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Top political handicappers expect Sessions to craft Federal budget next year

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Although they didn’t directly mention Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in their articles this week, famed political handicappers Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook were both very bullish on Republicans’ chances to retake the Senate in November, which would install Sessions as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Rothenberg went as far as to say that he “expects” a “substantial” Republican wave that would see the Party pick up “at least 7 seats.”

Having a conservative warrior like Sessions crafting the Federal budget is a dream scenario for many Republicans. If the predictions of Rothernberg and Cook come true, that dream would become a reality.

In addition to that, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby would chair the Banking Committee and be the number two man on Appropriations.

Alabama would be the only state in the country with two senators chairing A-level committees, which led us to write in April that “no state gains more than Alabama if Republicans take over US Senate.”

Here’s what the two election prognosticators had to say this week:

Stu Rothenberg:

I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats. But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain…

The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party… As long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.

Charlie Cook:

While the contest for the majority in the Senate has many facets, none is more important than whether Democrats can hold onto any of their six most vulnerable seats: those that are up in states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. Three of them—the open seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia—look pretty hopeless for Democrats. The remaining three incumbents—Mark Begich in Alaska, where Romney won by 14 points; Mark Pryor in Arkansas, which Romney carried by 24 points; and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, where Romney won by 17 points—all look increasingly problematic for Democrats. And, of course, what happens in states where Obama and Romney were reasonably close—as in Colorado (Mark Udall), North Carolina (Kay Hagan), and the Iowa open seat—is also key. So, too, are the outcomes in GOP-held states and in strong Obama states. If Democrats get wiped out in red states, that could be the whole ball game when it comes to Senate control.

The handicappers are not the only ones predicting a Republican wave. Election models built by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and FiveThirtyEight all predict that Republicans will be in the majority in both Chambers when Congress reconvenes next year.

(h/t The Fix)

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