Heres some more 2006 Senate races...
The seats Republicans are targeting are:
New York-Hillary Clinton (D-2000)--This is a constant target for the GOP; Knock off Hil and then you can say you really are the dominant party. I don't forsee Rudy Giuliani running against her, so the obvious choice for the GOP would be current Governor George Pataki. Of course, I don't believe anyone will take down this powerhouse of the Democratic party.
Florida-Bill Nelson (D-2000)--Since 2000, Florida has taken a considerable GOP tilt, and Senator Nelson is the last stand against the state Republican party. The 2004 election of Mel Martinez to an open Senate seat and President Bush's decisive victory in the state could spell trouble for Nelson. The potential candidates for the Republicans are: Congressmen Dave Weldon and Mark Foley, Governor Jeb Bush, and infamous former Secretary of State and current Congresswoman Katherine Harris.
Washington-Maria Cantwell (D-2000)--Senator Cantwell only won after a narrow recount in 2000, and with Dino Rossi's defeat for Governor this year, a so-called 300 pound gorilla is knocking on her door. Washington is heavily Democratic in the western portion of the state (think Seattle), and Senator Patty Murray was re-elected overwhelmingly in 2004. No matter who wins, it will be another nailbiter.
(Presumably) Open Seats:
Tennessee--Supposing Bill Frist (R) keeps his two-term pledge and retires to focus on the 2008 Presidential election, a high-profile and potentially dirty race will insue. The GOP bench is extremely deep: Former Congressmen Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, current Congresswoman Martha Blackburn, Beth Harwell, and Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker. The Democrats will likely nominate up-and-coming national star Congressman Harold Ford of Memphis, but a potentially mean primary could take place if Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell runs.
New Jersey--If Senator Jon Corzine (D) is elected Governor in 2005, he will appoint a replacement who will stand for election in 2006. The two leading contenders for the appointment are Congressmen Roert Menendez and Rush Holt (grandson of the former West Virginia Senator of the same name), both of whom would fare very well statewide. The Republicans will presumably turn to either former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Jersey Cty Mayor Bret Schundler, or businessman Doug Forrester. The Democrat will definitly be favored.
Maryland--Senator Paul Sarbanes (D) has served since 1977, and may be up for a few golden years. Maryland is a heavily Democratic state, and also has a high African American population, which makes this interesting. The Democrat's best choice would be either Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Dutch Ruppersburger, or former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townshend (one of the Kennedys). The Republicans will likely select current Lt. Governor Michael Steele (an African American). This shouldn't be close, but with Steele running, it could become very, very close.
Of course there will be other open seats, (these two aren't even "open" yet) but these are the two obvious ones right now.
I guess I saved the best for last...
Vermont-Jim Jeffords (I-1988)--When JJ bolted the GOP in 2001, he became the hated symbol of northeastern Liberals (with the exception of Teddy Kennedy) in the eyes of Republicans. Jeffords will be attacked from both sides; From the Republicans for bolting, and from the Democrats for not being Liberal enough for their tastes. Expect the Republicans to run Lt. Governor Brian Dubie, or possibly Governor Jim Douglas. The Democrats will try their best to draft Howard Dean as their nominee, but if they can't get him, expect just a minor candidate from the Left. No one will receive 50%, but the question is who will win just enough to be elected. This is just like bringing a giant Three-Ring Circus to New England.
That ought to wrap it up for now. Sure, there's plenty more we could cover, but maybe later. Good night all.