WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The 2010 midterm elections are more than a year away, but political observers already labeled several Senate races as ones in which Democrats are vulnerable.
The 2010 Senate elections is pretty evenly split -- Republicans will be defending 18 seats while the Democrats will try to keep 19 seats, including the January special election in Massachusetts, Politico reported Friday.
Seen as most vulnerable is Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., based on a crowded Republican field trying to end his tenure at five terms, the Washington publication said. Leading the GOP field is former three-term Rep. Rob Simmons, who lost his re-election bid in 2006. Leading Dodd in head-to-head polling match-ups for months, Simmons was up by 5 percentage points in a mid-September Quinnipiac poll.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also is seen as in trouble in trying to keep his Nevada seat. State Republicans have at least three challengers -- former state Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden, state Sen. Mark Amodei and businessman Danny Tarkanian.
Republican-turn-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania faces what may be the toughest election of his long Senate career, observers told Politico. Before he can claim a sixth term, Specter must defeat cash-comfortable Rep. Joe Sestak in the May primary, then beat Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey on Election Day.
Other contested Democratic seats are in Colorado, Arkansas, California, and Louisiana. Open-seat contests include Illinois, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Missouri and Florida.