Will the Republicans get routed on Tuesday, as everybody seems to expect? Well, that depends on what the meaning of rout is. Whatever happens, the Democrats will claim victory. But then, so will the Republicans.

What will be the specifics of the we-won, no-we-won squabbling? Well, only God knows, but here are a few guesses:

The Republicans will lose 18-22 seats in the House, losing control of the lower body, as well-deserved punishment for their fiscal malfeasance and moral turpitude. Seats closest to this year’s scandals will fall the hardest.

The Republicans will keep the Senate–barely.

A few key races:

Republican George Allen will win in Virginia’s nasty Senate race; so much mud has been slung that it cancels itself out, and Virginia will remain Republican red.

Republican Michael Steele will win in Maryland, because he’s more likeable than his opponent.

Republican Mike DeWine will lose in Ohio, owing to that state’s own messy scandal on top of the national scandals.

Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island will lose, thanks to conservative anger at the Republican Party for its pre-emptive back-stabbing of his conservative primary opponent Stephen Laffey.

Republican Rick Santorum will lose in Pennsylvania, paying the price for his treachery against conservative Pat Toomey, who might have defeated liberal Arlen Specter in the 2004 primary had Sen. Santorum not travelled the state claiming that Mr. Toomey was “too conservative” for Pennsylvania–exactly what Sen. Santorum’s critics had said about him in his first Senate campaign.

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