There has been some speculation that Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) would call it quits when his fourth term expires next year, but it can now be laid to rest. Cochran will indeed campaign for another six years on Capitol Hill. The announcement is good news for Republicans, who also face the prospect of defending five open seats. Exiting are John Warner (R-VA), Chuck Hagel(R-NE), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Larry Craig (R-ID).
RBR/TVBR observation: The early betting has Warner’s seat going to another Warner, former Democratic governor Mark Warner, and Colorado and New Mexico may prove tough for Republicans to hold. Nebraska looks safer now that former seat-holder Bob Kerrey has indicated he won’t run. Nobody expects the Democrats to take Idaho (except some Dems with the rosiest of colored glasses). We suspect the Mississippi seat would have fallen into that category as well. Cochran won his last electoral contest with 85% of the vote. It’s still good news for Republican planners, who can leave Cochran to fend for himself while they direct their resources elsewhere.