Recently I suggested that the key strength for the Republicans (and weakness for the Dems) is the elasticity of their coalition. By that I meant the GOP's ability to field winning candidates in the Blue states, notwithstanding the unpopularity of Republicans from other parts of the country. The same doesn't seem true for Democrats, as the very poor results for a series of Red State Senate candidates last Tuesday showed.
But perhaps I haven't looked at the roll call enough recently.
Of the ten biggest states in the country, 6 are Blue (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey). Four are Red, but two of those are the main swing states (Texas, Florida, Ohio and Georgia).
Of the twelve senators from those six states, only two are Republicans (Specter and Santorum). And that makes a certain amount of sense since Pennsylvania is the most contested Blue State on that list.
This would seem to suggest that the North, or rather the Blue States, are going through a similar process to what we're seeing in the South.
But there are two problems in this for the Dems. Actually, more than two. But let's focus on two.
All through its history, the South has tended towards one-party-dom. So I doubt senate seats in the Blue states will ever be as free of contest as some are in the South.
Secondly, that list above dramatizes an important problem for the Democrats. Of the ten largest states, five are clearly Blue, three are Purple swing states, and only two are clearly Red. And one of those two Red states, Georgia, is number ten. In other words, if Blue and Red states vote to form in Senate races, that's not good news for Dems, since the Blue states tend to be larger* than the Red ones.
* [ed.note: Here we are using 'larger' in the secular, Blue State sense of the word to refer to people rather than acres.]