Controlling 60 seats is the holy grail in the Senate. It allows the majority party to block filibusters from the minority and truly run the chamber.
The last time a party held 60 or more seats was three decades ago when Democrats had 61 seats in the 95th Congress (1977-1979). But, the combination of a toxic political environment for Republicans and a relatively small number of Democratic vulnerabilities has skilled observers — including Fix friend and Roll Call columnist Stu Rothenberg — starting to talk about the possibility of Democrats getting to 60 in the next two or four years.
Let’s examine the two scenarios that could propel Democrats from their current 51-seat majority to a filibuster-proof 60.
And that’s what the remainder of the piece does. Cillizza concludes:
The likelihood of Democrats winning a filibuster-proof majority in 2008 is remote though not impossible. Their odds are considerably better in 2010 if — if and that is a big “if” — the national political environment continues to strongly favor Democrats. That dynamic that would allow the party to make mid to high single digit gains next November and could make 60 seats a real possibility for Senate Democrats in 2010.
And just think – Cillizza didn’t even take into errors in calculating who is running when where.