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Early look: Top Ten Senate seats most likely to change party in '08 (three Democratic seats)

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:26 PM
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Early look: Top Ten Senate seats most likely to change party in '08 (three Democratic seats)
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:27 PM by DeepModem Mom
WP political blog, "The Fix," by Chris Cillizza
12/15/2006
The Friday Senate Line: Early Look at '08

....The size and look of the 2008 Senate playing field remains extremely fluid and, as a result, the races are ranked alphabetically....

....* Colorado: The buzz out of Colorado seems to be that Sen. Wayne Allard (R) will not seek a third term in 2008, although one informed operative suggested it is closer to 50-50 and that Allard would make a decision early next year. Gov. Bill Owens would be Republicans first choice but he passed on the 2004 Senate race and has so far expressed little interest in the race. (That could of course change if the seat comes open.) A number of other Republicans may jump in if Owens takes a pass, including three former Members of Congress: Scott McInnis, Bob Shaefer and Bob Beauprez. Rep. Tom Tancredo might be the favorite if he decided to run, given his strong following among the party's most conservative voters. Rep. Mark Udall (D) has waited his turn to run for statewide office and doesn't seem likely to face a serious primary challenge. Democrats have made huge strides in the state over the past two election cycles and a Udall win would be the cherry on top.

* Louisiana: On paper, Sen. Mary Landrieu may be the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent seeking re-election in 2008. Landrieu was elected in 1996 by just 5,000 votes out of 1.6 million cast. In 2002 Landrieu defeated Elections Commissioner Suzanne Haik Terrell (R) in a December runoff with just 52 percent of the vote. Add those close elections to the fact that Hurricane Katrina scattered thousands of black voters -- the most reliable Democratic voting bloc in the state -- and you can quickly see that Landrieu may be in trouble. BUT, Republicans are focusing all of their attention right now on retaking the governor's office in 2007 -- meaning that Landrieu will not get their full and undivided attention until about this time next year. The candidates mentioned as challengers to Landrieu -- state Treasurer John Kennedy (D), who would likely switch to the Republican party if he ran, and Secretary of State Jay Dardenne (R) -- don't seem terribly exciting. If Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) comes up short in his bid to oust Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) next November, he could pose a serious threat to Landrieu.

* Maine: The decline and fall of Republicans in the Northeast over the past few elections bodes poorly for Sen. Susan Collins' (R) chances of avoiding a tough race in 2008. Collins has long stood in the shadow of her colleague Olympia Snowe (R) and is seen as the more vulnerable of the two Senators. Rep. Tom Allen (D) told Roll Call -- The Fix's alma mater -- that he was seriously considering a challenge to Snowe. Allen would likely be the most formidable Democrat the party could put forward. He has held the 1st district, which takes in the southern part of the state including the state capital of Augusta as well as Portland, since 1996. Allen's challenge would be to introduce himself to the voters in the state's massive 2nd district -- the largest congressional district east of the Mississippi. Collins skated to victory in 2002, winning with 58 percent. Democrats won't let that happen again.

* Minnesota: Given his narrow win in 2002, Sen. Norm Coleman (R) is sure to face a serious re-election fight in 2008. But, it's not immediately clear who the Democrats will put forward. Rep. Betty McCollum was seen as one of their stronger candidates but she was recently named to the powerful Appropriations Committee in the House -- a perch she is unlikely to foresake for an uncertain Senate contest. Rumors continue to fly about a bid by comedian Al Franken (D). National Democrats must hope Franken stays out or runs a less than serious campaign as he might be able to win the primary on name recognition alone, a victory that would severely jeopardize Democrats' chances of defeating Coleman. Other Democrats mentioned include Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi and freshman Rep. Tim Walz....

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:32 PM
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1. I disagree that Al Franken wouldn't be a "good", "serious" candidate in Minnesota.
I think he'd be great, actually.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:49 PM
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2. Franken-Coleman Debate
No brainer. If Franken gets in the race it won't be for comic relief. He'd be a great Senator.
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jbonkowski Donating Member (243 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The seat was Paul Wellstone's
Al takes that very seriously. If he runs, it will be a legitimate effort. He has been successful working for the party at the state level.

The author understands little here, bringing the rest of the article in question.

jim
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