From NBC's Mark Murray
Democrats are already salivating over the prospect next year of picking up Colorado's open Senate seat, which is being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard. Maine (Susan Collins' seat), Minnesota (Norm Coleman's), and New Hampshire (John Sununu's) are other potential pick-up opportunities for Democrats. But what about Oregon? The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has just released their own poll showing that Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith (R) isn't a shoo-in for re-election next year. While the survey finds that 56% view him favorably (versus 25% unfavorably), just 46% think he's doing either an excellent or good job -- compared with 43% who believe he's doing a poor or only fair job. And in a potential match-up against Rep. Peter DeFazio (D), the poll has Smith trailing, 42%-38%.
Of course, in order for Democrats to defeat him, they'll need to find a candidate -- DeFazio or someone else -- who is up to the task.