The latest polling data now indicate that this year's competitive Senate races are closing with the leaders of both parties losing ground(e.g. Boxer in California and Toomey in Pennsylvania). Nevertheless because I think this will still be a big Republican year, my best guess is that the GOP will pick up 9 Senate seats, one short of a majority. If I am right, expect to see Senators Lieberman and Nelson holding an auction to determine whether on not they will continue to vote with the Democratic leadership. Net net, Republican Mitch McConnell will be the next majority leader.
As fas as the House goes my best guess is that the Republicans will pick up about 70 seats, far from the 130 seat blow-out of 1894, but way better than the 52 they picked up in 1994. Figure a 250-185 GOP majority. The big questions are what they do with it and can it carry over to 2012. In 1996 the GOP barely hung on and in 1948, the Republican victory of 1946 turned into a debacle. Remember neither party has a magic wand to solve our Nation's deep seated problems and the electorate is, to say the least, very volatile. Thus it would be premature to write-off Democratic prospects for 2012.
This year's election is about two numbers, 9.6% and 17.1%. The former is the official unemployment rate and the latter is the "all-in" unemployment rate that counts involuntary part-time workers and discouraged workers. For whatever reason the Obama Administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress failed to make employment Job One. They will now suffer the consequences.