Friday, June 30, 2006

Michigan (6/30/06)

Carl Levin is old but beloved in Michigan. Four years ago, he won by 22% and looks to expand upon that number in 2008. There is really a wide variation of possible opponents to Levin, the most potent of them is current GOP gubernatorial nominee Dick DeVos. He is currently deadlocked with Governor Jennifer Granhold, and the outcome of that race could determine 2008's outlook. If DeVos is not a 2008 candidate, look for young Congressman Mike J. Rogers, a very conservative Republican who has been in the House for 5 years, to enter the race. Of course, this race is one where some nameless candidate could come out of nowhere and challenge Levin. Levin, on the other hand, won't have to fight any kind of primary battle and will be a strong incumbent, even in this moderate-minded state.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Carl Levin (

Potential GOP Candidates: Businessman Dick DeVos (
Congressman Mike J. Rogers (

Current Rating: Leans Dem

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

North Carolina (6/28/06)

Well, I missed yesterday's... I was a bit busy. Anyways, North Carolina. Even though it's a Republican stronghold, this state seems to always be in play. 2008 is no exception. Senator Elizabeth Dole might face her toughest reelection opponent in Governor Mike Easley. His term conveniently ends in 2008, and he is barred by term limits from running for a third term. He is regarded well, with a 17% net approval rating, and, should he choose to run, would certainly make this race the forefront of the 2008 senate races. Another potential Democratic candidate is, as always, President of UNC Erskine Bowles. Bowles is a perennial candidate who has yet to win, but has always gotten 45-47% of the vote anyway. The wild card in this race is Dole, who could give up her seat for a spot on the Republican ticket as VP, which is a real possibility. State Senator Robert Pittenger, a popular local figure, could replace Dole, should she be put on the ticket. Even thought the Democrats would have a better chance against Pittenger, don't count them out against Dole either.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Elizabeth Dole (
State Senator Robert Pittenger (

Potential Dem Candidates: President of UNC Erskine Bowles (
Governor Mike Easley (

Current Rating: Leans GOP

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekly Rankings (6/26/06)

You know the drill... Bold indicates a ratings change

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

Top 5 seats LEAST LIKELY to change parties (1 being the least likely):
1. Rhode Island (D-Reed) [Safe Dem]
2. Mississippi (R-Cochran) [Safe GOP]
3. Idaho (R-Craig) [Safe GOP]
4. Nebraska (R-Hagel) [Safe GOP]
5. Montana (D-Baucus) [Safe Dem]

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Delaware (6/25/06)

Joe Biden has never faced a good challenger in his reelection battles, but this time around, that's all changing. The state's lone congressional representative, Michael Castle, might be running for the GOP's nomination. He is a popular, moderate Republican that is pretty well-liked by the state. Biden would probably defeat him, but he might not be running for reelection because he all but announced for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year. If that is the case, and he does resign from the Senate, the Democrats would do well to nominate State Treasurer Jack Markell. He is pegged as a rising star for the Democrats and would probably be the party's best chance against Castle. But Markell is probably going to run for the open Governorship, so the Democrats might have to look elsewhere. So might the GOP. Castle will be approaching 70 years old in 2008, and might choose not to run. If that does happen, the seat is safe for the Democrats because the Republicans don't seem to have any other credible candidates. This seat's future is wholly dependent on who's running for it, but looks to lean Democratic anyway.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Joseph Biden (
State Treasurer Jack Markell (

Potential GOP Candidates: Congressman Michael Castle (

Current Rating: Leans Dem

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kansas (6/24/06)

Kansas is arguably one of the most Republican states in the union, and their selection of senators reflects that perfectly. However, their solidness might be waning. Roberts only has a 51% approval rating, and President Bush has a 43% approval rating in this state that hasn't voted Democratic in a presidential election since 1964 and hasn't had a Democratic senator since 1939. That being said, the Democrats have virtually no strong challengers. Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius could be a strong challenger, but she probably won't step down from being Governor to run for the Senate. The Democrats do have Congressman Dennis E. Moore, but, like Sebelius, he probably won't vacate his post. Lt. Governor John E. Moore, who is retiring this year, will probably be the strongest possible challenger. The Democrats don't have any other viable candidate, so the better hope that Moore decides to run. If he doesn't, they don't have a prayer.

Potential GOP Candiates: Senator Pat Roberts (

Potential Dem Candidates: Lt. Governor Dennis E. Moore (

Current Rating: Safe GOP

Friday, June 23, 2006

Iowa (6/23/06)

...and we're back! Hello to all two people who read my blog (but I hope that my predicted figure is way off). Anyway, onto the Senate! Senator Tom Harkin is beloved by the people of Iowa and is a perfect fit for them in the Senate. That being said, he probably isn't as safe for reelection as he ought to be. The GOP has some good candidates in this swing state, with current gubernatorial nominee Congressman Jim Nussle at the helm. He is currently locked in a dead heat with Secretary of State Chet Culver for that Democratically-held seat. If Nussle loses, look for him to run in 2008. If he wins this year, the GOP is in a bit more trouble than they would be otherwise. Congressman Steve King, looked at as a rising star in his party, could give Harkin a tough battle. But no matter who the Republicans put up, Harkin is probably safe (he has a 16% net approval rating). Nonetheless, this could get interesting.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Tom Harkin (

Potential GOP Candidates: Congressman Steve King (
Congressman Jim Nussle (

Current Rating: Weak Dem

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Hi all. I've been a bit busy lately, so I'll resume posting sometime late next week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wyoming (6/6/06)

Wyoming is the strongest of all GOP strongholds, yet Republican senator Mike Enzi is surprisingly vulnerable. On one condition, that is: If Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal enters the race. He is wildly popular and could pose a major threat to Enzi. That said, if he doesn't run, the Democrats don't really have a chance. Their only semi-viable candidate would be Gary Trauner, currently running for Congress. He is a good opponent to Congresswoman Barbara Cubin and he actually chance of winning. The senate race is still two years away, and party dynamics could dramatically change in that time so who knows? Anything could happen.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Mike Enzi (

Potential Dem Candidates: Governor Dave Freudenthal (
School Board Chair Gary Trauner (

Current Rating: Weak GOP

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekly Rankings (6/5/06)

Weekly rankings... Bold indicates a ratings change

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

Montana (6/4/06)

Incumbent Max Baucus is pretty well liked in Montana, even if he is a Democrat, and a conservative one at that. He's been in the Senate since 1979 and looks like a pretty safe bet to win reelection in 2008. The statewide GOP is surprisingly weak in this state that went for Bush by 20% in 2004. The Republican primary will probably feature State Senator Bob Keenan, currently running to unseat Conrad Burns. Congressman Dennis Rehberg could run, but he would have to give up his seat which seems unlikely. All in all, Baucus looks like a shoe-in no matter who the GOP puts up.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Max Baucus (

Potential GOP Candidates: State Senator Bob Keenan (
Congressman Dennis Rehberg (

Current Rating: Safe Dem

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Texas (6/3/06)

John Cornyn is the sixth least popular senator with a -4% net approval rating in Texas. For a Republican in a strong Republican state, that is not good. Fortunately for Cornyn, however, is the fact that the Texas Democratic party hasn't had a strong candidate since Ann Richards. Congressman Chet Edwards would be the best candidate, but his district is highly competitive and would be hard for anybody else to hold. Another possibility is Houston Mayor Bill White. White, a moderate, was reelected in 2005 with 91% of the vote. Either could give Cornyn, who will probably not be opposed in the GOP primaries, a serious challenge.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator John Cornyn (

Potential Dem Candidates: Congressman Chet Edwards ( Mayor of Houston Bill White (

Current Rating: Leans GOP

Rhode Island (6/2/06)

Jack Reed has a 44% net approval rating in one of the most Democratic states in the USA which should give a good indication of how safe this seat is. The statewide GOP is pretty weak, so they might not even be able to give Reed a good challenger. Governor Don Carcieri is popular, and would be a good candidate to oppose Reed, but he will be in the middle of his term, and probably won't run. Which leaves the Republicans with pretty much nobody. Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, currently challenging Lincoln Chafee for the Republican senatorial nomination in 2008, is a bad candidate, but he might be all that the GOP can get. Reed won't be challenged for the Democratic nomination, making this seat one of the safest in the country.

Potential Dem Candidates: Senator Jack Reed (

Potential GOP Candidates: Mayor of Cranston Stephen Laffey (

Current Rating: Safe Dem

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Alaska (6/1/06)

Ted Stevens, the President Pro Tem. of the Senate, will be 84 in 2008. That said, he is one of the Senate's most colorful members in a bad way. Notoriously mean, he is surprisingly popular in his homestate. He will probably run for reelection, but if he doesn't, look for Congressman Don Young to run. Young has served in the House for 34 years, but will only be 75 in 2008. The Democratic primary totally depends on the outcome of this year's gubernatorial election. If former Governor Tony Knowles (D) wins, then he will obviously not be a contender in 2008. If he loses to Murkowski, he (Knowles) will probably run in 2008. In 2004, he lost his senate race to Lisa Murkowski. Another Democratic candidate will probably be State Representative Eric Croft, also running for governor this year. Knowles is a much stronger candidate than Croft, but Croft could still do well in the race. Alaska is a famously Republican state, but Stevens' crankiness could wear Alaskans down. This will be close, but not one of the more competitive races in 2008.

Potential GOP Candidates: Senator Ted Stevens (
Congressman Don Young (

Potential Dem Candidates: State Representative Eric Croft (
Former Governor Tony Knowles (

Current Rating: Weak GOP