A Golden Opportunity: More Reactions to Hagel's Retirementby Kyle Michaelis
Democrats hold a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate and they would like to extend that lead in 2008. Republicans must defend 22 of 34 seats on the ballot next year, and about a half-dozen are considered vulnerable. Democrats, meanwhile, hold 12 seats that will be on the ballot, and only one or two are considered vulnerable at this point....
"The good news for Democrats just keeps coming," said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, after hearing of Hagel's plans.
"The Democrats have got an enormous playing field for 2008 in the Senate. They have lots of Republicans to target and a good chance of picking up seats in the Senate," Sabato said.
From CQ Politics:
Pollster John Zogby said Hagel's retirement would complicate efforts by Republicans to regain a Senate majority, forcing them to defend an open seat in what is likely to be a tough race.
"It was already tilting against the Republicans as far as regaining control of the Senate. Now Nebraska is going to be competitive. Polls had shown recently Hagel was not a shoo-in. Now, with an open seat in a state that can go either way, it's clear that the Nebraska is another state that Republicans have to worry about," he said.