Nate Silver, whose poll-based political prognostications usually are scary accurate, predicts a loss of six or seven Senate seats to Republicans in November, which given the gyrations of contemporary politics means that the Democrats could lose their majority.
But as good as Silver is, he and polls don't take into account the Batshit Crazy Factor -- that is how as Election Day approaches some voters become increasingly chary of casting ballots for people with outlandish ideas that if enacted would radically alter their middle-class lives.
This is why I think that there is no such thing as a sure bet in races where the Republican candidate should prevail but might be considered Batshit Crazy:
* Incumbent appointed Colorado Senator Michael Bennet was in big trouble until Republicans nominated Tea Party love muffin Ken Buck, who wants to ease the separation of church and state and eliminate the Education and Energy departments.
* In Florida, super conservative Marco Rubio was looking forward to having his cake and eating it too until Charlie Crist, banished from the temple by Tea Partiers because he was not pure enough for a shot at replacing outgoing Democratic Senator Mel Martinez, decided to run as an independent.
* Rand Paul, a crazier version of his wacky father, Ron, has a bucketful of oddball ideas and is downright paranoid about non-existent highways and monetary systems and may end up costing the party one of its two previously safe Senate seats in Kentucky.
* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while deeply unpopular back home in Nevada, has a good chance of holding off Sharron Angel, who has a PhD in Batshit Crazy, one element of which is that God intends women to get raped so they can bring beautiful babies into the world.
Then there's Alaska, where Tea Party member Joe Miller, who was endorsed by former half-term governor Sarah Palin, may unseat Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who of course could turn around and run as an independent, which with a three-way ballot would give her a shot at retaining the seat that she and her father before her have held since 1981.
Having put up with Palin's wackiness, Alaskans seem perfectly capable of electing someone like Miller, but I suspect that the Batshit Crazy Factor will come into play given that he wants to eliminate the Department of Education, abolish unemployment insurance, eliminate health care for the poor by scrapping Medicaid, cut Medicare and privatize Social Security.
The bottom line here is that Silver's crystal ball glazing aside, the Republicans could actually lose two seats and fail to take over two others that were once viewed as sure things.