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Senate 2010: A Three-Peat for Democrats or Comeback for the GOP?

A Commentary by Larry J. Sabato

Friday, February 20, 2009

Last week in the Crystal Ball , we looked at the historical background of off-year Senate elections and laid the groundwork for the earliest possible projection of the 36 contests on the ballot in 2010. This week we call the Senate roll among sitting Democrats to see who appears safe and who might be in trouble. Next week, in our final round-up, the Republican seats will be under the microscope.

In many cases, since all candidates have not announced and the party nominees have not been chosen, it is impossible to do more than set the scene for an upcoming Senate battle. In other states, we already have a good idea about the likely match-up.

And now, in alphabetical order and without a drum roll, here are the Democratic Senate players of 2010:

SUMMARY FOR DEMOCRATIC-HELD SEATS: The GOP's chances to make up any ground in the Senate depend heavily on their ability to recruit well prepared challengers. It is early, and there is plenty of time for dramatic changes, but so far the Republicans appear to have very limited opportunities to pick up Democratic seats.

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