August will determine the Senate
A number of potential pickups for the Republican party in the Senate have already been changed to leaning Democrat due to less than stellar candidates for those positions chosen by the Republican party. This includes the Ohio party establishment choosing Josh Mandel and Tom Smith winning the Pennsylvanie primary. Neither of these men provides a good contrast against their liberal incumbent opponents. West Virginia chose a decent candidate in John Raese, but Virginia chose a former Senator and Governor in a year when people are clamoring for new leadership.
Still, there are 12 senate primaries in August with three Democratic seats in play and one Republican seat at risk. If the Republcans can choose quality candidates in August, they can retake the Senate. Unfortunately, the same game that managed to get Mandel the nomination in Ohio seems to be playing out in other states.
The Florida Republican party chose Congressman Connie Mack as its candidate and managed to force out all the other candidates with party ties. Missouri is still in play for a number of candidates and there is potential for a liberty minded candidate to get the nomination. Connecticut will likely nominate Linda McMahon, the 2010 nominee, but Christophers Shays appear to be a quality candidate as well. In Arizona, the Democratic party has selected their candidate and pushed out some candidates. While the Republican party is pushing Jeff Flake in Arizona, several other candidates remain in the race.
If the Republicans can hold the Arizona seat and then win Florida and either Missouri or Connecticut, it will take the Senate. This is not an unreasonable scenario and given the likelihood that the Democrats will hold Ohio and Pennsylvania it may be the only one left for the Republicans. If the GOP loses Maine and / or Massachusetts, retaking the Senate may not be possible without winning all the August seats in play.
|Hawaii||NA - D||D|
|Connecticut||NA - D||In Play|
|Arizona||NA - R||In Play|