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

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's four electoral votes with 50% of the vote.

New Jersey

After falling just a few thousand votes short of beating Republican Rep. Mike Ferguson in 2006, Democratic state Assemblywoman Linda Stender will challenge him again. Ferguson has a moderate record on some issues, but Stender has criticized his opposition to abortion and stem cell research, and his support of the Iraq war. Republican Rep. Jim Saxton could also face a tough re-election fight against state Sen. John Adler. Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 83, has said he will run again. No well-known foe has announced a challenge yet.

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's 15 electoral votes with 53% of the vote.

New Mexico

Sen. Pete Domenici's announcement last month that he would not seek re-election created three open Republican congressional seats because Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce are leaving their House seats to run for his Senate seat. Democratic candidates in the state's first open Senate race since 1972 include Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White will seek the Republican nomination for Wilson's House seat. Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich and former state health secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham are running for that seat as Democrats. A half dozen Democrats and Republicans have expressed interest in Pearce's seat.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's five electoral votes with 50% of the vote.

New York

The last two presidents have been Southerners, but both parties' 2008 front-runners for the top job have New York credentials: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former New York mayor Rudy Guliani.

A number of potentially competitive House races loom here. Democratic Reps. John Hall and Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Reps. Jim Walsh and Randy Kuhl could all face tough re-election bids. Hall, of the 1970s pop group Orleans, won his seat from Republican Sue Kelly in 2006, with Kelly facing questions about her tenure on the House Page Board following the Rep. Mark Foley page scandal. Hall hopes voters will think he's Still the One in 2008, with Republicans Andrew Saul, a businessman, and Kieran Lalor, an Iraq war veteran, challenging the freshman congressman.

Kuhl's seat lies in one of the state's most heavily Republican districts, but Democrats consider him vulnerable. Democrat Eric Massa, a Navy veteran, narrowly lost to Kuhl in 2006 and plans to repeat his challenge.

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's 31 electoral votes with 58% of the vote.

North Carolina

Democratic Gov. Mike Easley is barred from re-election by term limits, and the race for his seat could be very competitive. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore are competing for the Democratic nomination. Republican hopefuls include state Sen. Fred Smith, attorney Bill Graham and former state Supreme Court justice Robert Orr.

After falling about 300 votes shy of upsetting Republican Rep. Robin Hayes in 2006, Democrat Larry Kissell, a teacher, will challenge Hayes again. Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler, a retired NFL quarterback, won his seat in a 2006 upset over Republican Charles Taylor. Taylor has yet to say whether he'll run. The only challenger to date in Sen. Elizabeth Dole's bid for re-election is Democrat Jim Neal, a corporate financial adviser who has never held elected office.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's 15 electoral votes with 56% of the vote.

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