Counting to 50 — Why the Senate is nearly out of the question

Republicans have an outside chance of having 50 seats in the Senate after the votes are counted, but we won’t know until tomorrow.

Here’s one way to count. Start with the ones that are not competitive, or are already decided:
Republicans not up for reelection this year (23)
Safe Republican incumbents facing reelection (10): Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Louisiana, and South Dakota.
Safe Republican open seat retentions (5): Ohio, N.H., Utah, Missouri, and Kansas
Certain Republican pickups (4): N.D., Arkansas, Indiana, and Ky.,
Add those all up, and you have 42 Republicans before we even get to competitive outstanding races:
Republican seat in play (1): Alaska
Democratic seats in play (8):  Washington, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, and West Virginia.
Republicans would have to win all 9 competitive seats to win a Senate majority.
A loss in West Virginia would make that impossible.
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