STATE BILL COLORADO
How strong is the Democratic advantage in the Colorado Senate? Senate Democrats who don’t have to run this election cycle outnumber their Senate Republican counterparts 10-6.
This means that Democrats need to win only eight of 19 open seats to retain control, a State Bill Colorado analysis shows. And to keep the 21-14 majority they hold today, the Dems would need to win 11 of 19 seats.
The Republican 2010 desire for Senate control is large, but more difficult. GOP candidates must win 12 of 19 seats — nearly two thirds of the open seats — to wrest control.
To do that, Republicans would have to:
* Win all of the seats currently held by GOP incumbents, plus the seat being vacated by GOP Minority Leader Josh Penry. That’s a total of six seats.
* Keep hold of SD-02 (Ken Kester is term-limited) and SD-09 (Dave Schultheis is not running). Two seats.
* Pick off previously Dem-held seats in SD-03 (Abel Tapia is term-limited) and SD-20 (Moe Keller is term-limited). Alexander Mugatu is running in SD-03; John Odom is running in SD-20. Two seats.
* Take away two of three seats currently held by Dem incumbents: Gail Schwartz (SD-05), Bruce Whitehead (SD-06) or Majority Leader John Morse (SD-11). Two seats.
The math for GOP control: 6+6+2+2+2=18. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tall order, even in a mid-term election during a recession that would seem to favor Republicans.
If the GOP were to run the table and take all three seats held by Dem incumbents Schwartz, Whitehead and Morse, they’d get to a 19-16 majority in the Senate.