2010 Senate Ratings:  Democrats Had A Good Month

My last ratings of Senate races at stake this year came on April 30, and the story line at the time was that Republicans were on a roll.

With some exceptions, that's no longer the case ... at least not in the four weeks since.  It's been a good month for the Democrats.  The changes:

Indiana:  The immediate reaction following the surprise retirement of Sen. Evan Bayh (D) was to put this seat in the Republican column.  Now, after watching Dan Coats' (R) performance in the primary, I'm not so sure.  For now, I'm moving it from GOP pickup to Tossup.

Kentucky:  Similarly, until the controversy over Rand Paul (R) and his philosophy dies down — if it does — there is no way to keep this as a Republican retention.  I'm moving this to Tossup.

New York special:  Appointee Kirsten Gillibrand (D) may not have especially good job approval ratings, but there is absolutely no indication that any of her GOP opponents have traction.  I'm moving this from Democrat Favored to Safe Democratic.

Washington:  If nothing else, the emergence of former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi (R) as a challenger to three-term Democratic incumbent Patty Murray makes this race competitive.  It goes from Safe Democratic to Democrat Favored.

And for all of the angst over Richard Blumenthal's (D) military service record, I still don't see a reason to change the rating in the Connecticut Senate race.  It remains as Democrat Favored.  Similarly, the primaries in Pennsylvania have come and gone — and the Democratic incumbent, Arlen Specter, is gone.  But the race still remains a Tossup.  And in Utah, even though incumbent Republican Bob Bennett is no longer in the race, the rating stays the same: Safe Republican.

Here's the latest on all 36 Senate seats up in 2010:

SAFE DEMOCRATIC (7): Hawaii (Daniel Inouye), Maryland (Barbara Mikulski), New York (Charles Schumer), New York special (Kirsten Gillibrand), Oregon (Ron Wyden), Vermont (Patrick Leahy),  Wisconsin (Russ Feingold).

DEMOCRAT FAVORED (3): California (Barbara Boxer), Connecticut (open seat - Chris Dodd retiring),  Washington (Patty Murray).

TOSSUP DEM SEATS (4): Colorado (Michael Bennet), Indiana (open seat - Evan Bayh retiring), Nevada (Harry Reid), Pennsylvania (open seat - Arlen Specter lost primary).

EXPECTED DEM LOSSES/GOP PICKUPS (4): Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), Delaware special (open seat - Ted Kaufman will not run), Illinois (open seat - Roland Burris will not run), North Dakota (open seat - Byron Dorgan retiring).

EXPECTED GOP LOSSES/DEM PICKUPS (0): None at the moment.

TOSSUP GOP SEATS (4): Kentucky (open seat - Jim Bunning retiring), Missouri (open seat - Kit Bond retiring), New Hampshire (open seat - Judd Gregg retiring), Ohio (open seat - George Voinovich retiring).

REPUBLICAN FAVORED (4): Arizona (John McCain), Florida (open seat - George LeMieux will not run), Louisiana (David Vitter), North Carolina (Richard Burr).

SAFE REPUBLICAN (10): Alabama (Richard Shelby), Alaska (Lisa Murkowski), Georgia (Johnny Isakson), Idaho (Mike Crapo), Iowa (Charles Grassley), Kansas (open seat — Sam Brownback retiring), Oklahoma (Tom Coburn), South Carolina (Jim DeMint), South Dakota (John Thune), Utah (open seat - Bob Bennett denied renomination).

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