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

After picking up four House seats in 2006, Democrats could have a tough time holding them. Rep. Jason Altmire, who unseated Republican Melissa Hart in 2006, will face her again if she wins the primary. Former football star Lynn Swann also is considering a run against Altmire. National Republicans are helping Hart raise money and running newspaper ads against Altmire and Democratic Rep. Chris Carney. Carney ousted Republican Don Sherwood after Sherwood admitted to having a mistress. Two businessmen, Dan Meuser and Chris Hackett, will compete to bring the Republican-leaning district into that party's control. Democrats are targeting Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach, who narrowly won re-election in 2004 and 2006.

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's 21 electoral votes with 51% of the vote.

Rhode Island

All four members of the state's congressional delegation are Democrats, and registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans more than two to one in Rhode Island. Gov. Donald Carcieri is a Republican, but he must work with veto-proof Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate. Sen. Jack Reed is up for re-election in 2008, but with no announced opponent and more than $2.7 million to campaign with, he is no soft target for Republicans.

2004 results: Sen. Kerry won the state's four electoral votes with 60% of the vote.

South Carolina

A well-known Republican in a conservative state, Sen. Lindsey Graham would likely have little to fear from Democratic challengers. Instead, Republicans unhappy with his support of a failed immigration overhaul plan are lining up to oppose him. Those running or considering a run include state Rep. Jeff Duncan, computer specialist Tim Carnes, Air Force veteran John Cina and Gary McLeod, who has made unsuccessful runs for the House of Representatives.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's eight electoral votes with 58% of the vote.

South Dakota

Despite a life-threatening brain hemorrhage in December that kept him away from Congress for nine months, Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson says he will run again in 2008. Johnson won his last re-election bid by only 524 votes, and state Rep. Joel Dykstra and businessman Sam Kephart are competing for the Republican nomination to oppose him. Johnson is still undergoing therapy. No Democratic presidential candidate has won South Dakota since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's three electoral votes with 60% of the vote.


Actor and former senator Fred Thompson waited until September to declare his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, and he is relying on his home state to help him catch up in fundraising. More than one-fifth of the $12.8 million Thompson has raised has come from Tennessee.

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who took the seat Thompson left in 2002, has no declared opponent yet in his re-election bid.

2004 results: President Bush won the state's 11 electoral votes with 57% of the vote.


After former House majority leader Tom DeLay, a Republican, was indicted on money-laundering charges and resigned, Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson won his seat in 2006. A half dozen Republicans are campaigning to take back the heavily Republican district. Democratic Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, who unseated Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla in a December 2006 runoff election, could also face a tough re-election bid.

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