McCain leads in Mississippi by a margin smaller than you might expect (six points), but the real news is that all those conservative Democratic voters in Mississippi have started expressing a shocking willingness to vote for federal candidates from their own party. Roger Wicker, whose former MS-01 House seat was just lost to the Democrat Travis Childers in the special election to replace him, is essentially tied with former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who holds a nominal lead of one point. Some had mentioned earlier in the year that the Mississippi Senate race was going to be surprisingly competitive, and more so than Kentucky. As it has turned out, Kentucky is also extremely competitive, which must be very worrying for Wicker, who suffers from being an incumbent without necessarily having the recognition and support statewide that incumbency normally brings. Indeed, Musgrove apparently has higher name recognition statewide, since he has obviously been elected to statewide office before, while Wicker’s current position was through appointment to replace Lott. The DSCC’s own polling gives Musgrove an eight-point lead over Wicker, but whatever the case incumbents with numbers as low as 46% five months before an election are in bad shape. I hope Trent Lott is enjoying his lobbying money, because he single-handedly opened the door to the decimation of his state’s Republican delegation and made it that much more likely that the GOP will lose the ability to filibuster legislation in the Senate.
Count ‘em: the GOP is likely to lose Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, and Alaska, will have a hard time defending Oregon, Minnesota, North Carolina and is suddenly faced with competitive races in Mississippi, Kentucky, Nebraska and even Texas. That’s eleven, and that still doesn’t take into account the trouble Collins may have in Maine. If the GOP somehow lost all eleven, they would have the fewest Senators in the chamber that they have had since the 95th Congress (1977-79). Even without losing the safer seats of Nebraska and Texas, the GOP will still be reduced to 40 seats and lose the filibuster. This is actually terrible news for Obama, because it will make it very easy for McCain to warn against the dangers of unified government and increased Democratic majorities in Congress as a reason to vote for him.
Update: As a commenter points out, I neglected the Colorado Senate race. That’s twelve.