The 2012 election may generate plenty of headlines, but it's not going to get a gridlocked Washington moving again—in large part thanks to the outlook for the Senate. Neither party is poised to win the kind of majority that could exert any real authority, the Washington Post notes. Republicans are likely to gain a few seats, but experts say the result could be a 50-50 Senate, for just the fourth time ever.
If Republicans perform to analysts' highest expectations, they'll be in a position similar to that of the Democrats now, with about 53 seats. "Regardless of which party keeps the majority, nobody is going to have anything that resembles control," says an expert. But that's not stopping candidates from pouring cash into battles for seats. Ohio and Missouri have seen $8 million worth of attack ads against Democrats since last summer, for instance. (The GOP's Olympia Snowe has made a surprise announcement to retire in Maine.)