There has been a growing sense in recent weeks that the odds of Republicans picking up a Senate majority in November are not only growing, they may well have tipped over to better than 50-50.

The numbers, geography, and timing for Senate Democrats have been challenging from the beginning of this election cycle. They have greater exposure, defending 21 seats compared with only 15 for the GOP. Even worse, the exposure comes in tough places for Democrats, who have four seats up in states that Mitt Romney carried by 15 percentage points or more, two in states that he won by 14 points, and another in a state Romney took by 2 points.

The timing is particularly bad in that the party’s exposure comes during a midterm election, when the electorate is usually older, whiter, and more conservative than during presidential election years, when turnout is more diverse. Finally, the political environment for Democrats is bad; the party currently has a president with a national job-approval numbers averaging in the low forties, and considerably worse in at least

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Charlie "Chuck" Cook