For the political junkies among us…
It’s never to early to think about 2006. Right now the Republicans have a 55-45 majority. At this point, Jim Jeffords of Vermont (I), Paul Sarbanes of Maryland (D), and Mark Dayton of Minnesota (D) have announced retirement. Bill Frist of Tennessee ® is also expected to retire.
Most of the people up for reelection are safe, of course. Kennedy and Byrd are in for life. Hatch and Kyl have nothing to worry about. So who is vulnerable and what will happen to the open seats in Minnesota and Tennessee?
For the GOP, I think Chaffee is vulberable in Rhode Island, a fairly blue state. Harold Ford has a decent chance at Frists seat.
For the Democrats, Ben Nelson is a blue guy in a red state. Maria Cantwell barely won in 2000. Minnesota and Washington proved to be very close in 2004 between Republicans and Democrats. Florida is fairly even as well.
So how will it all shake out? I think when the smoke clears, the Republicans will control the Senate with a 56-44 margin.