Trying to predict the results of the 2010 Senate races in June of 2009 is probably a fool's errand, but I thought this might be a good time to do a ratings chart. And while many of you like to point out all the times I've been wrong in predictions — as you should — let the record show that I called every 2008 Senate race correctly (except Minnesota, assuming Al Franken is declared the winner).
Each party holds 18 seats that are up next year. But Republicans may have a tougher challenge, as five incumbents are retiring, compared with only one (the appointed Ted Kaufman of Delaware) on the Democratic side. And we still don't know if more retirements are in the making, if some surprise candidates may emerge, or how the public will view the Obama administration.
Having said that, here's a chart of all 36 Senate seats up in 2010:
SAFE DEMOCRATIC (11): Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), 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) Colorado (Michael Bennet), Nevada (Harry Reid), New York special (Kirsten Gillibrand), Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter).
TOSSUP DEM SEATS (3): Connecticut (Chris Dodd), Delaware special (open seat — Ted Kaufman will not run), Illinois (Roland Burris).
EXPECTED DEM LOSSES (0): None at the moment.
EXPECTED GOP LOSSES (1): Missouri (open seat — Kit Bond retiring).
TOSSUP GOP SEATS (3): Kentucky (Jim Bunning), New Hampshire (open seat — Judd Gregg retiring), Ohio (open seat — George Voinovich retiring).
REPUBLICAN FAVORED (3): Florida (open seat — Mel Martinez retiring), 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).