Republican Rep. Chip Pickering will retire, but his seat, which lies in a heavily Republican district, is likely to stay under that party's control. Sen. Thad Cochran, a Republican, said he will announce a decision on a re-election bid soon. If he does not run, Pickering might run for the seat. Former state attorney general Mike Moore is considered the top Democratic prospect should Cochran leave the Senate.
2004 results: President Bush won the state's six electoral votes with 59% of the vote.
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt has been in the sights of his Democratic rival since Blunt's first year in office; state Attorney General Jay Nixon formed a campaign committee in 2005. Blunt, averaging almost one public appearance a day, has been far more visible than Nixon, who has averaged about one a month, but the race is expected to be close. Vice President Cheney pitched in on Republican Rep. Sam Graves' re-election run, appearing at a September fundraiser. Graves is facing Democrat and former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes.
2004 results: President Bush won the state's 11 electoral votes with 53% of the vote.
President Bush carried the state in 2004, but Democrats hold the governor's mansion and both Senate seats, and Republicans look unlikely to change that in 2008. Sen. Max Baucus' only challenger to date is former state House majority leader Michael Lange, who was forced out by fellow Republicans after calling Gov. Brian Schweitzer an S.O.B. in a profanity-laced rant in April. No Republican has yet entered the gubernatorial race.
2004 results: President Bush won the state's three electoral votes with 59% of the vote.
The retirement of GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel could make for a competitive race. Former governor and former U.S. Agriculture secretary Mike Johanns picked up an endorsement from fellow Republican Gov. Dave Heineman, which could help him against Republican hopefuls including Attorney General Jon Bruning and businessman Pat Flynn. Democrats had hoped to recruit former senator Bob Kerrey to the race, but he recently said he won't run.
2004 results: President Bush won the state's five electoral votes with 66% of the vote.
Democrats are targeting Republican Rep. Jon Porter after a 2006 race in which he narrowly beat a 30-year-old, first-time candidate. Robert Daskas, a prosecutor, and Andrew Martin, an accountant, are competing to oppose Porter, who has been boosted by a fundraiser with Vice President Cheney. Nevada's Jan. 19 presidential caucuses are garnering more attention from presidential candidates than in the past.
2004 results: President Bush won the state's five electoral votes with 50% of the vote.
National Democrats are targeting conservative Sen. John Sununu and have recruited his 2002 opponent to make another run. Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was governor when she lost that close race. Former astronaut Jay Buckey is also competing for the Democratic nomination. Republican Jeb Bradley, ousted from his House seat in 2006 by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, is also planning a rematch. Shea-Porter's 2006 victory was one of the biggest upsets of the election cycle and made her the state's first congresswoman. Democratic Gov. John Lynch's high approval ratings could complicate the GOP challenge.
With so many states moving up their presidential primaries, there is a growing possibility that New Hampshire's primary could be held as early as Jan. 5.