The numbers tell the story in the Senate: The president’s party will be playing defense, with 23 Democratic-held seats up for grabs. By comparison, only 10 Republican Senate seats will be in play, most in solidly Republican states. It’s the most lopsided disparity for any party since 1980, when Democrats lost 12 Senate seats.

And the map where all the top races are being contested is awfully daunting for Democrats. Of the 23 seats Democrats will be defending, eight are in Republican-friendly or battleground states: Nebraska, Virginia, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Ohio, and Florida…

Put simply, holding a Democratic majority at 53 seats would take a herculean effort, and even holding a bare majority would be an accomplishment. There’s a good reason why Majority Leader Harry Reid has been hard-pressed to find any one of his colleagues willing to chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2012.