He’s one of the best political prognosticators in the business, and, peering into his Crystal Ball, Sabato sees more Senate gains for the Democrats next year:
Remarkably, even after losing six net Senate seats in 2006 and another seven or eight (pending the Minnesota resolution) in 2008, the GOP still has more seats up (19) than Democrats (17) in 2010. (There will be a big reversal in 2012, with 24 Democratic seats to only 9 Republican ones-but that’s getting too far ahead of the story.) Even worse for the GOP, by almost any reckoning, there are more vulnerable Republican seats than Democratic ones on the 2010 ballot… Should Al Franken of Minnesota eventually be seated, a single net gain for the Democrats could get them to the semi-magic “sixty” that can theoretically shut off GOP filibusters. They could easily go beyond this minimal gain, if electoral conditions in 2010 permit.
Of course, the U.S. could be in the depths of the Great Depression II by then, so you never know. Still, there is good reason for optimism looking ahead, at least when it comes to a possible Democratic three-peat.