Monday, November 1, 2010

Control of the U.S. Senate May Come Down to My Nephew in Washington State

I am looking at the polls going into Tuesday's election, and it appears to me that the fight between Democrats and Republicans for control of the U.S. Senate may come down to my nephew, who is a college freshmen in the state of Washington.

The Republicans start with 41 Senate seats, and need to pick up 10 Senate seats to wrest control from the Democrats. A 50/50 tie would make Vice President Joe Biden Democrat as the tie-breaker for Democrats. So Republicans need 51 seats.

Republicans are on track to easily pick up Senate seats in Arkansas, Indiana, and North Dakota. That's brings them to 44. Of 11 battleground states, Republicans stand a very good chance to pick up Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. That would be 49. Democrats lead in the battleground states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, and West Virginia, but we'll assume Republicans win won of those, which would bring them to 50.

That leaves Washington State, where Republican Dino Rossi and incumbent Democrat Patty Murray are essentially tied, with some polls showing one ahead and other polls showing the Murray. An election that close could come down to a single vote.

And how is my nephew going to vote in this his first election? I know he proudly wore a Barack Obama t-shirt 2 years ago as a high school junior in Oregon. On the other hand, he may not even be registered to vote in Washington.

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