How CQ rates key Senate races — including our own

Congressional Quarterly has ranked the Senate seats currently most likely to change partisan hands in the ’08 cycle. The Minnesota angle is that the Coleman-Franken-Ventura(?) contest isn’t on there, although CQ’s Bob Benenson, the chief compiler, makes clear that it barely missed.
Here are the five that made the list (and note that they are seats currently held by Republicans) in the order that Benenson deems them likely to be Dem pickups:
1. The Virginia Senate seat being vacated by the retiring John Warner (the punditocracy is unanimous that Dem former Gov. Mark Warner will beat Repub former Gov. Jim Gilmore. CQ rates it likely Dem.

2. The New Mexico Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Pete Domenici. Dem Congressman Mark Udall is well ahead in the polls over Repub Congressman Steve Pearce.. Rating: Leans Dem.

3. New Hampshire: Dem former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen has established a solid lead over incumbent Repub John Sununu. CQ rates it “no clear favorite,” but placing it third on this list means they really think Shaheen is likely to win.

4. The Colorado Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Repub Wayne Allard. Dem. Rep.Mark Udall leads in the recent polls over former Repub Rep. Bob Schaffer.

5. The Mississippi seat now held by interim appointee Roger Wicker. Wicker was appointed to fill out the term of Trent Lott, who quit. Wicker is running to keep it, challenged by former Dem Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. CQ rates it no clear favorite. That the GOP has to worry about Mississippi is evidence of the overall direness of their situation.

Benenson says clearly that the Minnesota race just missed the list:

“The choice of Mississippi for the fifth slot is a close call over the race in where first-term Republican Sen. Norm Coleman is in a tossup race with Democrat Al Franken, the entertainer and liberal activist — and where the contest would be rendered even more unpredictable by the likely entry of Jesse Ventura, the former governor and one-time professional wrestler.”

But a few months back, the MN race used to be closer to the top of lists like these.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Dave and Lisa Peters Peters on 07/11/2008 - 04:13 pm.

    Eric, I believe you mean Tom Udall in New Mexico. Cousin Mark is in Colorado.

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