Despite the best efforts of Young Jeezy, T.I., and Ludacris, the Democrats look to be stuck at 58 seats in the US Senate, two shy of the magic filibuster-proof majority. Georgia's runoff election between Senator Saxby Chambliss and challenger Jim Martin (pictured, above) is going on right now! And turnout seems to be low. Meanwhile in Minnesota, Al Franken faces some pretty damning math in his recount battle with Norm Coleman. Already, the age of Hope and Change is over!
Martin has Barack Obama's awesome turnout machine going in his favor, but he doesn't have the draw of Obama's name on the ballot. Saxby Chambliss, who's really a colossal prick, was 100% right when he said his chances were great, now that the black people won't be turning out in record numbers. Martin's never polled above Chambliss to begin with, and the Republicans raised way more money. This one's a longshot.
Meanwhile in Minnesota, odds are marginally better for the challenging Democrat. Al Franken is 73 votes (or less!) behind Coleman, according to his own numbers, with ten percent left to recount still. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, though, is pessimistic about his chances. Their vote count has Franken still behind by 340, and their own numbers say Franken can't make up the difference unless none of Norm's challenges are upheld and more than 6 percent of Franken's are accepted. It's unlikely, though Coleman's challenges have been greater in number and marginally more frivolous as the recount's dragged on.
Still, Franken's last, best hope may be to sue to get a couple thousand rejected absentee ballots actually counted. Which would be a mess, and more or less guarantee that he'd serve one unpopular term.
So the Dems are probably stuck at 58. Maybe they'll hit 59, but 60 seems almost impossible. Of course the magic 60 seats actually wouldn't help or hurt their ability to get legislation forced through all that much (we're still dealing with Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and other party renegades, remember), it was more like a fun thing for pundits to talk about when they got bored talking about how McCain was going to lose.