Hill Watch

By Dan Dupont / October 10, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Inside the Air Force today runs a story that should be of interest to all, taking a look at the likely impacts of the congressional races on national security.

The Air Force’s legislative chief is expecting a shake up of Republican leadership on key congressional defense committees propelled by retirements, legal difficulties and major Democratic gains in both the House and Senate in next month’s general election.

In all, 35 Senate seats -- 23 currently held by Republicans -- are up for grabs, while the entire House is up for reelection in 2008. The latest estimates show the Democrats increasing their majority in both chambers, according to Maj. Gen. Herbert Carlisle -- director of the Air Force’s Legislative Liaison division. Carlisle spoke at a weapons conference in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, this week. The two-star said his predictions are based on “conventional wisdom and polls inside the Beltway.”

“Worst case for the GOP on the Senate side is nine seats would change,” he said on Oct. 8. “That would give the Democrats a 61 ((seat advantage)). Best case, best guess is five to seven seats will go democratic and Democrats will maintain control of the Senate.”

On the house side, Republicans will likely lose 12-15 seats, although that number could go as high as 20, Carlisle said.

“Best guess for everybody is that the Democrats maintain control of both the House and Senate,” he said. “They’ll increase their majority by a slight number.”

Much more detail in the full story.