Welcome to the latest edition of the 2012 Democratic Convention Watch Senate Forecast, a summary of the best Senate forecasts in an easy overview table.
A small backslide this week, as the forecast moved from 51.8 to 51.7, a loss of 1.3 seats from the current 53. The biggest mover was PA, which moved to DL in 3, for a total of 4, forecasts. In terms of range, you can see from the chart that Democrats have 41 Safe Seats, have an easy path, HI->MO, to 47, and have a potential highpoint of 57 seats.
The Senate Forecast is an average of the projections of the Democratic held seats in the 2011 Senate. (We count Sanders and Lieberman as Democrats in the Senate Forecast).
Speaking of Independents, Angus King's strong run in Maine is causing havoc in the algorithms. Although many assume that King will caucus with the Democrats, it is no sure thing, and everybody classifies the race in a different way. For the purposed of these rankings, we're marking the race as a pure Tossup for everyone. If he wins, and until he declares what he will do, the seat's status will remain unknown, so keeping it as T is the safest thing to do.
The Senate Projection for each source gives Democrats 1.0 seats in a state that is projected Solid/Likely (D) for the Democrat (or seats that are not up for reelection this cycle), 0.8 seats for a Democrat-Lean (DL), 0.5 seats for a Tossup (T), 0.2 seats for a Republican-Lean (RL), and obviously 0 seats for a solid/likely (R)Republican seat or a Republican seat not up for reelection this cycle.
The Senate seats are sorted by the likelihood of the seat being won by a Democrat, so the most solid Democratic seats are at top, the most solid Republican seats are at the bottom, and the Tossups are in the middle.
Sources: Rothenberg, Cook, RollCall, CrystalBall, Daily Kos Elections, 538, DCW