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The state has a history of electing moderate Democrats, but Conrad’s exit from the ticket puts the seat in jeopardy for the party, which lacks an obvious top-tier choice to step up.
Democrats are coming off a down election year in the state, when former Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan’s seat was easily won by GOP Sen. John Hoeven, and former Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy lost his at-large seat by 10 points.
The presidential election could also have a downballot effect on the Senate race. While President Barack Obama won 45 percent in 2008 — 10 points higher than Sen. John Kerry four years earlier — he still lost the state by 8 points in what was a great national landscape for the party.
The rating of this race could shift depending on which candidates from each party decide to run, but at this point the edge goes to the GOP. For more on our race ratings click here.