The REALISTIC chances of Democrats recapturing the House and/or Senate are REMOTE, especially now that Rove is BACK.
Karl Rove is BACK baby! And just in TIME to get a good strategy going to EXPAND the GOP majority in the House and Senate!
Next year, there are 33 Senate seats up for grabs, 17 seats currently held by Democrats, 15 seats currently held by Republicans, and 1 independent seat (Jim Jeffords). So, immediately, Democrats are in the unfortunate position of having to DEFEND more seats than the Republicans. Governor Jeb Bush in Florida is "term limited" and can't run for governor again. If he runs for Senate, he could very easily defeat Bill Nelson (D) of Florida.
In the House (where all 435 seats are up for grabs), 15 Democratic seats are currently considered "vulnerable", and 22 Republican seats are considered "vulnerable". Currently, Republicans hold the edge in the house by a count of 232 Republicans to 202 Democrats. Assuming the Democrats win all their "vulnerable" seats, and Republicans lose ALL their "vulnerable" seats (something highly unlikely to happen), it would mean a net pick up of 22 seats for Democrats, and they would re-take the house by a margin of 224 to 210. This is the "best case" scenario for Democrats.
If, however, Republicans manage to take AWAY only 25% of vulnerable Democrat Seats (3), they can still afford to lose 75% (17) of their vulnerable seats. If this happens, Republicans STILL end up with a majority of 221 to 214. A smaller majority, yes, but a majority nonetheless.
There is still a whole year left until the next elections, and now that Karl Rove seems to be back to his old self, I'm sure the GOP will get to work on expanding the majorities they currently enjoy in BOTH the house and and Senate.
See story below on why Karl Rove is BACK!
The New York Times
Rove Is More His Old Self at the White HouseBy ANNE E. KORNBLUT
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 - The architect, it seems, is back.
Hunkered down for almost all of October while a grand jury considered his fate, Karl Rove has rebounded as a visible presence at the White House over the last two weeks, according to administration officials and Republican colleagues. He is running meetings and pursuing candidates for the 2006 elections - and, associates say, devising long-term political plans that suggest he does not believe he will face future legal trouble despite the C.I.A. leak investigation in which he has been involved.
On Thursday night, Mr. Rove made his first major public appearance in several weeks, speaking at the Federalist Society in Washington. The remarks on judicial restraint were hardly newsworthy in themselves, but his presence was. Just three weeks ago, at the height of the administration's worst troubles over the Supreme Court and as anxiety in the leak inquiry consumed the White House, Mr. Rove canceled a speech for the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia.
Since then, Mr. Rove has remained in legal limbo, neither cleared nor charged. But the frenzy surrounding his role has subsided since the Oct. 28 indictment of I. Lewis Libby Jr., and associates say there has been an elevation of Mr. Rove's persona inside and outside the West Wing - a shift that has the added benefit of assuring conservatives that the White House is trying to regain its footing after a spate of recent disasters.
"I've noticed a big difference," said one Republican in regular contact with Mr. Rove who declined to speak for attribution because the White House did not authorize it. "There's a spring in his step, more focus, more - something. Some sort of weight off his shoulders."
White House officials have insisted that the legal complications did not subtract from Mr. Rove's ability to do his job in recent weeks - disputing, among other things, that the botched response to Hurricane Katrina and the Harriet E. Miers nomination resulted from the political director's distractions. Nonetheless, Republican officials are now relieved to be able to demonstrate how engaged Mr. Rove is. Several have gone so far as to suggest that Mr. Rove's recovery is a harbinger of brighter days for the administration.
"I think he's focused on a lot of things - working to help people at the White House and talking to people on the Hill about the agenda next year, and he's certainly focused on the '06 elections," said Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who filled in for Mr. Rove at the Oct. 15 event for Jerry Kilgore, Virginia's attorney general.
In particular, several Republicans said, Mr. Rove drove the decision to recruit Judy Baar Topinka to run in the Illinois governor's race in 2006, a development this week that suddenly made the race competitive for Republicans. Although Mr. Rove is still leaving contact with candidates to his subordinates, especially Mr. Mehlman and Sarah Taylor, the White House political director, he is back to mapping out the nationwide strategy as he has in races past, several Republicans said.
"He was never as far out of it as people said he was, but he was distracted," said one Republican official, declining to speak for attribution because he does not speak officially for Mr. Rove. "Now he's not distracted anymore."
In his address to the conservative Federalist Society, Mr. Rove criticized "judicial imperialism." If the judiciary is not reined in, he said, voters will demand constitutional amendments to rectify what they perceive as bad decisions. Among the decisions he criticized: a Supreme Court ruling that forbade the death penalty for murderers under 18, saying it "ignored the fact that at the time, the peoples' representatives in 20 states had permitted the death penalty for killers under 18."
In a speech that lasted less than half an hour, Mr. Rove did not mention the leak controversy. He did crack several jokes about liberal fears that the Federalist Society is a conservative "conspiracy." "Every conspiracy needs a gray eminence," Mr. Rove said, toasting the guest of honor, Edwin Meese III, the former United States attorney general.
A senior administration official said Mr. Rove was back "in a good mood," sending off rapid-fire e-mail, sticking his head into meetings uninvited and acting in a familiar, mischievous manner.
"He's Karl," the official said.
Mr. Rove's role in the leak controversy came to light slowly. White House officials initially denied he played any role in disseminating information about Valerie Plame Wilson, the undercover C.I.A. officer whose name was published by the columnist Robert Novak in July 2003.