But look a little deeper into the model’s projection and you see this: Democrats have a 1 in 3 chance of winning at least 53 seats and a 1 in 5 chance of winning at least 54 seats.
Those projections about the possibility of November being a BIG win for Senate Democrats as opposed to recapturing the majority by a single seat (or two) have all sorts of potential implications for what 2021 might look like.
(Quick note: There’s no question, when looking at the landscape, that major Democratic gains — along the line of a 6- or 7-seat net pickup are possible. At the moment the Cook Political Report, a non-partisan campaign tip sheet, rates 10 GOP-held seats in its most endangered categories as opposed to just two Democratic seats.)
In this case “everything” could mean: Adding seats to the Supreme Court, eliminating the filibuster entirely and granting statehood to DC and Puerto Rico. (Some of those moves would require a Democratic-controlled House and a Democrat in the White House.)
While it’s not clear just how far Schumer would be willing to take his threat if and when Democrats retake the majority and he is placed in charge of running the chamber, any student who has ever taken a poli-sci class can understand why a bigger majority makes these things more possible.
If Schumer, say, is overseeing a 51-seat Democratic majority in 2021, he can only afford to lose two votes of his colleagues on any major legislation.
Now consider how different Schumer’s outlook would be if he was sitting on a 53- or 54-seat majority. He could afford to let Manchin and Sinema go their own ways on this issue or that — and still be left with wiggle room to get things passed by simple majority.
The Point: The last few days have taught us all just how big the difference is — in terms of outcomes — between controlling 53 Senate seats and 51 Senate seats.