senate map for 2012 looks treacherous for Democrats. They will be defending 23 seats, including those of the two independents who caucus with them, many in conservative or swing states. Republicans hold only 10 that will be on the ballot.

This refutes one of the Left's only face-saving arguments about last week's massacre: That Republicans underperformed in the Senate.  While it's true that winning back eight or nine -- rather than six -- seats in the upper chamber was eminently doable for the GOP, 2010 wasn't originally pegged as the big year for a Republican Senate resurgence.  2012 was, and for good reason.  As the WaPo story reports, Democrats will be defending 13 more Senate seats than their counterparts next time around. 

Among the vulnerable red state Democratic incumbents up in 2012 are Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jon Tester of Montana.