This is a scaled claim. YES coupons pay (2047-X)/50, subject to a maximum of 1 and a minimum of 0, where X is the first year, 1995 or later, in which the Democratic Party controls the U.S. Senate. Thus, if Democrats control the Senate in 1997 or sooner, YES coupons pay 1, while if they do not control the Senate until 2047 or later, YES coupons pay 0.
The Democratic Party is said to control the Senate when there are more Senators belonging to the Democratic Party than Senators belonging to all other parties and independents combined. Vacant seats are not counted towards this total.
If the Democratic Party changes its name before it controls the Senate, YES coupons pay 0.
Note that at the time of creation of this claim, members of the U.S. Senate elected in November do not take their seats until the following January. Thus, (barring any changes to this procedure), if Democrats first won control of the Senate in the November 2006 election, they would not actually have control until January 2007, and YES coupons would therefore pay 0.80, and not 0.82.
The following paragraph was added roughly simultaneously with judgment.
The terms of senators who will serve for the first time in the 111th Congress began at noon on Saturday, January 3rd 2009. At that time, members generally described and self-described as Democrats constituted an absolute majority of the United States Senate.
Text below is the judge's statement at it appeared prior to judgment.
As of January 4, 2007 the United States Senate included forty-nine (49) members generally described and self-described as Democrats, forty-nine (49) members generally described and self-described as Republicans and two nominally independent members (Senator Lieberman of Connecticut and Senator Sanders of Vermont) who caucus with the Democrats and take committee assignments as if they were Democrats with the same continuous term of service.
Finding the claim ambiguous both as to intent and precise wording, I will construe the claim as if it were to be based on the stated and reported party affiliation of each Senator at any given time. I will construe the phrase "Democratic Party controls the U.S. Senate" in the first paragraph of the long description as controlled by the definition in the second paragraph and I will read the phrase "belonging to" as referring to the Senators' respective party affiliations.
The two above paragraphs were added on January 5, 2007.
I will judge based on the intent of this claim, if I perceive such intent to be obvious. If such intent is ambiguous I will judge on the basis of the precise wording. If both are ambiguous, I will look for a solution which follows IF/FX precedent insofar as such precedent is apparent to me and applicable to the claim. I will seek the guidance of the claim's owner/author in interpreting the claim. It's his or her question - s/he ought to get the answer sought. If I believe this claim to have met a YES or NO condition, and if I believe judgement will be controversial, I will post a prospective judgement to fx-discuss and forestall entering the judgement for a comment period to be announced in the post.