Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006


More Sabato

First Ringer noted Professor Larry Sabato's play-it-safe approach to political prognosticating in a recent post. Yesterday Sabato's "Crystal Ball" revealed its 14 seats most likely to change hands in 2006. They are as follows (with exclusive TBFKADVK commentary on each race):

FL-Bill Nelson (D)
We disagree with Sabato's contention that MN is the most likely to switch Republican. If Republicans pick the right candidate, Nelson becomes a senior NASA administrator.
MD-Open (D)
On paper this looks like a sure Democratic retention. And yet the Republicans may well field one of the brightest African-American talents of either party in Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Two University of Maryland political science professors have already made the case that Steele may be a slight favorite in this race.
MI-Debbie Stabenow (D)
Stabenow should be a goner -- if anyone would run against her. Rep. Candice Miller has already ruled herself out but can hopefully be persuaded to change her mind. Stabenow polled very poorly in a recent Detroit Free Press poll. Perhaps local conservative diva Margaret could be persuaded to carpetbag back to her state of origin...
MN-Open (D)
It is no secret we think highly of Republican chances here.
MT-Conrad Burns (R)
Ah. The Great Western Democratic hope. If Robert Redford can live here surely there's hope to turn Montana into the loan "blue" outpost in the Rocky Mountain West, right? If Burns doesn't run, former Governor Marc Racicot could easily save the seat for the Republicans.
ND-Kent Conrad (D)--only if GOP Governor John Hoeven runs
Agreed. But he is getting the full court press from the White House unlike anyone else this election cycle. TBFKADVK predicts Hoeven will run and make this race a coin toss.
NE-Ben Nelson (D)
Unbelievably vulnerable. Equally unbelievable is that Nelson lacks any plausible challenger to date.
NJ-Open (D)--only if Senator Jon Corzine is elected governor in 2005 Leans Democrat. But Tom Kean (son of the former popular Republican governor) is the one candidate Democrats are said to fear. And he's running.
PA-Rick Santorum (R)
Here's your Jeb Bush of the 2006 mid-terms. By Jeb Bush I mean that he is the one candidate the most venomous elements of the Left will concentrate all their efforts on -- only to have Santorum win. Democrats tout polls showing Bob Casey, Jr. narrowly besting Santorum in a head-to-head matchup. What they don't tell you is that Santorum also has a 53% re-elect number. He is also considered one of the best pure campaigners in the Senate.
RI-Lincoln Chafee (R)
Chafee's job is much easier with his two strongest Democratic challengers taking a pass. Kos agrees.
TN-Open (R)
Democrat Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is an attractive candidate and not a bad guy. But if the Republicans can field any kind of credible candidate this most reddish of states will likely stay that way.
TX-Open (R)--only if Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison runs for governor in 2006
Most likely to change, Sabato? Got crack? LBJ couldn't win this seat for the Democrats in 2006
VA-George Allen (R)--only if Governor Mark Warner (D) decides to run Allen wants to be president and could emerge as the default conservative candidate in '08. Warner wants to be president too. For that reason he won't challenge Allen. Safe Allen.
WA-Maria Cantwell (D)
If cheated gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi runs against Cantwell this is a coin toss.

Speaking of crystal balls, win the admiration of TBFKADVK if you are the first person in the comments section to correctly identify the 1970s band who did the song, "Crystal Ball". No Google searches, please.


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