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The Donnybrook
Monday, September 10, 2007
Another high-profile GOP Senator wisely heads for the turnstiles...

A week after Sen. John Warner (R-VA) called it quits, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has read the writing on the wall and is announcing his retirement.

These two retirements have opened up sterling opportunities for Democrats to pick up two more Republican-held seats in the Senate next year, in addition to several other seats that look like almost-certain Democratic pickups.

Here's a quick breakdown of the Senate seats most likely to change hands in 2008:


If former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey jumps in, he automatically becomes the favorite to replace Hagel. Otherwise, the seat will probably stay Republican...


Mark Warner, the state's popular former Democratic governor, will be announcing his intentions this week. If he runs, he'll beat the snot out of any candidate that survives what is certain to be a nasty GOP primary...


Wayne Allard was the first Republican Senator to announce his retirement this year. This open seat is favored to go to Rep. Mark Udall (D), a progressive member of Congress who has high name recognition in a state that has been trending Democratic over the last two election cycles...

New Hampshire

Sen. John Sununu acts like a moderate, but he's not. If former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen enters the race, his days in the Senate are numbered...


Like Sununu, Sen. Susan Collins pretends to be a moderate, but clearly is not. Rep. Tom Allen (D) will be charged with ending her Senate career. I'd call it a 50-50 chance at this point.


Sen. Norm Coleman (another phony moderate) is a douchebag. So much so, that a comedian (Al Franken) who's never served in elected office is well-positioned to beat him...


Gordon Smith rounds out the list of allegedly-moderate GOP'ers who will be swirling the drain 14 months from now. His opponent is Democratic Speaker of the Oregon House, Jeff Merkley...


This is the only Democratic-held seat that is in serious danger of turning red. I'm guessing incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu loses a squeaker thanks to Louisiana's Katrina-induced demographic shift...

All in all, I see the Democrats picking up five seats next year while losing one, leading to a Senate that looks like this:

53 Democrats
2 Independents (caucusing with the Democrats)
45 Republicans


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