At this juncture, it is unclear if the eventual GOP presidential nominee will be able to defeat President Obama. Therefore, in this time of high unemployment and out of control spending, if Republicans want to limit the Obama administration’s negative impact on the economy, Republicans must find a way to win back the U.S. Senate in 2012. To do accomplish this, the infighting among Republicans needs to cease. The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauser reviews the political landscape:
In a number of states where Republicans have been hopeful of picking up a seat, they are being hampered by some of the same dynamics that vexed their party in 2008, including trouble recruiting strong and experienced candidates, intra-party fighting, weak fund-raising and the very same anti-incumbent sentiment that also threatens Democrats.
Winning the Senate is tantalizingly within reach for Republicans, who have just 10 seats up for re-election, compared with the 23 that Democrats will defend next year, many of them in states where Democrats barely won in strong years for their party. Powerful national political trends continue to favor Republicans, especially in a weak economy.
Of 33 Senate races next year, an analysis by The New York Times finds that 15 of them are currently competitive. The analysis, which is based on an evaluation of the candidates, polling and fund-raising results and the political and economic trends in the states, rates eight of them — Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Virginia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Nevada — as tossups. Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Mexico are rated as lean Democratic, while Arizona and North Dakota are rated lean Republican.
On balance, Republicans enter the 2012 Senate races with a solid chance of reversing the 53-47 advantage held by Democrats, which includes two independents who caucus with Democrats.