Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Massachusetts (5/31/06)

John Kerry is not too popular, even in his home state. After his failed presidential bid in 2004, his popularity dipped a bit. That said, Kerry probably isn't even running for reelection, as he is looking to run for president a second time in 2008. The likely Democratic candidates to replace him are Congressmen Martin Meehan, Stephen Lynch, and/or William Delahunt. They are all typical Massachusetts Democrats, but would probably win big in the general election. The GOP, which is notoriously weak in Massachusetts, has a surprisingly good candidate in former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card. Card was one of Bush's closest advisors, which might not be looked too well upon. Another Republican candidate who has already announced is author Jerome Corsi who was one of the "Swift Boat" masterminds. He has made many controversial statements regarding the Democrats, and would probably put him at odds with the party. But this seat is safe anyway, so the Democrats don't really have to figure this in that much.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator John Kerry (
Congressman William Delahunt (
Congressman Stephen Lynch (
Congressman Martin Meehan (

Potential GOP Candidates: Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card (
Author Jerome Corsi (

Current Rating: Safe Dem

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Maine (5/30/06)

Incumbent popular liberal Republican senator Susan Collins (wow that was a mouthful) could win a third term if she wants. However she says that she is retiring, which totally changes the dynamics of the seat. The Maine GOP is so weak that they're going to have a difficult time finding a credible person to hold this seat. They don't have anybody elected to a statewide office, and the state legislature is tilted Democratic. Their best candidate might be state representative and current congressional candidate Darlene Curley, although she doesn't have the high name recognition (for that matter, neither do any Maine Republicans). The Democrats, on the other hand, have a great candidate in Congressman Tom Allen. Allen is pretty liberal (in the mold of Russ Feingold) but has charisma and is one of the state's two federal Democratic officials, so he should have no problem with statewide name recognition. The real wild-card could be Collins herself who will take her time deciding whether to renege on her term-limit pledge. But for now, let's assume that she won't run and that this race will be very close. If she does run, chances are she will be reelected. If she doesn't, well, anything could happen with this race.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Susan Collins (
State Rep. Darlene Curley (

Potential Dem Candidates: Congressman Tom Allen (

Current Rating: Toss-Up

Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekly Rankings (5/29/06)

Weekly rankings... Bold indicates rating change

Top 5 seats MOST LIKELY to change parties (1 being the most likely):
1. Minnesota (R-Coleman) [Toss-Up]
2. Colorado (R-Allard) [Toss-Up]
3. New Jersey (D-Lautenberg) [Toss-Up]
4. Maine (R-Collins) [Toss-Up]
5. Georgia (R-Chambliss) [Leans GOP]

Top 5 seats LEAST LIKELY to change parties (1 being the least likely):
1. Mississippi (R-Cochran) [Safe GOP]
2. Rhode Island (D-Reed) [Safe Dem]
3. Kansas (R-Roberts) [Safe GOP]
4. Massachusetts (D-Kerry) [Safe Dem]
5. Oklahoma (R-Inhofe) [Safe GOP]

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Illinois (5/28/06)

Senator Richard Durbin, the Senate minority whip, is very popular in solid blue state Illinois. He will almost definitely run for a 3rd term in 2008 with little-to-none primary opposition. The GOP won't make the mistake of running Alan Keyes again, so they will search for a competent in-state candidate. Congressman Timothy Johnson, not to be confused with South Dakota senator Tim Johnson, is a bit too conservative for the state, but seems to be a likely candidate anyway. State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka would be a good candidate if she loses her gubernatorial bid to Governor Rod Blagojevich. But this is still a strong Democratic seat and will be difficult, no matter who they put up, for the Republicans to win this seat.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Richard Durbin (

Potential GOP Candidates: Congressman Timothy Johnson (
State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (

Current Rating: Safe Dem

New Hampshire (5/27/06)

Incumbent senator John Sununu is quite popular, won't face primary opposition, and will probably win reelection unless extremely popular governor John Lynch enters the race. Lynch is a moderate who has been governor since 2003 and is beloved by both Republicans and Democrats in 2008. If he doesn't enter the race the likely candidate for the Democrats would be current congressional candidate and state representative Jim Craig who doesn't have nearly as much recognition or support. Even if Lynch doesn't enter, Craig, or whoever the Democrats nominate, still could pull off an upset win.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator John Sununu (

Potential Dem Candidates: State Rep. Jim Craig (
Governor John Lynch (

Current Rating: Leans GOP

Friday, May 26, 2006

Louisiana (5/26/06)

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it has not been a good time to be a Louisiana politician. Especially Mary Landeiru, whose controversial comments have earned the ire of Louisianans. There is almost no chance that she will retire, and she will probably not have no primary opposition. How competitive this race is depends on the Republican candidate. Unfortunately for the GOP, they don't have many viable candidates. They did have one in Congressman Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, but he is running for Governor and currently leads in the polls by upwards of 20%. Either Congressman Jim McCrery or Congressman Richard H. Baker would be the frontrunners for the Republicans if they entered the race but this race, unlike other senate contests, has no announced (or semi-announced) candidates. This race and its candidates will almost certainly dramatically change over the next two years.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Mary Landrieu (

Potential GOP Candidates: Congressman Richard H. Baker (
Congressman Jim McCrery (

Current Rating: Toss-Up

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mississippi (5/25/06)

If you look back at the weekly rankings from 5/22, you will see that Thad Cochran is, in my opinion, the least likely senator to lose his or her seat. Well that still holds true today. If you needed proof, you can just look at the 2002 race where Cochran's only opposition in the general election was Shawn O'Hara of the Reform Party. Cochran will be unopposed in the GOP's primaries in 2008. The pretty weak state Democratic paty won't have many good candidates to pick from, but they could pull out their equivalent of a "big gun" and get 9-term Congressman Gene Taylor to run. That, however, is unlikely so they will have to turn to someone like state Attorney General Jim Hood. But no matter who they nominate, the Democrats don't really have much of a prayer in this election.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Thad Cochran (

Potential Dem Candidates: Attorney General Jim Hood (
Congressman Gene Taylor (

Current Rating: Safe GOP

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

West Virginia (5/24/06)

Jay Rockefeller is very popular, and that's putting it mildly. He is a moderate, which, in West Virginia, is a very good thing. There is speculation that he will retire, but, unless he does, this is still a pretty safe seat. The obvious favorite for the GOP nomination is West Virginia's lone GOP representative, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. She passed on this year's race versus Robert Byrd, which could indicate that she is saving up for a run in 2008. If she doesn't enter the race, there really aren't any other viable candidates. If Rockefeller retires, Capito will definitely enter the race for the GOP and there will be a scramble for the Democratic nomination, with probable candidates being Governor Joe Manchin and longtime Congressman Alan B. Mollohan.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Jay Rockefeller (
Governor Joe Manchin (
Congressman Alan B. Mollohan (

Potential GOP Candidates: Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (

Current Rating: Safe Dem

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Minnesota (5/23/06)

In 2002 incumbent Democratic senator Paul Wellstone was engaged in a bitter reelection battle until he tragically died in a plane crash one week before the election. Republican Norm Coleman ended up defeating former V.P. Walter Mondale. Coleman is seeking reelection, and it figures to be an uphill battle for him. He is a conservative in a liberal state, much in the fashion of Rick Santorum's situation. Facing no major primary opposition himself, the Democratic primary will prove to be an exciting one. Talk show host and famous Democratic comedian Al Franken is currently the frontrunner for his party's nomination, but that is mostly due to his high name recognation. He has never held elective office, and that is something that will surely hurt him in the primary. Other, not as famous, potential candidates include Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and 2000 candidate and wealthy lawyer Mike Ciresi. The GOP will put a lot of money into keeping this seat red.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Norm Coleman (

Potential Dem Candidates: Lawyer Mike Ciresi (
Comedian Al Franken (
Mayor R.T. Rybak (

Current Rating: Toss-Up

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekly Rankings (5/22/06)

Hi. Every Monday, in lieu of a race rundown, there will be rankings posted of the top 5 seats most and least likely to change parties. If you have any suggestions, post them in a comment.

Top 5 seats MOST LIKELY to change parties (1 being the most likely):
1. Minnesota (R-Coleman) [Toss-Up]
2. Colorado (R-Allard) [Toss-Up]
3. Louisiana (D-Landrieu) [Toss-Up]
4. Georgia (R-Chambliss) [Leans GOP]
5. New Hampshire (R-Sununu) [Leans GOP]

Top 5 seats LEAST LIKELY to change parties (1 being the least likely):
1. Mississippi (R-Cochran) [Safe GOP]
2. Kansas (R-Roberts) [Safe GOP]
3. Rhode Island (D-Reed) [Safe Dem]
4. Wyoming (R-Enzi) [Safe GOP]
5. Massachusetts (D-Kerry) [Safe Dem]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

South Dakota (5/21/06)

South Dakota, along with fellow state North Dakota, has amazed pundits nationwide for, at one time, having only Democrats in its state congressional delegation. And this is coming from a state that voted 60-39 to reelect President Bush in 2004. That said, popular senator Tom Daschle, the former Senate Minority Leader, lost his reelection bid in 2004 to Tim Johnson's 2002 opponent, John Thune. This time the GOP won't have anybody as good as Thune to oppose Johnson, but this should be close. But Johnson is popular, so the only way that he is going to have another barnburner is if equally popular governor Mike Rounds challenges him. If Rounds bypasses the race, the race will still be close. The most likely candidate would then be Lieutenant Governor Dennis M. Daugaard who would be a much weaker candidate than Rounds.

Possible Dem Candidate: Senator Tim Johnson (

Possible GOP Candidates: Lt. Governor Dennis M. Daugaard (
Governor Mike Rounds (

Current Rating: Leans Dem

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Georgia (5/20/06)

In 2002, incumbent senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland lost to Saxby Chambliss in the dirtiest senate campaign in history. The Democrats want to now reclaim that seat. To do that, they have a couple of candidates who could swing the seat. The most probable of those candidates to run are extremely conservative congressman Jim Marshall and/or, assuming she loses her gubernatorial campaign, Secretary of State Cathy Cox. Either one of these candidate could give Chambliss, who will probably be unopposed in the GOP primary, a run for his money. The wild-card in this race will be Max Cleland, who could challenge Chambliss again. If not, Cox or Marshall will do a fine job, but Cleland would be the best candidate. This is anybody's ballgame.

Possible GOP Candidates: Senator Saxby Chambliss (

Possible Dem Candiates: Former Senator Max Cleland (
Secretary of State Cathy Cox (
Congressman Jim Marshall (

Current Rating: Leans GOP

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Jersey (5/19/06)

Second day, and we're still going strong! This seat, which has been occupied by Lautenberg on two different occasions, may be in danger. Lautenberg has seniority going for him, but that's about it. He is disliked (his disapproval rating, 43%, is the highest of any senate democrat) and won by only 10% in 2002, defeating weak candidate Doug Forrester. If State Senator Thomas Kean, Jr. loses to incumbent senator Robert Menendez this year, he could emerge as the early frontrunner for the Republicans in 2008. If Kean wins his 2006 race, the GOP might have to turn to one of two state senators: Bill Baroni or Joe Pennacchio. In the Democratic primary Lautenberg who, at age 84, is running for another term, does not expect to be unopposed but that opposition will most likely just be token.

Possible Dem Candidates: Senator Frank Lautenberg (

Possible GOP Candidates: State Senator Bill Baroni (
State Senator Joe Pennacchio (

Current Rating: Leans Dem

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Colorado (5/18/06)

Well, here it is... the first race analysis on this blog! We shall begin with Colorado. Incumbent senator Wayne Allard (R) is not well liked in this toss-up state (he has a net approval rating of just 1%) and, fortunately for the Democrats, they have a great candidate in Congressman Mark Udall, son of former Arizona senator Mark Udall. Allard hasn't announced whether he'll run (he might retire) but Udall says that he's running either way. In 2002 Allard won 51%-46% which definitely shows his vulnerability. If he ends up not running, term-limited governor Bill Owens could jump in the race, although that seems unlikely. The state GOP is so weak, so if Allard retires, their best shot would be either former congressman Bob Beauprez (running for governor this year) or state attorney general John W. Suthers.

Possible GOP Candidates: Senator Wayne Allard (

Possible Dem Candidates: Congressman Mark Udall (>)

Current rating: Toss-up

Hello all

Hello to all who are reading this. This blog was created to promote the 2008 Senatorial races. Although I myself am a strong Democrat, my political leanings will not generally infiltrate this blog. Even though 2008 is still two years away, it's not too early to speculate. I hope that you enjoy this blog!