Are Republican Senators Coleman of Minnesota and Sununu of New Hampshire already getting their resumes ready to look for new jobs come the end of 2008? Cuz there seems to be unanimity that they are the two most endangered incumbents - with Senator Allard of Colorado close behind (if he doesn't just retire).
MSNBC offers its first look at the 2008 races
, and concludes:
In 2008, the GOP will be defending 21 seats; the Democrats only 12. ...
four are in states which Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry carried in 2004.
And four are in states (Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, and New Hampshire) where Democrats either elected senators on Nov. 7 or did very well up and down the state ballot.
Conversely there look to be only two Democratic incumbents, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who have struggled in the past and might face arduous re-election battles.
The article goes on to take a more in-depth look at Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Colorado, and how all three so heavily supported Democrats in 2006.
And, like other analyses, only Democratic Senators Landrieu of Louisiana and Johnson of South Dakota are listed as top GOP targets. Not even discussed are Arkansas (which, like New Hampshire, went overwhelmingly Democratic at all levels of government in 2006) or New Jersey (the perennial tease to Republicans at the national level). And Johnson has remarkably high approvals and is only listed as a target because of his tight re-election race in 2002 against now-Senator John Thune.
Ultimately, the GOP has one and only one top tier target: Louisiana. Expect them to pour ungodly sums of money into that state to pull away one D-to-R flip, something they couldn't do in the Senate, House, or any Governorships in 2006.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have several top tier targets, between New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, and even Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina with the right candidates (read: Mark Warner, Brad Carson, and Mike Easley respectively). All indications and prognostications suggest 2008 will be a solid year for Democrats in the Senate to shore up their majority.