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.
It's been a while since we last posted in May, but things stayed relatively stable until December, when somewhat improved prospects in MA, NV, ND and WV were overshadowed by Ben Nelson's retirement in NE.
The forecast for the Democrats is 48.7 seats, a loss of 4.3 seats from their current 53. 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).
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 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.
Note: This post was updated on 1/8 to include DCW rankings, changing the forecast to 48.9.
Sources: Rothenberg, Cook, RollCall, CrystalBall