Battleground 2004 (2): The Massachusetts Blues

The Democrats and Republicans are weighing their options, in case John Kerry wins the Presidency, leaving a vacancy in the Senate for Massachusetts.

If Kerry loses the White House, the Senate's overall control will be decided by the 34 Senatorial elections taking place in the same day. Unluckily for the Democrats, 19 of the 34 seats up for grabs are Democrat with the remaining 15 Republican. Even if the Senate seats concerned were equally winnable, that would mean that the Democrats have more to lose than to win in 2004. In fact, the next time more Republican Senate seats come up for election than Democrats will be in 2008.

However if John Kerry were elected President, he would automatically vacate his Senate seat in Massachussets. Normally the State Governor would appoint a replacement. But the Governor of Massachusetts is a Republican, so he could appoint a Republican Senator until Kerry's seat is due up for election in 2008. Just to provide more scope for drama, the Massachusetts legislature has enough Democrat votes to block such a move by Governor Mitt Romney.

The latest gossip is that local Republicans are planning to place a Party moderate who might get through.

So winning the White House could worsen the Democrats position in the Senate?

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