Senate Democrats have a silver lining heading into the 2010 election: their party’s made huge gains in voter registration. The last time this crop of senators was on the ballot was 2004, when George W. Bush’s field operation, then the most sophisticated ever, was registering hordes of Republicans. But Barack Obama’s 2008 effort “made the 2004 Republican model look antiquated,” writes Tom Schaller on FiveThirtyEight.com.
In 10 of the 12 most competitive Senate races, Democrats now have more registered voters they did in 2004. The other two—Arkansas and Kentucky—contain a preponderance of the 22% of counties nationwide where Obama earned fewer votes than John Kerry. That doesn’t mean Democrats are sure to prevail in these states, but it should “buffer their expected losses,” Schaller predicts. (Read more voter registration stories.)