If you think there are a lot of competitive Senate races this year just wait for 2012. We've found 9 of the 16 folks we've polled since October who are up for reelection next year with negative approval ratings.
It might be easier to start with the list of who's doing alright- the folks in positive territory in order of their net approval are Olympia Snowe (+15), Tom Carper (+13), Jeff Bingaman (+12), Herb Kohl (+10), Kay Bailey Hutchison (+3), and Jim Webb (+2)
Even within those folks who are doing comparatively well there's the potential for some competitiveness next time. Snowe's popular because Democrats like her and could have difficulty winning another Republican primary. Hutchison just showed she's capable of getting trounced in a primary and that could embolden a more conservative challenger to her, although it's doubtful such a candidate would be remotely on par with Rick Perry.
KBH will get absolutely hammered from both sides for credibility issues. She said she'd quit the Senate to campaign for Governor. Then she said, no, I'll quit after the campaign. Then she lost and said, no, I'll quit in 2012. Guess what -- wrong again.
Word is that Texas' favorite political frenemies, Hutchison and Perry, will be together this week for the first time since their fractious primary election. The chill is gone ... or at least the political necessity has arrived of presenting a united Republican Party if the GOP hopes to win big in the fall. The governor and senator are expected to appear together at the Texas Federation of Republican Women breakfast at the state Republican Convention in Dallas.This ought to be interesting... but Rick and Kay... especially Kay... both need to do more to show unity in 2010 at least.