News from the Votemaster
Former Virginia governor Mark Warner (D) announced today that he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring senator John Warner (R-VA). Warner earned a fortune estimated at $200 million as a cell phone entrepreneur and then ran for governor and won, leaving office with an approval rating of 80%.
On the Republican side, there will be a vicious ideological primary between the highly conservative former governor Jim Gilmore and moderate Rep. Tom Davis. Gilmore is well known statewide, but the demographics of the state have changed considerably since he was elected governor in 1997, mostly due to the growth of the (liberal) northern suburbs. Davis is more in tune with modern Virginia, but is not known well statewide. Early polling shows Warner defeating Gilmore by more than 20% but also defeating Davis, albeit by a smaller margin. But a hugely expensive and bloody primary is the last thing the Republicans need before taking on a popular multimillionaire former governor, but that is what is going to happen. At this point, the odds heavily favor a Democratic pickup of this open seat. If Warner wins, once solidly Republican Virginia will have a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators.
Democrats also have excellent chances to pick up the open Senate seat in Colorado being vacated by retiring senator Wayne Allard (R-CO). If former senator Bob Kerry (D) decides to run for the open seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel (R-NE), there is a good chance that Democrats will pick up three open seats.
Also in play are the following Senate seats:
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 Jeanne 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