There's an update of sorts in the news today (oh boy). Via TalkingPointsMemo, we find this:
So a few days ago, they set their worst case scenario at 41 seats. Now it looks like they're shifting the expectations up to 45 seats. Later in the piece we find:
Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has one of the least enviable jobs this year. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he’s in charge of defending the 23 Senate Republican seats up for re-election (versus 12 for Democrats) in a chilly political environment for his party.
Democrats are poised to increase their majority in both chambers of Congress, but while House Republican leaders still make optimistic—but unlikely—claims to have a shot at winning back a majority, Ensign is more pragmatic. “The chances of [Republicans] getting back in to the majority, obviously, it would be fairly miraculous,” he told reporters Thursday during a lunch meeting hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Of the 10 most competitive Senate races this year, nine are for seats now held by Republicans. Only one Democrat, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, faces a serious challenge in November. Ensign said his best-case scenario would be a three-seat loss on Election Day. “That would be a terrific night for us, absolutely,” he said. “I don’t want to slip below the four-seat loss. That’s kind of where we’ve set our absolute worst goal is to be down to 45 seats.”
Ensign identified the 10 most competitive races in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Two — Virginia and New Mexico — are heavily favored at this point to flip to Democratic control. Asked if the NRSC was mulling walking away from these two races to focus resources elsewhere, Ensign was non-committal, but added, “You don’t waste money on races that don’t need it or you can’t win.”So they're writing off two Senate seats and Ensign thinks it would be "terrific" if they only lost one more seat. Worst case for them would be to loose just one more after that.
In any event, if they lose only two (or even three) seats, the Democrats would FINALLY be able to cut whatever ties they have left to the odious Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).