For Bush, it's sweet home (free) Alabama. Sen. Richard Shelby (R) will breeze to a fourth term over Wayne Sowell (D). The state's seven House members (five of them Republicans) should have little trouble.
Bush has assumed Arkansas is in the bank, but Democrats hope former president Bill Clinton's visit today can trigger a stunning upset for Kerry. It's quiet elsewhere. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) is coasting to reelection, as are the state's four House members, three of them Democrats.
Bush will coast, and there's no race for Senate or governor. The state's four House members should cruise to reelection.
Bush will win easily here. Rep. Johnny Isakson (R) is far ahead of Rep. Denise L. Majette (D) in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D). In the House, Rep. Max Burns (R), is locked in a too-close-to-call race against Athens-Clarke County Commissioner John Barrow(D). Rep. Jim Marshall (D) is thought to have the edge in his rematch against Calder Clay (R). State Sen. Tom Price (R) is unopposed for Isakson's House seat. Former representative Cynthia McKinney (D), ousted by Majette in 2002, will reclaim the vacated seat. Lynn Westmoreland (R) is likely to replace Rep. Mac Collins (R), who made an unsuccessful Senate bid.
Safe for Bush. Sen. Jim Bunning (R) was cruising toward a second term until he made a series of odd remarks and missteps that spawned murmured questions about his mental health. He holds a slender lead over state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo (D). In the House, Republicans hope to pick up the seat being vacated by Rep. Ken Lucas (D). But former newscaster Nick Clooney (D), father of actor George Clooney is in a tossup race with manufacturing consultant Geoff Davis (R). Rep. Anne M. Northup (R) is projected to hold off Tony Miller (D).
Kerry briefly flirted with a campaign effort here but dropped it. Louisiana is the only state never to have elected a Republican to the Senate, but Rep. David Vitter (R) hopes to change that in the race to succeed retiring Sen. John Breaux (D). Republicans and some Democrats say Vitter is in striking distance of winning a majority in the state's unique all-comers election, or "open primary," and avoid a Dec. 4 runoff with one of three Democrats: Rep. Chris John, state Treasurer John Kennedy and state Rep. Arthur Morrell. Multiple candidates from both parties are vying for House seats being vacated by Vitter, John and Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R).
South Carolina (8)
This is another southern state where Bush is safe, and the feature bout is an open Senate race. Rep. Jim DeMint (R) and state Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum (D) are battling for the seat being vacated by Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D). This is arguably the South's most Republican state, which gives DeMint a leg up. Former representative Bob Inglis (R) is likely to return to the House, taking DeMint's seat.
The Volunteer State is solid for Bush. The only drama is Republican Janice Bowling's rematch against Rep. Lincoln Davis (D).