In it, but not of it. TPM DC

With five days to go before Election Day, House forecasters roundly project that Republicans will expand their already robust majority, and potentially gain their largest advantage in the chamber since the Roaring Twenties.

Sabato's Crystal Ball projects a 9-seat gain for Republicans.

The Rothenberg Political Report projects the GOP will pick up somewhere between five and 12 seats.

The Cook Political Report projects a Republican net gain of 6 to 12 seats, "with slightly larger GOP gains not out of the question," according to an updated forecast released Wednesday.

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If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, as many expect, they will gain a powerful weapon to reshape President Barack Obama's legacy in his final two years: the authority to block his nominations.

Under a Democratic-led Senate, Obama has enjoyed remarkable success in confirming his executive appointees and remaking the federal courts in his image.

A recent New Yorker essay by legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin fleshed out Obama's contribution to the United States judiciary, which spans two Supreme Court justices, 53 appeals court judges and 223 trial court judges, all with lifetime tenure. Today 9 of 13 appeals courts, which have the last word on a vast majority of legal issues, have a Democratic majority; before he took office Republicans controlled 10 of 13.

"It's been absolutely huge," conservative legal scholar and Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett said of Obama's impact on the courts. "We've noticed patterns of voting with respect to certain kinds of legislation that gets upheld. There are certain executive branch practices that get upheld that would not have been upheld before."

Even Obama's executive branch picks have mostly been confirmed, though many have faced delays due to Republican filibusters and stalling tactics.

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It's crunch time in the midterm elections, and Democrats are pulling out all the stops to hold on to their endangered Senate majority, including reviving the specter of impeachment if they lose control.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will sound the siren in an email set to be sent on Wednesday afternoon to the roughly 1 million members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a copy of which was viewed in advance by TPM.

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NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado is taking a, shall we say, distinct message to Colorado men about Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner: Watch out, guys. A condom shortage could be coming if Gardner has his way.

The message, being spread through online and radio advertising in the final week of the campaign, is the flip side of the women's health message that has typified the anti-Gardner talking points. It isn't just women who have a lot to lose in Gardner's world, it says. There's something at stake for you, too, guys.

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Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell isn't known to be a warm and fuzzy person. Unlike many elite politicians he doesn't have a knack for appearing relatable to the average voter.

More fitting adjectives for the Senate Republican leader that come to mind are guarded, brusque and ruthlessly calculating. His approval rating is underwater in Kentucky, according to a recent Bluegrass Poll.

So the 30-year incumbent, who's aspiring to be majority leader, is out with a pair of television ads trying to humanize him as a regular Joe in the final days of his tough reelection fight.

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With less than a week to go before Election Day, many of the handful of exceedingly close races could tip the Senate’s balance in one other respect: the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate.

In 2012, the number of women serving jumped to 20 — the highest it’s ever been at one time in U.S. history (there have only ever been 44). It was dubbed this generation’s Year of The Woman — a call back to 1992’s Year of the Woman after Anita Hill’s testimony spurred women into office — when the number of women in the Senate went up by five.

The current female senators are dominated by Democrats: just four of the current class of women in the Senate are Republicans, and one of them is Susan Collins, reliably one of the most moderate of Republicans in the chamber.

But those numbers could change on Tuesday.

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