While it is still over 20 months from Election Day 2016, we are beginning to see a few races begining to take shape.
California: First and foremost we will have an open seat in play in the deep blue state of California. California has a non partisan primary where all candidates run on the same ballot and the top two advance to the general election in November. An obvious possibility, with a primary such as this, is that both general election candidates could be from the same party.
There is a line of potential and desired candidates on each side. The sitting Governor has already ruled out a Senate run and Condeliza Rice appears very unlikely to run. Former Sec. Rice would probably be the only candidate that the GOP has in California that would be able to make this a competitive race. Unless something develops, this seat will remain blue with the current front runner being current California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Alaska: Lisa Murkowski has not yet announced if she will run for reelection nor has any potential opposition entered the race. The bigger questions involve whether she an win a GOP primary. Her support has never been incredibly strong among Republicans and has always enjoyed Democratic and Insependent support, until recently. After endorsing Begich's opponent in 2014, she has lost a chunk of her Democratic support. While not significant in terms of a head to head match up, it does erode support from what should be an easy reelection should she avoid another 2010 Joe Miller primary challenge. Mark Begich has also not decided whether he will run for the House District in AK, the Senate seat, or sit out a cycle after his narrow 2014 loss to Sullivan.
Missouri: GOP incumbent Roy Blunt is the clear favorite to be reelected here. That being said, you can't rule out another GOP fiasco a la Todd Aikin in 2012.
Blunt does have a credible Democratic challenger in Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Kander won his 2012 statewide race by 1.5% which outpaced Obama's share of the vote that year in Missouri. Obama lost Missouri in 2012 by almost 10%. Kander will likely face an easier environment in 2016 if Clinton is at the top of the ticket. While an underdog, Kander is likely the Democrats best chance to pick up the seat.
I am going to continue to post these race previews from time to time over the next stretch. I will post another 3 previews either tomorrow or later in the day today.