Sen. Warner (R-VA) Will Retire
It's official. This means that popular former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) becomes the likely next senator if he runs, as expected. There are now six Senate races where Democrats stand a very decent chance of picking up seats:
Colorado - Sen. Wayne Allard (R) is retiring; Rep. Mark Udall (D) takes on former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R).2nd UPDATE: Stuart Rothenberg now rates Colorado, Virginia and New Hampshire as "toss up" races and Maine, Minnesota and Oregon as "narrow advantage to incumbent party." The only Democratic seat in either category is Louisiana, where Rothenberg says that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) has a "narrow advantage." Her probably opponent is state treasurer John Kennedy (R), who just switched parties.
Maine - Sen. Susan Collins (R) looks vulnerable to Rep. Tom Allen (D).
Minnesota - Sen. Norm Coleman (R) is on shaky ground against a wide open field that includes Al Franken (D).
New Hampshire - Sen. John Sununu (R) is in real trouble if former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) gets in.
Oregon - Sen. Gordon Smith (R) has a tough race against Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D).
Virginia - Sen. John Warner (R) is retiring; it will probably be Mark Warner (D) against Rep. Tom Davis (R), former Sen. George Allen (R), or former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R). [UPDATE: Rep Davis has officially declared.]