While he is in his first term, Bernie Sanders has been a fixture in Vermont politics for decades, and there’s little sign he’s in danger of losing his seat in 2012.
Sanders’ outspoken style and political leanings — he is a self-described socialist, elected as an Independent, who caucuses with Democrats — might put him in a weaker position in another state. His fundraising has been underwhelming to date: He reported just $111,000 in his campaign account at the end of September.
But Republicans aren’t known for their deep bench in Vermont. State Auditor Tom Salmon has been discussed as a challenger, but it’s a big jump from the state’s top accountant to U.S. Senator.
— Compiled by Kyle Trygstad, Tricia Miller, Steve Peoples and Christina Bellantoni