Senate Democrats Have Reason to Worry

Time magazine provides details of the 2010 Senate races. It seems that this is not shaping up as the banner year Democrats had envisioned:

The political scandals surrounding Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Senator Roland Burris have handicapped the Democrats’ chances of keeping Obama’s old Senate seat. Governors in Colorado and New York appointed two relative unknowns to fill Ken Salazar’s and Hillary Clinton’s shoes, respectively, both of whom left for the Cabinet. And then Ted Kennedy died, prompting a Massachusetts special election due to be held in January.

Time insists that the Democrats are still headed for a net pickup, but it doesn’t look that way if you go through the open seats. Time, for example, lists Richard Burr of North Carolina among the vulnerable Republicans, but recent polling has him up by a comfortable margin.

So what happens if the Democrats, not the Republicans, lose a couple of seats? Republicans still won’t control committees and will be badly outvoted on budget matters. But the filibuster comes back into play, albeit with little room for error, if 2010 turns out to be a backlash election against the Democrats’ one-party rule.

You understand, then, why Obama is in such a hurry to jam through whatever he can, as fast as he can. The window of opportunity may close sooner than many Democrats ever imagined.