Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter changed parties this morning and is now caucusing with the Democrats. This gives the Democratic Caucus 59 seats and brings the Republicans down to 40. If Franken beats Coleman that will bring the Democrats to 60. Specter's reason is to allow him to run in the 2010 senate primary in Pennsylvania because he believes he would lose the republican one. Democrats, especially Obama, were very quick to welcome him into the fold.
I might be missing something, but this seems like good news for the Republicans. Specter indicated that his voting will not change. If the Democrats are seen to have a filibuster proof majority, then everything will be on their and Obama's shoulders more than it is already. It would be almost impossible to paint Republicans as obstructionist when they do not have the votes to obstruct. It is likely the amount of bipartisanship, which is only at the 'token' level now, will decrease. The Democrats were already going to get credit if their plans are successful. This move seems to guaranty they take the blame if their plans fail. Should they succeed the Democrats will maintain control anyways. If they fail, Specter can be knocked out in the midterm elections.
More at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31639, http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/28/breaking-specter-becoming-a-democrat, and http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/senate/specter-to-switch-parties.html?hpid=topnews.