It has been only two months since the last election, but political momentum has already changed twice in the next round of Senate elections.
Democrats started out after November 4 with an immediate advantage. After winning two straight elections, only 15 Democratic seats were up in 2010 while 19 seats for the Republicans. The GOP, then, had more seats to defend.
Next advantage went to the Republicans: President-elect Barack Obama appointed two Senators to cabinet positions, meaning that elections for those two seats (Salazar in Colorado and Clinton in New York) would be held in 2010 as well as for the Obama seat in Illinois and Biden’s in Delaware.
While Salazar would have been strongly favored in Colorado, the state, is stilll a swing state and could elect a candidate of either party in 2010. The Governor appointed Michael Bennett for the next two years; Bennett is highly accomplished but little known in the state.
A special election in Illinois could open up a run by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a popular suburban Chicago Republican.
In Delaware, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Castle would be at least even money if he chooses to run for Senate. He us well-known and well-liked in sthe state.
Now momentum has swing away from the Republicans, thanks to a series of retirements.
The most recent is Ohio Senator George Voinovich, who has decided to hang up his spurs in two years. Democrats will at least be competitive for the seat.
Before that, Missouri Senator Kit Bond said he has had it. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the daughter of a Senator and a Governor, stands a good chance to win. Missouri is a two-party state and Republicans will likely be competitive.
Two other Republicans announced their retirement: Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. While Kansas is still a heavily Republican state, Florida will present more of a jump ball situation, especially now that former GOP Governor Jeb Bush has decided not to run for the seat.
Click herefor a complete list of Senators up for election in 2010.