The retirement of Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) means that six Democrats are set to leave the Senate in 2014, putting Democratic control of that body in jeopardy.
Democrats currently hold 53 Senate seats, and two Independents — Vermont's Bernie Sanders and Maine's Angus King — caucus with the party. Republicans need to swing six seats to gain control.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Rob Collins said Tuesday that the electoral map is in "free-fall" for Democrats after Baucus' retirement.
But there are two reasons Democrats aren't yet worried about losing control of the Senate.
First, privately, they don't think any seat's dynamic has changed other than races in Iowa and West Virginia, where Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin and Jay Rockefeller have announced they will retire om 2014.
Second, they point to the 2012 election, when Democrats were supposed to lose even more seats but ended up gaining two.
"Democrats would have a lot more reason to worry had Republicans not blown a handful of easy elections in 2010 and 2012," one Democratic strategist said. "We've got more of a cushion going into 2014 than most observers were thinking we would six months or a year ago."