With a number of Republican Senate seats up for grabs, Democrats are seeking to gain full, filibuster-proof control of the Upper House in the November elections.
A front-page story in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal predicts that if the Democrats achieve their goal, that could lead to a faster withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and an end to President Bush’s tax cuts — regardless of who wins the White House.
Democrats now hold a 51-to-49 edge in the Senate, and 60 votes are needed to overcome opposition filibusters. The party therefore needs to gain nine seats, and that is the target, according to the Journal.
Democrats currently have about three times as much money in their campaign committee treasuries as the GOP. And of the 35 Senate seats being contested in November, 23 are held by Republicans.
“We feel the wind is at our back,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told the Journal.
Democrats have a 231-to-198 edge in the House of Representatives and are expected to retain control there.
Among the Republican Senate seats considered vulnerable:In Virginia, five-term Sen. John Warner is retiring, and Democrat Mark Warner (no relation) is considered the favorite to win his seat.In New Hampshire, a poll shows incumbent Republican John Sununu trailing his likely Democratic opponent, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.In Minnesota, comedian Al Franken is giving incumbent Republican Norm Coleman a strong challenge.
“People are worried about what the Senate will look like in January of ’09,” William Miller, senior vice president for political affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Journal.
“Having a few more votes, a few more people in the Senate that do not share our philosophy could be a very dangerous situation.”
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