OK, this is how you reinforce a narrative in This Town. You start off by writing something like this:
The fight for the Senate majority is increasingly focused on five races: four controlled by Democrats and one held by Republicans. These contests — Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Kansas — are acknowledged by both sides to be very competitive, and because of that are likely to see the heaviest spending by both the party committees and the outside groups over the last five-plus weeks of the midterm election.
To a Democrat, that doesn’t sound too bad. That Democrat already ‘knows’ that Alaska is being locked down for the GOP (true), Colorado is trending the GOP’s way (true), Iowa hasn’t yet slipped into GOP territory yet (actually, it probably has), North Carolina is still in the Democratic zone (we’ll see), and Kansas is a wild card (no, not really). So there’s still a chance, right?
No. Keep reading. And note that this bit showed up several paragraphs later.
The rest of the competitive Senate races seem to be moving in a clear direction. Democratic pickup chances in Kentucky and, to a lesser extent, Georgia seem to be fading. Democratic open seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia are gone. Democratic strategists are growing increasingly pessimistic about their chances in Arkansas and Louisiana. Scott Brown increasingly has a chance in New Hampshire, but it’s hard to see him winning before any of the four Republican candidates running in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina.
Let me turn off the spin cycle for a second – or maybe just switch it over to the Republican settings – and tell you what is what. Right now we have 45 seats. We need 51. All that money the Democrats spent in Tennessee and Georgia? Flushed. That seat in Kansas? The exact same thing is going to happen there, too: the Democrats are not going to be able to pretend that the ‘independent’ nominee isn’t anything except a Democratic cat’s-paw. So I’m not going to pretend that we’re at anything except 45 right now, and neither should you.
Now there are the pickups to consider. The WaPo already admitted five – Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That’s 50. AS it stands right now, we’re going to win Alaska. That’s 51.
…Have a nice day.
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