Washington (CNN) - As early as next week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will "go on the offense," according to a senior Senate campaign strategist, laying out its path to victory in a number of Senate races – not claiming to be on the verge of a majority, but well on its way.
While the path to a majority just got a lot tougher last night with the defeat of Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware for the GOP nomination, this campaign strategist says "We're going to take our lumps after Delaware. But for all of the beltway narrative, we are winning in a lot of places."
Does that mean a majority? Maybe not, "but we're still going to win a bunch of seats."
Indeed, the GOP message will point to what many consider to be the obvious right now: the Democrats are "in for a bad election," according to this source. The proof, they say: history. In 2006 and 2008, when Democrats won big, any Democrat ahead of his GOP opponent on Labor Day went on to win. 'It was a wave," says this GOP source. "And that's what we are looking for now."
The senior Republican points out that, according to both internal and external GOP polling, their candidates are ahead in six open seats: Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois and even New Hampshire. While the GOP nominee has still not officially been named, and may be subject to a recount, this source believes that the GOP would win with either former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte or attorney Ovide Lamontagne. The open seat that still gives the GOP heartburn: Roy Blunt versus Robin Carnahan. After all, Blunt is a creature of Congress, having served in the House GOP leadership.
In addition, Republicans claim to be up in the polling of seven seats now occupied by Democrats: in North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Colorado. What's more, they say they are "within the margin of error" in California, Wisconsin and Nevada, and within single digits in Connecticut and West Virginia.
Voter intensity, of course, is key to winning in any midterm election. And GOP voter intensity, which is very high right now, could be difficult to sustain. But internal GOP polling –as well as CNN's own polls– shows that independent voters have becoming increasingly alienated from the Democrats. Republicans believe they will come out and vote for their candidates.
One factor: the tax debate. "If we're debating whether to raise taxes 35 days before an election, we win," says this Republican, convinced that the Democratic strategy of letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire (while making middle class tax cuts permanent) will not work.
As for the infamous internal GOP Delaware battle, this source does not totally rule out more money for Christine O'Donnell. "It's all about viability," he says. "If she's within single digits, we will spend money there." Upcoming decisions: whether to give $180,000 to the coordinated campaign, and whether to allocate independent expenditure money in Delaware. As of this point, both seem unlikely-unless O'Donnell catches fire with Delaware voters.