With the announced retirement of Republican Senators Mel Martinez (FL), Kit Bond (MO) and George Voinovich (OH), 2010 could be a tough year for the GOP in these three swing states. But the outlook isnâ€™t all bad.
In 2008, Republicans had a difficult time finding candidates who could compete for open seats. This time around, the party is better prepared. According to Politico, the names we should be paying attention to are former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in Florida, former U.S. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt in Missouri and former Rep. Rob Portman in Ohio. All three men have significant government experience, strong fund-raising bases and are generally well liked.
Adding to Republican prospects is the fact that, if either of these men fail to grab the nomination, each state has other potential candidates who could compete well on a state-wide level.
Democrats also have strong prospects in these three states and will undoubtedly do everything they can to capture the seats and move that much closer to a Senate super-majority. Of course, the problem for Democrats is swing states have a habit of swinging. If the state of the nation does not improve by 2010, voters may turn against the Democrats. If they do, Republicans look surprisingly well-positioned to retain their seats in Florida, Missouri and Ohio.