News from the Votemaster
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) just drove another nail in the coffin containing the Republicans' Senate hopes. He is retiring from politics at the end of his term in Jan. 2009 and will not run for any public office next year. It had been widely speculated that he would run for President, possible on a ticket with New York mayor Mike Bloomberg.
So far three incumbent Republican senators have announced their retirements: Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO), and now Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). All three seats are likely Democratic pickups. In Virginia, it is widely expected that multimillionare former Virginia governor Mark Warner will run for Warner's seat. Virginia Republicans face a brutal and bloody primary between moderate Rep. Tom Davis (R) and very conservative former governor Jim Gilmore (R). In Colorado, Rep. Mark Udall (D) will challenge former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), who ran for the Senate in 2004 and lost the Republican primary. In Nebraska, it is expected that Bob Kerrey (D) will run for Hagel's seat. While Nebraska is a deep red state, Kerrey has twice been elected to the Senate from Nebraska and once to the governor's mansion. The Republicans may have a nasty primary fight between Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns (R).
In addition to these three open seats, Republican incumbents face major challenges in multiple other states as follows:
Alaska where Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is under criminal investigation
Maine where Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) will face Rep. Tom Allen and have to defend an unpopular war
Minnesota where Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) will face the winner of the Democratic primary
New Hampshire where Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) is running 20-30% behind former governor Jean Shaheen (D) in the polls
New Mexico where Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) is deeply involved in the U.S. attorneys scandal
Oregon where Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) will face off with popular state house speaker Jeff Merkley (D)
and maybe a few other states.
Democrats face serious challenges in only two states: Louisiana (where Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) may face state treasurer John Kennedy who recently switched to the GOP) and South Dakota (where Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is recovering from a stroke). If South Dakota governor Mike Rounds (R) declines to challenge Johnson, Johnson will probably hold the seat, meaning that the only Democratic seat surely in play is Landrieu's. Insiders are already talking about a Democratic pickup of 4-8 seats in the Senate and if the wind is blowing the right way, 60 Democratic seats is imaginable.
This page is the prototype for 2008. The data and map will refer to previous elections until serious polls begin in 2008. The blog will be updated when there is interesting news about the 2008 races.Preview of the 2008 races: President Senate House
This map shows the current governors. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
This map shows the current Senate. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
This map shows the current House. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
-- The Votemaster