The decision by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh not to seek reelection has put 10 Democratic seats—and the majority—firmly in reach of Republicans in the upcoming election. Politico looks at 5 most likely to make the job easier for the GOP:
- Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln trailed a likely GOP challenger by an astounding 23 points in a recent poll, and even if she drops out there is no clear replacement.
- Colorado: While incumbent Michael Bennet is expected to best primary challenger Andrew Romanoff, the fight could be ugly, fracturing the party in August and leaving little time to regroup ahead of the general election.
- New York: As in Colorado, should Harold Ford run against Kirsten Gillibrand, the eventual primary winner could emerge battered. If the GOP can field an effective candidate, like former Gov. George Pataki, it could spell doom for NY Dems.
- Washington: Patty Murray has always fared poorly outside of the cosmopolitan western part of the state, and 2-time gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, who is cagey about a run, could capitalize on her weakness.
- Pennsylvania: Sure, Arlen Specter is one of the toughest pols around, but he's also 80. Should the public be reminded of that, a tough primary and a tough general election could become insurmountable.
(Read more Evan Bayh retires