Friday, October 05, 2007

2008 Governor/U.S. Senate races- Fall 2007

Twice already this year, I have taken some preliminary looks at all of the Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests due up in 2008. Now that autumn is upon us, I will do so once again. However, I am hoping to be a little more brief and concise with these, as I have already offered some background on these races earlier and for the fact that there will be plenty of time to discuss them next year. If anyone actually bothers to read these capsules, they should probably expect to find some typos, along with spelling and grammatical errors. If you find any factual inaccuracies, please let me know.

Alabama U.S. Senate

During a cycle, where Republicans may have to defend a lot of territory, they can probably breathe a bit easy about incumbent Jeff Sessions. A recent poll shows him with a large lead over his likely Democrat opponent, State Senator Vivian Davis Figures.

Alaska U.S. Senate

The legal problems surrounding the FBI investigation into Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history is serious and appears to be gathering steam. National Republicans are probably quite hopeful that Stevens will decide to retire. If that were to occur, the GOP bench is deep enough in the state to allow them to be favorites. Democrats would have a tough time winning a federal race in Alaska but they are going to be hopeful as long as Stevens is in legal limbo, with a somewhat credible candidate in a City Councilor named Rocky Caldero in the race and a continuing effort to recruit Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Once considered completely safe, things are now far murkier for the incumbent Stevens. Still though, despite all his problems, he would probably still be the favorite in a reelection campaign barring anything short of an indictment. The possibility of criminal charges do not seem so preposterous now.

Arkansas U.S. Senate

Former Governor Mike Huckabee’s quest for the Republican Presidential nomination remains a long-shot but after impressing in debates and straw polls, the national buzz surrounding him make it more and more unlikely that he would please a lot of Republicans by deciding to run again for the U.S. Senate. In fact, Huckabee probably believes he is a front-runner to be a Vice Presidential candidate. Thus, Democrat Mark Pryor remains with a leg up for a second term but might possibly have a more competitive Democrat primary if Lt. Governor Bill Halter challenges him, than he would in a general election, potentially against Republican Chuck Banks, a former U.S. Attorney.

Colorado U.S. Senate

Democrats have been confident for some time about their chances of picking up an open U.S. Senate seat with the candidacy of Congressman Mark Udall. However, a couple recent polls show the all but certain GOP candidate, former Congressman and current State Board of Education Member Bob Schaffer in a virtual dead heat. In fact, Schaffer has impressed with his fundraising thus far and should probably not be considered a pushover by any means.

Delaware Governor

There is still not much I am able to say about this contest. Since the early summer, State Treasurer Jack Markell has decided to take on Lt. Governor John Carney for the Democrat nomination. A lot of Republicans remain possible candidates but none have announced. The eventual GOP nominee will need to hope that they can capitalize on the fact that the state has long been governed by a Democrat and people may be ready for a change. However, the fact that both of the Democrat candidates have experience being elected statewide works to their advantage.

Delaware U.S. Senate

Longtime incumbent Democrat Joe Biden still wants to be President, but he probably is prepared to settle for being Secretary of State, another job he has long had his eye on, if another Democrat is elected President in 2008. Before that though, Biden remains likely to hedge his bets and seek another term in the U.S. Senate. This race will probably only be one to keep an eye on if Biden makes a surprise decision not to run and Republican Congressman Mike Castle, who also represents the entire state decides to try himself to pick it up.

Georgia U.S. Senate

Unable to lure former Governor Roy Barnes into the race, Georgia Democrats will instead choose from what could be a crowded field of lesser known candidates. Currently, it appears that field includes a couple of political novices as well as DeKalb County Vernon Jones, who might have a leg up in a multi-candidate primary by being the sole African-American in the race. Whomever emerges will be a serious underdog to freshman Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Polls from this month show Chambliss with a healthy lead over any Democrat.

Idaho U.S. Senate

The rumors must have been true after all. The political eyes of the nation were tuned to Idaho a few weeks back after GOP Senator Larry Craig’s misadventure in a men’s room and subsequent hasty guilty plea brought down a severe media firestorm. Republicans in Washington D.C. were quick to make Craig know in no uncertain terms that he had to go, and he had been expected to formally resign his seat in the Senate at the end of September. However, Craig has now announced that while he will not seek reelection, he will stay in the Senate after all and attempt to clear his name in the Ethics Committee, in a move that would have George Constanza proud. There had been a widespread belief that Idaho’s Republican Governor would have appointed Lt. Governor Jim Risch, who had also served for a period of time as Governor, upon a vacancy in that office, as Craig’s replacement. Last year, Risch easily dispatched former Democrat Congressman Larry LaRocco to once again be elected Lt. Governor, and as long as he decides to run for what would now possibly be an open seat would be likely to once again easily defeat LaRocco in a 2008 U.S. Senate match-up. The GOP will keep putting pressure on Craig to live up to his promise of resigning and things could be quite ugly if there are hearings into his personal conduct, but at least Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief that the Larry Craig saga at least involved the very Republican state of Idaho.

Illinois U.S. Senate

Democrats control the entire State of Illinois and the Governor has poll ratings that currently have him about as popular as a contagious disease. However, the mess in Springfield is expected to have little effect on Springfield resident, Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate. A few little known and not very credible Republicans are attempting to qualify for the ballot, as is physician Steve Sauerberg. But in a development over the past few months, he may now be challenged by businessman Jim Nalepa, who also served many years in the U.S. Army, and who in the ‘90s ran a couple credible U.S. House races in a heavily Democrat Chicago based district. Nalepa is believed to have the kind of work ethic and aggressive style on the stump to buoy spirits of what is perhaps a very frustrated group of Republican voters in the state, if he were to be the nominee, but few expect him or any Republican to actually be able to beat Durbin, barring a miracle of sorts.

Indiana Governor

In September, a poll was released for the Hoosier State and it showed that in a three way Democrat primary, former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson, who is considered to be the weakest of the three candidates, has a pretty healthy lead in this stage of the game. However, she also trails first term Republican Governor Mitch Daniels by about eight points, indicating that the Governor is likely to start the fall campaign with a bit of an edge over his eventual Democrat opponent, but it would not be a surefire reelection by any means.

Iowa U.S. Senate

Democrat Tom Harkin is indeed running once again and is a solid favorite for reelection. Whom he winds up facing in the general election is less certain, but for the first time, he may now draw an incumbent GOP Congressman as his opponent. It might instead be businessman Steve Rathje, who has been campaigning for the office for quite some time already.

Kansas U.S. Senate

Republican Pat Roberts seems to be a virtual lock for another term, although there has been a mention of former Congressman Jim Slattery, whose last campaign was as the losing Democrat candidate for Governor back in 1994.

Kentucky U.S. Senate

While Republicans are preparing to wave goodbye to the office of Governor in about month, they are probably feeling more confident about the reelection prospects of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senator has won a lot of praise for performing his partisan Senate duties on Capitol Hill but some Democrats believe that he might be vulnerable and there continues to be some talk about somewhat of a primary challenge as well. This summer, the outgoing Democrat Attorney General Greg Stumbo, who had just recently been part of a losing ticket in the 2007 primary while seeking the office of Lt. Governor, expressed his plans to challenge McConnell. While Stumbo has won statewide, he is also considered to be someone who has some personal and political flaws as a candidate and some do not believe he will stay in the race. The other name that is most often talked about is that of Charlie Owen, a wealthy cable television magnate who also has a fairly long list of electoral defeats.

Louisiana U.S. Senate

Unlike Kentucky, Republicans are expecting to win the office of Governor this year, which would be a pickup for them, and then will try to defeat what is considered to be a weak Democrat incumbent in Mary Landrieu. It has resembled a roller coaster ride at times though as various potential Republican opponents have taken their name out of consideration. Just when it looked like Landrieu might possibly get a break after all, one of those candidates who was thought to be out of the running suddenly reemerged. State Treasurer John Kennedy, switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and is currently seeking reelection in a contest where he is unopposed. Due to that fact, most people now expect he will begin a Senate campaign against Landrieu as soon as he begins his new term in Baton Rouge. These developments were considered a bit of a coup by now departed White House aide Karl Rove, who played a heavy role in getting Kennedy to change parties in preparation for a Senate bid.

Maine U.S. Senate

The countdown to the Collins/Allen showdown continues. Incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins has been a very popular moderate for many years and she faces a formidable opponent in Democrat Congressman Tom Allen, who will hope for another strong Democrat year in 2008. There do not appear to be any polls on this contest since one several months ago that showed Collins with a large lead.

Massachusetts U.S. Senate

Since losing his race for the Presidency in 2004, Democrat John Kerry, who is rumored to have served in Vietnam, has seen political career be marred by finding a national comeback attempt to be a non-starter with most in the party, embarrassing “botched jokes”, and publicity seeking college students getting tased at events. Despite all of this, as well as some surprisingly low poll numbers in his liberal state at times, Kerry is widely expected to be able to easily capture another term in the Senate. Nonetheless, there has been some talk about a Zogby poll that shows a Republican businessman Jeff Beatty, who also served in the military, FBI, and CIA, in a statistical tie with the longtime incumbent. However, it so happens that particular poll happens to be one of the push variety, in which the questions could have been manipulated to generate a strong response for Beatty. In it, he did perform better in hypothetical matchups than some other potential GOP candidates. One of the wildcards to look out for in 2008 may be if someone like Beatty may wind up being a political annoyance to Kerry, or if nothing will come of it.

Michigan U.S. Senate

At this point, the only announced Republican opponent for veteran Democrat Senator Carl Levin is Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski, a former State Representative and Afghan War Veteran, who was easily dispatched by Levin in 2002. In a rematch, Raczkowski would need more luck than Rocky Balboa had in his second fight with Apollo Creed.

Minnesota U.S. Senate

Some recent polls at this early stage show Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s poll numbers, which once included large leads over top DFL contenders, comedian turned left-wing radio host Al Franken and wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi fall into the single digits. This has Democrats appearing a lot more optimistic about their chances. Still though, Coleman is a strong campaigner, who might be seen as enough of a maverick to not be saddled with any potential backlash against Republicans. He will still have to run a strong race though. Fortunately for him, his opponent will probably be Franken, who may do a better job than Ciresi in appealing to the passions of his party. Franken would be well-funded by his friends in Hollywood and New York City, but still remains an unknown as to what kind of candidate he would be. He has said many controversial things throughout his public life and in a sense may be an opposition researcher’s dream opponent. Both candidates, but Franken especially may be dealing with a ceiling of support in which they cannot cross, and potential third party efforts could wind up determining the direction of the race, or even the winner itself among the two major party nominees.

Mississippi U.S. Senate

Republican Senator Thad Cochran has decided to seek a sixth term and may wind up facing little or no opposition from any other candidate.

Missouri Governor

The political comeback of first term GOP Governor Matt Blunt appears to be continuing as recent polls show the once very unpopular Governor now in a virtual dead heat with his likely Democrat opponent, Attorney General Jay Nixon, who has lost a competitive statewide race before. While this race should be a hotly contested one, Blunt may now have at least rebounded to the effect of warding off serious Republican primary challenges, which would prove to be beneficial in a general election campaign.

Montana Governor

Businessman Steve Daines and State Senator Minority Leader Bob Keenan remain potential but apparently not announced Republican candidates against first term Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer, whose popularity makes him a favorite to win reelection.

Montana U.S. Senate

While other Republicans may jump into the race, the one announced challenger to Democrat Senator Max Baucus is State Representative Mike Lange, who had served as Majority Leader in that body. He would be a heavy underdog to Baucus though.

Nebraska U.S. Senate

Now that saga surrounding the political future of anti-war Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has been decided in favor of a political retirement, things are looking a little clearer in the Cornhusker State, but not completely so. Republicans got a shot in the arm when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, the state’s popular former Governor, was convinced to leave Washington to return home to make this race. One announced Republican candidate has already agreed to step aside for Johanns, while the party will continue to work to clear the field further, especially as it relates to the candidate of Attorney General Jon Bruning, whose political viability was probably one of the main reasons why Hagel decided he did not want to face that sort of primary challenge. A recent poll shows that Johanns would be a heavy favorite to capture the nomination, and should be expected to be in a good position to win in this very Republican friendly state in November. However, the focus is now on what once looked to be a likely comeback attempt from former U.S. Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey on behalf of Democrats. Kerrey, who has been a University President in New York City for the past several years, now looks somewhat unlikely to run against Johanns and Republicans finally feel they may have caught a break related to Senate contests. Democrats hold out hope that either Kerrey will run after all or that someone like Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey could do well. Still though, any Democrat, particularly one not named Kerrey, would have a difficult task in beating Johanns in Nebraska.

New Hampshire Governor

Some credible Republicans remain potential candidates against popular Democrat Governor John Lynch, but his reelection looks fairly well assured, and Granite State Republicans will likely be focused on other races.

New Hampshire U.S. Senate

Democrats could be forgiven for doing cartwheels when former Governor Jeanne Shaheen decided to leave a post at Harvard University to seek a rematch against the Republican who defeated her in 2002 in a race that featured some shady campaign tactics by Republican operatives in its final stages. The Democrat field has almost completely now been cleared for Shaheen and polls have shown her with a large lead over Senator John Sununu, and one out this week confirms that. However, a couple of the others which had shown Shaheen ahead by landslide proportions would go on to show that the race was far closer than that in newer surveys. If Sununu wants to be reelected, he will have his work cut out for him, but any claims that he is destined to go down in a manner reminiscent of Rick Santorum in 2006 is probably extremely pre-mature or overblown.

New Jersey U.S. Senate

The Garden State does not seem one that is overly prepared to jettison an incumbent Democrat Senator in favor of a Republican but if a few things fall into place, this could be one of the most interesting sleeper races of 2008. A recent poll shows many voters do not believe that soon to be 83 year old Frank Lautenberg deserves to be reelected and it is possible that the right kind of Republican candidate could have a chance in this state. The name of State Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick appears to have entered the mix, but the candidate who might be best equipped to potentially pull off an upset is still Anne Evans Estabrook, a moderate Republican real estate developer, who would be able to call on large amounts of personal financial resources in this politically expensive state.

New Mexico U.S. Senate

At beginning of October, long serving Republican Senator Pete Domenici surprised many with an announcement that he would retire after his current term. He had previously said he would be a candidate but has now made a decision to not run again, due largely to an unfortunate health diagnosis. Also, Domenici, who had been caught up in a brouhaha over the firing of the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, had seen his once massive popularity in New Mexico tumble into dangerously low levels in at least one recent poll. Based on that, Democrats would have perhaps decided to mount a more vigorous race against Domenici, but none of the announced candidates in the field would have been seen as an extreme threat to the incumbent. With Domenici leaving though, it obviously brings about a more fluid situation, that conventional wisdom would seem to benefit Democrats. It could be though that eventually an open seat might be a blessing in disguise for Republicans due to what would have been questions about Domenici’s health and ethics. The events of this past week have furthermore been a little disappointing to Democrats insomuch as their top two targets to run, Governor Bill Richardson, who is currently running for President decided he would under no circumstances change his focus as well as the announcement from Congressman Tom Udall, that he would not try to join his cousins Democrat Congressman Mark Udall of Colorado or incumbent Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, in seeking a spot in the upper chamber. Therefore, Democrats are now looking at potential candidacies of Lt. Governor Diane Denish, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, and former Attorney General Patricia Madrid in addition to the lesser known candidates who were already running against Domenici. Things are not completely certain for Republicans either, but Domenici protégé Heather Wilson, a Congresswoman, who has won several tough races in a Democrat leaning district has already declared her intent to run. In 2006, Wilson edged by Madrid under very tough circumstances for Republicans, but has seen been caught up in the same sort of issues related to the U.S. Attorneys matter that have troubled Domenici. She may have determined that a statewide race may be an better bet for her than another campaign in a district that was carried in 2004 by John Kerry. A somewhat more conservative Congressman Steve Pearce is also a potential candidate, but Republicans would love to avoid that sort of statewide primary, in addition to leaving two Congressional seats open. All in all, this race will definitely be a lot more on the Democrats’ radar than it would have been if an incumbent were still both very popular and seeking reelection, but they may also have to try to win the seat without a couple of its stronger figures.

North Carolina Governor

A new poll shows two very close races for the nominations to be the new Governor of North Carolina as well as a general election in which voters appear open to electing either another Democrat or the first Republican in many years. There is a belief that the primary between Democrat Lt. Governor Bev Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore may be showing some potential of being a damaging one. Republicans will have a competitive one as well with three announced candidates, attorney Bill Graham, ex State Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, and State Senator Fred Smith, appearing to be about even at this point with an extreme amount of undecided voters. The Democrats can both claim to have already been elected statewide, but if their primary is overly nasty and the voters are in the mood for a change in state government, the eventual Republican nominee will very much have a chance here.

North Carolina U.S. Senate

Republican freshman Senator Elizabeth Dole continues to show polling numbers that might be described as average at best, but remains a favorite at this point to win reelection. Several credible Democrats have already passed on this race and several more are still mentioned, but thus far, the only announced candidate would be considered viable is an investment banker named Jim Neal. Dole probably will not win in a cakewalk, but the bottom line is that when a poll from a Democrat firm shows her holding leads of at least several points over every Democrat offered, including that of legendary UNC basketball coach Dean Smith, she probably starts off as more likely to win than not.

North Dakota Governor

Republican Governor John Hoeven is extremely popular and is seeking a third term. He will be heavily favored over his eventual Democrat opponent which might potentially be either State Senator Tim Mathern or State Senator Joel Heitkamp.

Oklahoma U.S. Senate

As long as the only Democrat seeking to oppose Republican Senator Jim Inhofe is Andrew Rice, a youthful and very liberal State Senator, the very conservative incumbent probably has little reason to worry.

Oregon U.S. Senate

Republican Gordon Smith has typically been pretty popular in his state over the years and has broken with the Bush Administration on such issues as Iraq, but still Democrats feel that the political nature of the liberal leaning state could give them a shot at ousting the incumbent. With several prominent Democrats having taken their names out of the running, the party now is resting its hopes on the candidacy of State House Speaker Jeff Merkley, who should be expected to run a credible race, but in all honesty is probably about fourth or fifth on the depth chart as to whom the party wanted to run. Smith may also catch a break due to the Independent candidacy of ex National Endowment for the Arts Chair John Frohnmeyer who will be running to the left in his race.

Rhode Island U.S. Senate

Thus far, Democrat Senator Jack Reed continues to have this contest to himself.

South Carolina U.S. Senate

For months, there has been talk that freshman Republican Senator Lindsey Graham may have problems with his own party’s base over issues related to immigration and some foreign policy matters. While some fairly high profile Republican names are still mentioned as potential primary opponents for Graham, that movement may have lost its moment over the past few months. Thus far, Graham is only facing some political unknowns in the GOP primary. The Democrats may be come to picking up a candidate if former State Party Joe Erwin decides to make this race, either as a prelude or substitute for a 2010 run for Governor. In a conservative state like South Carolina, Graham, absent a major third party or independent challenge from the right, would be a solid favorite over any Democrat.

South Dakota U.S. Senate

Democrat Tim Johnson has now returned to the U.S. Senate after missing many months after nearly dying in late 2006. The conventional wisdom says that Johnson will seek another term, despite not completely regaining all of his mobility or speaking abilities. If Johnson runs again, he will be tough to beat. People love a comeback story and some more second tier Republicans who have already gotten into the race such as State Representative Joel Dykstra or businessman Sam Kephart would find it difficult to campaign against Johnson without crossing some sort of line which Democrats might try to exploit as being unfair to a courageous disabled man. It should not be considered an absolute given that Johnson will decide to run again though. If he chooses to retire, the race will drastically change, especially since there is talk that Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who is elected by the state at large, would probably choose to run for reelection in a seat where she has become pretty much entrenched rather than seek an open Senate seat. If the seat were to be open, Republicans would hope that popular Governor Mike Rounds would then decide to run.

Tennessee U.S. Senate

Some Democrats are now being mentioned as potential candidates and businessman Mike McWherter, whose father served as Governor, appears to have jumped in the race, but first term incumbent Lamar Alexander is a heavy favorite for reelection and even seems to be brining back a red and black plaid motif for his campaign.

Texas U.S. Senate

Some elements in the left-wing netroots movement seem to be excited about an attempt to defeat another freshman Republican Senator John Cornyn, whose public approval numbers have not always been stellar. They seem to be particularly interested in a recent liberal sponsored poll that shows State Representative Rick Noriega could emerge as a surprisingly strong Democrat candidate. The validity of that poll though as well as the belief that a Republican could be beaten in a state like Texas might be similar to that of people who think that a Republican could unseat John Kerry in Massachusetts. In order to face Cornyn, Noriega would first need to get past a much more well-funded primary opponent in wealthy trial attorney Mikal Watts.

Utah Governor

Republican Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. remains well on track towards cruising to a second term in Salt Lake City.

Vermont Governor

Not much to report from the liberal leaning Green Mountain State where popular Republican Governor Jim Douglas would be the favorite for another two year term. No opponents have formally surfaced but there is talk apparently that Republican State Senator Vincent Illuzi may either run against Douglas as either a Republican or as a Democrat. While it may not matter too much in this type of race, there is always a chance in close Vermont races that Democrats and the Progressive Party could split the vote and that would benefit Republicans.

Virginia U.S. Senate

Democrats are downright giddy now that longtime popular Republican Senator John Warner has announced his retirement and popular former Democrat Governor Mark Warner, who is not related to the Senator, has jumped into the contest to replace him. While there is somewhat of a possibility that poll respondents may be a little confused by the identical surnames of the incumbent and the Democrat candidate, Mark Warner starts off the race holding extremely large leads over two potential Republican opponents in former Governor Jim Gilmore or Congressman Tom Davis, a more moderate member of the GOP, who would be of the John Warner mold, and who many conservatives may also come to rally around as the best chance to hold the seat. Soon, it will be decided whether the Republican candidate will be decided via primary election or party convention and the method will have much to say as to who is more likely to be nominated and if the eventual nominee will start off the general election campaign less wounded in what will be a very tough race against Mark Warner. Right now, it looks like Warner could potentially sail to an easy pickup for the Democrats, but the race should be considered far from over, as long as someone like Tom Davis is still an unknown name to many in the state. Give the early edge to Warner for what would probably be the top pickup opportunity in the Senate next year, but it is too early to completely write the Republicans off, especially if Davis is able to capture the party’s nod.

Washington Governor

Former Republican State Senator Dino Rossi, who lost a very close and controversial election in 2002 to now Democrat Governor Christine Gregoire has recently resigned as the head of a non-profit organization in a move that is widely seen as a preparation for a long expected second run for Governor. It should be a hotly contested race, with Gregoire perhaps having a slight edge due to incumbency and the political nature of the state. Many people still believe that Rossi was rightfully elected in 2002 and that could work to his advantage. If for some reason, Rossi decides not to run, State Attorney General Rob McKenna would be another strong Republican challenger.

West Virginia Governor

It looks like Republicans might wind up running businessman Bob Adams, who has a couple of political losses under his belt against popular Democrat first term Governor Joe Manchin, but that would not be much of a contest.

West Virginia U.S. Senate

Some Republicans held out hope that Secretary of State Betty Ireland could be persuaded to forgo a reelection campaign to mount a credible but uphill race against veteran incumbent Democrat Jay Rockefeller, but she disappointed many in the GOP by announcing she would retire from politics all together. Thus, the only Republican who may be able to force Rockefeller to spend any money whatsoever in order to capture another term is wealthy businessman John Raese, who is also becoming somewhat of a frequent losing candidate in West Virginia.

Wyoming U.S. Senate-A

The Cowboy State will see a very competitive U.S. House contest and possibly a slightly competitive U.S. Senate race in a different contest, but in this regularly scheduled election, Republican Senator Mike Enzi, who once owned a shoe store, will walk all over any challengers.

Wyoming U.S. Senate- B

Appointed Republican Senator John Barrasso may still draw one or more serious Republican primary opponents, but there does not seem to be any sort of great urgency along those lines at this time. No Democrats have formally gotten into the race either, all though some names are mentioned, topped by the potential candidacy of former Governor Mike Sullivan, whose last electoral contest was a defeat for the U.S. Senate in 1994. Barrasso or most other Republicans would have a distinct edge in any federal race in Wyoming.

NFL Week 5

Record thus far: 22-40 (35%)

1. Dolphins (0-4) at Texans (2-2)
2. Falcons (1-3) at Titans (2-1)
3. Lions (3-1) at Redskins (2-1)
4. Jets (1-3) at Giants (2-2)
5. Seahawks (3-1) at Steelers (3-1)
6. Cardinals (2-2) at Rams (0-4)
7. Panthers (2-2) at Saints (0-3)
8. Browns (2-2) at Patriots (4-0)
9. Jaguars (2-1) at Chiefs (2-2)
10. Buccaneers (3-1) at Colts (4-0)
11. Ravens (2-2) at '49ers (2-2)
12. Chargers (1-3) at Broncos (2-2)
13. Bears (1-3) at Packers (4-0)
14. Cowboys (4-0) at Bills (1-3)