Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Party Vulnerabilities and More Potential Senate '08 Candidates

First, the Washington Post offers its synopsis of both party's vulnerable points in the 2008 Senate elections:

On the Senate side, the GOP faces more trouble. The Republicans need at least one seat -- and maybe two, depending on who wins the presidential race -- to take back the upper chamber. But while 12 Democrats are up for reelection in 2008, 22 Republicans are. [Note: It's only 21, not 22, GOP up for re-elect.]

Only a few Democrats and Republicans, however, are considered vulnerable. Still, Republicans could be buffeted by a string of retirements that would make the field more competitive. As of now, the two most vulnerable Democratic senators appear to be Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), while the most vulnerable Republicans are Wayne Allard (Colo.), Norm Coleman (Minn.) and John E. Sununu (N.H.).
So, yes, the three most vulnerable Republicans in 2008 are Allard, Coleman, and Sununu. But there are several other GOP-held seats that are more vulnerable than most any Democrat (except Landrieu), from Smith in Oregon to the potentially open Virginia seat to even Inhofe in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, yes, we'll all agree that Mary Landrieu is the most vulnerable member. But their pick for the second most vulnerable member is a Senator with a 70-26 approval-disapproval. Sounds very good to me!

Second, some rumblings from around the country:

  • Alabama: The Alabama Associated Press offers more thoughts on a possible Rep. Artur Davis challenge to Republican Jeff Sessions.

  • New Mexico: KOBTV takes a look at possible candidates for Republican Pete Domenici's seat, including Democrats Rep. Tom Udall and Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez.

  • Oregon: Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer is deliberately cagey on whether or not he'll run for Senate, against Republican Gordon Smith, in 2008, offering the typical non-candidate answer:

    Asked about his ambitions -- and a rumored bid for U.S. Senate -- Blumenauer bristled.

    "I think it is pernicious to start speculating about 2008 before we've finished 2006," he said. "I think everybody ought to take a deep breath and try to salvage what we can in the lame-duck session (next month) and then start the new session on a positive note" in January.

    As for 2008, "that's a conversation people ought to have a year from now," Blumenauer said.


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