Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Battleground 2004-Senate-After all the punditry fun predicting the 2002 Senate, here's a jump start on 2004. There are 34 seats up, Democrats currently hold 19.
State 15 Republicans Chance of Going Republican
Alabama Richard Shelby 1
Alaska Frank Murkoswki to name his successor 0.8
Arizona John McCain 0.7
Colorado Ben Nighthorse Campbell 0.9
Idaho Mike Crapo 1
Illinois Peter FItzgerald1 0.35
Iowa Charles Grassley 0.9
Kansas Sam Brownback 1
Kentucky Jim Bunning 0.9
New Hampshire Judd Gregg 0.8
Ohio George Voinovich 1
Oklahoma Don Nickels 1
Pennsylvania Arlan Specter 1
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchenson 1
Utah Robert Bennett 0.9
State 19 Democrats Chance of Going Republican
Arkansas Blanche Lincoln 0.25
California Barbara Boxer 0.35
Connecticut Chris Dodd 0.1
Florida Bob Graham 0.15
Georgia Zell Miller 0
Hawaii Daniel Inouyye 0
Indiana Evan Bayh 0
Louisiana John Breaux 0
Maryland Barbara Mikulski 0.2
Nevada Harry Reid 0.3
New York Chuch Schumer 0.3
North Dakota Byron Dorgan 0.4
Oregon Ron Wyden 0.1
South Carolina Ernest Hollings 0.4
South Dakota Tom Daschle 0.5
Vermont Patrick Leahy 0.1
Washington Patty Murray 0.35
West Virginia Robert Byrd 0.05
Wisconsin Russ Feingold 0.15
Democratic Vital 5
(1) Illinois. Of the incumbents, I'd have to pick Fitzgerald as the lone underdog. A good campaign by a garden-variety Democrat could win back this seat. I don't know who would step to the plate, but new state AG Lisa Madigan might be a possibility. (2) Arizona. McCain's retirement will open up this seat. Arizona leans Republican, but a good Democrat could win this seat. The Republicans will have an interesting dilemma in picking a replacement. Jim Kolbe would be a slam-dunk winner if he could get the nomination, but are Republican primary voters ready for the first openly gay senator? If not, J.D. Hayworth or incoming Secretary of State Jan Brewer might be a good choice. The Democrats could counter with new AG Terry Goddard. (3) New Hampshire. Judd Gregg versus Jeanne Shaheen could be a death-cager. (4) Alaska. Frank Murkowski will get to pick his successor after getting elected governor yesterday. Outgoing governor Tony Knowles might be a possibility for the Democrats. (5) Colorado. They always save an extra share of bile for defectors, and the Democrats would love to dispatch Campbell. Ain't likely to happen, but the right candidate could pull an upset; I'd give them a slugger's chance.
Republican Vital 5
(1) South Dakota-Assuming Thune loses, a Thune-Daschle race would be a death-cager. Governor and congressman-elect Bill Janklow would be a likely replacement if Thune wins in a recount. (2) South Carolina-Fritz might have outstayed his welcome. I don't know who would be the replacement, but a good basic conservative, maybe LG Andre (the Gamecock Pundit) Bauer, could give one of the most Republican states two GOP senators. (3) North Dakota-A very competitive state for Republicans; Dorgan could be beaten by a solid Republican campaign (4) California-Republicans would love to start a Boxer rebellion. Finding the right person to send her packing would be the trick. Arnold's eyeing the Governor's mansion, so we'd have to look elsewhere, either to an electable moderate like Doug Ose or to some self-funded businessman who could pull off an upset. Paging Ron Unz. (5) New York-While they might have a better shot at sending the Mom in Tennis Shoes back to Washington State, they'd love to get rid of SchemerSchumer. Rudy's marital woes will be far enough behind him where he would win this one. I'd expect the Republicans to pick up two seats in 2004; my odds added up to 16.95 seats, a gain of just under 2. While no Democrat looks to be an underdog at this point, two or three of them should lose next year. 1 Thanks to Illinigirl for catching the braino-it's Fitzgerald, not Fitzpatrick.

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