NPR logo Early Look At 2010 Senate Races: GOP Shows Improvement Since June

Early Look At 2010 Senate Races: GOP Shows Improvement Since June

Five months ago, I presented a first look at the 2010 Senate races and where they stood at that time.

Since then there has been a slight shift in the direction of the Republican Party in several contests, notably in Arkansas (safe D to D favored), Missouri (R loss to tossup), and Pennsylvania (D favored to tossup),

This chart does not include the Jan. 19 special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (currently held by stand-in Paul Kirk). That seat is currently rated as Democrat Favored, but could wind up as Safe Democratic following the Dec. 8 primaries.

Each party holds 18 seats that are up next year. Republicans are facing six retirements among their incumbents, compared to two on the Democratic side. Since my initial chart from last June, Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Roland Burris (D-IL) were added to the list of retirees.

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

SAFE DEMOCRATIC (10): California (Barbara Boxer), Hawaii (Daniel Inouye), Indiana (Evan Bayh), Maryland (Barbara Mikulski), New York (Charles Schumer), North Dakota (Byron Dorgan), Oregon (Ron Wyden), Vermont (Patrick Leahy), Washington (Patty Murray), Wisconsin (Russ Feingold).

DEMOCRAT FAVORED (4): Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), Colorado (Michael Bennet), Nevada (Harry Reid), New York special (Kirsten Gillibrand).

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TOSSUP DEM SEATS (4): Connecticut (Chris Dodd), Delaware special (open seat — Ted Kaufman will not run), Illinois (open seat — Roland Burris will not run), Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter).

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

EXPECTED GOP LOSSES (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 (3): Florida (open seat — George LeMieux will not run), Louisiana (David Vitter), North Carolina (Richard Burr).

SAFE REPUBLICAN (11): Alabama (Richard Shelby), Alaska (Lisa Murkowski), Arizona (John McCain), 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 (Bob Bennett).