November 4 is right around the corner and speculation about which party will control the Senate and by how many seats has reached a frenzied pitch. Elections forecasters place the odds of a Republican takeover at about 70 percent. The odds shift, of course, whenever new polls, fundraising numbers, and campaign ads are released.
To say the Republican majority has struggled with the influence of outside groups during the past two congresses is to put it mildly. These groups have stymied progress on major legislation, counseled members into bad strategic stances with serious economic and political consequences, and generally frustrated House and Senate compromise. From the government shutdown, Hurricane