Early Bird

Democrats Want More Senate Seats

Election Day 2008 barely behind them, Senate Democrats are already looking forward to 2010, when they will have the chance to strengthen their majority. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez gave his first briefing as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Thursday and announced an aggressive play for seats in a host of swing states including Florida, Ohio, and Missouri. Though Menendez's optimism takes its cues from the nation’s shifting public opinion, it defies history, which finds that Democrats have a harder time winning seats in midterm elections, even when they are the governing force in Washington. But Menendez insists that Republicans "just don't get it." Strengthening Menendez's case is New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg's nearly concurrent announcement that he "probably" would not seek reelection in the wake of his failed cabinet bid.