The Senate could be one area in which things actually are looking like they might turn out better than expected for Republicans. The big news is that the AP has called the Minnesota Senate race for Norm Coleman, but with 100% of precincts in, the CNN numbers have Al Franken within 571 votes — this will easily trigger the automatic recount for races within 1 percent. In Oregon, Republican Gordon Smith has more than a 14,000 vote lead, and all of the results from the populous and heavily Democratic Multnomah County encompassing Portland are in, though we’ve yet to get results from some other Democratic leaning counties, so if you’re a junkie, you can keep refreshing this page. We may not know for sure for 2 weeks as absentee ballots roll in, but right now it looks like frikin’ Alaska re-elected convicted felon Ted Stevens. Should Stevens lose his appeal, a special election will be held for his seat, and perhaps there would be hope that Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell (who barely lost to Don Young in the Congressional primary), would win.
So basically, if these results hold, Republicans will end up with 44 votes in the Senate. That’s not great, but it’s something to work with. The Republicans wouldn’t be able to filibuster everything, but they’d be able to prevent some things.
UPDATE: The CNN count I was looking at seems to have been altered, and it turns out that Multnomah County is not in yet, making it unlikely that Gordon Smith will hang on.