However, it's 2008 where they really stand a chance to clean up. Kos has the run-down of races in 2006 and 2008, and the latter looks really good for the boys in blue. For 2006:
5. Rhode Island
We'd need to sweep the Tier ones and pick something else up to take back the Senate, as well as hold our vulnerable seats (Minnesota, Washington, and, I hate to say it, Maryland). I think the sweep is doable, but getting it, and holding all three and winning a tier-two or three race is pushing our luck. So I predict a 51-49 GOP lead in the Senate after 2006.
But then look at the 2008 map. 2008 is when all the senators who won in 2002 are up for re-election. '02 was a blockbuster GOP year, thanks to fear-mongoring before Iraq. But the upshot is you have a bunch of vulnerable seats (and prospective retirements) in 2008:
Stevens (R) will be 85, and constantly threatens retirement. An open seat might be possible.
Allard (R), who won a tight race in 2002, will face a tough challenger in Rep. Mark Udall.
Chambliss (R) won in 2002 by morphing war hero Max Cleland into Osama Bin Laden. People want revenge.
Roberts (R) should be safe, if he doesn't retire, but massive rifts in the Kansas GOP have given new blood to the state's Democratic Party. Will bear watching.
McConnel (R) has an iron grip on his state's Republican Party. Of course, that party is now mired in myriad scandals and faces serious losses in 2007. Will that stench hurt McConnel?
Coleman (R) will get challenged by local-boy-done-good Al Franken.
There's lots of talk that Cochran (R) will retire, setting off a battle between Rep. Pickering (R) and former Attorney General Moore (D). And the smart money in that showdown would be with Moore.
Freshman Sen. Sununu (R) will be looking for reelection in a state that is trending heavily into the Blue column.
Domenici (R), 76, will have to run in this trending Blue state.
Freshman Sen. Liddy Dole (R) will face her first reelection. North Carolina Dems are on the rise with the insane growth of the liberal-leaning Research Triangle. The state's changing demographics are in our favor.
Smith (R) is increasingly out of touch with his ever bluer state.
Johnson (D) will likely be the GOP's top and only serious target.
If Rockefeller (D) runs for reelection, this will be a safe seat. If not, then it'll be a tough hold.
Warner (R) will be 81, and there's lots of talk that he will retire.
I think we can flip Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Oregon, with South Dakota being the toughest hold (I think Rockefeller will run for re-election). Depending on how Webb does this cycle, Virginia could be an outside shot, and Alaska, Georgia, and New Mexico all could go if there are sufficient Democratic coat-tails at the top of the ticket. Assuming both that my 2006 predictions are right and that none of the 2008 long-shot scenarios plays out and that West Virginia goes GOP, that's still enough to put the Democrats on top in the Senate, 51-49. And they could do significantly better.
Elsewhere, Kos does raise a legitimate point when he asks why the primary challenge to Chafee by Laffey in Rhode Island isn't getting the same press attention, talk about a small-tent party, and otherwise tsk-ing from the center as the Lamont/Lieberman race.