Thinking 2008

Friday, 10 November 2006, 10:31 | Category : Politics
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Not the presidential race, but the 2008 Senate races. With the Democrats now holding a slim 51-49 edge, can they keep it when the next round of Senate races comes up? Here’s the seats that will be up for grabs:

Democrats:
Arkansas – Mark Pryor; Delaware Joe Biden; Illinois- Dick Durbin; Iowa – Tom Harkin; Louisiana – Mary Landrieu; Massachusetts – John Kerry; Michigan – Carl Levin; Montana – Max Baucus; New Jersey – Frank Lautenberg; Rhode Island – Jack Reed; South Dakota – Tim Johnson; West Virginia – Jay Rockefeller

Republicans:
Alabama – Jeff Sessions; Alaska – Ted Stevens; Colorado Wayne Allard; Georgia – Saxby Chambliss; Idaho – Larry Craig; Kansas – Pat Roberts; Kentucky – Mitch McConnell; Maine – Susan Collins; Minnesota – Norm Coleman; Mississippi – Thad Cochran; Nebraska – Chuck Hagel; New Hampshire – John Sununu; New Mexico – Pete Domenici; North Carolina – Elizabeth Dole; Oklahoma – James Imhofe; Oregon – Gordon Smith; South Carolina – Lindsey Graham; Tennessee – Lamar Alexander; Texas John Cornyn; Virginia – John Warner; Wyoming – Michael Enzi

That’s 12 Democrats and 21 Republicans. Among Democrat incumbents, Mary Landrieu is maybe the most vulnerable, but most Democrat seats appear to be safe, especially given Tuesday’s results. The Republicans have more challenges. If Thad Cochran retires, as is widely expected, Mike Moore will be a formidable Democratic candidate, unless Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour entices Moore into a futile run for governor and damages his prospects. Saxby Chambliss will be a major target for Democrats seeking revenge for the tactics used againjst Max Cleland in 2002. Norm Coleman could be vulnerable. Whether Wayne Allard retires or not, the Republicans could have trouble hanging on to Colorado.If Pete Dominici retires, New Mexico could be wide open. If John Warner retires in Virginia and Mark Warner runs, the Democrats could well take that seat. And James Imhofe’s unpopularity makes his seat dicey. So there’s a chance that 5-7 Republican seats could flip sides, making a 51-49 edge a much more comfortable 12 or 14 seat advantage.

Assuming, of course, that the Democrats don’t find a way to mess this up in the next 18-24 months.