Originally Posted by Requiem
Potentially Vulnerable Democratic Senate Seats:
Al Franken, MN -- MN is a pretty liberal state, but Franken isn't very popular and barely won last time around. Should be within the margin of error.
Tim Johnson, SD -- Long-time Senator will be retiring this year primarily due to health reasons. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin will not be running for the Democrats. Former (R) Governor of SD Mike Rounds will be running, and the only other Democrat to announce a bid is former Tom Daschle staffer Rick Weiland. Although the Democrats have had success in this very conservative state, I think Rounds will win on name-basis if the Democrats cannot field a better candidate.
Mark Begich, AK -- He barely won last time around even with the Ted Stevens controversy. Polling right now has Begich ahead slightly, but within the margin of error without a name even being fielded by Republicans. I think the Democrats lose this seat unless the GOP trots out a real loser.
Jeff Merkley, OR -- won in a squeaker back in 2008. Polling right now indicates it will be another close race, even with Oregon being a more liberal state. I think this is one they can hang on to, but I cannot say how popular Merkley is there. Advantage right now (small) to the incumbent.
Mary Landrieu, LA -- I don't think Mary Landrieu gets out of this one as a winner. Just my gut instinct. Know nothing about Louisiana politics, other than the fact that is a traditionally conservative state.
Kay Hagan, NC -- North Carolina's demographics and economic changes are making the state a little bit more liberal, but I definitely think this is a state the Republicans can recapture in 2014.
I think all the Northeastern States with races are safe for Democrats, the exception could be New Hampshire. Max Baucus is pretty popular in Montana, but I'd throw that in as a wildcard race as well.
As far as vulnerable Republican senate seats, Kentucky (McConnell) and Maine (Collins) would be the Democrats best bets to try and steal a state. Other than that, nowhere.
I think you're dead wrong about Franken. He has a 52% favorable rating, which isn't bad, and he has a track record of not grandstanding...he's basically the anti-John McCain. He rarely accepts requests for national interviews, and almost always accepts requests for interviews with his constituents. Regardlesss of how people might "feel" about how he performs, there's definitely not a whole lot of momentum to go against him.
I don't think Oregon is in play, either.