Most of the people that do Senate predictions play it pretty safe. Until they see a poll that shows a challenger well ahead, they tend to keep races in the ‘lean incumbent’ or ‘toss-up’ category. But I don’t need any polls to tell me that the Republicans in the Senate are set up for a world of pain. I’ve seen what polls are out there, and they inform my opinion, but I’m going with my gut here. No toss-ups or leans, just flat-out predictions for who will win.

1. Mark Warner of Virginia
2. Tom Udall of New Mexico
3. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
4. Mark Begich of Alaska
5. Mark Udall of Colorado
6. Ronnie Musgrove of Mississippi
7. Jeff Merkley of Oregon (but not Novick)
8. Al Franken of Minnesota
9. Kay Hagan of North Carolina
10. Rick Noriega of Texas

Right now, I think all 10 of these seats are more likely to fall to the Democrats than not. But that’s not all. The following contenders will have plenty of opportunity to gain strength and win.

1. Tom Allen of Maine
2. Scott Kleeb of Nebraska
3. Andrew Rice of Oklahoma
4. Bruce Lunsford of Kentucky
5. Larry LaRocco of Idaho
6. Jim Martin of Georgia (if he wins the primary)
7. Jim Slattery of Kansas
8. Bob Tuke of Tennessee

I think the Dems will ultimately win at least two of these eight contests, but it is too early for me tell which two. The only really safe Republicans I see are:

1. Mike Enzi of Wyoming
2. John Barrasso of Wyoming
3. Jeff Sessions of Alabama
4. Thad Cochran of Mississippi
5. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

So, my prediction is that the Dems will pick up 12 Senate seats. They’ll tell Lieberman to caucus with the stump Republican caucus, and the breakdown will be:

61 Democrats, plus Bernie Sanders
38 Republicans, plus Joe Lieberman

And the best part? No John Cornyn.

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