State-by-state: What's at stake in 2008

A cross-country look at the races, issues and people on the radar as the USA counts down to election 2008.

Alabama

Democratic state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures has an uphill battle in her bid to become the state's first black U.S. senator. She faces two-term Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who easily won re-election in 2002.

In 2006, Alabama had the second most expensive judicial race in U.S. history, which ultimately saw $8.2 million spent and Sue Bell Cobb elected the lone Democrat on the nine-member state Supreme Court. With Harold See announcing in July that he will not seek re-election, Alabama could see another costly battle.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's nine electoral votes with 62% of the vote.

Alaska

Scandals tied to an influential Alaska oil contractor could jeopardize the re-election hopes of two of Alaska's longest-serving politicians. A home belonging to Republican Sen. Ted Stevens was raided by federal agents in July as part of a probe into whether Stevens received illegal gifts and violated campaign laws. Law enforcement is looking into similar allegations involving fellow Republican Don Young, Alaska's only U.S. representative since 1973.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's three electoral votes with 61% of the vote.

Arizona

Under federal investigation for a land swap with a campaign donor, Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has announced that he will not seek re-election. More than a half dozen Democrats and Republicans have lined up for that seat. Democrats will also try to maintain two seats wrested from Republican control in 2006, by freshmen Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Harry Mitchell.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's 10 electoral votes with 55% of the vote.

Arkansas

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is a freshman who won his seat in what was then the most expensive political race in state history. No Republican has stepped up yet to challenge in 2008. Former governor Mike Huckabee might not be the best known presidential candidate nationally, but the Republican raised more money in his home state of Arkansas than any other presidential hopeful, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was Arkansas' first lady for 12 years.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's six electoral votes with 54% of the vote.

California

Under a federal investigation for his ties to convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Republican Rep. John Doolittle narrowly beat his Democratic opponent in 2006. That opponent will repeat his challenge, but Democrat Charlie Brown, a retired U.S. Air Force officer, won't be the only one picking on Doolittle this time. Fellow Republicans have called on Doolittle to step aside and at least three said they are considering opposing him in the primary.

Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney had never held elected office until landing his seat in a 2006 upset. Former state assemblyman Dean Andal hopes to return the Republican-leaning district to GOP control in 2008. Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter is leaving his congressional seat to run for president. His son Duncan D. Hunter, a U.S. Marine Corps captain, has said he will join the fray to take his father's seat.

A GOP-backed plan proposes dividing the state's electoral votes by congressional district, possibly taking away about 20 electoral votes from Democrats in this reliably blue state. But the measure, facing strong opposition, may not make it to the ballot.

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