"That's going to be real hard, to be honest with you," Cornyn said of keeping Democrats from reaching 60 seats, adding:
"Everybody who runs could be the potential tipping point to get Democrats to 60. We've not only got to play defense; we've got to claw our way back in 2010. It'll be a huge challenge."
So far this cycle, Republicans have been faced with retirements in four swing states, emerging primaries against at least three of their members and a map that, after two cycles of big GOP losses, continues to favor Democrats.
For Cornyn, the man tasked with avoiding sinking below 41 seats, it's become a very tough job. And it's clear he's nervous.
Aside from all the developments so far, the one race Cornyn brought up unprompted in a lengthy interview with The Hill was Texas, where Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) is aiming for the governor's mansion and could vacate her seat at any time, paving the way for an open, no-primary free-for-all in the Lone Star State.
Indications lately have been that she will remain in her seat, which isn't up until 2012. But her Texas colleague made it clear Monday that he's not counting his blessings just yet."What I am concerned about is that it will be a special election that will be held perhaps as early as May 2010," Cornyn said. "I don't want this to turn into a situation where we elect a Democrat in Texas and further erode our possibilities."
I don't think Cornyn should worry so much. The way forward is clear: Talk more about tea parties and torture. Have thrice-married, known adulterers, offer more sanctimonious lectures to Americans on "traditional marriage." Then have thrice-married, cross-dressing Manhattanites make the case against gay marriage. Make Sarah Palin the face of your party. Keep Dick Cheney talking. And when all else fails, just ask yourself this question, "What would Rush do?" Follow these steps, and I promise, you will give new meaning to the term "minority party." You have the power.