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Fox News -- your election headquarters so much of the spotlight on the 2012 race for president.
But the balance of power in the congress is also up for grabs right now in the senate.
Democrats hold a majority 5147.
-- two independents who caucus with the Democrats.
But Republicans are taking a close look at the seats of two Democrats senators who are retiring Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
And Herb Kohl of Wisconsin they hope to turn those seats Republicans.
On the other side Democrats are hoping they can challenge Scott Brown in Massachusetts they're also looking at an opening in Arizona.
As Jon Kyl retires there Democrats also hope to hang on to the seat in North Dakota now that Kent Conrad is not seeking reelection.
So lets -- talk about all of this -- Larry seven other director of the center for politics at the University of Virginia he's got the crystal ball out.
For a long time you thought it didn't look so good for Democrats still hold onto the -- their prospects.
Now you say that may be changing walk.
Well I still think it's it looks all that good for Democrats retain the senate.
But remember John these are like 33 tops spinning simultaneously.
These 33 senate races and we have a year ago.
And naturally they -- some of them wobble to the Democrats some of them wobble to the Republicans over time let's take two examples.
Up in Massachusetts.
Republican senator Scott Brown he remember his big victory mid term victory replacing Ted Kennedy in the senate.
Well the Massachusetts is a heavily democratic state and now he has a very tough democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren.
Well Elizabeth Warren.
Is now essentially tied with Scott Brown in the pre election polls and President Obama is almost certain to win Massachusetts by a wide margin whatever he does nationally.
So we've moved back to toss up.
Let's take another example -- in the other direction in Florida where senator Bill Nelson.
The incumbent Democrat now faces a much tougher race for reelection.
Mainly because Connie -- congressman Connie Mack.
Has decided to run for the senate now Connie Mack is also nearly even with Bill Nelson in the polls and Florida is ripe for the picking for a Republican nominee for president if the Republicans pick a strong candidate.
And Connie Mack has a pretty big name recognition in that state Nevada is also our race -- that you saved the Democrats could have some trouble.
Yeah there there you've got a Republican incumbent but he's an appointed incumbent Dean Heller.
He has -- he was a congressman and he was appointed to the C seat of senator John -- when he repair resigned.
The democratic candidate congresswoman -- Shelley Berkeley is a strong candidate.
I think that might go the way the presidential contest in Nevada.
You know so many of these contests John are going to be coat tail races that is the winner of the presidential contest.
In these key states may very well pick up a -- senate seat by winning the State's electoral votes.
We we're in a very polarized environment and when people start voting Republican at the top of the ticket.
They're probably -- to continue to vote Republican when people start voting democratic at the top of the ticket.
They're probably gonna continue to vote democratic in November 2012.
You Elizabeth war.
In Massachusetts and she's a strong democratic contender there obviously should be in in a state that is that blue.
Against Scott Brown she is typical some say of what Democrats have done well this year which is recruiting strong female candidates.
To challenge for some of these seats.
Absolutely look if you look at where the votes are for the two parties disproportionately.
Women contribute to democratic victories disproportionately.
Men contribute to Republican victories.
So not surprisingly in order to appeal to the party base the parties nominate candidates.
From they -- disproportionate group so you have a lot of women candidates running.
On the -- democratic side although you also have a couple of women potentially running on the Republican side Linda Lingle out in Hawaii.
Will certainly be the Republican nominee for the senate out there and may be Heather Wilson.
In New Mexico so there are examples on both sides but I think it's a Smart strategy.
Turned off to politics and they think politics is very -- rocked.
Have the image of being clean.
That's how people interpret women candidacies.
May be it's gender bias but that's how they see it.
I just took such a sharp I elbow in the ribs from my partner here.
Larry I just can't agree more that statement have clean and pure all very very -- very -- -- the -- it and -- is not gonna go well for me.
Thank you but -- -- you back another -- sorry about so I thought it from the university of reported.
And welcome any time on the show that's for sure injured any strategy that out to say the least there will -- dot.
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